Eiji Shishido here again!
I was really glad to see you guys at GP Atlanta and ARG Richmond! I got to meet with many of you and I could hear about your thoughts. I was so happy to see many people smiling and having a nice time at our Organized Play events. Did you get a chance to see my interview on Saturday? It was a really nice to have a stream for everyone all over the world to watch our tournaments right?
Anyways, I had the chance to hear some of your concerns during my stay in USA and through the recent post I made on Facebook. I feel it’s best for me to explain the progress of our projects, and where they stand in terms of completion for our third challenge. Today, I want to share the idea behind, as well as the progress about many of the projects we have started over the last couple years.
Force of Will TCG Projects:
First of all, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Our thoughts on limited formats. First and foremost, we believe that the smaller card pool brought about by limited formats is a exciting way to play Force of Will. We found that many players enjoyed the ability to play Force of Will in different ways, and so we started to design from Reiya Cluster with limited formats in mind. In addition, though many constructed players are not always as used to the puzzles of limited deck design, it is not as random as some believe. There is absolutely a skill that can be developed regarding deck building, in finding the best form of a deck given the resources you have available to you. I’ve talked about before sometimes rewarding not only the players who play to win, but also I want to reward and respect good deck builders as well. Limited is a format where deck designers are rewarded for their skills. Another aspect that I think is important is that we have so many talented artists and beautiful cards, and I want people to have a chance to play with all types of cards.
So to find a good balance, we are thinking that the best way to have these limited format events is when a GP or other competitive event is around the same time as a new set release. Maybe it is difficult for you to have all the new cards you need for your new deck right away. We also want to try and test out all of the new cards from new sets and see which is our favorite. In conjunction, our banlist announcements will come out around the same time as new set releases and it might be difficult for players to always prepare their decks if we remove something right before a GP. We think this strategy will give a chance for both competitive players to shine as well as the wonderful deck builders in our community who haven’t had a showcase to show their skills on the grand stage. It also provides a bit more time for players to practice and hone their skills in a competitive constructed format following a new sets release.
Speaking of competitive… I heard many players comments, as well as my own observations during the WGP that sometimes the “Pack” rulers are a bit too strong compared to the draft rulers we designed for everyone. Therefore, I am planning on updating the rules so that for competitive events, we will only be using the draft rulers. I think that adjustment will help a lot of players to feel that their skills are being tested, and less on their ability to open a super strong unbeatable ruler. We will be following this change closely and we hope you will enjoy all the wonderful cards Force of Will has to offer!
The next topic to discuss is Wanderer. Something everyone seems to be really happy about. I’m also very happy, as you know, Wanderer was created because the community asked us to support our old cards. Of course, I want to play with new cards and they are very fun, but I also want to experience many fond memories of older cards from time to time. From now on, we are going to be taking much better care of Wanderer. As you know I said in December we have been testing Wanderer more seriously and want to make sure that it is a fun format for new and returning players. That statement encapsulates a couple different plans of action. First, of course, our banlist update, which will come with the release of R3 - The Time Spinning Witch. Currently the format is a bit too powerful and contains many combo decks that are a little bit too strong, in combination with all stars from NF being completely unchecked, such as Fox and Pricia. Continuing forward as well, we would like to continue to provide PR cards for Wanderer. Finally, I would like to have Wanderer be available to us as a constructed format for Grand Prix level events. However, we have to ensure the health of the format and that will require your support. As the card pool for Wanderer grows larger and larger, there are incalculable numbers of card combinations, and we want to see the best that players can make. If unforeseen combinations arise that are deemed too powerful, than we as a company will step in and correct the rightful balance of the format. Lastly, even if something is banned, should answers be printed, or the meta change to a point where a particular threat is no longer deemed dangerous to a healthy game, we will consider removing those cards from the banlist as well.
Force of Will Organized Play and Judge Programs-
Moving on to something regarding both the Force of Will TCG as well as Organized Play and Judges. As I’ve mentioned above, we have had a lot of different projects and that have spread our attention over a wide field. Now in this year of focus, one major project for us is a renovation of the Judge and Organized Play Programs.
Judges ares invaluable members of our communities. They are the support that make events run smoothly. We are proud to have these people we call Judges as a part of our team. They are volunteers and we trust them with the image of our game professionally. We also understand there is the risk that those judges are disliked, or people may argue with them based on rules, so we want to make sure those people are supported. If there is ever a problem with our rulings that cause troubles for our judges, I take upon myself as my responsibility. (Of course, we expect the judges to be familiar with the rules, but there are situations on occasion that are unique and for that we must be prepared.) The judges are our enforcers, but for them to do the best job, we must ensure that our law is up to that standard. Our first priority is to be a game suitable for that level of dedication. We truly appreciate the time and energy people all over the world put into learning our games rules, and supporting our Organized Play events all over the world. Our second goal is to aim for a better management system for the Judges. We will talk about how this idea corresponds with our Line 6 of the Founding Beliefs in my article next February. (You’ve only seen 1~3 so far!)
It may take a little time to construct this new platform and structure, but please understand this time we are seriously taking our time to do everything correctly because we are trying to make more than just a game, we are trying to build a culture and an experience that many people can enjoy from all over the world. We deeply appreciate your understanding, but we know that we must do better than we have in the past, and it is that reason that we must ask you for your patients.
