Dragon Ball The Breakers is developer Dimps’ upcoming asymmetrical action game and we got the opportunity to talk with the game’s producer – Ryosuke Hara in an interview, where we asked about some questions regarding the game.
Note: The Interview has been edited for clarity.
The Breakdown of Dragon Ball The Breakers
How did Dragon Ball The Breakers come about? The asymmetric action game genre is new for the Dragon Ball franchise.
Up until now there had been a lot like Dragon Ball games which mostly consist of games that are mainly for battles or experiencing Dragon Ball history. And for now, we are looking to improve on an experience that still hasn’t been explored in Dragon Ball. Characters such as Bulma and Oolong are also part of Dragon Ball.
Continuing from that, we usually know in Dragon Ball that the battle destroys the city, those kinds of things look really cool, right? But how does it look from the perspective of a normal civilian or like someone who lives in the Dragon Ball world as a normal person? Just like us, that part is what we want to convey in this game. That’s why we also consider the genre which is popular now to implement it in games, which is what we wanted to convey to the players.
Normal people who live in their own world usually have a power level of 5, right for this game. This game is for those who are only at the power level of 5, to experience the difference in power level between, you know, the Raiders and also the player’s side.
That’s like the first thing that came up with at the start of the development.
Asymmetrical games typically feature five-character players but Dragon Ball has seven. What was the intention to have so many characters in this player pool?
Dragon Ball The Breakers is a game about super powered people versus normal people. So, we wanted more players on the normal people’s side, to make it more balanced in the sense of the context itself. And as you know, there are also seven Dragon Balls.
With that in mind, we wanted it to have a specific meaning for it, like seven people, seven Dragon Balls. That’s what we’re aiming for with the number of players and the Raiders. It’s just corresponding to the Dragon Ball element.
From the trailers we understand that the survivors are being hunted by the Raiders in each match. But is there an overarching plot of the game? Do each of the Raiders and Survivors have their own backstory?
In the end we showed a prologue for the story but for the moment we will not elaborate further regarding the information for this place. There will be more seasons as well as more upcoming updates and we might be showing more information.
Will there be at least, a campaign mode or a short story or some element of a story that will kind of help players understand the world before they go into matches?
There are currently no plans on that. Basically, it’ll be the same in the Closed Network test, which offers a kind of story in a sense but more information will be revealed later.
Why is the game called Dragon Ball: The Breakers? Is there any specific reason behind this?
So basically, just from the name it is resembles power level 5 people, normal civilians who are facing a great threat from the Raiders. And within that hopeless situation, to be able to break out from that is what we’re aiming for people to understand. So that’s what Breakers mean, people who will break this hopeless situation and save themselves.
What was the inspiration for the aesthetics of the game?
So, for this title, rather than focusing on the battles and stuff, we hope to make it more enjoyable in a sense for you to play with a lot of people. So, we are focusing on the gameplay and maximizing experience to the design and feel and look of the game.
Is there a moment in the Dragon Ball series that inspired Dragon Ball: The Breakers?
For me (Hara) personally, it is the event where the first form of Cell attacks the town. I mean, if you have seen the Dragon Ball series, you will definitely know. It was a very traumatic experience for me because I was young when I first watched it. It shows the difference between normal people and Super powered people in Dragon Ball and that is what inspired Breakers.
Break Through or Break Down
The gameplay is quite dynamic and both the Raiders and Survivors each with different objectives. Can you tell us what other special abilities that each Raiders has in their final forms as opposed to the first form?
Regarding to Cell in his first form. At first, he won’t have a lot of fighting power but it’s really fast to go to the second form after capturing Survivors. He can search for Survivors which makes it easier for him to keep going and going compared to the other Raiders. After achieving the final form or Perfect Form, he can use a very strong Kamehameha that can easily dispose of Survivors. So, while the first form has low fighting capabilities, in his Perfect Form, it is very strong.
While for Frieza starting from the first form, he can already fly and also has a higher Fighting Power compared to Cell. But starting from the Second Form, just like the anime and the manga, he doesn’t have his own scouter. So, you have to start using him more strategically through Zarbon and Dodoria.
He has a more strategic approach compared to Cell and after reaching the Final Form itself, Frieza can use the same skill that he used to destroy Planet Namek. So compared to Perfect Form Cell, who mostly aims in a straight line, the skill “This Planet Will Die”, is an Area of Effect (AOE) attack which can deal a lot of damage to the Survivors in one shot.
Is there anything that the Survivors can use like special abilities for them to help defend against the Raiders?
We will give an example for three Survivors. For the moment, we will talk about Oolong. So, firstly, he has two abilities. The first one is “complete transformation”, so it’s kind of a luck-based skill where you can change to an item that is also on the map. But this is not like the object is something close to you from any part of the map so it will be random.
Maybe you want to hide in the house but when you transform and change to something that’s not supposed to be in the house. And while it’s kind of like luck-based ability, it’s a very interesting skill to use in this game. The other one is a Missile transformation which gives the player an ability to fly. Normally Survivors cannot fly from within their own power but like this gives them an advantage.
