Kept you waiting, huh?
For anyone over the age of 30, the biggest drawcard for RTX Sydney 2017 would most likely have been Hideo Kojima or KINDA FUNNY (or both in my case).
Hideo Kojima was interviewed by Greg Miller from KINDA FUNNY in a two hour panel. There was a lot of discussion about Death Stranding, but, in true Kojima fashion, a lot was said with the audience having no better understanding about what the game is (although he did confirm it is open world).
There was also a panel on the second day of RTX, called Game Creators: from Indie to Icon with Hideo Kojima, Joshua Boggs. This panel gave a fascinating insight into the minds of two very different video game creators.
In case the name is unfamiliar, Joshua Boggs is the creator of Framed, Hideo Kojima’s favourite game of 2014.
How Kojima thinks
Kojima spoke of how he comes up with his ideas. He said that rather than write down an idea when it first comes to him, he lets it marinate in his mind and says that only the best idea will remain. What was most interesting about this was how he sees his ideas as growing entities and if he were just to write them down when they first come to him, the idea would just stop there.
Metal Gear, huh?
When asked about the story progression from game to game in the Metal Gear series, Kojima said that he plans every game as if it’s the last. Then, when an opportunity or a sequel comes along, he then thinks of how he will fill in the gaps. Kojima went on the talk about how fine details are not his forte and he likes to let his fans fill in the details that are not present in his games (which his fans LOVE to do).
Kojima also spoke of how he likes to tie in characters and lore from his games into different titles. While he doesn’t own the rights, this has me hoping for some Metal Gear subtle throwbacks in Death Stranding.
There were also questions about technology and if Kojima had ever waited for technology to catch up to an idea of his (like with the Star Wars prequels). He said that rather than do that, he has always worked within the limitations and overcome limitations through game design. This is where the idea of a stealth action game came from. Kojima said that great technology is better, but ideas need to break through the constraints of what is available.
Left stranded on Death Stranding
As mentioned at the start, there was a lot of talk about Death Stranding, but not a lot of information given.
Kojima was asked about how he decides the development cycle for his games. He spoke of how he comes up with a release date and determines the development cycle from there. This, naturally, segued into a question asking if he has a release date for Death Stranding. Much to the amusement of himself and the crowd, he said that he does have a release date but he won’t be unveiling it right now.
There was also a lot of talk about Kojima’s love for movies. He discussed the parallels between making movies and making games, and how Death Stranding will continue the trend of his previous games.
The comment that got the most laughter from the audience was when Kojima said that he does not think he has reached success yet and that it’s his goal to reach it with Death Stranding.
Kojima ♥ Framed
There was a lot of love and mutual respect on the stage between Hideo Kojima and Joshua Boggs. Both men spoke about their admiration for one another’s work, with Kojima going so far as to saying that Framed is a game that will go down in history.
Kojima said that when a friend introduced him to Framed years ago in a cafe, he sat and played it for three hours straight. Kojima said it is a fantastic merging of games and comics and that it was a great example of how video games do things that you can’t do in movies.
There was also a great story told of how Kojima received a job application from Boggs asking to be Kojima’s apprentice. Kojima said that he turned Boggs down as Boggs can do it all himself. He spoke of how he’d love to see Boggs take on something with a larger budget and make his own version of a game within an existing franchise. Kojima drew a parallel between Gareth Edwards (director of Rogue One) and Boggs, and said he would want to see Boggs go back to making smaller games with such creative and experimental ideas (as well as making Framed 2).
Boggs spoke of how they are aiming for a release date somewhere in May or June for Framed 2 and that making this game is like climbing a mountain (not one large leap, but lots of steps along the way). Boggs said he is taking a realistic approach to creating the sequel, which was refreshing to hear in the climate of crunching and ridiculous hours.
Snake? Snake? Snaaaaaake!
All in all, the Fireside chat panel did not disappoint one bit and provided a fascinating insight into two very different, but very talented, game creators.
Were you at RTX? Did you get a chance to catch this panel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.