Death Stranding Director Hideo Kojima Just Tweeted A Lot About His Process
Kojima talks about the differences between game development and filmmaking.
Hideo Kojima is one of the most veteran and esteemed developers in all of gaming. So it's almost always interesting with the Metal Gear creator and now Death Stranding director speaks (his food tweets are good, too). Today, Kojima unleashed a barrage of tweets that give fans an idea for how the man thinks as it relates to game development.
Specifically, he spoke about the differences between game development and filmmaking, using a hallway scene in a game as an example. A hallway scene might sound easy and straightforward, there are many elements to consider, Kojima said, like if the doors can be opened and if there is anyone else around. Also, it's important to consider how the player may be feeling at any point in time, the developer said.
His tweets appear be centered around the idea that outsourcing game development tasks, at least for a bigger action game, can be a tricky prospect. "An action game can never be completed by ordering from a blueprint and assembling parts off a factory line," he said.
"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," Kojima said. "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 every day."
Kojima never mentions Death Stranding by name, so it sounds like these are more of high-level commentary about game design, though there is certainly some crossover and applicability with Death Stranding.
There is no official word yet on when Death Stranding will come out, but Kojima himself hinted that it might launch in 2018. It stars Mads Mikkelson (Hannibal), Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo Del Toro, and Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead). In April, Kojima spoke a little about the game, explaining why he wanted Norman Reedus to be naked in the game's first trailer.
Kojima's Tweets On September 5 About Game Design
We've strung Kojima's 17 tweets together...
"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? 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 every day.
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."
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