E3 2015 Highlights

NieR New Project

Filed: Nier New Project, PlatinumGames, Star Fox Zero, TRANSFORMERS: Devastation

Hello, everyone. Liz from the localization team at PlatinumGames here!

Today I’ll be telling you about my first E3. Getting to go to E3 was actually a big moment for me – something I dreamed of when I was younger. So, did it live up to the hype? Let’s find out.

This was an especially exciting year to be at E3 as a PlatinumGames employee, because we announced three new titles! I hope all of you are excited for Transformers: Devastation, NieR New Project, and Star Fox Zero. We sure are!

Without further ado, let’s get started. Imagine yourself in sunny LA…

The day before the conference, the guys and I had some extra time, so I decided to take them to a video game store. Now, coming all the way from Japan, I didn’t want to take them to any old chain store, so I did some research and discovered an awesome retro game store in Los Angeles.
The folks there seemed to be excited to meet us when we mentioned that we were from PlatinumGames. Platinum games were prominently displayed in the store windows! Looks like these guys are fans.

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We got a kick out of the old consoles, some literally lying around.

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We were also amused by some recent Splatoon-related decorating that went on…
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The next day, it was off to E3.

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I was somewhat overwhelmed by the conglomeration of people lined up outside the halls, waiting to get in on the first day. It was modest chaos. Forget lining up, these guys are just milling around.

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As soon as the doors opened, there was a rush to the Star Fox Zero demo. Lines for this were long throughout the convention.

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In the afternoon, it was time for our very own Yusuke Hashimoto to appear on Treehouse Live with Miyamoto-san and other Nintendo staff to talk about Star Fox Zero.
(Watch here!)

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Hashimoto did a good job on stage, don’t you think?

There were also other Platinum sightings throughout the con. Of course, it was fun to see the NieR trailer playing at the Square Enix booth. Judging from the crowds, many people seemed intrigued.

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On the second day, I watched Kenji Saito (Director) and Atsushi Kurooka (Producer) talk about Transformers on Twitch! They had several appearances throughout the con, so they were pros at appearing in front of the camera by then. Great job, guys!

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Luckily, I also had a fair amount of time to wander around and see what else E3 had to offer.
One thing that made an impression on me was what a big theme VR was this year. It was all over.

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One of my coworkers reported trying it and feeling a little sick, though! I’ll give it a try… one of these days. ;)

Of course, the console makers’ booths were gargantuan.

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But the third parties weren’t far behind!
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Here are a few more sights from around the convention:

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Con-goers also appreciated the retro gaming area:

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Personally, I had a lot of fun at the indie games area. I enjoyed checking out Wattam (a Katamari Damacy successor), and an Alice-in-Wonderland-based game that was actually an interactive pop-up book.

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So, what other games did I play? I mostly eschewed the long lines, but I did find time to check out Fable: Legends, the new Amplitude, and Life is Strange. I spent a long time immersed in the Life is Strange demo. I’m a sucker for mystery/adventure games, probably the result of my childhood obsession with Myst.

Finally, I have to set aside a moment to discuss one of my other loves in life – food. I really had to restrain myself, or this blog post would have been a long parade of food and drink shots. With the excuse of exposing my Japanese co-workers to American culture, we visited a different restaurant each night. They were pleasantly surprised by the California rolls!

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In conclusion:
Well, it’s hard to wrap up such an overwhelming experience in the format of a blog post. I had been to PAX and other conventions many times before, but this was my first time attending an industry event like E3. While the noise, lighting, and sheer number of people were exhausting, the love and excitement for gaming was truly infectious. It was particularly gratifying to see and hear the anticipation for the three new titles we announced. E3 was a great reminder of what this job is really all about. I was also glad to run into many game industry friends and acquaintances and renew some old ties.

So, that’s it! I hope you enjoyed this report a fraction as much as I enjoyed attending E3, and stay tuned for more. Next up: more Scalebound news at Gamescom!

