Front Mission 1St Remake : Meet Cédric Ricci

Can you tell us a little about your academic and professional background?

I am a French graphic designer by training, based in Tokyo, Japan. I started my carrer 25 years ago in France as a junior graphic designer where I worked on a wide range of projects, including brand identity, album covers for international artists, Advergame and interfaces design for softwares and web application. I then moved to work as a freelancer, where I had the opportunity to work on high-profile projects with large PR Firm as an outsourcing Designer / Art Director. The last 15 years, I refocused my work primarily on video game related projects, and now working exclusively in partnership with the Forever Entertainment group.

Front Mission is an iconic RPG series. How did you approach your work on such a remake? With serenity or a little anxiety?

I surely approached the project with some anxiety, Front Mission on top of being and iconic SRPG game in the mecha genre, is also a multimedia franchise that span throughout multiple game episodes to Model Kits and mangas.

The most important part of the project preparation, was to gather as much as possible side-materials from the series, to help shape the remake. My geographical position in Japan, was a great help to dig some old materials, documents and related merchandising.

What exactly did your work consist of?

As quickly mentioned in the previous answers, my main task in the project, was to ensure that the team working on the game had access to enough materials and references, to be able to translate the original game from 2D to 3D, and maintain consistency.

With another collaborator, also based in Asia, we ensured that technicals elements and lore were respected. I also played a role in the Art Direction of the originals Yoshitaka Amano portrait HD redraws, the recreation of all the original motion designs footages, logo remake and co-worked on the GUI design for the game.

Was your work based more on the original game or its first remake released in 2007?

From an artistic perspective, there is not much difference between the original version of the game released in 1995 on the Super Famicom and the Nintendo DS remake from 2007. So I will say it is based on both of them, as we incorporated, from a gameplay and content perspective, the new campaign and gameplay additions from the NDS version. We also mixed some GUI design concepts from both versions to better suite the 16/9 screen, of the Nintendo Switch.

From an artistic perspective, there is not much difference between the original version of the game [...] and the remake from 2007.

Did you work in collaboration with SQEX and more particularly with Yoshitaka Amano who worked on the first episode?

All along the project, we worked in tight collaboration with SQEX, but not directly with Yoshitaka Amano. I imagine that SQEX may have consulted him on the subject of the portraits illustrations redraws, but our character portraits remakes and all other artistic materials were vetted directly by SQEX team.

What is your typical day on this kind of project?

My typical day on this kind of game remake projects, starts by one hour of research and reviews of materials from the original game. I then check our project management and internal team chat applications for any question or task to be resolved, then attends any technical or artistic meetings planned. I pursue my day by working on producing reference, technical, and feedback documents and designing graphic and motion design assets necessary for the project.

Do you have any anecdotes about these projects?

As it is often the case with older game, it is difficult to have access to all the original technicals and artistic ressources materials.

For Front Mission I had to rummages, second-hand stores in Japan and online auctions to find some original guidebooks / Art book, model kits and toys to have the best reference ressources to provide to the team. Some of the items I had to collected, depending on their rarity, can become quickly pricey 🙂

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