The demo was downloaded over a million times, and the feedback survey saw 45,000 responses.
The development team has already made a number of changes in response to the feedback, including areas such as map traversal, visibility, user interface, event scenes, and the battle system.
For more details, watch the video below. For users who may be unable to watch the video, we have also provided a transcript.
Producer Masashi Takahashi: “The reception to the demo exceeded our wildest expectations, with over a million downloads worldwide, and 45,500 responses to the survey. We really can’t thank you enough.”
Director Keisuke Miyauchi: “The overwhelming response to the demo really motivated the entire team.
Takahashi: “We’ve taken each and every one of your comments into careful consideration. Today, we’d like to give you a preview of how development is progressing.”
Miyauchi: “Your invaluable and profuse feedback has helped us find so many ways to refine the game.”
Takahashi: “Now, I’ll let each member of the team explain the improvements they’ve made.”
[Map Traversal Improvements]
Lead Programmer Satoshi Hasegawa: “One of the issues many of you raised was that it was a hassle to get around. In the demo, you had to toggle between walking and running with the B button. We’ve made it so that you run automatically by pushing the analog stick all the way. Many also mentioned that movement was too slow in general. So now, if ou hold down the B button while running, you can run even faster than before. To maintain game balance, the encounter rate goes up when running at full speed. It’s something of a trade-off, but this way, it also gives players who want to battle more often the option to do so. We’ll also be adding a ‘fast travel’ option that wasn’t available in the demo. We hope thse refinements will help players get around the world with a minimum of stress.”
Lead Artist Mika Iizuka: “Likewise, we received a number of comments asking us to improve visibility—to make traversable areas stand out more, we’ve adjusted wall and floor colors, and added visible landmarks, among other changes. We’ve also added a feature that didn’t make it in time for the demo: a ‘radar’ to point players to exists, entrances, and important destinations. To improve general visibility, we’ve also added settings so players can adjust screen brightness and the intensity of the ‘HD-2D‘ filters that some found distracting.”
[User Interface Improvements]
Lead Programmer Yutaka Watanabe: “We’re also doing our best to address concerns regarding the UI. Many of you expressed that the position of save slots made it too easy to accidentally overwrite your progress, so we’ve already fixed this. We’ve also added additional save slots for the full game: nine, plus one autosave, for a total of ten.”
Iizuka: “We’ve also adjusted the size of the help text, which many of you mentioned was too small and difficult to read.”
Watanabe: “Sadly, we can’t show you everything, but we’re doing everything we can to further streamline the UI.”
[Event Scene Improvements]
Watanabe: “Next, let’s talk about event scenes. First off, rest assured that the skip function that wasn’t in the demo has already been added. Now you won’t have to watch the same scene over and over when the going gets tough.”
Hasegawa: “We’re also planning to add a replay feature, so you can watch scenes again if you want.”
Watanabe: “A number of you, particularly those of you playing around the world, expressed concerns about message display speed. So we’ve increased the default speed, and made it customizable in the settings menu.”
[Battle System Improvements]
Lead Game Designer Kota Oosaki: “Finally, the battle system. To both those of you who enjoyed the battles, and those who found them difficult—thank you for your feedback! While the core concept of the battle system hasn’t changed from the demo, we’re continuing to refine game balance so that battles provide a good challenge without being overly frustrating. We’ve also yet to show you how battles go with a full party of four, and there are some more important elements we can’t reveal quite yet, so pleas stay tuned for future updates!”
Miyauchi: “This only scratches the surface of all the improvements going in, so please rest assured we’re doing everything to bring you what’s still to come.”
Takahashi: “Our team is hard at work making Project Octopath Traveler the best it can be, so we hope you’re looking forward to it.”
Project Octopath Travelers is due out for Switch worldwide in 2018.