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E3 – A Message from Tatsuya Minami

Platinum Games

Filed: Games, PlatinumGames

E3 is the biggest event in the games industry, and I am very pleased to announce our development of multiple new titles during this year’s show.

Each of the titles we announced is a new kind of challenge for our studio. The reason we’ve taken on these projects is simple. We believe that they are all opportunities for us to exercise our strengths as developers, and collaborations like these lead to final products that both we ourselves, and our fans, will find thrilling.

Our forte is innovative and satisfying action mechanics delivered in an exhilarating package. By playing to our strengths, we believe we can help these beloved IPs shine even brighter – nothing would make us happier than giving our fans exciting new gameplay experiences with these titles.

Finally, even though we haven’t shared anything new with you at this year’s E3, we are working full steam on the development of Scalebound, our next flagship, original creation. We’ll probably be able to share some new information with you at this year’s Gamescom in August.

We can’t wait to continue showing you what is next for PlatinumGames.

PlatinumGames, Inc.

Tatsuya Minami, President and CEO

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NieR New Project announced!

NieR New Project

Filed: Games, Nier New Project, PlatinumGames

SQUARE ENIX ANNOUNCES NEW TITLE IN THE NIER SERIES

 All-Star Development Team Formed for NieR New Project

 LOS ANGELES (June 16, 2015) – SQUARE ENIX® today revealed NieR® New Project (temporary name), a new third-person action role-playing game (RPG) and follow-up to the 2010 cult hit NieR. Offering a fresh blend of action and RPG gameplay styles, NieR New Project is currently being developed in collaboration with PlatinumGames Inc. exclusively for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system.

The game’s all-star development team consists of producer Yosuke Saito (DRAGON QUEST® X / NieR), director YOKO TARO (Drakengard® / NieR), character designer Akihiko Yoshida from CyDesignation, Inc. (FINAL FANTASY® XIV / BRAVELY DEFAULT®), game designer Takahisa Taura from PlatinumGames Inc. (Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance), and composer Keiichi Okabe from MONACA, Inc. (TEKKEN / Drakengard / NieR). PlatinumGames Inc. will be amplifying the action-oriented combat and building a beautifully diverse visual experience that will fully harness the graphical power of the PlayStation®4 system.

A new trailer unveiled today at the SQUARE ENIX E3 press conference showcases the new visual direction of NieR New Project. This can be viewed on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/GH26BfSo7co.

More information regarding the game will be unveiled this Fall.

 

NieR New Project is now in development exclusively for the PlayStation®4 system and is not yet rated. Please visit the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) website at www.esrb.org for more information about ratings.

Related Links

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NIERGame

 

About PlatinumGames Inc.

PlatinumGames Inc. is an independent entertainment developer based in Osaka, Japan, dedicated to making high quality, next generation games for a variety of hardware platforms. Loaded with some of the gaming industry’s most talented creators, PlatinumGames seeks to break the mold of a sequel driven industry by creating innovative IP that exceed users’ expectations.

 

About Square Enix, Inc.

Square Enix, Inc. develops, publishes, distributes and licenses SQUARE ENIX, EIDOS® and TAITO® branded entertainment content throughout the Americas as part of the Square Enix Group. The Square Enix Group operates a global network of leading development studios and boasts a valuable portfolio of intellectual property, including: FINAL FANTASY, which has sold over 110 million units worldwide; DRAGON QUEST®, which has sold over 64 million units worldwide; TOMB RAIDER®, which has sold over 42 million units worldwide; and the legendary SPACE INVADERS®. Square Enix, Inc. is a U.S.-based, wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.

More information on Square Enix, Inc. can be found at http://www.na.square-enix.com/.

