Special Guest! Scenario Writer Etsu Tamari

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PGTV

Hello, nice to meet you. My name is Etsu Tamari from Konami’s Kojima Productions, I was the scenario writer for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

The MGR blog posts here are mainly for the development staff at PlatinumGames, as you can probably tell by the shining “P” up at the top. Since this is a collaborative work, however, I’m making myself an honorary member of the team.

And why not? I mean, I have a seat with my name on it at Platinum’s office. I haven’t shown my face there recently, but for a while I was spending at least one night a week in Osaka. Around November, I think I spent more time over there than in Tokyo. I still lose to our cutscene director, though; he moved there.

When I explain all that travel to people, they usually ask me, “Isn’t the scenario supposed to be finished a little earlier than that?” I always tell them a game scenario isn’t something you just write and then never touch again. Well, depending on the person or the project, I’m sure sometimes you finish writing a scenario and are told not to mess with it again, but that’s not how we do things with the Metal Gear series. That’s not how we could do things, in order to have Metal Gear stay Metal Gear.

Even if a game has a good story, if the gameplay sucks, it’s shit. Making gameplay interesting requires a repeated process of creating something and tearing it down. For example, the game’s maps might look interesting on paper, but once you try working them into the game itself, you might realize they’re boring. That happens a lot. Written plans will never convey how the game truly feels, and as such, will never be an indication as to whether or not a game is actually fun.

So you can write plans on paper or in excel, and you can have meetings brainstorming all the ideas you like. The results, however, are equivalent to air; you can’t give substance to something just by arguing and discussing it. With making games, I’ve realized you just won’t understand how something is until it’s actually in front of you.

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Whenever I had doubts when writing, I’d look to this: the scenario for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Next to it is part of Rising’s Abkhazia chapter.

If your game doesn’t have a strong link between the scenario and gameplay, obviously making a change to the gameplay shouldn’t affect the scenario. With the Metal Gear Series, however, this is a different story.

All the background info you get from each codec, every line said from each enemy, everything needs to be carefully integrated into the game. Only through this can the player actually feel like he’s Raiden, and has entered the world of Metal Gear Rising.

So even after you’re done writing the main story, you have to stick around and write codecs and enemy dialogue as the game is being made. If any changes are made to the game itself, you make adjustments, think of codec text that might better fit the situation, talk things out with planners or designers whenever you run into any trouble… it takes a lot of persistence to make it right. That’s why I kept finding myself in Osaka, over and over again.

In the end though, thanks to those business trips, and to Saito-san’s undying love for all things Metal Gear, I think we made a game that had a perfect fusion of PlatinumGames and Metal Gear.

In the pre-release events we’ve been doing around Japan and North America, we’ve received a lot of feedback that this game lives up to the Metal Gear name. If you’re a fan, you won’t be disappointed! The game is also full of the PlatinumGames brand excitement and has a story you don’t need to be up on the rest of the series to enjoy. For Platinum fans and action fans alike, this could be a good first step into the Metal Gear universe.

As crazy as it sounds, I actually got asked in an interview a few days ago, “Why does this game feel so Metal Gear?” I could only respond, well, that’s because it is Metal Gear!

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is out in stores now! Be sure to check the game out yourself!

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Reacting to Blade Mode

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PGTV

Hey everybody, my name is Hirokazu Takeuchi, and I’m in charge of character animation in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. I’m starting to worry that this katana I’ve been swinging around at my desk every day during development is going to cut somebody.

Gameplay in MGR centers on a concept other games haven’t touched; the freedom to cut any part of an enemy. From an animation standpoint, it took considerable trial and error to get this to work.

This blog is about some of those animations; in particular, what happens when an enemy is chopped up via Blade Mode, and how they react to that.

Up until now, most games that had dismemberment systems only allowed things to be cut in a predetermined fashion. Slicing the enemy in two, for example, would usually mean simply creating one animation of the upper body separating from the lower half.

We, however, have given the player freedom. We don’t know where they’re going to cut. They could choose to cut off a leg or an arm… they could cut horizontally, vertically, diagonally…

At the starting stages of development, there were different ways we tried to express this endless amount of possible reactions through procedural animations. Heads would fly or just plop off without relying on any canned animations.

