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みなさん、こんにちは! ほたる横丁町民会報「ゲームでは語られることのない、設定思惑裏の裏!」も第 三回目になりました。今回は、皆さんからお寄せいただいた「PHASE.2アンケー トの簡単な結果レポートVol.1」という事で、お届けしていきます。 PHASE.2アンケートは、アルトネリコのアンケートにご回答頂いた方から、更に突き詰めた想いを頂く場として設置しているものです。あまりに文章項目が多い ため、当初数十名程度から御意見いただければ十分…程度で考えておりましたが、 なんと!現在までに600名にも迫る勢いの、強い想いの回答を頂きました。これ だけ沢山の方にこんなにも熱心な御意見を頂けるアルトネリコは、本当に愛され ているゲームなのだと、改めて感謝の気持ちで一杯です。 ご回答頂きました皆様、本当にありがとうございました!

Hello, everyone! This will be the third issue of the Firefly Alley Citizen BBS special "we won't be talking about the game, but about the secrets of the secret setting intentions!". So this time around, we'll comment on the opinions you all brought to us through the "Simple Results Report for the Phase 2 Enquete, Vol. 1".
Since the Phase 2 Enquete is a questionnaire for all those that played Ar tonelico, it's also set as a place from which I can further investigate the feelings the game gave you all. As it was naturally going to have quite a large number of opinions, I thought at first that I'd just take the ones sent by the first few tens of people as the sample for it... but, whoa! Currently, we ended receiving around 600 responses, all containing very strong feelings. If there are so many people who could give opinions on Ar tonelico in such a passionate way, it means that the game is truly loved, and once again, I have to give you all my greatest thanks for it.
Everyone, I'm truly grateful that you have sent us your opinions!

今回はVol.1という事で、全7項目の中から3項目をレポートします。アンケー トを回答されていない方も、きっと興味深くお読み頂けるのではないかと思います。

For this Vol. 1, we'll be reporting three of the seven questions that we made in the questionnaire. I also think that those who didn't take part in the Enquete could also be very deeply interested on reading the results

[ ■1■オープニング開始後30分以内にゲームにのめり込んでいましたか? ]
#1: Did you get very interested in the game within the first 30 minutes after watching the opening?
[ 感じられた ]
I felt like that.
365 (66.5%)
[ 感じられなかった ]
I didn't feel like that.
184 (33.5%)

全体的に「のめり込めた」という方の方が多い結果となりました。ただ、実際の記述の方を拝見させて頂きますと、個人個人で違いが有りながらも「後もう一歩…」という感の御意見が多かったのが現状でした。その中でも特に印象に残った御意見は、「詩魔法がすぐに使えなかった」点と「ヒロインがパーティー入りするまでが長かった」という点。このゲーム最大のウリであり詩魔法の戦闘、確かに実際に入るのは、恐らくプレイして1時間以上経過した頃でしょう。また、ヒロイ ンの参戦もその頃になります。特にヒロインはストーリーの華ですから、なかな か登場しない事でソワソワされた方が多かったようです。確かに自分がRPGをプレイするときも、ヒロインの登場を心待ちにするプレイヤーですので納得。
アルトネリコはヒロインとの関係をシナリオ、システム両面で描くゲームですから、この事は一般RPGよりも更に重要になってきます。アルトネリコの独自性を楽しめるまでが長かった…という事が、一番物足りない原因になっていた、という事ですね。
次点としては、いきなり難しい単語が多い、展開が急、主人公の声や性格などが挙げられていました。

Overall, most people said they "Got very interested in the game". However, upon reading the actual explanations everyone sent alongside their vote, while there were some differences from a person to other, in general it feels that most people had the opinion of "Just one more step...". Among the opinions that left the strongest impressions on me were points like "We couldn't use Song Magic right off the bat!" and "It took too long before a heroine joined the party!". Given that this game's most important selling point is the Song Magic combat, maybe we truly made it too long before the player could take part in such battles, as the first one doesn't take place until around one hour after beginning to play. And being an RPG player myself, I also agree that having the heroine appear is one of the things the players look forward the most in these games.
As Ar tonelico is a game whose scenario and systems depict the relationship with the heroines, it gives much more importance to them than any typical RPG. Looks like making the players wait too long for them to enjoy Ar tonelico's unique aspects... was one of the main sources of dissatisfaction for the players, huh?
For the next point, we'll bring up the topics of the protagonist's voice and personality, alongside sudden developments and difficult words.

