Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Birthday Messages

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames

We’re not done celebrating Metal Gear Rising’s anniversary yet!
We’ve been giving away some goodies to our fans to celebrate MGR turning 1 year old (Congratulations to everyone who won!), but now it’s time to sit down and have a talk with the people behind the curtains.
First up, we got a message from Yuji Korekado (creative producer at Konami’s Kojima Productions)!

It’s been a whole year since the release of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. After being announced in 2009 as “Metal Gear Solid Rising,” it went through various ups and downs, before eventually being released as “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” thanks to the people at PlatinumGames.The goal of MGR was to create a new kind of Metal Gear game that, while still clearly inheriting the bloodline of the series, was more oriented at delivering exciting “cutting-edge” (haha) combat.Thanks to the support of all of our fans, we decided to release the “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – Ultimate Edition” last year, with all of the DLC included in one neat little package. We’re very happy to know that, even now, new players are still discovering the MGR experience.

Another goal we had when we created this game was to get people to understand the potential of the Metal Gear franchise to give birth to completely new types of games in the series. I think MGR did a good job of making this point.

The development process saw frequent and heated (in the positive sense!) exchanges of opinions and brainstorming sessions between the staff at PlatinumGames, with director Kenji Saito at the forefront, and our staff at Kojima Productions. It proved a very educational experience for all of us.

In the year since its release, we’ve had a variety of feedback from the people who played MGR. Some of it was music to our ears, and some of it made us lose some hairs, but that in itself was an educational experience as well. We learned a lot of things that we will surely be able to use for our next game.

If you’ve only just started playing MGR, or if you’re thinking of picking up the game soon, rest assured that we’ve put lots of mechanisms in place to give the game a lot of replay value. And above all else, remember that MGR is a game that’s all about exciting combat, so if you ever find yourself frustrated by something, just pick up this game and slice the stress away!

I hope you like Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and I hope you’ll continue to support the Metal Gear series in the future!

Yuji Korekado, Creative Producer at Kojima Productions

Konami Digital Entertainment

 

We asked our very own director Kenji Saito for some comments too!

 

Q: How do you feel when looking back on the past year?

Hey everyone! It’s director Kenji Saito. When we started producing MGR, I decided to cut my hair really short and shaving out some lines as an expression of determination, but nowadays it’s pretty much become my default hairdo.

Man, has it been a whole year!? Looking back (and this may be because it was my first job as a director), the entire process of deciding on how the system would work and how the game would play was just a long string of trial and error: creating and testing, creating and testing, over and over. I was buried under such a pile of work I thought I’d never be done (I didn’t even get to go to regular PlatinumGames events for two years straight…)

The thing I remember most is the Tokyo Game Show that was held in September of 2012. I got to watch a lot of people try out the game, which led me to rebalance the difficulty once again. I was even granted the chance to get on stage at the Konami booth (first time in my development life!), but I got so nervous that I just completely shut down, so it was a TGS full of humbling experiences for me.

Prior to the release, there were advertisements in magazines, on TV, and on internet media that were on a much larger scale than anything I had previously worked on, so I really felt the passion that Konami’s Kojima Production group puts into their promotions.

And after the release as well, I was touched to see how many players responded to us, and I learned a lot from all the feedback I got.

I still can’t believe it’s been a whole year since then…

Now that a year has passed, I’m sure there are lots of people who have already finished the game, but I hope you’ll still be picking up the game regularly, just to get that experience of being a cyborg ninja who goes around chopping enemy robots up into little pieces. I daresay there’s not many games that let you do that.

Never forget about “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance,” everyone!

Q: As a fan of the Metal Gear series*, is there anything you’re looking forward to for “METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES” (released in March 2014)? Can you tell us what you were talking about with Korekado-san on Twitter the other day? (*Kenji Saito is a huge fan of the Metal Gear series ;) )

To tell you the truth, I’ve been playing MGSV GZ ahead of everyone else. This game is another completely new Metal Gear experience. There’s a lot of things you can do and a lot of ways you can tackle the stages, so it’s made me even more excited about the upcoming “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain”!