Ultimately, though, these programmed reactions just couldn’t cross the threshold to become something we thought fully conveyed the intensity of the action, so we decided to undertake the slow, daunting task of creating animations for every thinkable dismemberment possibility.

We’d cut the enemy one way, add an animation, cut from a different angle, add another animation, repeating this process until the end of development, until we eventually were satisfied with the array of reactions we were able to get from each enemy.

These are only a fraction of the different reactions you will see in the game:

We tried creating as many animations per character as possible in order to give you the most satisfying gameplay experience we could, so cut from any direction you can think of and you will see scores of different reactions from each enemy character.

So start thinking about all the different angles you want to try out while waiting for the release!

Until then!

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January 15 Attacks with an Anarchic Revengeance of Bayonetta!

Bayonetta

Filed: Anarchy Reigns, Bayonetta, Community, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Hey, everyone! JP here.

January 15 has arrived with a Anarchic Revengeance of Bayonetta! Lots of updates to share today!

Play Anarchy Reigns with PG!

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Tomorrow at 11AM JST (9PM EST/6PM PDT), join PlatinumGames on PSN and Xbox Live to play some Anarchy Reigns. Send us a friend request now to get in on the fun, but also post your online service and ID down below so others can add you just in case you don’t make it into of our games. You can also organize great games by joining the community on our site (http://community.platinumgames.com) or one of the other boards where AR communities are growing like NeoGAF, Shoryuken, and GameFAQs.

On PS3, add PlatinumGamesJP to join in the fun. On Xbox 360, add the PG STAFF gamertag to hop into our games. We will also be broadcasting/taking questions on twitter/pglive.tv.

Follow us for all the latest updates! Just use the #PLAYWITHPG hashtag. And we will be giving out some Bayonetta DLC codes, so tune in!


New Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance trailer and demo update!

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is only a month away and things are heating up. The demo will be available worldwide on January 22, and you can also check out an exclusive trailer edited by Hideo Kojima himself right here.


Bayonetta Developer Commentary Part 55!

Finally, the Bayonetta developer commentaries hit part 55! Check it out below!

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Metal Gear Rising Demo Available 1/22

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PGTV

Great news! The Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance demo will be available for worldwide audiences on January 22.

While you count down the sections, why don’t you take a peak at this Hideo Kojima-edited gameplay trailer that Konami created for the game.

Don’t forget to contact your local retailer to learn about the limited editions/pre-order bonuses available in your territory!

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Staying True to Metal Gear

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames

Hey. I’m Kenichirou Yoshimura, a former designer at PlatinumGames who recently turned freelance. I designed enemies and side characters in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

Three days before I was about to leave Platinum to go freelance, without much left to do, I strolled over to the nearby Rising team to see if they needed any help. “I could design something small, if you wanted,” I said. Then I saw their designs – the art style could not have been further from the Metal Gear universe. Immediately, I slammed my fist on the director’s table. “You cannot put this in a Metal Gear game!” I told him. Before I knew it, my last three days at Platinum turned into over half a year.

I’ve played through the entire Metal Gear series and I share the same impressions as so many other fans – Shinkawa-san does unbelievable character and mech design. I collect all the art books like everyone else, (not to mention that I love Z.O.E., too.) so if you had told me I was going to be working on a Metal Gear game someday, I never would have believed you. Joining the team, I was as excited as I was terrified.

The first character I designed was Raiden’s rival, Sam. The director asked for “something samurai-like”, so I roughed out a few ideas.

A rough design for Sam.

A rough design for Sam

A rough design for Sam.

A rough design for Sam.

Another rough design for Sam.

Another rough design for Sam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He looks pretty naked in the first sketch here. In the second version of the sketches we’ve got him battle-ready…

The near-final rough design.

The near-final rough design.

After thinking over some different styles, we finally settled on going in the direction of that second pass. The key points to look at here are:
-Asymmetrical design. His right arm has been enhanced for faster blade drawing.
-The top of the sheath is structured like a gun from the inside out, again for enhancing blade drawing speed.

I argued with the director for a long time whether to have his base color be black with a white right arm, or be white with a black arm. I wanted the black body/white arm personally, but we opted to go with a white body/black arm to contrast with Raiden’s black color scheme, which I think was the right decision in the end.