The World Grand Prix -
The last topic regarding the Force of Will TCG specifically for today's article is discussing the World Grand Prix. My goal is not that the World Grand Prix is the pinnacle of competitive decks, but a celebration of the last years cluster, and an eye to the future for the new years cluster as well. A global Force of Will festival. Of course, it would be nice if we could have some Wanderer as well, right? We want our players from around the world to celebrate, to enjoy their hard work and devotion. To have a chance to experience Japan, to see culture that is new and unique. To watch up with old friends from across the globe, and to share our wonderful game. That is the goal that I want the WGP to represent.
However, I don’t want you to think that Force of Will doesn’t care about competition, just the opposite! I thought it would be better if we created a separate event to also give our country's champions a place to duke it out for the title of “The Worlds Best Force of Will Player!” A tournament exclusively for constructed formats at the pinnacle of our players performance. Please give us some time to put more details regarding this together! I hope you will be excited~
Projects Outside of Force of Will TCG
Force of Will Battle Simulator -
Moving on to on-FoW TCG projects we have a very popular topic. The Force of Will Battle Simulator. As you know, it was released as a beta version, and the potential for the FBS was really great. However I’m afraid I have some bad news. For the time being, we will not be working on this project and it will be on hold. Part of the reason is that I want people to go out and explore the world. I want you to make friends with our community in real life, to experience the joys of other cultures and other countries yourself! Not only through a computer screen.
However, I still like the idea of the FBS. I want to share it with everyone, and if you have a special request, please share it with our team. I am planning on a way to make it open source so that players can take care of the system going forward.
Force of Will the Movie
I also had a few questions about the Force of Will the Movie. I am really happy you were interested in it. However we’ve decided that those shorts may not directly align with Force of Will’s way. Those movies are still in production but as projects of their respective studio’s rather than of Force of Will’s. I wanted to match Force of Will’s vision with the world, and I knew the huge and complicated task of trying to make that connection a reality using a movie as a medium. In the end it was not something we could accomplish in a state, with limited time and budget, that I felt it represented us and our game. So we decided to pass the torch on to the studios. They really did an excellent job and put a lot of time into them. Some of the projects are going to be completed, so it’s possible that the studios may release those films individually on their own accords in the future. I hope you can enjoy them!
Force of Will Anime-
There was also some voices murmuring about an animation project of Force of Will, similar to many other Japanese card game animations. A TCG Animation project itself is a work in progress but not dedicated to just Force of Will TCG. This is also a big challenge. Animation is now a great marketing tool for other games, and it gives a chance to bring our characters to life for you on the television or computer. It is a really cool idea, of course. I know it too! I would like to try hard should the event that it is ever decided to create a TCG linked with that. However, for the time being I know that I am not fully prepared to handle such a huge obligation. We have a lot of changes we are making now, and this is a time for Force of Will to focus, thus a project like this might come up again when we are in a different place. We hope that going into the future we will have another opportunity to create an animation project fitting of the games we produce.
Other Game Projects in FoWCo.
Miniature Board Game-
Our miniature board game is still being developed and is a work in progress, under another company currently. Recently I heard from them that the Kick Starter for this game going to start sometime before summer, so you guys will be able to see lots of details at that time. It’s going to be a blind box style miniatures game from Grimm Cluster, so maybe we can see more of our wanderer related characters more. It’s been a long time since we said hello to some of our favorite characters, right? :)
I also recognize that many people are interested in our new game “Architect.” We have received a lot of questions on this! I should be glad maybe, it is kind of evidence that people recognized my company as a good game publisher. That makes me really happy, and I will do my best to support your wishes!
We are planning to launch this game with four constructed decks in June. However, it is not going to be a Trading Card Game (TCG) but rather a static release product. For the time being, you can enjoy the starter decks against each other and battle with your friends in a exciting and unique experience with characters you might be familiar with, however we won’t be releasing booster packs for Architect in the immediate future.
We are sure you can enjoy this game very much and we think it is super fun to play, but unfortunately we don’t have enough teams currently to produce this game as part of an entirely unique and new experience with booster packs. When we have the team members, we can continue with this game and shift from limited static release to a TCG with it’s own unique Organized Play circuit in the future, when we’re ready.
The Caster Chronicles-
Lastly, but definitely not least, The Caster Chronicles. The Caster Chronicles is the little sister of Force of Will, she was born in October 2017 in Japan. She has not completely adjusted yet to become a world citizen. She likes her home very much, and she can understand the culture of Japan much more easily. We are not sure yet whether she can grow as a global citizen like her bigger brother now is trying to do. She might be a little bit naughty and unusual, maybe more casual, not as the rest of the world maybe sees her or expects her to behave. She has her own personality and we love that. So even if she is not quite the same as many other people, we decide to push her out from Japan to the rest of the world!
I need to take care of her sometimes along with her older brother. We have to let her grow into a good adult. I hope I can be a good parent for my children, I hope you can take her care with me ;)
Thank you for taking the time to read these long articles time and time again. I hope this answers many of the questions that you had for Force of Will Co. regarding many of the projects we have been working on. We hope that we can continue to be a wonderful gaming company worthy of your time and passion for the many years to come.
I hope to see you soon
On my way back to Japan from Richmond