NIER © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

NIER, the NIER NEW PROJECT logo, BRAVELY DEFAULT, FINAL FANTASY, DRAGON QUEST, DRAKENGARD, EIDOS, SPACE INVADERS, SQUARE ENIX, the SQUARE ENIX logo, TAITO and TOMB RAIDER are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Square Enix group of companies. “PlayStation” is a registered trademark and “PS4” is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 

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Individuality in Game Development (Part 3)

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

Our Approach to Making Games

Kai: When it comes to making games, the first person who comes to mind is the director. After all, it’s their job to get the ball rolling; they have to come up with a game idea from scratch. The other staff, such as graphic designers like myself, have to try to see the vision in the Director’s head and make it a reality.

Shibata: I’ve been working under Kamiya ever since joining Platinum, but all his game ideas start out very vague, even in his own mind. I have to interpret this vague vision and do my best to give it a more concrete form. Since you’re facing a problem with no definite answer, this means a lot of trial and error, which can be a bit disconcerting for younger staff, who aren’t used to the old days of experimentation.

Kai: It’s not enough to just grit your teeth through that trial and error process; you have to enjoy it. After all, where’s the fun in just getting handed a plan and carrying it out word for word? Understand the overall theme of the project you’re working on, see how far you can push your boundaries, and have some fun with it. Of course, you can’t be the only one having fun, it also has to be an idea the player will like.

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Shibata: When I was working as a graphic designer, I would look at the design document I was given and see just how far I could deviate from it, adding my own style.

Kai: I think that when it comes to animation, nothing’s more important than the look and fluidity of movement. At the same time, however, I always try and give it that little extra touch of personality that will stick in the player’s mind.

Shibata: By the way, I feel like Kamiya is the kind of guy who can adapt to work well with anyone. Even if we were switched out and a whole new team was brought in to replace us, I feel like he’d sort everything out somehow. So the important thing for people who work here is to be able to cope with the trial and error process, and to keep up with Kamiya’s pace. When it comes to coping, Kai has known Kamiya for longer than I have; I can’t even fathom how he managed to withstand the pressure for so long. It’s a lot more exhausting than working with any other director, so I’m impressed that Kai managed to come this far.

Kai: We’re just patient. Most people, after having made a game with Kamiya, request to not be put on the same team as him for a while, haha. He’s relentless in his drive for quality. His famous line “I just thought of something…” will haunt my dreams for years to come.

Shibata: As you approach completion and the game starts to come together, the frequency of his ideas for little tweaks also goes up. In other words, if we don’t get the game to a near-complete state as soon as possible, we won’t have time to respond to Kamiya’s various requests.

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Individuality in Game Development (Part 2)

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

(Continues from Part 1.)

An Environment in which Games Thrive

Shibata: I feel that in the early days of the video game industry, graphic designers commanded very little status. Although the players might praise our work, within the company we were treated badly by the programmers. There were times it was hard to bear…

Kai: It wasn’t like that working on console games, but I remember working on an arcade game once and getting mistreated by one of the programmers. Back then you had these three main factions on the team: character designers, programmers, and game designers. Everybody stayed within their own territory, saying, “I’ve done my job, now this is up to you.”

ks1Shibata: I come from an arcade background, so I was under the impression that that’s just how things worked.

Kai: As someone who has seen both sides, I can say that console game teams were a lot less divided.

Shibata: That’s interesting to hear. I moved over to console games to work on Resident Evil 3, and was shocked by how different the work environment was. I thought maybe that atmosphere was unique to the Resident Evil team, but it sounds like it’s true of most console development.

Kai: I wasn’t a part of the RE3 team, so I can’t say for certain, but it sounds like when this team composed of people from both console and arcade backgrounds came together, they ended up adopting the console team’s “cross-border” approach. This is the approach we’ve inherited here at Platinum. However, it’s something we came to not through an explicit rule or policy, but rather because of the number of people on the team who felt that’s how it should be.

Shibata: Without a doubt, this approach leads to better games.

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Kai: Of course, there may be some people who prefer staying within their own little niche, but when you’re in a studio working with a group of other people, this rarely leads to the best results. PlatinumGames is made up of people who understand this.

