Digimon Partners Vital Bracelet developer interview

A translation of an interview posted on the Digimon Partners website on April 28, 2021, with Vital Bracelet developers Hirohiko Sekido and Yuuta Shimano.

More than a month has passed since its initial release, and a new DiM card has also begun sale, making it possible to raise even more new Digimon with the “Vital Bracelet”! We’re already seeing Tamers who wasted no time in grabbing the DiM cards and finished raising their Digimon. With that, we’ve held a formal interview with the Vital Bracelet development team! We asked them about topics such as the fan response and their future prospects.

Vital Bracelet developer: Hirohiko Sekido-san (pictured on left)
Dedicated app developer: Yuuta Shimano-san (pictured on right)
Interviewer: Digimon Partners staff member

Everyone doting on their Digimon with the Vital Bracelet

Staff: It’ll soon be a month since the release of the Vital Bracelet. How has the reaction been?

Sekido: It started off as a proposal regarding a new way to play with Digimon, and I feel it’s been received positively. We originally imagined that “Vital Bracelet” users would need some time to get used to raising Digimon with it. But when we saw the responses on Twitter, it felt like the users had started using it more than even us, the developers. Also, more than anything else, the users are really doting on their Digimon. Maybe because they can actually wear it and be active alongside their Digimon. I feel there are a lot of people who dote on their Digimon even when they’re sleeping or when they’re on the management screen.

Shimano: Ultimately, it really does seem that you get more attached to your Digimon when you’re connected through them through your own energy.

Staff: It really does bring a closer feeling of “partnership” than ever before.

Shimano: We’ve never had this kind of raising method before, right? Also, I believe it’s new for you to be able to switch to another Digimon midway through the raising, via the app.

Staff: Indeed. One of the main standout points of the Vital Bracelet is that if you want to raise a different Digimon instead, you can swap it out immediately.

Sekido: Now that I’ve finally finished the first stage of my work on the actual device, I can finally enjoy the Vital Bracelet on its own without worrying about other things. When I lost my Digimon that I’d only managed to partially rases, I was horribly let down…So now, I’ve done a proper job raising it into an Ultimate. You can also earn more pedometer steps by completing Adventure Missions in the survival game during your free time. When you check the app, you can see how much time is left before evolution, so when you’re in the middle of the survival game and see what trophies you need for evolution during the survival game, you might suddenly start running or doing squats on the spot (laughs).

Staff: Indeed, there are a lot of ways you can play and get involved (laughs). Some people even have their own DiM card holders.

Sekido: We’ve heard a lot of people saying that they fit perfectly in the cases they sell at the 100-yen shops. Since everyone’s so excited about it, we’re currently making plans to make all kinds of official storage items.

Staff: That’s wonderful. Having storage items would be very convenient!

Sekido: We’re thinking about making plastic cases that you can organize and carry your DiM cards with. We’d like to provide supplies centering around the DiM card on a regular basis, so please buy and make use of them when they go on sale!

Shimano: Please look forward to them (laughs).

The key to raising Digimon, as per the developers in charge

Staff: There are times when it’s pretty hard to win in battle…What determines the strength of a Digimon at a given time?

Sekido: There are three types of stats: DP, HP, and AP. DP is the base species stat. HP refers to hit points, and AP refers to attack points. Wins and losses are determined by the stats’ numerical values, the Vitals, and the mental state of your Digimon during battle.

Staff: I see. So there aren’t any hidden numbers beyond those already shown directly.

Sekido: Right. Winning in battle means that you need to have your Digimon in good condition and give them proper items. Also, there’s compatibility. If you do a proper matchup against Virus, Data, and Vaccine opponents, you can even win against Digimon that are a whole evolutionary level higher.

Staff: Even a beginner can easily figure out their Digimon’s mental state and the opponent’s attribute. If you can properly identify the opponent you’re fighting against, you’ll be sure to increase your win rate.

Sekido: Also, if you keep losing repeatedly, your Digimon will die, so if you see things are looking bad, don’t forget to press and hold the button on the bottom to escape. The encounter rate changes depending on the Digimon you’re raising, and is set so that you won’t encounter higher-level Digimon as often.

Staff: I see! That’s a bit of a relief.

Sekido: But as I said earlier, it seems that the users have already figured out tricks for raising their Digimon.

Shimano: For instance, how to efficiently stockpile Vitals.

Sekido: Right, right. My personal recommendation is to focus on raising them to Perfect first, then start your Adventure Missions. If you go from Adventure Mission areas 1 to 15, you’ll be able to efficiently gather up Vitals needed for Ultimate evolution. On top of that, if you defeat the final boss, you’ll open up another possible route for Ultimate evolution, so then you’ll have plenty of time left to choose which Ultimate you want your Perfect to evolve into. If you can’t defeat the final boss, you should try with another Ultimate so you can at least unlock the route.

