Kojima explains why it’s important to take charge of the little details

On Twitter, Kojima talked about what according to him are the differences between making a movie and designing a game.

“Game creation is different from film making. Let’s say we imagine “a hallway the player is meant to walk down according to the game design. The hallway has meaning in the plot as well as the game design. Is the purpose to deliver the story, to practice the controls, to show the scenery, or to add rhythm to the game play? A variety of possibilities exist. As the game development proceeds, the details need to be fleshed out. How about the lighting, the walls of the hallway, how long is it and how high is the ceiling?”

“Can doors be opened? Who else walks down the hallway? How does player feel at this moment in the game? What kind of music/sound should be used? Everyday we carefully test these details and refine them until they are clear. At the same time, there is a never ending stream of revisions based on the plot, gameplay, the map layout, as well as dealing with technical hurdles.”

“There are other various details to consider, like adding a crank turn to the hallway, is it possible to add NPCs, how to fix poor gameplay tempo, making the characters stand out, or even whether to show the ceiling in cutscenes. Almost everyday revisions are made depending on the point in the game development process.”

“An action game can never be completed by ordering from a blueprint and assembling parts off a factory line. If decision making and supervision are delayed, production efficiency drops, and that leads to redoing work. In order to avoid this trap, one must make small daily adjustment on site while creating the game. When everything is outsourced, the parts that come back just don’t fit together. That is why it’s important to take charge of the little details everyday.”

“The feeling of gameplay in a single hallway, the concept, the visuals, the controls, the story hints, the map, the sound, the directions, all those are important to the overall game. Scripts and gimmicks change everyday. This is what it means to make games, a process completely different from the concept ->script->game design->preproduction ->shooting->postproduction process of film.”

In an online series published last year, Kojima spoke about how he creates story within his games, and how development changes the details on a daily basis. It’s this kind of flexibility required from a game director that he also seems to be referring to in his current comments. For his new studio, he specifically wants to avoid a ‘factory’ method of game development, where everyone has their own defined role. For this reason he’s keeping the new Kojima Productions somewhat limited in size.

Source: Hideo Kojima Twitter

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  • one must make small daily adjustment on site while creating the game. When everything is outsourced, the parts that come back just don’t fit together. That is why it’s important to take charge of the little details everyday.

    I think this depends on who are you working with. If the outsource company is trusted, you can do some amazing things with it. Uncharted 4 had more outsource developers working on it than the whole Naughty Dog studio on it and in the end they made a decent action game while Mass Effect: Andromeda facial animation was outsourced to St. Petersburg studio and the end result was poor at best.

    Guerrilla Games worked with Brazilian studio to create some of the robots for their game and it was fine: http://www.kokkuhub.com/home/horizon-zero-dawn/
    They did all of the mounts, shell worker and corruptors for the story.

    • Full Options

      Maybe he is not really that annoyed by out-sourcing but just underlining that such co-operation involve a little more noise to clean up on a daily basis, when compared with using 100% in-house resources.

  • HoxtoniteIsLoveHoxtoniteIsLife

    I can’t believe this is the same guy who made mgs4,pw and mgsv and produced the shitty castlevania games .

    • Metacritic:

      MGS4: 94
      MGSPW: 89
      MGSV: 93
      CLoS: 85 (even though this isn’t really Kojima’s game to begin with)

      • Eugene Voldo

        To this day it’s a mystery for me why MGS:PW and MGS4 had such a high scores. MGSV has a great gameplay and for me it’s all that matters (“Story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It’s expected to be there, but it’s not that important.” – John Carmack). I have only one explanation: it was a dark time for a game journalism. After all, even Mass Effect 2 had 97/100 or something on Metacritic. And if someone’s going to say “ME2 deserves it” I’ll just smile politely and upvote you, because “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” (Voltaire).

        • Alexa Danielle Bresee

          MGS4 and PW both have great gameplay as well… perhaps not quite enough of it in MGS4’s case, but what is there is still amazing, and going for medals gives a lot of replay value

        • It’s just because a lot of people thought (and still think) they are great games.

          • HoxtoniteIsLoveHoxtoniteIsLife

            Opinions are like the anus .Everyone has one and they smell . Mgs4 has amazing gameplay and level design,Pw has great mission structure and dialogue and V has amazing AI. But there are very noticeable stains on those games that prove that either Konami whipped Kojima like a bull(metaphor) or he was drained to death by the work he imposed on himself

          • radun

            Everything has flaws.

          • HoxtoniteIsLoveHoxtoniteIsLife


        • No Place For Hayter

          I stopped caring about game ratings a LONG time ago. It’s not just the industry being corrupt and shit, but there are so many people out there that either have shit taste or don’t understand what makes a game good or bad to an even remotely objective scale.

          Now that I think about it, its like the game industry is the same as the Anime industry, its filled with so much shit and so many people with bad taste partake in it and rate things that the ratings themselves never mean anything and you have to find out everything for yourself. This is why I despise ratings and shitty CGI trailers, I want to see gameplay before and after launch before I make a purchase.

          • MrVux007

            “remotely objective scale.”

            The only thing that you can observe objectively in games is Resolution, FPS, Quantity of bugs encountered, Estimated game length (tho even that is semi subjective).

            The rest is pretty much subjective, from elements such as graphics and gameplay to presentation,narrative and soundtrack.

