Is the game out yet?
YES! Rakuen launched May 10th, 2017 on Steam.
Please feel free to use this very comprehensive walkthrough!
I think I ate my frog… (I used an item from my inventory and it disappeared, where did it go?)
Fear not! Chances are you probably just activated a “patient lounge” item. Once used, these items (pets, bean bags, decorations, etc.) will appear in the room to the left of the cafeteria.
Which systems/platforms is the game available for?
Currently you can play Rakuen on PC, Mac, and Linux. Depending on how the game does, we may port it to other systems if we can!
How long is the game?
It really depends on the player. The game has a lot of different puzzles, areas to explore, and people to talk to, so the total amount of gameplay will vary greatly based on your play style. I would estimate anywhere between 6 to 10 hours.
How much does the game cost?
May I do a Let’s Play of the game, or stream it on my Twitch channel?
Yes, that would be totally cool! All I ask is that you link back to the Rakuen Steam page (so folks know how to find us^^), and please include the following contact information somewhere in the info bar or something^^
I need to put the game into windowed mode to record it, how do I do this?
You can put the game into windowed mode by pressing Alt-Enter. However, please make sure not to click off of the game during any of the cutscenes where the audio and visuals are synchronized (like the storybook reading, or any of the Runestone songs for example), otherwise it will go out of sync…
I just downloaded the Rakuen Soundtrack DLC. Where is it located?
Right click the game in your library, click on “Properties” and go to the “Local Files” tab. Click the “Browse local files” button, and the soundtrack folder should be there 🙂
I’d like to play using a controller. Is there a way to remap the buttons?
Yes! There is general controller support built in, and the keys can be mapped via the windowed menu by pressing F1 -> Gamepad tab. Though since the game was built around the keyboard controls, I still highly recommend using the keyboard to play.
Is there any way to change the resolution out of 640 x 480?
Ah, I must apologize for this! Just as with games like “To the Moon,” an unfortunate limitation of the engine we used to create the game (rpg maker xp), is that we’re unable to change the 640 x 480 resolution. Players can however play in windowed mode by pressing Alt-Enter. But as I mentioned above, please make sure not to click off of the game during any of the cutscenes where the audio and visuals are synchronized (like the storybook reading, or any of the Runestone songs for example), otherwise it will go out of sync.
Will the game be translated to other languages?
Yes! Currently the game has been translated into Italian, Spanish, Chinese and Korean (though we’re still working on getting everything ready to be uploaded to Steam), and is in the process of being translated into Japanese. I would love to translate the game into as many languages as possible. If you are interested in helping with the fan translation, there is a translation board over at the Rakuen Steam forums where folks are organizing this.
Is the game based on To the Moon?
No, the game is not based on To the Moon, and the stories are not related. There are some similarities though — Both games are story-centric. Both have a visual style that resembles JRPGs from the SNES era (but without battles or leveling up). Rakuen’s gameplay however is made up of things like room escape puzzles, a Zelda-like dungeon with an ecosystem full of strange creatures, dialogue-based mysteries, and quests where you need to do things like work undercover as a waiter in a fancy sky mansion 😛
What inspired the game’s story?
I wrote a song several years back called, “Jump,” but I didn’t end up arranging/producing it until I was asked to submit a track for the “Play for Japan” album Akira Yamaoka organized after the Tohoku earthquake.
When I wrote the song, I thought about two things: I thought about how in life, we often have to go forward and hope for the best, even though we don’t know how things will turn out… Whether it’s a new job, a new relationship, an illness, anything, really… We don’t know if we’re gonna sink or swim; we don’t know if we’ll fly or fall. Sometimes we can’t do anything at all, but hope for the best, and jump. I also thought about how we all have a child inside of us that just wants to be told that everything is going to be alright… Sometimes when your Mom says, “don’t worry, everything’s gonna be alright,” she can’t explain how or why it will be… but just hearing it makes you feel better. That’s what the song is about.
And that’s kind of what Rakuen is about, too. I imagined a little Boy living in the hospital, coming to terms with his problems by helping others… Perhaps others who are too old to have a Mom, or who are carrying too much on their shoulders to ask someone to be there for them. The Boy’s Mom gives him the gift of hope, and through his adventures, he’s able to pass that on to those around him. Through his actions, he’s able to tell them, “everything’s gonna be alright…” so that they don’t have to be afraid to jump.
You’ve been a composer for most of your career… what motivated you to create a game?
I’ve always wanted to create a video game, ever since I was really little. I used to design Mega Man levels on paper, and write RPG stories 🙂 Rakuen actually started as a song (“Jump,” which was written for the “Play for Japan” album). As I was composing the song, I imagined a story of a boy living in the hospital, and his mother helping him to cope by taking him on a grand adventure right where he was. My friend Emmy (who is the concept artist for the game) and I originally intended to only make a little animated music video for the song, but after thinking more about the story and being inspired by her wonderful concept art, I said, “we should turn this into a game!”
I think I really wanted to create something that would (hopefully) impact people in a positive way. Even though the game has sad/bittersweet moments, I’d like to think that after finishing the game, the player would walk away feeling hopeful, or maybe even inspired to be a light for someone who was going through difficult times. That’s my hope anyways, hehe…
Is there a way we can help support the project?
One of the best ways to help us, is to leave us a review on Steam! Even a tiny one-sentence review means a lot to us (since more reviews mean Rakuen’s visibility will increase on Steam). Another great way to help, is to let people know about the game ^_^ Telling folks about Rakuen through email, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc. is always super helpful! Asking your favorite Let’s Player or Twitch Streamer to play Rakuen, telling your favorite gaming news sites about us, or making videos or blog posts is always great, too! We also have a wonderful community over at the forums, as well as a discord server if you’d like to chat with other folks about the game. Thank-you for your support, it really means a lot to us!