In an extensive interview, the game designer Fumito Ueda (“ICO”, “Shadow of the Colossus”, “The Last Guardian”) talked about his beginnings at Sony, his development style, his inspirations and his upcoming project.
The famous game designer Fumito Ueda, who is mainly known for his games “ICO”, “Shadow of the Colossus” and “The Last Guardian”, talked about his development style and his current project at the Nordic Game Conference. Among other things, he also referred to his intentionally mysterious approach to the narrative.
Ueda’s beginnings at Sony
Ueda spoke with David Polfeldt, Managing Director of Massive Entertainment (“Tom Clancy’s The Division“), about his past. So he had once privately worked on “ICO” and for that he even terminated his job. When his savings were gradually exhausted, he hired as a CG artist at Sony.
“I’ve applied for it, but I had a condition, I could not work full-time because I’d need time for myself, Sony asked what I was doing in my own time, so I started talking about ICO Had understood the idea and then suggested that I work at Sony, “said Ueda.
It starts with a mental image
Regarding his development style, Ueda said that many of his projects had always begun with a picture before his mind’s eye. At “ICO” he first thought of the image of a boy holding a big girl by the hand, while he was already sitting on a high edge at “The Last Guardian” Trico. The boy was hanging below him. However, Polfeldt also wanted to know whether Ueda had the story in mind at the time,
“I just had a rough idea, but I knew that the boy and the girl knew each other, but she’d lost her memories, so she’d remember the boy at the end of the game, but that was not the end “That was the final image I had at the beginning of the production,” Ueda recalled. “The end should change during the creation and the development phase, due to technical limitations and resource management. I had to prioritize other things.”
Stories should stimulate the imagination
Furthermore, Ueda was addressed to the fact that he does not lose in his games in details and instead leaves many areas of the storytelling very vaguely.
“For me, it is not important to tell the details of the story. In Japan, there is a poetic term called haiku, in which some things are not explained in detail, and the readers understand or use their imagination for what Is presented, “states in the following. “This allows the recipients to create their own story out of their imagination and I think that this is also a good style of expression for video games ─ at this moment. In the future, someone might discover that there is another way to get a narrative To make and tell stories through the gaming, but at this moment it is a great way to tell stories. ”
Polfeldt also emphasized that Ueda’s games took him a long time, as they left a lot of questions open. This would make him think about games in a different way. Ueda emphasized that he did this intentionally, because in some films the story was already completed so that it leaves no room for interpretation. These films, however, would not last long.
Return to an open world in the next project?
Then Ueda entered the open game world of “Shadow of the Colossus,” which he had created, since “ICO” had previously been a very linear adventure in a small space. That is why he wanted to get more space. “The Last Guardian,” however, has been somewhat reduced. So what does it look like in the upcoming project that Ueda already has in mind?
“I can not talk about the details, but … Shadow came from the experience with ICO, from a closed world into an open world. When I had finished Shadow, there was a moment when I was wondering if I could go back Wanted to go through an open world and maybe go back to a more closed space to spend a more intimate time in this space, which became the starting point for The Last Guardian, “Ueda explained.
He said, “Now I’ve finished The Last Guardian and spent so many years in the game, maybe it should return to the Shadow-like environment.”
Music helps to dive into the fantasy worlds
Thus the return to an open game world really could be imminent. However, Ueda had not revealed any details. He has talked about the fact that he is inspired by music to create his fantasies. After all, he himself is not really interested in fantasy, but he would have to enter the world he created, and lose himself in it. The music helps him finally.
“As a person, I am very pragmatic, but I must really believe that the world I am creating exists, so I let myself be inspired by inspiration from music or books that revolve around fantasies, a lot of people Believe that I am such a fantasy person and live all the time in the fantasy world, but there is a great gap between the perception of the people of me and myself as a person, “Ueda concluded.