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.
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.