An HD-2D remake of cult classic SNES RPG LIVE A LIVE was announced earlier this year, and in a little over a couple of months, the game will be out in the hands of players. That’s a pretty short window between announcement and launch- and appropriately enough, it seems the time the game spent in production was relatively short too (by modern standards, at the very least).
Speaking in an interview with Famitsu (via Nintendo Everything), LIVE A LIVE director Takashi Tokita revealed that development on the game started in early 2019, and lasted for a period of three years. Tokita went on to acknowledge that the game’s development time was shorter than it tends to be for games these days, explaining that with the development team having decided on an HD-2D visual aesthetic right off the bat, a healthy chunk of pre-production time could be cut out from the schedule entirely.
“The main reason is that we decided on HD-2D from the start and didn’t spend time exploring other art styles,” Tokita said. “Deciding on whether we should go with 2D or 3D in the pre-production alone takes about six months and the fact that we didn’t spend time on that was a big deal. We had no doubts that an HD-2D remake would be a good fit with the Super Famicom original.”
However, Tokita went on to explain that when it came to recreating the game itself, development ended up taking quite some time, owing to the time that the remake us built on entirely new and different systems as compared to the original SNES title.
“When it came time to actually implement it however, LIVE A LIVE had a different system for each of the game’s scenarios, which turned out to be more difficult than we expected,” he said. “To top that off, this was in the middle of the pandemic. COVID-19 was in full swing as we were entering the pre-production and production stages. Being in the middle of a pandemic meant it took us some time to finish off the project.”
LIVE A LIVE is out on July 22, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. Square Enix has said that it plans on remaking more classic games using the HD-2D style in the future- read more on that through here.