Mizuguchi: Modern technology is ready for my ideas

Mizuguchi: Modern technology is ready for my ideas
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

June 14th 2011 at 5:36PM

Rez creator delighted to have 3D displays and advanced audio set-ups to work with

Famed game design luminary Tetsuya Mizuguchi has told Develop that Child of Eden marks the point where technology has caught up with his creative energy.

Speaking ahead of the June 17th release of his synaesthesia game Child Of Eden, Mizuguchi said the likes of new surround sound systems, HD picture and 3D displays mean he can finally build products that meet his vision of games as "emotionally meaningful works".

“My games as they are today, and the possibilities within games that I try to explore, are about making the player feel emotions,” said Mizuguchi.

“What I mean is making the player experience rich, organic feelings. Before Child of Eden we tried, and we had the chemistry, but the not the technology. Now, with new technology like high definition, 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound, and even 3D, there are many opportunities for this kind of game to realise its full potential.”

The man behind Sega Rally, Rez and Lumines went on to speak specifically about his interest in 3D display; something that has not been confirmed as a technology supported by Child of Eden.

“I think there is much we can do with the new 3D technology,” said Mizuguchi, as he explained why he believes his distinct flavour of music game still has plenty of potential to carry new ideas and concepts.

“That kind of 3D gives game designers and those making synaesthesia games a much wider canvas. 3D provides us with many, many new creative ways and approaches.”

Yet despite repeatedly stating his enthusiasm for new techniques and methods, Mizuguchi insisted he was ‘not a technology man’, claiming that he sees the newest display and audio hardware as exactly the same kind of technology as paintbrushes.

“The more paintbrushes we have, the more we can do,” he insisted. “It is simple.”

Mizuguchi also revealed that his long career at Sega was almost not to be, saying that in his initial interview at the company he mistakenly claimed the firm had made the Famicom. He went on to offer Develop a fascinating insight into his perspective on the creative process of designing games.

“The games I’ve made are a designing – or rather a redesigning – of human desires and human wants, and basic emotional instincts,” he stated.

“In games, a feeling of accomplishment with those elements is important.”

He went on to forward his belief that the abstract settings that often define his games serve as a ‘common code’ for the players; a place where every kind of consumer can explore his ideas.

“I don’t know why it is, but I do believe in the people’s ability to be able think for themselves. Everybody can feel and think and imagine. I believe in the player’s imagination, and that the player can be creative, and that is why my games are the way they are,” concluded Mizuguchi.

“Making a game is like writing a poem. Keeping things small, using very few words, you can still make the reader feel, and you do not need to make everything obvious.”

Mizuguchi also confirmed that he feels very high stress in the creative process, but said that his respect for the games team at Q Entertainment – who are apparently all devoted to synaesthesia – is absolute.

Additionally, he offered his perspective on the ultimate goal of game makers, arguing that synaesthesia serves as a vehicle for progressing the medium.

“It’s kind of like a dream for game designers and for game creators and makers to make something new, and something that becomes the new frontier of the imagination,” said Mizuguchi.

“If we didn’t have an area like the imagination from which we make games, there would be nothing new at all, and we’d still all be playing 8-bit games. Following the synaesthesia direction gives us many new reasons and chances to push at the boundaries of the imagination. There are many new opportunities.”

Mizuguchi concluded by talking about Kinect, and it’s potential to host new forms of gaming experience that cross borders with performance art.

“I’m interested to see if anybody will create anything that allows for some kind of performance through Kinect; Something that combines the act of DJing and VJing. It’s possible in the future that we will see something like that.”