Usually we’d be close to the final design at this stage, but to have things be true to Metal Gear, we needed to add that extra layer of detail. Once I got into it, all I can say is the detail is insane! (Every single part has it’s own specialized warnings and labels!) But even going through that process, I can’t say I was an expert on what it meant to be truly “Metal Gear.” I had to keep trying and failing, but by keeping all those Shinkawa-san artbooks close at hand, I was able to accomplish what I set out to do.

Sam's final design.

Sam’s final design.

Sam's final design - waist up.

Sam’s final design – waist up.

Sam's final weapon design.

Sam’s final weapon design.

Sam final design detail.

Sam final design detail.

Sam's weapon "saya" final design.

Sam’s weapon “saya” final design.

The sheath was designed by Platinum’s military buff, Muneyuki “Johnny” Kotegawa.

With these designs, my first priority was making sure that when a fan of Metal Gear plays Rising, they would feel they fit right alongside Shinkawa-san’s. I wanted what I designed to be deserving of the Metal Gear name.

So while Konami gave me the green light on most of my work with their initial check, next in line was always a meeting with Shinkawa-san, where he would tell me his opinion of my work directly (which, of course, scared me to death).

“You’ve set my mind at ease,” he said. I was elated.

The Metal Gear staff work hard to stay true to the Metal Gear world; PlatinumGames works hard to ensure quality gameplay. The chance to work with these two different sides of the project has taught me a lot. I’m truly honored to have been a part of this one!

All that’s left now is hoping you guys pick up the game and have a great time.
Until then… Farewell!

A picture of Sam that Shinkawa-san drew for me in an artbook during our meeting!

A picture of Sam that Shinkawa-san drew for me in an artbook during our meeting!

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The Concepts Behind Rising

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames

Hey. My name is Kenji Saito, I’m the director for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
243335_474659979244417_480338333_oIt’s been a year and a half now since I started working as Rising’s director. Shaving that “R” in my head when we first assembled our team is a fond memory of mine. If you’re reading this, what I’m going to talk about might not cover a lot of new ground, but I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss the game’s concept.

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When we were put in charge of Rising, our concepts for the game were something like this:
“Slicing that feels so good you could die.”
“A game with full blown, fast-paced action.”

We needed a few things to make this possible.
First of all, it was essential that we had fast response. As soon as you pressed a button, everything needed to respond with flawless timing: picture, sound, vibrations from the controller. Fortunately, this is one of PlatinumGames’s strengths. As you play Rising, you should feel everything in the game responding perfectly to your inputs.

Let’s go into some of the game’s more important features.

Blade Mode
This is a mode that allows free reign over Raiden’s blade. Players can enjoy simply slicing the enemy up, or carefully severing some extremities with pinpoint accuracy.  If you aim correctly and strike the enemy’s weak point… You’ll pull off a “Zandatsu”, allowing you to steal the enemy’s energy. 

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Parry
Like I wrote above, I wanted Rising to be a game with full-blown action. My stance was that defending shouldn’t be just blocking. I wanted attacks to be blocked with attacks, and I wanted defense that opens up an opportunity to attack. That’s what it means to “parry” in Metal Gear Rising.

Execution
In Rising, if you land a series of normal attacks in a short time, you will temporarily disable your opponent. This allows you to perform Blade Mode in slow motion, so you can quickly take out even the more formidable foes. Keep attacking the enemy and the opportunity to finish them off in style will present itself. This is called an execution.

There are a lot of other techniques that add to the game’s action. “Defensive offense,” for example, is a quick slash at the enemy performed while sidestepping their attack. The list goes on and on… But actually, it is better to play it yourself than to hear me talk about it forever! The downloadable demo will be available early next month, so try out how it feels to slice and dice in Rising yourself.

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The Rising Blog

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames

Hey. Atsushi Inaba here, producer for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

Time really does fly.

Looking back, it was just last December that Rising shook the 2011 Video Game Awards’ main event with its climatic debut, along with one piece of shocking news. “Developer: PlatinumGames.” The announcement was met with a storm of controversy both for and against. Soon, it was like a shockwave the size of a hurricane that carried the news to every corner of the world.

It has been a year since then, but it still feels like it was yesterday. Time really, really does fly. Which, I end up saying with every game I work on, but with this project in particular, time really seemed to go by at an abnormally fast pace.

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Usually, production on a game becomes busiest right near the end of its schedule. Literally every minute, every second feels crucial. In comparison, work is often a little more relaxed at the start. But not with regards to Rising. Not in the least.