[ ■2■エンディングは満足出来ましたか?
   また、エンディング曲後のイベントが無かった場合評価はどうなりますか?
]
#2: Did the ending satisfy your expectations?
   And how would you rate it if the events after the ending song didn't exist?
エンディングは満足な出来でしたか?

Was the ending satisfactory to you?

[ 満足 ]
I was satisfied.
234 (43.8%)
[ 不満 ]
I wasn't satisfied.
300 (56.2%)
エンディング曲後のイベントが無かった場合は?

And how it'd be if the events after the ending song didn't exist?

[ 良くなった ]
It'd be better.
97 (18.3%)
[ 悪くなった ]
It'd be worse.
433 (81.7%)

エンディングに関しては、色々と学びどころも多く、沢山の御意見に本当に感謝しております。オープニングに比べると、その理由は非常に明解で、かつ殆ど全 ての方が同じ結論に至っておりました。その結論とは「ヒロインとのその後の描写が薄い」という事。
実際の所、多数の方が「満足できない」と回答していますが、その中の大半の方が「エンディング曲前は良かった」という御意見も同時にお持ちでした。実際の所、結論として一番の問題点は「ユーザーニーズ、ゲーム方向性と異なる主旨を持ったエンディングを用意してしまっていたこと」だったと感じています。主人公とヒロインの絆をメインに置きながら、エンディングは一般的RPGを想定したものにしてしまったことで、主人公とヒロインの結末描写を薄めてしまったことが最大の原因かと考えております。RPG的エンディング(ファンタスマゴリアまで)としては良かった、しかしキャラの扱いはどうよ!?と。更に、他のRPGに比べヒロインへの感情移入がしやすい故、更に薄さが目立っている…というのが、 アルトネリコエンディングへの皆さんの見解と感じました。
ターゲットを見誤ると、クオリティ等の善し悪し以前に期待はずれの結果になり、 プレイヤーの皆さんに不快を与えてしまうことになります。今後の開発では、今回の事を踏まえて、常に何が求められているかを反芻しながら制作をしていこうと改めて考えさせられました。

As for the endings, I learned many things from this, so I'm truly grateful for the numerous opinions I got on them. It's far easier to understand them in comparison to the opening, as from following all of these arguments, I came to the same conclusions, which is that "the depiction of the heroines after the ending song was quite shallow".
While I received many responses with the "I wasn't satisfied vote", at the same time, more than half of them also wrote on it that "everything prior to the ending song was great". Actually, said conclusion also made me realize that the main issue here is "that we made an ending with a meaning that runs contrary both to the needs of the users and to the trend of the rest of the game itself". While the bonds between the protagonist and the heroine are given the central place on the game, I think that the greatest cause for the ending between them getting such a shallow depiction is because it was imagined as one that would fit better a typical RPG. If that's the case, it'd have been good (at least up to the point in which Phantasmagoria is sung), but what about the treatment of the characters!? That's pretty much the gist of it. And furthermore, since we made it so much easier to empathize with the heroines in comparison to other RPGs, it only makes the shallowness of the endings stand out that much more... so I can understand very well the opinions you all have about the endings of Ar tonelico.
We misread our target audience and in the end, we disappointed them regardless of the quality of the game or of the expectations they had, giving them an unpleasant time. Next time we develop a game, I'll keep this experience on mind and continuously ponder about what our players would want from us while I work on it

