As part of the Death Stranding world tour, Hideo Kojima paid a visit to EGX Berlin, where he was interviewed during a panel with film director Fatih Akin. Some quotes have been edited for clarity.
The interviewer asked Kojima about the differences and similarities between films and games. Kojima replied that the difference lies in the interactivity provided by the gameplay. He explained that while it’s important to give the player freedom during gameplay, he feels like the story is more about seeing the character’s destiny unfold.
“Like an open world action game: you could go anywhere, right? And you could do anything. And you decide what to do. If you can’t, it’s not really fun, right? But the storytelling: [unlike multiple endings], the story itself should be like a destiny.”
“If the character is destined to die, you [the player] cannot avoid that. (…) It’s a destiny. So the freedom of gameplay, and also the destiny, the time that goes in story, I kind of try to balance both of these worlds. It is difficult to balance, but I think there’s ways to kind of really balance that out.”
Kojima was asked how much input he takes from the community when creating his games. He answered that when it comes to story and themes, he sticks to his own vision, but when it comes to the functionality of the game and things like user interface, he does listen to user feedback.
“Well, the theme of the story, or something really new, I have to bring it out myself. (…) In games the users actually control that what makes the output, the final game. So I have to think about UI, or gameplay. So I do listen to the users, because the players are part of it, they have to play it. So I do a lot of monitoring, and listen to what they say, and I kind of tweak it. But not the story or the theme. That’s solely from me. (…) So it’s a little weird proces of creating games, right?”
“For instance, if you create a bicycle, the design and the concept is me, but I want people to ride it, like hundreds of people, and they say ‘oh, the panel should be this degree’ or ‘here’, and then, I will listen to an extent where it doesn’t change my main core. And that’s how I create games. So everyone is involved in creating games.”
To watch the entire panel, follow the link to the Twitch video below.