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!

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

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!

Tagged: , , , , , ,

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

Tagged: , , , , , , ,