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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