From Metroid to Tomodachi Collection to WarioWare: Different Approaches for Different Audiences
Yoshio Sakamoto talks about the path that brought him here (teen detective games to metroid to wario). A charming dude with some interesting stories/inspirations.
(Some news services later claimed that his translator got several things backwards. Not 100% i understand the confusion. but, i believe he said the new Metroid:Other M game would have been purely 2d side scroller, like the original, but the translator said “on rails” which made many think of no movement controls at all. which would have been weird.)
I took tons of notes. practically transcribing, in case no one else would (the bits i thought interesting at least).
not much reason to reprint them I guess.
but… copy and paste is SOOO EASYYYY:
metroid is the only series i’m known for outside of japan. most of my games are subtler or quirkier. please don’t interpret this as the games being boring.
over in japan i might be considered a guy that only makes niche games.
… might upset the company
today i’ll talk about what mr. iwata finds puzzling about my design style.
so i’ll start with introduction to metroid.
1. metroid other m (wii) for the majority of other games i was director. but for this i’m producer. launches june 27. dilligently working on making this ultimate metroid game. shows e3 2009 trailer. … samus adventures started in NES metroid. i’m credited as designer on this game. as a team we developed by trial and designer. but i wasn’t sole designer. so i can’t say i’m sole creator. i resist being credited in this way. if anything maybe i’m the one who raised samus. after all queen metroid birthed metroid. when you say queen metroid yout hink of metroid 2 for gameboy. i wasn’t involved in this. when baby metroid imprinted on samus, i was inspired for next game. which is launching point for other M.
i made super metroid. we decided to take control away from player for end of game. this inspired opening scene of other M. … shows video of super mtroid ending. cool. fades into full motion graphic of new game. shows how brain beast blasting metroid is tied to older game.
with metroid fusion for GBA advance he broke rule of no words. other m is between super metroid and mteroid fusion.
next game is metroid zero fushion came after. and he was involved.
2. he also made wario ware. i was more of a producer on this. on 4 in particular. twisted. (came about because engineer was tasked with testing gyro. so he made a mini game. so i took it to mr. iwata. iwata placed GBA on a chair and spun it, muttering “how idiotic.”
3. warioware touched was a DS launch title. dev period overlaped with twisted. so a separate group was put together to handle it. thye were new to the series and not clear on what made warioware funny.
4. smooth moves was intended as a flagship for wiimote. there was too much we could do. so we created forms to introduce next mechanic. it was as fun to watch others play as to do it yourself.
5. the latest is DIY (and related DIY showcase, which is launching in US soon). came about as idea of staff memebers who’d been there from beginning. encourages you to be as wacky as you can be. and you can share with others to refine. … shows wacky mini metroid game (shoot two metroids. suit pops up. then girl pops up. )
6. tomodachi collection. (friend collection) *tomo korei” in japanese. it’s a little like playing house with Miis. have fun playing make believe. in less than year, it’s about to reach the 3 million sell through mark.
7. Famicon Tantei Kurabu (detective club series) first games i wrote for. for the disk system. stories were horror suspense themed. very important titles for me, so i decided to include them in this speech. (despite not being released over here).
8. final title i was involved in was baloon fighht. iwata was programmer for this title (second title ever). shows humorous fake photo of he and iwata. he thinking of simple shapes (brocolli?) while iwata thinks of many things.
iwata was curious how one person could work on a serious game with story like Other m, while also working on humors minigames. iwata asked me to talk because he was curious how i could create both. iwata shown with text bubble ”why don’t you explore the secret for creating games for such a dynamic range of titles?”
what does it mean to be a producer? a hard question to answer. decided to analyze my own ideas on game creation. my process : serious touch (metroid) vs. comical touch (wario). iwata doesn’t find it strange i can do both. he thinks it strange i can do something iwht a serious touch at all.
mentions coming across dario argneto (suspiria). mentions Deep Red has had most influence on his process without question. he liked how they seemed to be missing somehting. liked his style. wanted to create things in same style. creator can control mood … timing foreshadowing and contrast. argento created mood by effective use of prog rock music and sound (and abrupt ending). invoked fear through mastery of using foreshadowing to connect scenes. contrasted storylines and scenes to increase feeling of tension.
on detective cliub, girl standing in the rear (?) was his homage to argentos work.
after seeing argento, started watching a lot of movies to study these techniques. not just horror movies. lots hints hidden cult movies as well. my ability to daydream became stronger (not joking – dreamed with edited scenes and background music).
other directors adn movies – luc besson (leon), depicts sorrow as something deep and beautiful. john woo (a better tomorrow) – had particular effect on me. sorrow that oozes form the chaos is awesome. brian de palma (carrie) last scene in carrie was ssignifigant signpost for me.
to be honest i’m not a movie fanatic. haven’t seen all movies by all of these directors. however films have opened my eyes to techniques tht cant being story to life. the impact these directors have had on me are clear in my work. I look forward to seeing players spot these references in OtherM.
comedy is also huge inspiration in game design. I’m alwyas thinking “is there a laugh hidden here. is there some way to make this funny.” really i just want to make other people laugh th emost. i’m not a comedian serving a crowd. i just like to spice up my day. when i find material i can use, as varied as possible, i tuck it away for later. i dwell on finding the best delivery for the best material in different venues. i want to engineer the laugh.
same things count. from horror. more about giving things time to breath. conversation is like foreshadowing. joke is sudden contrast and mood change.
this is likely near the core of iwata’s puzzling over my style. (i use mood timing foreshadowing and contrast).
i happen to be passionate about the serious and the comical. no difference in approach. more about the technique. use a single toolset to move people’s hearts in a great many different ways. Id like to leave it to you to determine if this is true.
shows video of friend collection (early mii idea, meets sims). iwatallica is hilarious (rapid head banging). iwata forms strong percentage relaitonship with samus. iwata and miyamoto talking fast. iwata and samus running on beach at sunset “this scene is not as beautiful as you”. Speaker notes he wants to be friends with samus.he promises samus red diamonds on suit. she says get a life. iwata and reggie throwing things at each other. iwata shows 2 extra screens flipping sideways on ds. he grows giant and stomps city
we tried a darker twist and made it into grown woman’s fortune telling discovery. (?) this shifted to lighter friend collection.
someone showed me prototype of new mii character designer. i asked “why can’t i change my face parts? why can’t i resize and move?” so it was implemented. i told iwata. he was very happy. he then asked if they could borrow the miis for wii. and could they borrow the team for the wii (hehehe).
tomogorei is a game where in addition to the gamer having fun, his friend’s cant help be but drawn in as well. it is a communication game so… (translation makes little sense) so it should be obvious what I mean.
i said to designer “you need to take off your underwear.” i needed him to let himself out. record for friend collection is 2 wins, 1 tie. (? in regard to speech? iwata?)
. i tell samus’s childhood connection to Adam, which is foreshadowing. (who is adam character?) … talking a lot about the story he wrote. (perhaps to protect himself from claims all the cool stuff came form team ninja). I created the backbone. THEN brought in team ninja.
let me share a definitive moment when developing the control scheem. there was one thing i wouldn’t budge on – controlling samus with only the remote. i wanted invisible rail. i wanted digital pad for movement and buttons for shoot and jump.
team ninja wanted nunchuck. they proposed a system with a 3D map. i was skeptical but it worked great. nimble 2d control. team ninja called this style “famicom game plus” heh.
shows storyboards kitaura created (from D Rockets, one of two third party teams brought in through Team Ninja).
“i think developing games is all about giving shape to images.”
the game experience creates images which stick with us.
it is our responisibility to the images that have stuck with us, and give them shapes for other people.
(that is all)