Did you know that Raiden will make his appearance in a special mission called “Jamais Vu” on the Xbox One / Xbox 360®? The Raiden in “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” is going to be a bit different from the one in MGR, and he’ll definitely be a sight to see!

Kenji Saito, director at PlatinumGames Inc.

Sorry everyone at Kojima Productions! We were just so excited about this game we couldn’t help ourselves! :D

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance 1st Anniversary Contest!

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

February 19th marks the 1st anniversary of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

To celebrate, PlatinumGames is holding a contest for our fans!

There are three ways to participate:

1) Download an interactive cuttable screensaver!
Download an MGR screensaver by liking us on Facebook! It allows you to reenact Blade Mode from MGR with your mouse cursor.

2) Tell us something you love about MGR!
Tweet about something you love from MGR using the hashtag #mgrcontest to be entered into a drawing to win 1 of 10 prize packs: a code for the Steam version of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance* and an MGR T-shirt.

*Before entering the drawing for the Steam code, please confirm the game is available in your region.

3) Make us an MGR-related video!
Using Vine or Instagram, tweet a video that has some connection to MGR. What kind of connection? That’s up to you! Don’t forget to include the hashtag #mgrcontest.

MGR-relevant videos will be entered into a drawing for 1 of 5 grand prizes:
-An MGR soundtrack signed by the artists. (3)
-A Raiden figure by Play Arts Kai (1)
-A limited-edition Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance PUMA down coat (1)

RaidenPlayArts2

Soundtrackcds

T-shirt

BDNsWdcCAAABTjc

Contest details:

Contest period: 2 days
Start time: Wednesday, February 19th 00:01 PST (03:01 EST)
End time: Thursday, February 20th 23:59 PST (02:59 EST)
Entry Limit: 1 per prize** (once for the Steam code / T-shirt, once for the soundtrack / jacket / figure)

**Feel free to post as many tweets / videos as you like, but your name will only be entered into each drawing once.

Check Facebook, Twitter, or this blog on Friday to find out if you won!

Follow us on Twitter for all the latest PlatinumGames news and events.

Good luck everyone!

Tagged: , , , , , ,

More Behind the Scenes of the MGR Soundtrack

METAL GEAR RISING

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

Hi all, JP here again with more behind-the-scenes of the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance soundtrack. 

First of all, a thank you for the overwhelming response to the previous blog. It has been great fun to read all of your comments regarding your favorite tracks, and it is clear to everyone here how much you love the soundtrack! Hopefully we get to make a second one… and even better!
Now on to the artists that we didn’t get to touch upon during the previous blog.

jcm
Jason rehearsing with Nita Strauss.

Jason Charles Miller
Jason is the incredibly tall and imposing singer behind the band God Head, but his geek credentials go far past that. He’s been a voice actor of tons of games, participated in gamer-focused Youtube video projects with the likes of Felicia Day (Gamer Girl, Country Boy), and is just generally tons of fun to hang out with.
Jason’s creativity and energy really brought an awesome spin to the MGR soundtrack. Rules of Nature would have never been Rules of Nature without his shouting and ability to change gears on the fly; however, he gets even more credit for Red Sun. Red Sun was actually going to be performed by a European speed metal singer, but an untimely stage accident prevented this from happening. We walked into the studio without a clue how to salvage the song, but Jason just stood in front of the mic and came up with an incredible take of Type-O Negative-style vocals that took the track in an entirely new direction. With Kenji Saito watching on via Skype we kept pushing further until we arrived at the final product. It became a weird combination of darkness and beauty that is the perfect fit for our dear friend Sundowner.
While Jason still has a metal streak in him, he is becoming increasingly successful at merging rock and roll music with his country roots. Make sure to check out his work before Nashville steals him away from games! You can listen to his work at http://www.jasoncharlesmiller.com or follow him on twitter at 

