Here’s what Hideo Kojima said during his Nordic Game 2016 Q and A

Kojima

Continuing a world tour so epic that it probably has its own overpriced and poorly designed t-shirt, Hideo Kojima took to the stage at Nordic Game 2016 to answer some very gentle questions in front of a packed auditorium.

But what in god’s name did the man who created Metal Gear go on about? Here’s a quick summary of the main things I learned from the talk, which, for clarity and history’s sake, was conducted through a translator.

1) Kojima Productions will make familiar games, but with a smaller team

 In case anyone was worried that Kojima’s game development ambition would be curtailed by the need to do boring things, like manage a smaller team on a limited budget, then you can probably put your fears to one side.

After discussing the company’s mission statement and the company’s distinctive skeleton knight logo, he confirmed that a brief dalliance with making a smaller game ended in favour of making a new epic adventure.

“My intention is that we will be making a big title,” Kojima said. ”At the beginning, I was thinking of making a small title. After I met all the friends worldwide, they said no. Everybody is expecting you to make a big title, so I made a change of direction and the next title coming from me will be a big title.”

So expect something big from Kojima Productions “as soon as possible”, but bear in mind that the smaller team size will mean that it will take a while for something to surface.

2) Kojima’s world tour is a mission of discovery

 Like a student backpacker heading off to South East Asia, Kojima’s recent tour around the world could be described as a journey of discovery.

Unlike those students who define discovery as getting drunk on a load of low price cocktails, discovery for Kojima means learning about the way other development companies create games and what development tech is out there.

First, in terms of his efforts to find out what other studios do, Kojima took advantage of Puha’s question about Nordic game development talent to praise the sector and explain his personal adventure.

Referring specifically to DICE, but also to the strength of the triple A dev scene in the region generally, Kojima said “I’m very impressed and wondered why those games are made in Scandinavia. That’s why I’m touring, to find out what’s behind it.”

But beyond the creative inspiration, Kojima also said that he was looking for tech to support his development efforts.

Though he admitted a preference for using internally developed tech to create his games, Kojima’s desire to get his first title out quickly means he is looking for third party tools to speed things along.

“I want to release it [the new game] to the people who are waiting for it,” Kojima explained, “so we are going to use a third party engine.” So opportunity knocks for one lucky company, then.

3) VR is Kojima’s childhood dream come true

 Turning to other types of technology, it was clear that virtual reality has caught Kojima’s attention.

 Responding to a community question about the platform and his opinion on it, he recalled his past to explain why he is excited about VR’s future.

“VR is like the same technology I was excited about as when I was a child; it’s something like going to the moon,” he said. “So I’m very excited about it.”

Of course, he acknowledged problems ahead. Describing the cost of VR as “the price of a car”, i.e. too expensive, and worrying that he doesn’t look nice in a headset, Kojima still thinks the future is very bright for VR.

“What happens in 5 or 10 years? It’s beyond our current imagination,” he said. And, considering that this is a man who imagined that a villain in the MGS series is a big flaming person riding a devilish unicorn, that’s a big thing to say.

4) And now for something completely different

 Finally, Kojima explained the reasons behind a few of the more eccentric things he is known for.

In response to a community question about the prevalence of boxes in Metal Gear, Kojima explained that his box obsession has been derived from reading the novel The Boxman by Japanese novelist Kobo Abe.

Then, Kojima explained why he has appeared in a number of Japanese films despite the fact no-one has seen him. Talking about how he has convinced his film director friends to stick him in the film, Kojima has pulled the “Daniel Craig in Star Wars” schtick and appeared in ways where he couldn’t be recognised.

Finally, he admitted there was one big benefit to founding his own independent studio. As he said to the crowd “I am now an indie, so no more business meetings”. And while that, strictly speaking, probably isn’t true, it was a nice aside that reminded us that Kojima really is in control of his creative and business future.

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