In an interview with Fumito Ueda at the Nordic Game 08 event, he mentions being at work on a game that combines both the graphics and gameplay, as seen in his previous games ICO (2001) and its prequel Shadow of the Colossus (2005). Could the lead designer of those PlayStation 2 games be at work on a mixed sequel for the PlayStation 3?
In February 2007, Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu reported that Fumito Ueda and his Sony Computer Entertainment Japan team are working on a new game for the PlayStation 3. No details about the unnamed title were revealed. But the below interview will provide at least some new details on the ideas for the game.
Question: Fumito Ueda is the creator of two of the most talked about games in the last decade. During the lengthy discussion on whether games are art or not, whether the medium has or can achieve the same status as the other much older forms of expression, it is his work that is most often mentioned. With ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, Fumito Ueda has managed to spellbind the western audience, something that he himself never thought of being possible.
Answer: “Honestly, I am very surprised that my games are so popular in the West. Since I was born and grew up in Japan and around its culture, I created my games with the Japanese audience in mind. A while before the western launch of ICO, SCEE rang up and asked us if we could create a custom cover for EDGE. This was something which we were completely unprepared for. It surprised me very much that the characters we created were so emotionally well-received in the West.”
Question: Where do you get your inspiration?
Answer: “I’m inspired from books and movies, of course, but the greatest inspiration I get is when playing others’ games. Very often I tend to think things like “why have they not done so and so?” This is what justifies me to come up with new concepts and ideas.”
Question: So you often play games?
Answer: “Yes, I get a lot of inspiration from playing various games available on the market.”
Asked by one of EDGE’s journalists what he thinks of the PlayStation 3 he admits that he is very happy with what Media Molecule is doing with LittleBigPlanet. It’s encouraging to see that more developers are trying to create unique games.
Question: A consistent theme in your games is the unspoken emotions; love and affection. What do you want to communicate through your games? What do you want players to experience?
Answer: “I have no specific or explicit message in my games – but I want them to be unrealistic and entertaining. I always rely on some basics when I create my games: I do not want them to be just high-resolution cinema; instead, everything in my games works together with the graphic engine that powers them. It is my intention to create an extension of the entertainment value to the gaming experience. I would not, therefore, let those who play my games by impressed only with the graphics. It is the overall experience that counts.
I also want my games to be products which inspire all those who play them. You mentioned the feelings of love and affection, but in reality I have no intention to convey those particular feelings. Instead, one can say that my intention is to give players the building steps, a small introduction and then let them experience and develop their own stories on their own.
Often, players find that unique aesthetics are an important part of the atmosphere in Fumito Ueda’s games.”
Question: How important are the aesthetics compared to the gameplay, for you?
Answer: “It is difficult to say. If you take a game like Tetris, for example, you’d have to agree that gameplay is an essential element there. But I think that at the same time, visuals and aesthetics are one and a whole with the gameplay in a game. They both need each other.”
Question: What is your preference between graphics and gameplay? One reason for this question is because it’s interesting to know what he thinks, the other is because in a game like ICO, though a fantastic game, it’s a title with fairly rigid controls and contains repetitive encounters with the same enemies.
Answer: “I think it is very difficult to choose what is the more important of the two. They both coexist in my games. Both are equally important. I cannot choose… But if the gameplay is based on collecting things or killing enemies, then I think the aesthetics are more important. In my new project I’m trying to combine both.” — Thanks for the Swedish Gameplayer interview translation to Issun23.
By the way, when Fumito Ueda was asked in the past if he was interested in creating sequels to his games, he said: “It’s not that I have no interest in making sequels but I always feel I would like to try something new, challenge something I have never done before. In that sense, I may easily get tired of doing things…” according to a CVG quote.
We’ve got high hopes for a sequel to either game for PS3, at the very least in a spiritual sequel, how about you?