Kit Walters
Kit Walters is a far prettier man than I can ever hope to be. He is also more likely to melt your face off with awesome vocals. Just take a listen to Stains of Time or A Soul Can’t Be Cut. What is interesting about Kit is that his personal music lends more towards the pop/dance realm. That being said, Metal Gear Rising wouldn’t be what it is without him! Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the studio when Kit recorded his vocals, and he wasn’t able to make the live show, so I haven’t had the chance to meet him and congratulate him on the absolute ass-kicking job he did on Stains of Time. I guess I’ll just have to fix that next time. You can follow Kit at .

Jimmy Gnecco
Jimmy Gnecco is best known as the lead singer of Ours, a moody, incredible band that is touring the country right now. His talent is unquestionable and this has made him a prolific singer. From recording a duet for the Spider-Man 2 soundtrack with Brian Eno of Queen, to being one of the first choices to replace Scott Weiland in Velvet Revolver, Jimmy’s voice is so unique and his vocal range so incredible that you feel like you are being compelled to listen to his tracks just to hear what he sings next.
On MGR, we gave Jimmy the two-part task of bringing the final battle to life. What resulted was a track that many of you feel is the best on the CD, It Has To Be This Way, and it’s co-part Collective Conciousness. I’d write more about the tracks, but the best thing for you to do is just go listen to them. They say everything for themselves.
You can follow Jimmy’s exploits and get tourdates for Ours at http://www.jimmygnecco.com.

graeme
Graeme rehearsing with Johnny Death.

Graeme Cornies
A special shout-out to Graeme Cornies. Graeme runs a music production company in Toronto called Voodoo Highway that has produced music for film, tv, animation, commericals, and of course games! Not only does he sing three tracks on the soundtrack, more than any other singer, he also played guitars, wrote lyrics, and even co-wrote the end theme. Graeme is also a voice actor based in Toronto, so he is no stranger to gaming.
When schedules were tight and we needed a special touch, Graeme was the go-to guy, and he never disappointed. He was also the first singer we recorded for the project, in a multi-point Skype chat linking LA, Osaka, and Toronto together. Even with the distance separating us, hearing him sing “Time to leave them all behind!” over the internet was the first time that I knew for sure that our soundtrack was going to be special. Thanks for all the incredibly hard work under crazy circumstances, Graeme. I know you’ve made plenty of new fans because of it, not the least of which a room full of game developers in Osaka. You can follow Graeme on twitter at , and check out Voodoo Highway at http://www.voodoohighwaymusic.com.

Finally, I want to give a shout out to some of the session musicians who made both the soundtrack and the live show so amazing:

Ralph Alexander – Ralph is a young, up and coming drummer on the LA scene and was responsible for the amazing live drumming (along with Damien Rainaud) on the soundtrack. Yep, those were all live drums, and yep, he really is that good. Before he joins a mega-band, becomes famous, and quits taking our calls, I wanted to thank him publicly for all his hard work. You can follow Ralph and his crusade to bring more blues rock to the masses with his band The Heavy Heavy Hearts and download their first EP for free at: https://www.facebook.com/TheHeavyHeavyHearts

nita_strauss

Nita Strauss – If you have a guitar, you probably wish you could play like Nita. Unless, of course, you are Nita, and then you just make everyone look bad. When it came time to find someone to play the Dragonforce-style parts of Stains of Time, Nita was our first choice. In fact, I’ll never forget when Jamie said that he found “this girl who can really shred.” Understatement of the millennium. For updates on her bands Consume the Fire and The Iron Maidens, follow her category 5 mayhem at .

Johnny Death – Another man who plays guitar like he could rip your head off, and looks the part too. Johnny brought a really awesome edge to our tracks and our live show. He brings that same edge to his amazing band Before The Mourning, who just put out their first music video and also have a Free EP for download. Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/BeforeTheMourning.