Next, we have Bulma with her two skills. The first one is a Bike and compared to the normal vehicle that you can use around the map, this one is faster and has a faster boost which gives her an advantage for movement. And the second one is Charming Pose which is a really good skill because she can stop the Raiders for just a bit. And also, you know it’s a really good pose, please look forward to it.
Lastly would be the Farmer, which we will be showing at the Tokyo Game Show. He has one special skill which is to dig and dig. You can sometimes find items through digging and compared to the other skills of the characters, it has a very short cooldown time. So, you can keep on the digging to find more items. Although, you won’t always find an item below, but you can keep doing it and keep trying to get an item to gain an advantage.
How is the balance in the game given the range of characters that are available to play? How was the balanced set during the development?
Asymmetrical action games are susceptible to having one side being too strong while the other is too weak, and we don’t want to happen for Dragon Ball The Breakers.
We have been thinking a lot regarding this game. So, as we have said earlier, the most important aspect of it is the part where super power versus normal people. So, in order to keep the very big difference between the superpower and normal people, we have two points that are very important.
The first one is to keep the data that we have from the Closed Network Test and Beta Test. We will analyze the number of wins, the number of skills Raiders used, and we will change those kinds of things if needed. Anything between the connection of the Raiders and Survivors.
And the second one, that is most important for us, is the opinion of the player themselves, like the feedback that we receive. Those kinds of things are really important information for us.
Being a game that is so highly dependent on multiplayer. Do you think that fans playing the game solo will find it as enjoyable compared to those who play with their friends?
First of all, we don’t condone the usage of voice chat while playing this game. So, it’s better to use the in-game functions for communication between players.
Within the game itself, there are stamps and chats. Those kinds of built-in communication tools can be used by every player whether you’re playing the game solo or playing with your friends. Initially, it might be hard to use. However, when you’re starting to get used to it, it’ll be more fun for everyone who plays the game. So, there should be no big difference between how you play, whether it be solo or with your friends.
Is there any feedback that the development team actually put in from users after the closed network to improve the game?
We received a lot of feedback from the closed network test. Since the game is launching soon, it’s quite difficult to do it at launch. So, we are looking forward to implementing these updates around the coming seasons. Other than that, determining whether the Raider’s skill are too strong and balancing that will also be looked at after the launch of the game itself.
So, we hope for more voices and more opinions in order for us to make the game better.
The Raider’s Power Levels, What Does It Say?
What were the considerations made when designing Frieza to not make him too overpowered? This question also applies to all other Raiders in general.
So, for Raiders, they have their own specialty within the game such as Cell who has evolutions, and he has a specific search skill which makes him more like an all-rounder character. Well, like Frieza, the key to using his skill will be the point of his usage, and he’s more like a technical Raider in a sense.
So, with the difference between Raiders in mind, like for Frieza, as an example, how he uses his skill, like summoning Zarbon and Dodoria, will be the key in usage of his character.
Well, on the other hand, the skill is there but the usage itself for the character might be quite difficult for some players itself. So, depending on how you play the game and what your playstyle is, which characters might be easier to use and which might be harder to use, that’s how we balance the game itself.
We’ve seen Cell and Frieza in the trailers. Can we look forward to the next Raider announcement during the Tokyo Game Show?
Other than previously showing Cell and Frieza, we will be showing Kid Buu. We will also have another skin for the Survivor side which is the very famous Farmer – the guy with the power level of 5.
Who is your favorite Raider?
My favourite raider would be Cell, the one who gave me a lot of trouble when I was a kid. The monster-like first form of Cell compared to Perfect Form Cell. It’s like the first time he saw it, he was just like a monster. And now, I look back at it, there’s a lot of things to like about Cell and that is my favorite Raider.
Wishing Upon the Dragon Balls
Would there be a chance that we get to see Dragon Ball Super characters being added into the game in the future?
Dragon Ball The Breakers has a connection with Xenoverse, just like our other titles. So, we cannot go into the details around if Dragon Ball Super characters will be coming or not. However, you can expect there might be something coming.
Are there any plans to include characters from the old Dragon Ball movie such as Bulla or an older version of Broly?
So as we have stated earlier, since this game has a connection with Xenoverse, it doesn’t close any chances of characters that appear in that game to be in this game. So, there’s always a chance a character from Xenoverse will appear.
Do you have any plans for next gen consoles and graphic improvements?
At the moment for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series, it’s not considered yet. But of course, depending on the player’s reaction, and what the request is, we might consider it in the future.
Would the studio consider implementing any cross-play in the future, on different platforms?
So, at the moment we are not considering any cross-play between consoles and for now we are concentrating on making a better connection between matchmaking first.
We would like to thank Ryosuke Hara for answering our questions in this interview about Dragon Ball The Breakers. The game is planned to be released on 14th October 2022 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox series X & S, and PC via Steam