[ ■3■戦闘システムは、飽きることなく遊べましたか? ]
#3: Did you enjoy the game without getting bored of its battle system?
[ 飽きない ]
I didn't get bored of it.
306 (57.2%)
[ 飽きた ]
I got bored of it.
229 (42.8%)

飽きなかった人と飽きた人、半々ずつくらいですね。また、何名かの方が「そもそもRPGの戦闘とは飽きるものだ」という御意見をもお持ちでした。
アルトネリコの戦闘は、今までのRPGの線から少し離れた特殊な戦闘システムであると思います。実際、開発側の絶対譲れない点であった「詩魔法を撃ったときの爽快感」や「護ることによる絆の表現」などは、今回のアンケートでも「斬新」 「爽快」など、沢山の方から良い評価を頂きました。
反面、「一戦闘内でやることがパターン化する」「ヒロイン毎に差がない、魔法毎に差がないため、使うキャラや魔法が限定される」という、マンネリの具体的なパターンも沢山頂きました。原因として一番多かった御意見は「敵が弱い」というもので、故に戦略をあまり考えなくても戦闘に勝ててしまうことから、攻撃方法がパターン化されている方が多かったように感じました。また、前衛の行動パターンの少なさなども次点としてありました。
難易度バランスと、キャラや魔法の特性、個性に関しては、非常に参考になる意見が多く、また沢山の方から同様の御意見を頂きましたので、今後の作品で参考にさせていただきたいと思います。

The ones that didn't get bored with the battle system and the ones who did are more or less split evenly. Still, I also got several opinions stating that "All RPG battle systems end up getting boring one way or other".
I thought that Ar tonelico's battles were a bit different from that all other RPGs so far have offered due to its battle system. But actually, while there are several points that I won't concede as a developer, such as "the refreshing feeling of attacking with Song Magic" and "how guarding the heroines is an expression of bonds", I also got several positive responses in this Enquete that called it "novel" and "refreshing".
On the other hand, I also received several responses that say the following: "In just one battle you have the pattern you'll follow for all the others", "Because here's no difference at all between the heroines or the types of magic, the number of usable magic spells and characters is pretty limited", all of which say the game falls on a concrete pattern. According to the majority of opinions, the main cause for this is that "the enemies are too weak", and since they can win any battles without having to think up strategies for them, it feels that all the types of attack fall into a pattern. Still, the lack of possible actions the vanguards can take is also a runner-up cause for it.
Looks like the difficulty balancing, and the special characteristics of the characters and magic have been referenced quite a bit in the opinions and seem to be a consensus reached by everyone out there, so this is something I'll keep to use as a reference in the next product in which I work.

今回は以上3つをレポートさせて頂きました。
本当に沢山の真剣な御意見を頂きまして、読ませて頂いておりますと色々な事に気付かされ大変参考になります。予想以上の回答数に、なかなか集計に時間がかかっ ておりますが、完了したものからまた皆さんにレポートしたいと思います。
本当に沢山の御意見ありがとうございます。
今後もアルトネリコへの応援、どうかよろしくお願いします!

Okay, above is the report for the three points I mentioned at the start.
I truly received a large amount of serious opinions, which I'll use as a reference for having made me realize about several facts once I read them. It took me quite some time to count them because of the number surpassing my expectations far beyond I had imagined, but here is the complete report for you all.
Truly, thank you very much for having sent me your opinions.
I hope you all will continue supporting Ar tonelico in the future!

さて次回ですが、一旦裏設定暴露企画に戻りまして、「ヒュムノス語の裏の裏・制作のコツ」をお送りしたいと思います。ご自身でヒュムノス語を使ってみたい! と思われる方には、きっとお役に立てると思いますよ。

それでは、また次回!

Well then, the next time I plan to temporarily return to disclosing secret setting information, so I think we'll talk about the "The Underside of the Underside of the Hymmnos Language ~Secrets of the Work~". I'm sure it'll be very useful to anyone out there thinking "I want to try using the Hymmnos language myself!"

Well then, see you next time!

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