Finally, special thanks to Jussi Ilmari, Ron Underwood, and Howard Jones for stepping in and performing at the live show.

Jussi Ilmari is a highly in-demand songwriter/producer who has worked with everyone from Before the Mourning to FloRida to Paul Van Dyk! Follow him at !

theband
The band on stage with Ron.

Ron “Thunderwood” Underwood is the Thunder behind the mic for the LA band 9electric. 9electric is loud and awesome. If you like the MGR soundtrack, you are going to love their stuff. Check them out at http://www.9electric.com.

Howard Jones is most famous for being more awesome and famous than most modern metal singers. Being in Killswitch Engage will do that for you. Now he is on to his next project, but he was kind enough to fill-in for Jimmy Gnecco and rock “It Has To Be This Way” live for us. Also, he confessed to being a huge gamer on stage. Be sure to give his next project lots of love when it surfaces. (P.S. Sorry there isn’t any video of Howard’s performance! It was something special for attendees!)

There were so many talented musicians on the soundtrack and live show that it seems almost unfair to only shine the spotlight on a few of them. If I’ve offended you by your lack of inclusion, just leave me a nasty notes in the comments and I will be sure to plug your next project on my twitter or next blog post! I promise.

However, just in case I miss anyone, I wanted to share the full lyrics and credit list to the CD with everyone reading the blog. I know there has been some debate on the lyrics, and those of you who purchased the CD online didn’t get a booklet, so here is the next best thing! It also gets me off the hook because it has credits for everyone who performed on the CD!

DOWNLOAD THE LYRICS BOOKLET

That’s all she wrote folks! If you have any questions about the soundtrack, feel free to ask me on twitter!

P.S. Nope. I didn’t forget! Congrats to these three lucky fans who won signed CDs! Derek Rich, Mike Oshiro, and Andreas von Perbandt, we will be in touch to get your info!

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Behind the Scenes of the MGR Soundtrack

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Hey everyone. JP here with that long promised behind the scenes of the soundtrack. In a previous blog, Music Director Naoto Tanaka introduced some of the composers working on the project; I’d like to take a chance to introduce some of the other performers that made Metal Gear Rising sound as great as it did.

Ferry Corsten

Ferry Corsten is one of the world’s most famous DJs, having been a perennial presence at the top of the DJ Magazine Top 100 DJs, as well as hosting his own radio show globally, and releasing some of the most anthemic dance music tracks ever. His new dance music supergroup with DJ/producer Markus Schulz, New World Punx, just rocked Madison Square Garden with an incredible set on March 30. Whether it is DJing at the world’s biggest festivals, remixing artists like U2, The Killers, or producing amazing tracks with amazing artists, Ferry is at the forefront of the dance music scene.
He also happens to be a friend of mine, so when it came time to bring an electronic vibe to one of our boss tracks, I knew he would be a great addition to the soundtrack. “The Hot Wind Blowing” is the fruit of that collaboration, and you can instantly tell it has a different vibe from many of the other tracks in the game. As Ferry describes in the video above, the challenge of taking some of the cool synths that are so prevalent in dance music and marrying that with MGR’s brand of metal was something he was excited to try, and working with Jamie Christopherson, the resulting sound will rock your speakers when the Blade Wolf DLC pack hits later this spring!
Follow Ferry:

http://www.ferrycorsten.com

http://www.facebook.com/ferrycorsten

http://www.youtube.com/ferrycorsten (JP note: Check out his amazing set at MADISON SQUARE GARDEN!)

John Bush
_DSC6133
John Bush (pictured far left) is one of the most legendary vocalists in metal history. Whether singing for his own band, Armored Saint, or his stint as the lead vocalist of Anthrax, John is one of the most respected voices in metal. He was even invited to become the vocalist for Metallica before the job went to James Hetfield.
On MGR, John sings two tracks for us – The Hot Wind Blowing and Return to Ashes. Listen to both tracks and you will hear classic John Bush vocals – he never holds anything back and every track he sings on has incredible power. (P.S. I’m sorry I don’t have a better picture of John singing! I was too busy headbanging!!)
John Bush appears courtesy of Metal Blade records. You can follow his exploits via Armored Saint at http://www.armoredsaint.com/.

