Home > Other > Kojima’s presentation at GDC

Kojima’s presentation at GDC

March 27th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Saved for my interests…


10:18
Snake? Are you there? It’s me, McWhertor…
10:30
I’ve infiltrated the Moscone Center’s Esplanade Room…
10:30
And I’ve decided not to make any further Metal Gear Solid puns.
10:31
Megan Scavio, the person responsible for something GDC related which unfortunately escapes me, is readying the crowd for Kojima’s appearance.
10:32
Kojima takes the stage, also wearing a leather coat, just like Satoru Iwata!
10:32
He’s giving the speech in Japanese, with the voice of god translating everything into delicious English.
10:32
“I’ve been in the industry for 20 years now, but this is the first time I’ve ever come to GDC.”
10:33
The reason for his absence? He was always busy for E3.
10:33
“Also for the fact that E3 has lost its punch over the years. Plus the guys at GDC told me if I came, I’d get this award….”
10:33
There is much LOLing.
10:34
Kojima says his speech will talk about his game design philosophy, “a long presentation, so I hope I won’t bore you.”
10:35
“Unfortunately, I have to say that I’m not going to give out any presents — like games — today.”
10:35
Thus ends our liveblog. Thanks for joining us!
10:35
“There are no sessions going on right now, so you can’t escape.”
10:35
“Sorry to say it, guys, but you’re stuck with me today.”
10:36
*sigh*
10:36
Kojima moves on to the topic of “Revolutionary Creation.”
10:36
He defines it as “making the impossible possible.”
10:36
“Let me talk about what I consider the impossible.”
10:37
A black line is on-screen. Kojima says, “This is a path.”
10:37
Old Snake crouch-walks across it.
10:37
Then a box appears, a small obstacle for Snake to climb over.
10:37
“Every day, you’re faced with obstacles you see or can’t see.”
10:38
Super Mario Bros. style Mario jumps over the box. “Of course, Mario and Snake can jump over it.”
10:38
Snake is face with a much taller box. Mario runs back, jumps over it. Snake envisions himself as Mario, leaping over the tall box.
10:39
“Snake thinks. He’s not Mario, so he cannot jump over.”
10:39
Kojima defines the “possible” as anything that’s been done before or experienced
10:39
The inverse is true for “impossible” — it’s never been done before and has been inexperienced.
10:40
“Making the impossible possible demands that preconceived notions be discarded.”
10:40
Snake’s jumping animation is fabulous, by the way, arms akimbo in the block punching style made famous by Mario.
10:40
Snake reevaluates the challenge.
10:41
Pole vault over the wall? Shoot it with a mounted turret? Use a balloon? Move a smaller box in front of it? Draw a door on the box and walk through that?
10:41
“The objective is to get beyond the barrier.”
10:42
The camera pans out, showing that the obstacle is a wall, but one that Snake can simply walk around.
10:42
“Or you can dig underneath to the other side.”
10:42
“Video games are a technology dependent media.”
10:43
The floor that Snake is standing on rises. The foundation is hardware and technology.
10:43
The metaphor: as technology improves, the barrier to the impossible becomes easier to pass.
10:44
Otacon and the Metal Gear Mk. II appear, helping Snake out with a box (software technology) and a ladder (game design).
10:44
Kojima moves on to the game design that helps make the impossible possible.
10:44
First up — the original Metal Gear for the MSX/NES
10:45
“The time was 1985. I’m sure many of you weren’t even born yet.”
10:45
“I joined the industry the following year, 1986, and was stationed in a division that worked on the MSX2.”
10:46
Mission: create a combat game for the MSX2.
10:46
“There was kind of a phenomenon around Rambo, with coin-op games quite popular back then. My bosses thought ‘Why don’t we bring these types of combat games to the MSX2?’ That was my mission.”
10:47
Kojima lays out a blank 2D background, with the Player (Snake) and four enemies. Snake shoots ‘em. Get ‘em, Snake!!
10:48
So, you needed to show all of that onscreen: Snake, enemies and the bullets to kill said enemies with.
