Making Dragon Quest XI S 3D and 2D was almost twice the work

Dragon Quest XI S 3D 2D twice the work Yuji Horii Hokuto Okamoto

Dragon Quest series creator Yuji Horii and Dragon Quest XI producer Hokuto Okamoto recently talked to RPG Site about Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definition Edition and the series as a whole. The interview has numerous little tidbits worth reading. For instance, referring to people who worship his achievements, Horii hilariously says, “I get a bit too tired when people see me as like a god!” But on the more technical end of things, Okamoto discusses how large a challenge it was to make Dragon Quest XI S work in 3D and 2D, as a lot of it had to be rebuilt from scratch for both versions:

… the design of (game) areas is quite different and the size of the maps is very different between 2D and 3D. We still wanted players to recognize that the cities are the same even if they’re really quite different. We had to choose what to leave in and what to leave out in terms of the geography of things, which landmarks to keep in the 2D version and so on… that was difficult, to (determine) what we’d leave in and what we’d take out.

Another thing is that the text is different in 3D and 2D – so we have to manage all that at the same time. If we change one, it doesn’t mean that the other changes automatically… so we had to change everything one-by-one. That was hard work. I never want to do that again! [laughs]

However, Yuji Horii maintains that Dragon Quest XI S was planned to have both 3D and 2D from the very beginning. The purpose of including 2D was to essentially share the game’s roots with new players and also delight old players who appreciated traditional 2D play.

Beyond this, another challenge for Square Enix in developing this game was just figuring out how to use Unreal Engine, which was a new undertaking for the development team. It took two years to really get everything right, including producing manageable load times.

Be sure to check out the full interview for more, and remember that Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definition Edition finally releases tomorrow!


John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!