Staff: In the meantime, you can make adjustments to all of the numbers, such as the trophies you need. The minimum evolution conditions are written in the app, but is it required to fulfill all of them?

Sekido: You do. If you miss even one of them, you won’t be able to evolve it. Or it’ll end up evolving into a different Digimon, or if you don’t meet any conditions, it’ll take more time for it to be able to evolve again.

Staff: I get the impression that Adventure Missions have a difficulty spike sometime around the thirteenth run.

Sekido: Even if you can’t win the first time, if you keep trying, you may be able to pull it off. Alternatively, you can use items to strengthen them, or you can raise a Digimon on a different route and try the fight again.

Battles on the app will soon begin!

Staff: Next, please tell us about the battle features that will be implemented in the app.

Shimano: There are two types of battles, Arena Battles and Raid Battles. Arena Batlles are battles between players. Under this system, you can select an arena that you want to enter and join the room. Examples include rooms with restrictions, such as battles restricted to only Child-level Digimon or Ultimate-level battles, and you’ll be able to earn points and obtain rewards.

Staff: So it goes beyond just competing over which Digimon is stronger.

Shimano: Right. Also, we will be implementing Raid Battles. Here, users from all around the country can fight together to defeat a very strong boss. You can start by challenging the boss by yoruself, but it’s strong enough that you won’t be able to defeat it by yourself, so if you can at least reduce its strength halfway, the next person can join and help you continue fighting. When a critical hit happens to occur, everyone can join together and attack at the same time. If you look at the way the scene is produced, you can even feel that other people fighting together with you. This is another way to get rewards from defeating the boss, and participating will be sure to give you good bonuses.

Sekido: There’s actually a timing element to that kind of battle. The Vital Bracelet itself runs automatically, but on the app, it becomes a battle of timing.

Shimano: It’s like the conventional LCD toys we’ve had up until now, where you can stop the counter by pressing the button at the right time.

Staff: So it comes with those kind of nostalgia-invoking mechanisms, too. How about stats and items?

Shimano: It uses the same stat system as the Vital Bracelet, and there are app-specific items that can increase their attributes or power in the app. However, this effect will only work in battle mode, so if you return your Digimon to the Vital Bracelet, those effects will be lost.

Staff: If you use the Vital Bracelet to raise a Digimon’s trophy and Vitals to the maximum amount, will they end up stronger in battles within the app?

Shimano: Of course. But if you fight against an opponent with the same stats in an Arena Battle…the person using items will have an advantage.

Staff: So whether you win or lose will depend on how you use your items and how well you time them.

Shimano: Compared to the usual Vital Bracelet battles, it feels a bit more like a skill-based game. You won’t obtain items unless you participate in the arena, so I feel it’ll depend on how much you dedicate yourself to your daily training and battle.

Staff: Seems like a huge goal to aim for the top in the arena. How often will the rankings change?

Shimano: We’re thinking of having them change every month. That said, we’d also like to have some flexibility and make use of arenas that are only up for a limited time, or perhaps have collaborative IP competitions or seasonal events.

Staff: It’s really interesting to see the range of how you can play will increase.

Shimano: Right, so I hope people can raise strong Digimon and use these to show off their abilities.

Staff: Will there be any particular specific rewards for these?

Shimano: For instance, storage capsules or evolution timers that will shorten time left for evolution. Evolution timers or other items that save you time haven’t appeared in the game yet, so I feel they’ll be one particular highlight.

Staff: The storage capsules will be a huge help! It’s good to know that you can increase the number of Digimon you can store.

We want you to enjoy the Vital Bracelet for a long time here on out

Staff: What are your general goals for the “Vital Breath Digital Monster” here on out?

Sekido: Naturally, we’ll be continuing to put out more and more DiM cards. Everyone has their own favorite Digimon, so our first goal will be to make it so you can raise all sorts of Digimon with the DiM cards. We’re thinking of hopefully being able to spread it to the extent where it’ll be like a whole record of adventure, to the point you could even make a whole single map out of the Digital World, so we hope to continue receiving support from all Tamers.

Shimano: Users got used to the raising process far more quickly than we’d expected, and they filled out the encyclopedia faster than we’d expected, too. Because of that, we’d like to consider ways to keep the Vital Bracelet interesting and fun for a long time here on out with various products and promotions.

Staff: If there’ll be more fun things coming forward, that’ll really increase motivation to keep playing. Thank you for your time today!

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