GDC 07: What's next for LocoRoco?

Director Tsutomo Kouno talks about his goals for the sequel to last year's pastel PSP platformer.

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SAN FRANCISCO--LocoRoco director Tsutomo Kouno's Thursday presentation at the Game Developers Conference was billed as a postmortem on the development of his colorful PlayStation Portable offering, but the developer knew he wouldn't be able to make it through the event without talking about the sequel.

After recapping the game's creation from a single concept sketch on his PDA in the spring of 2004 to a finished game in June of 2006, Kouno turned to a list of things he'd like to do for the next LocoRoco. Speaking through a translator, Kouno said he wanted to use physical calculations for drawing characters in the next game, as well as incorporate advanced crowd artificial intelligence. The change in AI would be used in every aspect of the game, from the way the LocoRoco blobs walk together to ways they could dodge various environmental dangers.

Other areas that Kouno said he wanted to improve on included the use of music in the game and the visual effects. But perhaps most interestingly, he teased, "I'd like to use a new way of playing the game for the next version of LocoRoco."

He wouldn't talk about it during the session, but he did promise attendees "a new and pleasant surprise."

Sony Worldwide Studios president Phil Harrison first confirmed the LocoRoco sequel's existence in a question-and-answer session at last month's D.I.C.E. Summit. It came up again in Harrison's GDC keynote speech earlier this week. In showing off the trophy room of the PlayStation Home service, Harrison's in-game avatar/tour guide paused in front of a giant LocoRoco trophy. However, there was no mention of trophies being made available for anything but PlayStation 3 games.

When a member of the audience asked Kouno whether the next LocoRoco would be a PSP game or a PS3 game, he said he knew the question was coming, but couldn't answer it. Instead, he promised, "I'm not going to betray your expectations. You can count on this."

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