Shibata: I’m thankful that we have producers who are committed to fostering the kind of environment that leads to the creation of great games.

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INDIVIDUALITY IN GAME DEVELOPMENT (PART 1)

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

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Individuality in Game Development

Hidetoshi Kai (Graphic Design/Animation) and Hiroshi Shibata (Game Design)

PlatinumGames is entering its 10th year, but some of our staff members have careers in the game industry that go back over two decades. Two such members are animator Hidetoshi Kai and game designer Shibata, who can trace their roots all the way back to the 4th Development Division at Capcom. These two veterans, who made the jump to Platinum together with director Hideki Kamiya and producer Atsushi Inaba, talk about their experience and thoughts on game development.

Skills gained through Trial and Error

Kai: The formative experience that led me to video games took place back in kindergarten. A little candy shop I went to had a couple of Pachinko and pinball machines that I loved to play with. My dad is a carpenter, and he would use nails and scraps of wood he found around the house to make little Pachinko boards. Even back then I loved thinking up games. My parents didn’t buy me many toys, so I got used to making them myself.

Shibata: My family moved to Tokyo around the time the Famicom (the Japanese equivalent of the Nintendo Enterainment System) came out, but we were very poor so I didn’t get a chance to play games much as a kid. In fact, I didn’t buy a Famicom until I started working at a game company. I was making do with nothing more than a TV, refrigerator, and rice cooker back then; I didn’t have the money to buy a lot of electrical appliances, let alone to buy any for recreational purposes.

Kai: I was a little late to the video game party, too. I didn’t even consider working at a game company until after I had entered a vocational school. There, I studied film and other visual media. I worked with cameras a lot, and I specifically studied animation as a form of expression.

Shibata: I studied animation at a vocational school, just like Kai. I wanted to make a living in animation, but it was just not a viable way to pay the bills. The first job I started out of school was in the printing industry, but the pay was bad, so my life of poverty continued… A friend of mine worked at a game company though, and he told me the money was good, so I decided to get into the game industry. In other words, I wasn’t trying to fulfill a romantic dream of making games, as much as I saw the game industry as a solution to my financial woes.

Kai: Yeah, I hear the animation industry can be pretty rough. We have a couple of people who decided to quit their jobs at an animation company in order to join us.

Shibata: Although, in a way, your current job actually still involves animation.

Kai: That’s right. I’m in charge of creating the animations that dictate how the characters move. I sometimes animate environments as well.

Shibata: My job is to think of ideas that make the game more interesting – I get to say whatever pops up in my head, haha. Officially, I’m responsible for writing up game proposals and design documents to coordinate the direction of the team with each section, but working under Kamiya means I often don’t prepare any documents. Why is that you ask? Because with Kamiya at the helm, the game changes so frequently that by the time you get everything on paper, the document will already be obsolete, haha.

Kai: Maybe so, but I still think you make more documents than most other people.

Shibata: I guess so, haha. Anyway, I originally entered this industry as a graphic designer just like you, Kai, and I remember that I used to have a lot of fun creating sprites using pixel graphics. This meant having to line up every little square of color that would be displayed on the player’s screen, but we could only use 16 colors back then, so I would spend hours obsessively trying to figure out how to line up all of the dots to create the image I wanted.

Kai: Yeah, it was a neat way to make graphics. I still feel like doing work like that sometimes, haha.

Shibata: It has a certain addictiveness different from regular drawing. Capcom’s pixel art from that era was incredible, but it had a strange quirk: although pixels are usually square, Capcom was unique in that they used vertically rectangular pixels. This meant that even rotating the sprite on its side required you to replace all the pixels. It was highly inefficient, but they still managed to put out many uniquely beautiful sprite-based games. I decided that, “If I’m going to be a sprite artist, it’s Capcom or nothing”, so I moved to the Kansai area where Capcom’s headquarters are located.