Free Dominguez
free
Free Dominguez is the only female vocalist on the Rising soundtrack, featured on “A Stranger I Remain,” Mistral’s theme. She is best known for her work in Kidneythieves, an industrial metal band she formed with guitarist/engineer Bruce Sommers. Personally, I’ve been a huge Kidneythieves fan since 1988, so it was a dream from the outset to get Free on the soundtrack for Mistral, and luckily I was able to convince Tanaka-san and game director Kenji Saito that she was the right woman for the job. Apparently, it was Free’s dream as well, as she wrote in 2010, “A giant vision fell in my lap about the next batch o songs …. It was of a futuristic KALI, slicing thru city streets at 4 a.m., destroying all, preserving few, whilst singing sweet lullabies.” Sometimes things are simply serendipitous. A Stranger I Remain is the sweet lullaby… with a HF blade and a dwarf gecko arm!
Free currently has a solo album in the pipeline that will be releasing shortly. Check her out at http://freedominguez.com/, or follow her!

Tyson Yen
photo
Tyson Yen may be familiar to video game fans – his previous band, Drist, was featured in a famous music game with their song Decontrol. That is where I first hear his voice. After Drist, Tyson formed a band called State Line Empire which went on to win Guitar Center’s “Your Next Record with Slash” contest.
Tyson is Sam’s singer. You can hear him on “The Only Thing I Know For Real,” as well as a special version of “A Soul Can’t Be Cut” that is featured in the Jetstream DLC. The thing I love about Tyson’s voice is that it cuts really cleanly even though there is a bit of gruffiness to it. Kinda like Sam’s grin.
Follow Tyson:

http://www.tysonyen.com

Also, we are giving away three copies of the soundtrack signed by all of our live band, singers, composers and Ferry, too!
cds
To win, just like us on Facebook and leave a comment in the post about this blog with which track is your favorite and why! http://www.facebook.com/platinumgames

Then come back soon for more information on the other singers on the project, and a look at some of the talented musicians who played a part in making the soundtrack a reality. We’ll also announce the CD winners, and post a downloadable lyric sheet for everyone who purchased the digital version of the soundtrack!

See you soon!

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

MGR Jetstream DLC Available Now!

METAL GEAR RISING

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

From NBC News, April 9, 2013: Temperature suddenly plunges 55 degrees in Colorado: ‘It’s just brutal’

Blizzard warnings were in effect Tuesday in Colorado, where the temperature plunged more than 50 degrees in less than 24 hours and the wind chill approached zero. Wyoming got more than a foot of snow, and forecasters said hurricane-force blasts of frigid air were possible in Utah.
The culprit is a deep dip in the jet stream that swung west and pulled arctic air far into the country. As it collides with warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, strong storms and tornadoes are possible in the Great Plains and Texas.

Jet stream? Maybe Jetstream Sam. Play as Sam and learn how he came to join the Desparado clan in the second release of Metal Gear Rising DLC available today on XBL and PSN!

Still on the fence? Check out the DLC Trailer!

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

001

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!

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Geared Up For Metal (And some dubstep)

METAL GEAR RISING

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

This is Naoto Tanaka, music director for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Rising’s soundtrack is going to be released alongside the game, and I can’t wait for both. For this entry, I’d like to talk about the music we made for the game.

The Metal Gear series was one of the first games to adopt Hollywood-style production methods. The soundtracks for these games are like something out of a movie; one of the reasons why the experience is so immersive. For Rising, we went to Jamie Christoperson, another composer who who just happens to reside in the apex of the movie making world.

