Q: Could you please introduce yourself and explain in what capacity you worked on Trapt?
Hitoshi Hasegawa: My name is Hitoshi Hasegawa, I used to be the CG Director and Project Manager of Project Zero. In Trapt, I also worked as Director of Development and Promotion.
Q: The gameplay of Trapt is highly unique. How would you best describe it to gamers who might be unaware of it as yet? And what were the influences behind its striking combination of action, strategy and torture?
HH: Trapt is the latest in the so-called Deception series, which is a trap action title based on the concept of the player being a disreputable character. In the game, trap combos are triggered if you place and hit consecutive traps, and discovering the best combos is the most fun part of the game. It's something that all players can enjoy even if they aren't aware of the series as a whole.
In Trapt we have introduced a series of big, special traps called the Dark Illusions, and we've designed the layout of the game so that the player can design their strategic plan using a combination of Dark Illusions and normal traps.
Q: Did the development team research any medieval torture devices for the game? And where did the ideas for some of the more outlandish ones come from - ie, the killer clock?
HH: We collected a lot of art books and photo material of torture devices for our reference. We then set about designing the traps based on existing historical items and then modified them so that they would be good for a videogame. Some of the traps were inspired by comic books and films. However, most of the traps are ideas that emerged from members of our staff. As for "the killer clock", that was inspired by a scene from a specific Anime.
Q: Between the central personalities and the enemies that infiltrate Allura's castle, there are a lot characters in Trapt. Was it difficult developing back stories for them all?
HH: All the enemies in the game have their own back stories. This is one of the features that the Deception series is renowned for in Japan. As a development team, we're of the opinion that it's fun rather than a chore to build histories for all of these characters. Even the minor enemies have their own reasons to fight and their own unique way of thinking. We want the player to defeat their enemies, but to also feel guilty about doing this. This is why we made such detailed back stories even for the enemies. I personally want the players to have acknowledged the enemy's life before defeating them, to realize that the enemy about to die does have a life of their own.
Q: The plot, while apparently a simple tale of royal revenge, also has a lot of complexities woven into it. Can you explain the supernatural influence that occur in Allura's story and, in particular, give some insight into the motivation behind the Fiend?
HH: Ultimately, everything is attributable to human will. This is the core theme of the plot. Every character in Trapt has their own purpose and will, and those around them become affected by these forces. Many of individuals' wills and purposes are deeply interwoven, and Allura's task is to question and test what it means to be human through these interactions.
The supernatural power (manifested in the Fiend character) that Allura becomes tangled up in by chance, is attributable to the hatred of some of the individuals in question. I shouldn't really tell you the details such as motivation behind the Fiend before you play. However, let's just say they are deeply related to our human will and purpose.
Q: There are also two sets of side stories that can be accessed by the player. Can you tell us how these connect with the central plot?
HH: At the beginning of the developmental process, the main story was too huge and it made the playing time way too long. So, we reduced the main story. The side story supports and explains the main story and within this tale other unique characters start to appear. If you want to get through the game quickly, then we suggest you stick to the main story. If you'd prefer to understand the whole plot you should play both the main story and the side story at the same time.