Interview with Hideo Baba Producer of Tales of Xillia


At MCM Expo in London we had a chance to sit down with Tales of Producer Hideo Baba. We asked him a couple of questions and was delighted to hear his responses.

What are you incorporating game design wise which is different from the previous Tales of games?
Baba-san: When talking about the visual videos in Xillia, in previous games the characters can look a bit shorter than the art, like buildings and the environment. In Xillia we changed that to real scale character, real scale environments and in game items so character can feel how large the Tales of Xillia world is and to make is easier to feel more immersed into the world.

How are you appealing to more of the western audience with JRPG’s much like Dragon’s Dogma did.
Baba-san: The most important thing is to keep the games Tales of series but to maintain the classic essential game features. The Tales of series has a long history so we have to keep the traditional features but in every Tales of game we are trying to add something new and I want to also evolve every feature in future titles.

Baba-san: The Tales of series has also been developed using our strong points such as the anime/manga style with the comic features and it is these strong points I want to keep in the Tales of games.

Baba-san: Personally speaking, I love the western style RPG and Kobayashi Producer from Capcom on Dragon’s Dogma is my friend, we often meet up and when I heard he was developing a open world high fantasy RPG Dragons Dogma I really envied him.

Are there any difficulties during localisation from the Japanese to say English?
Baba-san: I would say the most difficult part in localisation is the quality, in JRPG’s characters talk a lot but sometimes their way of expressing themselves is very unique and some Japanese words do not have any corresponding English words. So it takes our development team a long time to communicate with each territory and localisation team to find the correct and closest word to express what the character is actually saying.

Baba-san what advice would you give to other game developers that are looking to step into the Producer role?
Baba-san: Of course the technical aspect is very important for development in games and I would like to emphasise on that but I always talk to all the development members to have a very positive mind and just enjoy developing the games to make new and more interesting games for fans.

Baba-san: So, if we don’t enjoy development of the game then it means that the fans will also not enjoy the game.

Baba-san: So I am really glad to have this kind of opportunity in the west and I have a strong passion to introduce our games to western fans. So I am always really happy to talk with you and talk with fans at events. 

After talking with Baba-san it is very clear that he has such passion for his games and the industry, most importantly he loves the work he does and makes sure everyone in his team enjoys the work so that the fans can get the most out of their games. Baba-san was such a pleasure to talk to and was very happy to answer all questions. If you ever see him at an event like the MCM Expo be sure to go over and say hello or thank you for some great games and he will be very happy and delighted to talk to you as that is the kind of person he is.

I personally really look forward to meeting Baba-san again and working with him and Namco Bandai in the future.

Have any questions about the interview or let us know what you would of asked him in the comments.