Kai: You came all the way to the Kansai area for sprites?!

Shibata: Oh yeah, it was great! Soon after I entered the company I was assigned to a team developing arcade games and I got to ram out rectangular sprites to my heart’s content.

Kai: I started out in Capcom’s console game department. In many cases, the pixels for console games were horizontally rectangular, so this made porting arcade games to consoles an absolute nightmare.

Shibata: But you know, thinking back to it now, I realize that when we first got into development, in the days when the images on screen contained nothing but the most rudimentary information, games ended up being extremely refined. There is a lot of fluff in modern games, so making games now ends up being a lot harder than the days of yore. There are so many more rules you have to learn nowadays.

Kai: Yeah, things are still tough, just in a different way now. How about you, though? How did you end up making the jump from a pixel-laying graphic designer to a game designer?

Shibata: Well, one thing I realized while working at Capcom was that beautiful graphics alone aren’t enough to sell a game. The art in Capcom’s games was among the best in the entire industry, but this never guaranteed that their titles would be successful. It became painfully clear to me that art isn’t the most important aspect of a game, so I decided to focus on thinking up original ideas.

Kai: Although I entered the company as a graphic designer, I actually wanted to make games more than I wanted to work on their graphic design. I always had my eyes open for opportunities to try different aspects of development. I’ve even done stuff like making up questions for quiz games and burning ROMs. Leaving behind the pixel painting lifestyle, I manipulate polygons now. Although the job title has remained the same, the knowledge and skills required have changed quite a bit.

Shibata: You can say that again. The stuff I learned about at vocational school was very different from what the game industry required, so I had to learn about things as I was making them. When 3D polygon models came onto the scene, it was an entirely new experience altogether. Capcom as a whole was slow to get onto the polygon bandwagon, and everyone working there was a beginner when it came to making 3D games. We couldn’t fight progress, however, so we just had to do our best to keep up.

Kai: The youngsters entering the company right out of college nowadays are better prepared than we were. Hardware back then was changing so hectically all the time that we had to just try out all kinds of different things and see what worked. As a result, though, I think we learned a lot about perseverance and determination.

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Club Activities at PlatinumGames! (Part 2)

Platinum Games

Filed: Community, PlatinumGames

Hi there! This is Hiroto Tanaka, leader of PlatinumGames’ fighting game club.

The fighting games circle is a place where fans devoted to the genre can congregate and compete in tournaments with each other.

In one of our recent meetings, we had a special unpackaging ceremony for an arcade controller: an indispensable item to any fighting game fan.
After that we played a few rounds of Ultra Street Fighter 4 together.

It was a good opportunity for a lot of staff to loosen up and revisit some of their childhood gaming memories.
Or maybe for a little more fanatic gamers like me, it was just like having my friends over for a few hours of gaming.

So far we’ve played all different sorts of titles, from new to old. I want everyone to feel like they can drop in whenever they want, so we usually play in meeting rooms in the office. Next time I’m thinking maybe to do some Guilty Gear or Smash Bros.

Anyway, that’s all from me. We have a ton of other clubs going on, so expect to hear more from another one sooner or later!

Thanks!

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CREATING THE NEXT GENERATION OF PLATINUMGAMES (PART 3)

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

Shindo: It’s your fourth year here Funahashi, and your sixth Ohkura. How do you stay motivated? For me, I try to think of the player. Games aren’t free, and they’re a significant investment of time. If we want people to play our games, we need to supply something worthwhile. Remembering that pushes me to give my all when creating something. It might sound obvious, but it’s important to me.

Funahashi: Me too. I always hope the player will enjoy what we make. None of the games I’ve worked on have been released yet, so I haven’t had a chance to see any user reactions first hand yet, but until then I’ll just have to make do with the reactions of my colleagues and the director.