Allow me to describe the situation with a metaphor: We dragged the whole team from their beds, put them in a fighter jet while they were still half asleep… the next moment catapulted off the carrier and flying at top speed.

That’s how the project started (or how I made it start?).

Still not fully grasping their surroundings, and in mid-panic at feeling gravity a few Gs higher than before, I gathered the team for an announcement. “We’re debuting at the Video Game Awards, so get started on a trailer!” I’ll never forget that moment. You could cut the tension in the room with a knife. But of course, they can all look back now and appreciate that moment… no, probably not. I take that back.

What led up to that sudden catapult off the carrier (starting work with Kojima Productions), is something I’ve already discussed in several interviews (like the one below), so I’ll omit that here.

At Platinum, we’re not so easily surprised. Still, I think the staff was pretty shocked when I told them, “We’re making Metal Gear Rising!” Kenji probably had a heart attack when I asked him, “Want to be the director? I need an answer right now.”

I really wanted to make this project happen, though. I remember all the plans I started making after I met with Kojima, to turn his proposal into a reality. In interviews I said, “I went for it because the thought of it excited me”, but I don’t want that to suggest I was simply impulsive.

What we at PlatinumGames make, if I were to say in short, can be defined by two words: “Pride” and “Dedication.”

Pride to think that, “If we make this, we can make it awesome!”
Pride to continuously expect more and more of ourselves.
Dedication to the principle that what we make should never disappoint our fans.
We want to be as sincere to those two words as possible.
That’s what PlatinumGames stands for.

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However, this project introduced a new challenge: making something that Kojima Productions and Metal Gear fans everywhere would approve of. Kojima Productions believed in our talent as an action game maker, and we set out to meet to those expectations. Moreover, we strove to create something that exceeds the expectations of every Metal Gear fan. By the end, we had expanded the range of gameplay experiences we provide as a developer. It gave new meaning to our idea of dedication. That’s what you’ll find inside this project. That’s why I wanted to do it. No matter what.

But a game isn’t a game if it isn’t fun. Even with some dramatic “Developer: PlatinumGames!” announcement, if it isn’t fun, what’s the point? What really matters is that.

We only had a trailer for the VGAs, but with E3 and TGS, we were able to show our game off in a booth prepped for tons of fans to try out a demo of the game. Thankfully, the feedback from fans we received at both events was overwhelmingly positive. We were able to see the “dedication” end of our promise coming through. That being said, we knew we weren’t completely there yet.

I’ve hinted at some of the struggles we’ve faced in this post, but after the announcement, this year has been filled to the brim with blood, sweat, tears, and laughter… Every day has been a challenge, and I bet the staff have three times as fast during this project. You’ll be able to hear what they were going through soon enough, directly from them, here on this site.

There is still just a little bit of time left until the release of Metal Gear Rising.

I hope this blog series will give you a sense of “So… this is what the creators were thinking while making the game.” as you wait for the game to be released.

Until next time!

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PAX Prime 2012 Report

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames

From August 31 to September 2, the PlatinumGames crew headed to Seattle to help Hideo Kojima and company celebrate 25 years of Metal Gear history; however, there was lots of Platinum goodness to be had on hand, and lots for our team to learn.

For instance, we were honored to spend part of Friday touring the headquarters of the incomparable Valve. Their lists of honors and awards is incredible, but it is even more amazing when you see them lined up.
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Their halls are a testament to creating incredible games and supporting the incredible people that make those games, so being able to learn how other talented teams do things/exchange ideas with these incredible people was inspiring to our team. Thanks to  Gabe, Alex, Erik, Dario, Jeep, Anna, and Matt and everyone else at Valve for sharing, caring, and for spending time with our team.

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Once Saturday hit, it was time for the real show to begin, starting with Mr. Kojima’s talk with Geoff from Spike TV going over the amazing longevity of the Metal Gear franchise. The anticipation was on high with over 3000 people filling the Paramount Theater for the discussion.

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The talk started up and Mr. Kojima had great things to say about PlatinumGames, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and even revealed the future of the Metal Gear Solid series, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, in an absolutely stunning trailer.

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After the show, we even had the opportunity to meet some great fans, including a Raiden cosplayer, and some fans who had their PlatinumGames collection ready to go. 