10:48
So, what kind of hardware technology was available at the time?
10:48
Kojima brings up Konami’s Nemesis, which you probably know better as Gradius.
10:49
He breaks down the elements. The BG (background) and objects (sprites).
10:49
Now there’s a problem. There was a limitations on the number of sprites you could show onscreen at any time.
10:49
The restriction: if you show 8 sprites in a horizontal line, the ninth won’t appear.
10:50
Kojima attempts to make the developers in attendance feel better about their hardware technology limitations.
10:50
He shows off the flicker from the MSX2 version of Nemesis.
10:51
“This is the actual product; it’s not a bug.”
10:51
Audience: (laughs)
10:51
“Now, let’s go back to our combat game. We need to create a game on the MSX hardware.”
10:52
Kojima talks about the layering of sprites. How full colored characters take up two sprites each.
10:53
With 9 sprites needed at minimum for Kojima’s vision of a combat game, the hardware couldn’t live up to the challenge.
10:53
Therefore, Mission: Impossible!
10:53
Snake faces the wall again, faced with technology obstacles.
10:54
“So, the first thing I came up with, was to take the fighting out of the combat game.”
10:54
Snake is shown on screen facing enemy soldiers, tossing his gun aside after the Metal Gear alert sound rings out.
10:55
“Why not make a combat game where you hide? I thought this could work. This could be revolutionary. However, I thought ‘This game may not sell. I need a hero.’”
10:55
“So I made an infiltration game.”
10:55
“And so I thought ‘An industry first! A stealth game is born!’”
10:56
The Mission: Impossible changes to “Create a stealth game for the MSX2″
10:57
Kojima explains the game design of Metal Gear. Trying to avoid the line of sight of enemy soldiers.
10:57
“Believe it or not, the MSX doesn’t scroll. You have to just change the screen.”
10:58
“What happens with they spot you? This changes the action, the algorithm of the enemy.”
10:58
“So I told the player, in a way, that if you get spotted, you’ll have a lot of players come after you.”
10:59
“Unfortunately, Metal Gear wasn’t released outside of Europe and Japan. Oh, you may know the NES version, but it was a cracked game. I didn’t have anything to do with that.”
10:59
“It wasn’t really a stealth game. It was more like a puzzle game, wasn’t it?”
10:59
Kojima is showing the MSX2 version in action.
11:00
The game design:
11:00
Concept: infiltration
11:00
- Enemies with range of sight
11:00
- Dynamic enemy AI
11:00
- “!”
11:00
(Yes, that’s the last bullet point.)
11:01
That exclamation point was a message to the player that the algorithm had changed.
11:01
The new mission? Create a stealth game on the next gaming platform that surpasses the previous creation.
11:01
“That was a mission we set ourselves.”
11:02
Mission: create a deeper stealth game.
11:02
But the hardware hadn’t changed, so the mission had a new factor. Create a deeper game on the *same* hardware.
11:03
“the game design — I added a wider cone of vision to the enemy. Also I said the previous one was like a one screen puzzle game. So I set real-time enemeis outside of the screen you see now.”
11:04
“But since the MSX2 doesn’t scroll, you might bump into an enemy when the screen changes. So I added a radar.”
11:04
Kojima has a little technical hiccup. PowerPoooooiiiiiiinnnntttt!!!
11:05
“Please don’t post this on YouTube, okay?”
11:05
“What I added in Metal Gear 2 was an evasion stage.”
11:05
“So the player will have to hide, keep still.”
11:06
“I also added ‘hearing’ to the enemies, which adds more rhythm and adds more tension to the experience.”
11:06
This was only released in Japan in 1990.
11:07
Kojima also takes the opportunity to throw the American Metal Gear 2: Snake’s Revenge under the bus. I think he may have call it (and the NES Metal Gear) a “little crap game.”
11:08
Snake overcomes the game design obstacle with the “game design” ladder.
11:08
The concept? Infiltration into an area with vision and hearing, radar and three alert modes.