Listen to the Tokyo Game Show trailer and I think you’ll be able to hear how talented he is:

Those who have played the demo might also remember the music that played in the town or on the coastline. Jamie made unique pieces for this scene using traditional instruments from Abkhazia, a country facing the Black Sea, and the setting for this chapter.

For the battle scenes, a pivotal part of any action game, I decided to the game needed to switch gears from movie soundtracks to metal. Jamie was able to find a powerful ally to join our music production team: Logan Mader, original guitarist for the metal band Machine Head. I’m not especially well-versed in metal myself, but I know the name Machine Head, and I think his cooperation in the game’s music might come as a surprise to a few metal fans.

So don’t just expect Hollywood-style cinematic tracks; Rising also comes with enough metal (complete songs, with lyrics and vocals) to fill an entire CD. I think the vocal songs are powerful and add to the appeal of the game.

At this point, we were sure the game had a solid soundtrack, but we wanted to take the metal tracks a step further. We decided to remix the vocal tracks to make them really fit the game.

One of the artists we came across was a dubstep outfit known as the Maniac Agenda. Their ability to intelligently remix metal tracks, coupled with their love for video games, made them perfect for the project. If you ever listen to their original material, you’ll see that it doesn’t stray that far from the sound of their Rising remixes.

I also decided to have some remixes handled internally at PG as well. Akira Takizawa, a member of our sound team, was who I tapped, as I knew he’d be perfect for the job. One of his remixes, which you can hear during the fight with LQ-84i, has already received praise from those who’ve tried the demo. While the game isn’t out yet, those positive comments have put me at ease.

As you can see, the music of Rising couldn’t have been possible with just one person. It was a team effort, and each member’s unique style came together to create the music of the game.

Finally, a bit about the soundtrack CD themselves. There are two different CD releases scheduled. The first is the Metal Gear Rising OST, part of the limited edition package, which features the instrumental tracks from the game. The second CD is called “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Vocal Tracks,” which like its name implies, features all the vocal tracks from the game. The contents of both CDs have no overlap, so only by getting both soundtracks will you be able to complete a full collection of music from the game. I’m sorry if this is sounding like a sales pitch, but I wanted to make sure fans aren’t misled by the multiple packages and make the right purchases. There are plenty of times that a lack of information has led me to purchase the wrong soundtrack myself.

vocaltracks

I hope you enjoy the game’s music and, of course, the game itself! Nothing would make me happier as a composer.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Cast of Cut-Ups

METAL GEAR RISING

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

Hi everyone!

During development, I started to imagine how my daily surroundings would look after being sliced up a bit. Which is worrisome, I know… My name’s Masaki Yoritomi (call me Tomi), I’m in charge of character modeling.

For this entry I’d like to talk about Rising’s most original feature: characters that you can dismember part by part, limb by limb.

Those of you who’ve played the demo I’m sure already know this, but Raiden’s sword can be freely manipulated to cut up almost everything in almost any thinkable way possible. When you cut something in two, however, two new surfaces form from the area you sliced. This means, we have to provide possible surfaces for any kind of cut. For example, take this watermelon here…

スイカ断面

Slash! One slice and we get to see the typical insides of a watermelon.

But adjust the settings a tad and…

ミカン断面

Slash! Huh!?

ミカンスイカ断面

Slash! Ummmm…? What the…

By changing a few figures, we can switch the surface to anything we want. In the example above, the formula for horizontal cuts give us an orange and vertical cuts give us a watermelon. These kinds of settings normally wouldn’t be necessary for a watermelon, as it is a sphere where the insides look the same no matter what angle you cut it from. Enemy characters, on the other hand, are a different story. Take a look at the following pictures and see if you can guess the enemy?

月光断面

Here is your answer:

月光断面個所

When we start dealing with mechs and cyborgs, we need to prepare different surfaces for each part of the body. If we cut the head, we need to get something that looks like a cutaway of the head. We also need to do the same with the arms, the legs, the hands… And you need to prepare different surfaces for different angles of cuts as well! The insides should look different depending on whether you cut vertically, horizontally, sideways, and so on.

