A lot has happened in the world of Hideo Kojima in the past few days and after his big reveal of Ludens, his personal assistant has just linked us through Twitter to a QA session for Nordic Game 2016. Mind you, I think a lot was lost in translation from host, to translator, to Kojima and vice versa, here’s what I learned...
One of the first things people want to know are more details on Ludens, and Kojima only shared that it is equipped with the most advanced technology, that it is the embodiment of setting out to seek adventure with a pioneering spirit, and that the motivation behind the Ludens is to enter a world you’ve never seen before and a game you’ve never played before. He then talked a little about how the suit elicits a medieval look, but that there are many more possibilities to it.
No hints were given about his new game project other than reiterating the Ludens moto, which is that we evolve as we play and as we play we advance to the future. What he did reveal, however, is his reason for touring the region of Scandinavia. He started by praising all the game developers in that region of the world, such as, EA Dice, Mojang, Massive Entertainment, Avalanche, etc, and by saying that he admires not only all the triple A titles that come from there, but also the indies. That being said, his main reason for touring the area is to find out why so many good games come out of there, and he really hopes that the main reason is not just because it’s so cold. Kojima’s joke aside, his real reason is because it’s a scary process to be an independent game developer, and that although in the past he’s had the resources to develop innovative game engines, he’s going to need to use a third party engine for his new project, and his current quest is to find said technology. All of this which tells us that he’s in a very preliminary stage of development and planning for his next game.
This is Scandinavia, by the way:
He did also confess that his original thoughts for a project were to make something that was small in scale but that after receiving input from his international peers he realized that the world is expecting a game title of epic proportions, and that’s what he intends to give us.
He then goes on to describe his philosophy and approach to the game which is to create an experience that is not measured by the time you spend on it, but by how absorbed you become by it. He also describes that he likes to balance realism and fantasy by including details and interactivity that allow the player to feel like they are actually a part of the world they are playing in. He makes the analogy of the details in his games being similar to being in a restroom at Disneyland where even there the details are carefully manicured to maintain the illusion and retain a high degree of immersion.
Finally, aside from talking about how he’s been an uncredited extra in several Japanese films, he provided his take on virtual reality technologies. The verdict is that he’s very excited about it, and that in his mind what has currently been accomplished with VR is akin to what he felt was accomplished when he was a kid and he first saw the moon landing. Despite this, his focus on VR is not so much in the present, but rather he’d like to think about what it could offer us in the future, especially in terms of education through simulations, after all, he says that first and foremost he is a family man, then he eats, he sleeps, puts his pants on one leg a time, and then he worries about business and games.
So there you have it, Nordic Games 2016 and the thoughts of Hideo Kojima. There’s not much to go on in regard to his next title but we now know that the man’s putting in a lot of effort seeking business partners and the right technology to deliver gamers with a unique and hype-worthy experience, which in a way makes him the embodiment of Ludens.