11:09
“metal Gear 2 was a hit again.”
11:09
The next mission: create a 3D stealth game!
11:10
Snake grumbles at the thought of the technical limitations of the MSX2.
11:11
Kojima moves on to the release of the original PlayStation in 1994, with the Sega Satrun mentioned as a footnote.
11:11
“I think everyone [here] was born by then. So let’s see how the hardware elevated Snake.”
11:12
The hardware builds on the foundation of Snake’s barrier to the new mission: create a 3D stealth game, now for the PSone.
11:12
“So I went on to create this game, which I think you know by now, Metal Gear Solid.”
11:13
The transition to 3D added extra elements, like air ducts that Snake can hide in to avoid enemy detection.
11:15
Kojima talks about the European localization. He shows off the English language versoin, with David Hayter as Snake.
11:15
Now we listen to the Japanese version. “He sounds young back then.”
11:15
Now the German version. “Hier Snake!”
11:16
“It sounds like… well, I wanna eat some sausages.”
11:16
Audience: (chuckles(
11:16
Then, the Italian version inspires Kojima to hunger for pasta. What will the Spanish version make Kojima hungry for?!
11:16
Ah, paella. Of course.
11:17
Here comes the French version of Snake. “It feels romantic, doesn’t it?” I don’t think Snake and the Colonel would appreciate what you’re implying, Kojima.
11:17
Kojima shows off the 3D rendered cut scenes and camera control, letting the player know where the enemies are.
11:19
The new concept: infiltrate into a 3D area, with 3D stealth action, dynamic changes in erspective controlled by the player and realtime cut scenes and voice.
11:20
“I’m pretty sure you got tired of my presentation up til now. So let’s take a break.”
11:20
Kojima has something to show us… but it’s simply a Metal Gear Solid television commercial that aired in Japan.
11:20
After Metal Gear Solid became a hit, we decided “We have to make a sequel.”
11:21
The new mission? A realistic looking stealth game… on the original PlayStation.
11:22
This was the year 2000.
11:22
But the wall of impossibility was much higher, so Kojima decided to create a more realistic looking game on the PlayStation 2.
11:23
“So I changed views again, not just trying to make a more realistic looking stealth game, but a more immersive stealth game. This was, of course, still Mission: Impossible.”
11:23
Kojima moves on to Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.
11:24
“The face of Snake has change. He has expressions now.”
11:24
“I wanted to create a new environment.” Kojima talks about weather, sights, smells, shadows, new elements for a stealth action game.”
11:25
“We created long cut scenes for the game. I understand some of you didn’t like these long cut scenes.”
11:25
“Um, you’re supposed to laugh at this point…”
11:25
Audience: (obliges)
11:26
Kojima shows off the shadow element in MGS2 that can give away Snake’s location or help him see when enemies were approaching.
11:26
“The whole environment, I thought, was important for me to use in the game, not just how it looks.”
11:27
That was the game design, the ladder, with a concept of “infiltration with an atmospheric setting”
11:27
60 frames per second, various movements, location based damage detection and the ability to shoot in first-person.
11:28
Mission: complete! I have a suspiscion that Kojima will start talking about Metal Gear Solid 3.
11:28
But not before another Japanese television commercial for MGS2, which shows Japanese businessmen hiding around the office. It’s hilarious.
11:32
Mission: swtich laptop battery complete! (Sorry for the pause)
11:33
Kojima talks about the inevitable Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, noting that the team had no hardware upgrades to work with for the sequel.
11:33
He also explains why they went with an open, natural environment, as Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2 were both man-made and closed-in environments.
11:34
Obviously, in MGS3, Kojima introduced the camouflage system, helping Snake to blend in with the environment, as well as a “cure system.”
11:35
“That was to introduce the concept of survival.”
11:35
“Everyone said the cut scenes were too long in MGS2, so I shortened them for MGS3. You’re supposed to laugh here again, guys. I’m talking about my cut scenes.”
11:35
Audience: (laughs)
11:36
Kojima’s showing off the close quarters combat (CQC) in MGS3. He shows that game design mission wall metaphor again, showing tha software technology and game design helped Snake reach his goal.