Can you just imagine how many possibilities do we have to make?!

Eventually, we realized we’d have to not only design what characters looked like from the outside, but from the inside as well. We’d spend late nights discussing things like “How should this guy should look like this from this angle?” and “There should be a bone here, right?”

メカ断面

“Umm… this should be like this here. These parts here should go here…”

Playing the game normally, a lot of these surfaces would be hard to notice, but we were rather particular on how each detail was designed. But now that Metal Gear Rising’s release is getting so close that you could do a countdown by seconds, be sure to check out the enemies’ insides when you play the game, too!

仔月光断面

Slash!

Until next time!

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rising and the Role of the Programmer

METAL GEAR RISING

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

Nice to meet you, I’m Tetsuro Noda, Lead Programmer for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

When making a game, game designers (particularly the director) bring ideas to artists, who turn these ideas into materials for the game. The programmer’s role in development is to take these materials and, following the game designers’ plans, structure them into the game.

noda01

At a glance, the seeming complexity of stringing together a lot of operations and formulas may have a few of you thinking, “Wow! Programmers are pretty neat!” The real work we do, however, isn’t really as complex as you’d make it out to be. Some of the stuff that we do does require some critical thinking, but it’s not like every programmer does nothing but intense coding all the time. I’m not good at any of that complicated stuff myself, so I just toss it to other programmers on the team.

Then there might be some of you who think we all just pound away at our keyboards all day in complete silence, but feel free to remove that thought from your head. In reality, that would slow things down more than it would be helpful.

So we don’t do a lot of complex of work and we don’t live in front of our keyboards. “Then what do you do?!” would be the next logical question. Like I mentioned above, our job is to take what the artists give us and put it into the game, following the game designers’ guidelines, but we only follow these guidelines closely, not exactly. It wouldn’t be as interesting if we just worked in everything as we’re told, without adding our own touch. (But I don’t want you to make the mistake that all we do is protest everything the director asks of us… The director’s ideas form the base; we simply rework some of the details.) Still, as we are changing things on our own, we have to explain ourselves to the game designers and artists pretty often. Sometimes we even have to try and stand our ground against game designers and artists that pull a lot more weight than we do. Every now and then you can see droopy-headed programmers returning to their seats after losing a dispute.

But I digress… The alpha and omega of Metal Gear Rising, the ability to cut through enemies at any point and angle, was also responsible for giving a few programmers a heap of trouble. I’ve asked two of them to speak about that here, so let’s see what they have to say.

Our first guest is Takashi Wagatsuma, who programmed Blade Mode:

Takashi Wagatsuma and Programming Blade Mode

noda02

The guidelines I received for Blade Mode were touched upon in the director’s blog entry, but to go over them again, they were as follows:

Have a heavy focus on response, allowing the player to shred the enemy to pieces with their katana.

Let the player be able to carefully adjust the positioning and angle at which they want to cut.

Give enemies a weak point that, when cut by the player, gives the player a chance steal energy from the area they cut (a.k.a. “Zandatsu).

Actualizing these requests involved some heated discussion among the team and a lot of trial and error. For example:

-How the left and right sticks should be used to control character movement, camera movement, and the angle and positioning of your katana.

-Should strikes in Blade Mode follow after the player’s motions, or should they be focused on camera direction?

-When entering Blade Mode, should the camera angle shift to where the player is facing, or to focus on the enemy? Or should it not shift at all?

-When the player uses Blade Mode to cut several things successively, in order to not overstrain the game’s system, what minimum amount of time do we need to allow between strikes?

Etc., etc.

The controls we settled on were as follows:

The right stick in Blade Mode is used to rotate the angle at which Raiden will cut, while the left stick is used to adjust where Raiden is facing and the cut’s elevation. Using both sticks allows the player complete control over where to slice their sword.

