GameCity '07: Keita Takahashi talks Noby Noby Boy
The oddball genius behind Katamari Damacy shows off the first technical demo of his latest project, shares insight into his creative process, and talks about the fights he has with his neighbours.
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Game director Keita Takahashi took to the stage in front of a packed audience to talk about his new game, Noby Noby Boy, and immediately kicked off his shoes.
"I'm very nervous," he said, and talking through a translator, explained that he would play some soothing "forest sounds" to give the auditorium a more relaxed atmosphere. He then added that two days before coming to the UK, his favourite sandals had broken, which he had been worried was a sign that the plane might crash.
He also told us that the neighbours on the floor beneath his apartment were very noisy, and that he was waging a plant war against them by planting crawling ivy across his balcony so it would "grow down and remind them that there is someone living above them. Do you think they'll be angry? I can't wait."
Takahashi told the audience that he didn't want to talk about Katamari Damacy, as he was "sick of it." He then fired up a PlayStation 3 and showed the assembled guests the technical build of the game he is currently working on, titled Noby Noby Boy. Noby Noby means "stretch" in Japanese, but also, like many Japanese words, has several other meanings. Takahashi explained, "In Japan, Noby Noby also means postponed, which shows this is the right name, as it has been postponed."
The game does not have a definite date for release yet and is obviously still in the early stages, although Takahashi did reveal that it would be a PlayStation 3 exclusive. He handed out controllers to the audience, showing that up to three people could play at once, taking control of the Noby Noby Boy, who can do such things as stretch, jump, eat animals, eject them from his nether end intact, and lasso creatures by circling them. He also showed that animals will be able to hop on to Noby Noby Boy and enjoy a free ride.
Talking about his latest project, Takahashi admitted, "People do not understand it yet, even my boss. I think it looks fun."
He also berated the industry for a lack of creativity. He said, "Just as people have different personalities, in terms of games, you can make your own rules to develop and play. But in reality, we rarely see such variety. I wonder why?"
Takahashi also used his forum to remind people the importance of caring for the environment and doing such things as recycling rubbish and being nice to people in the street. He said, "I don't know about the future, but we will see more of the darker side of the earth. I really think so. I don't know if we can afford to have video games in 10 or 20 years' time...video gaming is good, but also it's a luxury. You can't play video games unless you're financially well off."
For more on Keita Takahashi, check out GameSpot's interview with him.