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Ohkura: I’d say I’m driven less by an external source of motivation, but from a knowledge that my current self does not quite live up to my ideal. The director and producer tell me, “Don’t worry, you can stay here as long as you like!” which is comforting. But realistically speaking, as a woman I have other things to worry about, like how I would make this job work if I wanted to start a family. I’m sure there are many other employees who have the same kind of worries. That’s why I want to work through those concerns and become someone capable of fitting all my goals.

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Shindo: It always helps to have someone to look up to, someone who has been through the same things you have and can share their experience. For me that person is Kamiya, although everyone on the team has something I can learn from. I’m lucky to be able to work with everyone here at PlatinumGames. Games in this industry are often said to be pretty rough, but you also gain so much in return.

Ohkura: Yes, there are many people at PG with a lot of perseverance and straight-up guts. You make games together as colleagues and as friends. Although there are times when it can be tough, at the end of the day you’re doing something you love surrounded by awesome people.

Funahashi: I don’t consider myself someone with exceptional persevering power, but I must have something that got me through these first 3 years. What it is that allows you to keep persevering is different for each person. Unfortunately you usually won’t find ituntil you’re in a situation where you need it. That’s why I want to make games with people who choose to do things out of their own volition, not just because they were told to.

Shindo: I feel like there are a lot of people like that here. There’s something about PlatinumGames that just draws in that type of person. Maybe that’s why there are so many slightly weird people here.

Ohkura: There are a lot of people here who like to do things based on their own convictions.

Funahashi: Exactly. Even if your style doesn’t quite mesh with the company’s or team’s, I think it’s best to understand your own point of view and see what you have to bring to the table. If you do that, PlatinumGames is the kind of place where people will tell you, “As long as we achieve that common goal, just do it the way that works for you.”

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Creating the Next Generation of PlatinumGames (Part 2)

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

Sharing your Vision

Funahashi: It’s my 4th year here at Platinum, and I can finally say I’ve gotten the hang of my job. Thinking back to when I just started, every day was a struggle. I had no idea what the director was trying to convey… I would make exactly what they told me to, only to have it thrown back in my face with a “This isn’t even close!” I just had no idea what was what back then.

Ohkura: Yeah, we’ve all been there. Problems like that can be solved by properly sharing your ideas regarding the overall feel of the world, but most people will have no idea how to give form to that when they’re only just starting out.

Shindo: In order to give a game’s world the proper feel, you must infer the intent behind the director’s words, and find your own answer to that somehow. That’s all much easier said than done, obviously. At first I was so preoccupied with trying to understand the game world and doing exactly what the director told me, that I couldn’t make any progress at all. I remember being surprised listening to the sounds my seniors came up with all by themselves, and thinking “Yeah, I guess that works too!” That’s how I started coming up with my own ideas as well, because I figured that it was okay to make mistakes sometimes.

Funahashi: For example, let’s say the director asks you to make a chair. You have to consider, do they want something with the shape of a chair, or something with the function of a chair, i.e. something people can sit on? If we’re talking about the function, even a simple wooden log or a guard rail could be considered a “chair.” If the vision of the game world is clearly shared between all of the staff, you will begin to understand it by nature, and you will no longer be constrained by the words you are given.

Shindo: On the other hand, there were times when, even if I asked the director what kind of sound he was looking for, I would just get a vague answer like “Hmmm, I dunno… something that sounds cool!” That’s not much to work with, haha. What sounds “cool” is obviously highly subjective, so in order to find a cool sound that fits within the world of the game, the only thing you can do is to just create a massive number of different sounds and see what sticks.

Funahashi: Yeah, I’ve also been given instructions like “Gimme something that looks nice!”, which tends to fill me with joy and terror simultaneously, haha. If you don’t have a proper grasp on the game world, nothing you propose is going to work. However, knowing that you’ve been given this chance, despite the risk of failure, can be invigorating. It makes you want to create something that will live up to expectations.