Bringing the stick from the outside to the center (by releasing your hold) will cause Raiden to slice across the line appearing on the screen. Moving the stick in a direct line will cause Raiden to slice after a certain distance has been input; the □ and △ (X and Y for 360) will cause horizontal and vertical strikes, respectively.

When the player enters Blade Mode, we wanted our priorities to be on letting the player swiftly cut where they aim. To do this, we made sure the first strike in Blade Mode always follows the path displayed by the line on the player’s screen.

Furthermore, pushing down on the left stick while in Blade Mode will cause the camera to stay fixed in position and enable the player to move Raiden.

Multiple strikes don’t require line direction input to pass through the center of the stick; moving the stick in directions slightly off center will still cause Raiden to slice.

Decisions such as where the camera should go when the player enters Blade Mode caused arguments that continued on into the final stages of development. Several different views existed on how Blade Mode should work, and determining what to adopt into the system proved to be a tremendous task.

Well? I think you can surmise from his tone that he’s lost his share of disputes. What he wrote, though, is what really goes on, and by having these disagreements over and over, eventually we end up with something a lot more interesting than we had before.

I feel sorry for the battle scars he had to endure along the way, but I believe you’ll be able to see the results of his efforts when you play the game and experience how thoroughly developed Blade Mode really is.

Our second guest is a system programmer, Tsuyoshi Odera. Odera-san is behind Rising’s concept of being able to cut any part of an enemy. His involvement is a little different from Wagatsuma-san’s; while Wagatsuma-san stays out in the open, Odera-san works more behind the scenes. Odera-san might be close to everyone’s idea of what a programmer is.

A Programmer/Dismembering Specialist: Tsuyoshi Odera.

noda03

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance uses PlatinumGames’ own game engine. At first, our engine wasn’t capable of doing something like cutting through an opponent anywhere, so I had to make it so that it could. I looked at official trailers and other game data from Metal Gear Solid: Rising and tried to make our engine fit with what I saw.

I assumed it wouldn’t be so difficult implementing this concept into the system, and in actuality it only took around three months until we were able to make objects that could be cut. Just implementing the concept, however, doesn’t make it a game. This freedom to cut anywhere turned out to use an amount of memory far greater than any other processes in the system. In order to implement the concept into the game smoothly, we adjusted the process so it would be distributed over multiple frames. We calculated the speed at which Raiden swings his sword and made sure the process would be finished before the end of the swing, and it would feel right to the player. This, along with a few other techniques, helped us to create a kind of cutting freedom that players haven’t often been able to experience in other action games until now.

The way he writes just screams “programmer!” Don’t you think? It’s probably that cool, stoic tone he has. Contradictory to the cool guy he’s trying to play off here, however, he clashed opinions with other members of the team quite frequently. I can still remember him yelling “You can’t cut that much!”and “You can’t cut that off!” and “You’re cutting too much!!” The memories.

Thank you for your time, you two!

If we were to introduce any other programmers in here, I’m sure they’d sound more or less the same: plenty of stories about the all out warfare disagreements that happen around the office. I’ve heard enough cries of “What…?!” and “You can’t actually expect me to do that…!” for two lifetimes.

Sorry! Think I wrote a little too much. Thanks for reading everything. When Rising is released, be sure to take a moment of silence for everyone on our team who died so that you could play it (aside: no one actually died).

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Launch Events

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames

Konami just announced details about North American and South American Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Launch Events.

You will be able to join PlatinumGames Producer Atsushi Inaba at the Los Angeles and Mexico City events, and the first 150 people to join the Los Angeles Event will be invited to a special launch party that will feature a live band performing the Metal Gear Rising soundtrack led by lead composer Jamie Christopherson! It will be an amazing event, so make sure to arrive early!

And make sure to follow PlatinumGames and JP on twitter for more details leading up to the event.

MGR Launch Event Media Alert_FINAL

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,