            “but there are so many people out there that either have shit taste or don’t understand what makes a game good or bad”

            And there are plenty more who have great taste or do understand what makes a good and/or bad game.

          • No Place For Hayter

            Sorry about the super late reply, been kinda busy >.<

            Yep. That's why it takes a carefully constructed person to actually be able to review things. And I believe things are far more objective then you do, so agree to disagree there, labeling most things as subjective IMO is just an easy way to be nice and include everyone while at the same time rendering any discussion pointless as you are just throwing around subjective comments around not real solid point, its like talking in fiat conversion instead of a conversation backed with gold (lol). IMO "graphics and gameplay to presentation,narrative and soundtrack." are objective points, which can be discussed within subjective terms and ideas, but when talking specifically about a game these things have clear objective natures which can be examined and talked about, specifically about how well they work with each other, for example whether or not the music is "great" or "bad" is subjective (unless its really shitty, AKA having a super low DR value thus rendering the music impossible to hear and complete shit) but whether the music fits with the themes of the game and whether or not the music is well used and well placed within the game for specific reasons is objective and can be talked about and valued. IMO one should not be reviewing anything if they consider too much to be subjective, because instead of presenting a well constructed analyses of points which the reviewer has boiled down to objective points, one would present a simple construction of personal opinion of preference which should never get anywhere near of review of anything. Well that's how I see it anyway, lol, sorry about the wall of text, just wanted to throw at ya how I see the whole thing.

          • MrVux007

            Interesting, mind proving your point how you can OBJECTIVLY review MGS4, for example?

            Because unless you are an expert in programming/animations , have inept knowledge of the game engine (as in, having an working experience with it), have knowledge on cinematography, have knowledge on writing scripts or even writing song lyrics and composing music…if you have none of those then observing possible “mistakes” aka observing things objectively is simply impossible.

            That is like putting an work inspector onboard a ship that has absolutely no knowledge on navigation and cargo handling.People onboard might do the job (as in get the ship to a port and load/unload the cargo) and he will subjectivly say that we did a “fine” work, but without the knowledge required he couldn’t have pointed out objective mistakes (as in sticking to safety and navigation regulations which he knows nothing about).

            So unless you are an expert in mentioned things, I will have to strongly disagree with you.

          • radun

            Yeah, because the movie industry or music industry (or any other) are so great nowadays. Most products are crappy cash-ins, meant to quickly ‘please’, just enough so that we move on to the next one.

          • HoxtoniteIsLoveHoxtoniteIsLife

            What a load of fucking bullshit
            You probably watch shit films and listen to shit
            Listen to real stuff like Gramatik
            And watch nocturnal animals if you want an amazing film

          • No Place For Hayter

            I didn’t mean to imply there was anything good or great out there worth a good review, the reviewers and the products they review are equally as shitty most of the time, lol.
            I mean I could go into thousands of words why all entertainment industries are mostly utter shit now, but that’s a completely different topic, and one I honestly don’t have the time to dive into, especially when the only purpose is simple talk online.

            P.S. Sorry about the super late reply, been busy.

        • MrVux007

          “Depending on which way the wind is blowing, everything is both overrated and underrated.”

    • Autumn22

      Troll troll troll

      • HoxtoniteIsLoveHoxtoniteIsLife

        *Calls me troll*
        *Can’t say constructive stuff to prove I am and isntead repeats it like a child*

    • No Place For Hayter

      Dude, the role of “Producer” is the vaguest role in the entire entertainment industry. It ranges from careful and dedicated control of the quality of the content, to “hey this guy did a favour for one thing in the game, lets give him producer credit!”

      Considering how shitty the Lord of Shadow series was, I’m going to assume Kojima’s role as “producer” was closer to the later example of the term.

      TLDR; Being a “Producer” don’t mean shit, chances are Kojima did very little for the shitty Lord of Shadow series.

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  • No Place For Hayter

    Kojima understands how to actually develop a video game!? Whodathunk!

    On a none sarcastic note, it’s good that Kojima likes to through things like this out, a lot of people tend to make assumptions on how things work.

  • Mr.Pony

    At least he sees the flaws in his own movies

    • NegaScott128

      If he knows there are problems, why didn’t he fix them?

      • Lex Radu

        Because it is his first big budget Movie, and most of these flaws are script related, things that were beyond him to change, script flaws that he had to accept in order to make and release this Movie, compromises he had to make.

        Kong was a Gamble, Jordan tried things here, and saw what worked on screen, and what didn’t, the fact that he pointed all of those out, shows that he already learned from making this Movie, Metal Gear however, isn’t a thing to Gamble with, so he wont be making those mistakes again.

        He shows self awareness, and that’s exactly what i want from my MG Movie Director, to know what works, and what doesn’t!

        • NegaScott128

          It’s good that he acknowledges the flaws, but he still, y’know, made the movie. So he either caused the flaws to occur or they slipped by him. If he takes action to improve with his next film, then that’s fine, but just because you point out that the movie has problems doesn’t fix the problems.

          • Lex Radu

            And that’s exactly the point, he admits that the Movie isn’t perfect, that he will do better next time he will be given the chance.

      • HoxtoniteIsLoveHoxtoniteIsLife

        How stupid can you be to not get it?
        Warner Bros pissed their pants after godzilla and wanted a crowdpleasing b movie

    • Lex Radu

      The best episode so far.

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