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Mr. Kojima also signed for a huge number of fans. It really made the team feel how awesome the opportunity, and the responsibility, of working on the Metal Gear franchise really is.

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However, it seems that the fans felt we were up to the challenge as the filled the Rising booth and lined up to pre-order the game and score a limited edition tshirt at the booth. 

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Rising wasn’t the only PlatinumGames title on display, as Project P-100 (Working Title) also was on hand in the Nintendo booth. Fans seemed to have a great time getting their hands on the awesome Wii U and our team of superheroes and lines were long every day of the show!

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Lots of other great games were on display; we were all especially excited to see our friends at Naughty Dog and their spectacular The Last of Us. The game looks amazing and their display area was equally creepy.
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We also got to catch up with our friends from Mega 64! They do a great job of making us laugh, and everyone at PlatinumGames are huge fans of their work.
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Finally, we checked out the final day of Valve’s DOTA2 “The International.” With seven figures of cash at stake, the Benaroya Hall was thick with tension, and the level of production Valve brought to the event spoke to how gaming can truly captivate not only gamers, but an audience. (JP: Now if only i had an idea of what was going on in the game… I will soon enough!)
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Thank you, Seattle! We had a great time and we hope to see you soon!
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METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE HITS THE VGAS!

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PGTV, PlatinumGames



REBOOTED: METAL GEAR SOLID: RISING becomes METAL GEAR RISING

METAL GEAR SOLID: RISING’s E3 2010 trailer won numerous “Best Trailer” awards and drew praise worldwide. At the 2011 VGAs, the game re-emerged as METAL GEAR RISING with an all-new trailer.

METAL GEAR RISING is being developed through a partnership between Kojima Productions and PlatinumGames, known for hit titles like Bayonetta and Vanquish, and this new development structure promises to set all-new standards for the action genre.

The main character, Raiden, was once feared as the child soldier “Jack the Ripper” on the front lines of the First Liberian Civil War. Now, his combat mastery is channeled through a cyborg body as the strikes from his high-frequency blade slice even massive assault drones in two.
Raiden is contracted for VIP protection, military training and other duties by PMSCs (Private Military and Security Companies) in a developing country piecing itself back together after a bloody civil war. Little does he know that the stage is set for a clash with an enigmatic force of countless cyborgs.

Reborn at the hands of PlatinumGames, METAL GEAR RISING pits cyborg against cyborg in battle that blazes past every human limit!

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An Unexpected Title Announcement

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames

Hello, Tatsuya Minami here. It’s been a while since I’ve spoken with you, and some time since I’ve written a blog. I wanted to give our fans more insight into recent events, but procrastination prevented me. You have my apologies.

Today’s announcement is a sudden one. PlatinumGames has a new title to share with you: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

Please refer to the press release for specifics, but PlatinumGames has partnered with Konami Digital Entertainment to lead development on MGR.

My enthusiasm for this announcement is somewhat different from our past works. MGR represents a fusion between an incredibly famous franchise known the world over and our own unique sense of creativity.

Since the founding of our company, each PlatinumGames title has been built from scratch as a completely original work. Our initial goal was to make a splash and thereby gain recognition in the game industry. I firmly believe the games we’ve released have convinced gamers around the world of PlatinumGames’s individuality.

Our basic stance and future path will not change. Put simply, our core tenets of creativity, surprise, inspiration, and—above all—making gamers happy will remain the same. We will build on those basics, leveraging them to broaden the work we produce.

Metal Gear Rising is a collaboration with Kojima Productions. It goes without saying we are well aware that Metal Gear is a storied franchise, beloved the world over. We are tremendously excited to bring our own sense of creativity to the landmark that is Metal Gear, and draw immense inspiration from the ideas it has laid out. In a collaborative sense, I believe the inspiration works both ways. We may not be able to reveal a great deal of information about MGR just yet, but I ask you to wait patiently for more.

PlatinumGames will forge ahead in actively pursuing surprising and unique game experiences, whether they be collaborative titles like MGR, or completely original IP. We hope you look forward to them.

As a Japanese developer, PlatinumGames will continue to deliver games globally. Our goal is always to “surprise”. Likewise, as the standard bearer for Japanese games, I believe we will continue to offer experiences that will delight and surprise gamers around the world.

Tatsuya Minami,
President and CEO

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