Ohkura: I often start working on projects before they even have a solid world or character details, so I begin by just getting my pen moving and seeing what takes shape. Explaining things verbally is not my strong suit, so when the director and I share our views of the game world, I make sure to bring plenty of visual aids. It makes me so happy when I finally hear, “Yes! Let’s go with this!”

Shindo: In that sense, it feels like you’re shaping the world with your own hands. There are a lot of things that you come to understand when the team shares the flow and overall direction of the game with each other, while going through a process of trial and error. It really feels like all the individual parts come together to form the whole.

Ohkura: I know what you mean. I love when I’m trusted with a task that I have full creative control over – most of the time. Based on a character’s back story, I imagine how they would react in certain situations, and over time the little details of the game’s world are formed. Of course there are times when one of my ideas doesn’t work in the established world setting, but there’s nothing stopping you from thinking up additional back story as you go. To do this, we’re always being challenged to be more creative, and I’m sure the director has this is mind when he gives us these vague directions.

Shindo: Yeah, and they always choose simple key words for you. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t still spend a lot of time having no clue what direction to take things in. And it’s times like that that the people around you often help you out by making suggestions. Instead of just banging your head against the wall alone, it’s more like a team searching for the best way to smash through the wall together. Uh… not literally of course.

Funahashi: There are certainly times when your idea ends up getting struck down, no matter how well it seems to go down during the team meeting. Those moments where everyone is excited about a certain idea are important, though – it’s a great way of reaffirming a shared vision of the game, which keeps the team going strong.

Shindo: In that sense, the development for Bayonetta was really exciting. It started out as a very serious world, but there were some funny parts as well. I would make some weird sound thinking, “Man, it’d be hilarious if we could use this,” and then the director, Kamiya, actually ended up putting it in the game. When he heard the sound he went, “Heh, this sounds so dumb… let’s use it!” I’ll never forget how happy I was that day.

Ohkura: While developing Bayonetta, there were a couple of times when the sounds Shindo created directly inspired my designs, actually.

Shindo: For example, I thought it would be cool if two of the characters could communicate with each other during a shooting stage. However, this wasn’t originally part of the game, so after I made the sounds, Ohkura actually came up with designs for communication devices they could use. As a sound designer I never thought I would be able to have that kind of influence on a game’s design.

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Office Closed for a Company Event! (Off we go flower-viewing!)

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

Our yearly flower-viewing party got postponed due to rain, so we didn’t get to enjoy the cherry blossoms in full bloom, but we had a great time under the beautiful new green leaves at Osaka Castle Park!

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As always, our venue was Nishinomaru Garden, located west of Osaka Castle. The mansion of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s wife, Kita no Mandokoro, was said to be located here. Approximately 300 cherry trees are planted on these spacious grounds. Needless to say, this is one of the biggest cherry blossom spots in Osaka! (Next year it would be nice if we actually got to see some flowers. Haha.)

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Including our outsourcing partners and the new grads who joined the company on April 1st, this was a massive party of about 200 people in all!

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It had been rainy since the beginning of April, but on the day of the party, we were blessed by good weather. It was so sunny it was almost hot!

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Sitting around a delicious meal with friends while relishing the change of the seasons is one of the true pleasures of Japanese party culture. You get the chance to talk to people you don’t usually converse with, which could be helpful at work too!

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Here, a new programmer (left) and the lead programmer Kazunori Morita (center) are greeting CEO Tatsuya Minami (right). At PlatinumGames, no one ever needs to worry whether their senpai is noticing them.

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As a groundbreaking new initiative, we have decided to hire a pigeon this year. We thought it would be coo’. (Sorry.)

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A generous employee donated sake for our own little sake tasting corner. This was lovely.

Ever since the founding of PlatinumGames, we’ve held three big yearly events: the flower-viewing party, the new employee welcome party, and the end-of-the-year party. But the flower viewing party is the only one that we close the office and make a huge occasion for! (Sorry for closing the office on a weekday afternoon…)

Today was our biggest festivity of the year, and we enjoyed it to the max!

Extras:

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