11:37
“Okay, you ready for the Japanese TV commercial?”
11:38
This is the extended cut, a minute long version of the MGS3 ad. Again, a Japanese salaryman crawls prone through the jungle, spearing snakes for dinner, ironing his shirt on a river bank, popping out of the river in a crocodile stealth hat, then…
11:38
…watching a girl bathe in the river in leafy camo facepaint.
11:38
“So, Metal Gear Solid 3 became a worldwide hit.”
11:39
“Even though the game series had become a hit, I always said I wanted to end the series as a trilogy.”
11:39
“I thought, if I make the ultimate stealth game, I don’t have to work on Metal Gear anymore.”
11:39
Again, there is much audience laughter.
11:40
“In 2005, there was a rumor in the industry, a *monster* machine was coming out. You could do *anything* with it, you didn’t even need to use game design.”
11:40
“It was still rumor back then, so I didn’t know the name of it.”
11:40
The new mission? Use the rumored “amazing power” of the monster gaming platform to create the ultimate stealth game.
11:41
Then came the PlayStation 3.Snake’s path is given a huge boost from the hardware. The floor drops out and Snake attempts to hold on for dear life. He doesn’t succeed.
11:41
The audience laughs.
11:42
“Don’t take this the wrong way. Of course, the PS3 is a great machine, but our expectations and dreams were so high…”
11:42
The updated mission: Use the actual power of the PS3 to create the ultimate stealth game.
11:42
“So we changed vision, because we thought that would be impossible. What we thought was, ‘Why not create a new infiltration experience?’”
11:43
The updated updated mission: Use the actual power of the PS3 to create a new stealth game.
11:43
“This time we were infiltrating a war zone.”
11:44
Kojima talks about the ability to align yourself with the “red side” of the miliatry in MGS4.
11:45
“I added an element so the user can change their situation to react to what was happening around you.”
11:45
Kojima digs for more cut scene joke fodder.
11:46
He then talks about the down side of having the choice to ally with one of the militia, namely getting on someone’s bad side.
11:47
Or both factions’ bad side.
11:47
Here comes another Japanese TV commercial.
11:48
Kojima begins to wrap up with a review of making the impossible possible.
11:49
Hecovers the foundation of hardware and tech, software and game design. He shows Snake’s path, which rises and deviates, based on these limitations and accomodations.
11:49
“simply put, Metal Gear was born out of hardware limitations, advancing together with hardware to reach new heights.”
11:50
“If I had given up at the beginning, there wouldn’t be any Metal Gear series. Or Splinter Cell series.”
11:50
Kojima instructs the audience to laugh.
11:51
Hideo Kojima’s game design is “designer-driven game design.”
11:52
“Japanese game designers tend to be this kind of game designer. But the current trend is a little different.”
11:53
The recent trend in Western game design is “technology-based game design.”
11:53
This includes having open world game design, going anywhere, riding on any vehicle.
11:54
“In the future of Kojima productions, I want to do it this way. I want to add both the Western game design philosophy and the game design ladder.”
11:54
“That’s my image of the next Metal Gear.”
11:55
“I want to challenge this wall of impossibility today with everyone.”
11:56
“For those people who want to challenge that to join Kojima Productions, you can visit our booth, join Kojima Productions.”
11:56
To conclude: “before giving up and saying ‘I can’t do it’, identify the ‘impossible barrier’ that is holding you back.”
11:57
Kojima basically says, if we can put a man on the moon, we can overcome barriers of impossibility.
11:58
“90% of what is considered impossible is in fact possible. The other 10% will become possible with the passage of time and technology.”
11:59
“I want to make great games with everyone, so lets overcome this barrier of impossibility”
11:59
That’s about it. Kojima is wrapping up.
11:59
Mario makes a final appearance. Kojima walks offstage.
11:59
Sayonara!
11:59
Britney Spears sends us off. Bye bye!
Categories: Other Tags:
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

%d bloggers like this: