Ghostlight Blog

Posted by Ross

Questions and Answers part 1: The Breakdancing Horse

Hi Everyone

It’s Friday so that means it’s time for another Ghostlight Blog.  Agarest is still with the wonderful people over at Sony (maybe if I’m nice enough they’ll pass it sooner :)) This means of course that I’m not testing it at the moment (surprisingly enough I’m actually writing this blog) but of course Ghostlight never sleeps and we remain eternally vigilant, always on the lookout for the best games from Japan to bring you.  Unfortunately while it is a lot of fun to pester everyone here about my favourite Japanese games it’s not something I can say too much about.  But if there are any games that you want me to take a look at let me know.

All this means I need something else to talk about and so I thought I’d carry on with our little Q&A from last week.  I’ve got two questions both from the comments on last week’s blog.

Firstly Pepsi_Biofusion seems to be a bit worried that I’m about to slack off as he asks:

Q. Well Ross I'm sure you're hard work will provide us with a smooth glitch-free gaming experience, its very much appreciated. I saw what game-testers do in God of War 3... they were adamant it was the most repetitive and monotonous job in gaming, so I guess my question would be what keeps you motivated?

A. Thanks for the complements (my head is starting to swell already.)  As for what motivates me well while certain aspects of the testing procedure can be dull regardless of the game you’re working on (seriously ejecting the disc over and over and over again is never going to be fun) there are lots of parts of it I enjoy as well.

  1. I enjoy breaking things.   Finding a bug is quite satisfying and some of the bugs can be very funny.  My absolute favourite bug is known in the Ghostlight offices as the breakdancing horse.
  2. It still fascinates seeing exactly what goes into making a game.
  3. I still enjoy the times when I get to playthrough our games even if I have to playthrough them differently then I would if I was playing at home.
  4. I know it’s a little cheesy but it’s always great to hear from people who enjoy the games I have worked on.  I love it when I hear from you and I still enjoy it when I overhear some friends talking about a game and I can say I worked on that.  It’s also very cool when you see a game you worked on in a shop.
  5. My other jobs have been far more boring.  Before working here I was working in the family stationery business where the most exciting thing that happened to me is discovering we sold Acme products (no they don’t work like they do in the cartoons :( )
  6. Another cheesy one but there a great bunch of guys here and I enjoy working with them.

The Second question from Kotaro and is about how we have been testing Agarest:

Q Surely you test it with other people.  How does that work?

Agarest has been a bit more complex as we’ve been testing it alongside Aksys but usually what happens is that before we get a build we’ll get together and discuss what settings we are going to be using and which aspects we are going to be looking at because in a game the size of Agarest we need to make sure that we can cover as much as possible each build.  In the case of Agarest that means making sure we play on different difficulty settings, use different party setups and try to make different choices in game etc.  We also try to make sure that someone different gets to do the compliance sweep (click here for more details on what a compliance sweep involves) each time because its useful to have lots of different people look at it and because running a compliance sweep is really, really boring and we’d all much prefer to playthrough the game.

Thanks for the questions.  I’m not sure when I’ll be running the next Q&A blog but if you have any questions you want me to answer feel free to post it in the comments or ask me on my twitter.  Have a great bank holiday weekend and if you’re going to the MCM Expo have a great time.  I’m going to be there on Sunday so if you see me feel free to say hi.


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Ailtin says:

Nice blog :) I am looking forward to your next blog entry Ross :D Looking for good Japanese Games ? There is in fact one which is damn awesome. It is called Fate/Extra. I heard that Ignition Software threw an eye on it, but there are no news to it. Did you heard of it or watched a little bit of it ?
[GL] Ross says:

@Ailtin A few people have mentioned that one to me now. It does seem quite cool and I did enjoy the Fate/Stay Night anime that was released a little while back. I'll make sure to pass on your suggestion.
Eru says:

That would be really cool if that were to happen :) Also, SNAP! My brothers and I will be there on Sunday...probably hanging out by the Stars desk or Yu-Gi-Oh! Tournaments. I'm not competing, but will be there for moral support/cheerleading purposes :p Does GL have a table at the Expo?
Pepsi_Biofusion says:

Good to see a well thought out reply, I actually like some glitches... especially Sonic 06... Sonic can stand upside down, sideways in mid air and half way through a wall, it seems 5 foot hedgehogs really are miraculous creatures. Breaking things is also cool, especially when you don't have to pay for it. I'll probably set up a twitter or something soon, I gotta get with the times, so I can stop posting so much jargon on this site :P
landlock says:

A few games that may be worth a look .hack//link (PSP) - I've heard Namcobandai can be hard to deal with but I really want to play this as it's the only one in the series they don't seem to be bringing over to US/EU. Growlanser/Growlanser IV (PSP)- Again I'm a big Growlanser fan having played Growlanser 2/3 and 6 in the PS2. Would love to play the remake of the original aswell as No.4. Ninokuni (PS3) - from Level 5/studio ghibli looks amazing. I'm fairly sure Sony Europe will do it themselves but if not the game sure looks lovely. Arc Rise Fantasia (Wii) really needs to see a European release. While the voice acting for the US version is bad. The game looks alot of fun and really reminds me of Grandia.
Komic says:

With Agarest Zero looking to be a suscess, will you lot be thinking of releasing Agarest 2?
Ailtin says:

I would totally get into it. To tell you the truth Ross, you must read the Visual Novel if you liked the Anime. The VN gives you two additional routes with multiple Endings. I read through it and was amazed :D Also maybe you can gain 50 different Bad Ends, hehe. But thanks for keeping an eye on it. I think that not only I would appreciate it. What about this breakdancing horse ? In which game is it present ? Can you give us an image to share the fun ? Man, I surely ask to much, I hope it is okay :)
Kotaro says:

Thanks for answering the question and thank you for your hard work!
Shaki says:

I am very happy to see that the people of Ghostlight are familiar with anime franchises and it makes us love Ghostlight even more. I buy imported games from Japan from VN`s to JRPGs. I would love to see Corpse Party and Black Rock Shooter if NisA ARENT BRINGING IT eUROPE like they`re doing with America and especially Luminous Arc 3 but I could go on. I have a question, how do u test through the game? Do you go through every scenario of the game and check if theres anything wrong or what? Besides that games I`d love to see by you in future that I can name of are Corpse Party and its sequel coming in Japan this Augest, Luminous Arc 3, Black rock shooter the game, Fate/Extra. Those are a few I can list that I think oof. I was thinking Criminal Girls but thats been given an 18+ rating so I`m a little hesitant to suggest it but the gameplay on youtube looks interesting. Looking forward to Agarest Zero!!!!
[GL] Ross says:

@Eru We didn't have a table at the Expo this time. @Pepsi_Biofusion Join us. You know you want to. @Landlock & @Shaki Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look into them. @Komic We're all big Agarest fans here so if Agarest Zero does well I'd imagine we would be interested. @Ailtin I'll do something on the breakdancing horse in the next Q&A blog whenever that may be. @Kotaro No problem. Thanks for the question.

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