Ico creator Ueda on aesthetics vs tech

Ico creator Ueda on aesthetics vs tech

By Rob Crossley

July 7th 2009 at 11:42AM

â??I both hate and love the technical limitations,â? says the Last Guardian project lead

For a game designer renowned for creating inventive, abstract worlds, Fumito Ueda has emphasised a surprising degree of importance on visual fidelity and technical benchmarks.

He added, however, that visible technical flaws and limitations are inconsequential when placed in an aesthetically impactful game world.

“I always want to use the full technical potential,” Ueda said in an interview with games magazine Level.

“Even before we start developing our games I try to predict how close to reality we can come, and then start working from that point.”

Ueda proceeded to claim that ‘reality’ is a key theme and objective when constructing Team ICO’s game worlds.

“I both hate and love the technical limitations,” he added. “It's kind of a Catch-22 for me. If we don't have any limit to work from, it becomes hard to make anything good out of an idea. But if we on the other hand have a very distinct technical limit it's impossible to go beyond it. It will put the bar in a certain place without any way to raise it.”

Yet Ueda added that the aesthetic properties of both ICO and Shadow of the Colossus have shined through the technical limitations of both titles:

“It's thanks to that my games have a very special aesthetic profile. It's a way to make the player forget about technical limitations and focus on the gaming experience.

“If a player sees a beautiful landcape or pretty light effects that's probably what he will remember and not the bad texture next to it.”