Tuesday, February 16, 2010

SGI: Focus on Passion, not Platform.

This one Is from an Gamasutra article I found through Crashman's blog, Wii are Deep. It features some interesting commentary from Kazufumi Shimizu, a director on Hudson software's upcoming game "Calling". Here's what was said:

"When we started developing Calling marketplace might be a tough one to crack for it," he tells , it was with the knowledge that the WiiGamasutra as part of a new feature on all things Hudson. "However, when it comes to the controls and the experience, the Wii is really the platform that's best suited for it." "The Wii has a pretty family-friendly image, of course, and everyone knew from the start that it'd be tough for this game in the marketplace," he continues. "But we wanted it on the Wii; we wanted to take [the remote] and use it like a phone."
The Wii remote is such a dynamic piece of hardware, yet very few games really take advantage of it. Even with the complaints of the remote speaker being "tinny", Games like Wii Sports / Wii sports Resort, Silent Hill: SM and No More Heroes take advantage of it to put this strange extra layer of immersion into the experience. if Calling can do this while establishing atmosphere then the game will probably do well. This next quote is the one where developers should really take note.

Shimizu says that from a developer standpoint, sales are impossible to predict early on, so uncertainty about platform or performance is no reason to hold back: "If you aren't passionate about the game you're making, then it's not going to have a chance in the first place," he says.

"You need that sort of force working on it," Shimizu adds. "If all you think about is money and finances, then you tend to put what you want to do on the back burner."

It's refreshing to see developers speak of passion instead of sales numbers. Passion is an important part of anything a person sets out to do. There was once a quote by Martin Luther King Jr that said "If a man is called to be a street-sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street-sweeper who did his job well." What he meant is that whatever you do, Do it well. Do it so well that you go above the expectations of who or what you're doing it for. Sure a game has a 50/50 chance of success or failure, but when it's a success you pat yourself on the back and then attempt to surpass even that, and when you fail you take what you learned from that failure and strive to do better. Don't make me start throwing out Batman Begins quotes (why do we fall down, Master Bruce?).

Passion is also what makes phenomenal things happen even when your resources are limited. Instead of hearing people bemoan the specs of the Wii they should be working to do the best they can and even better than what's possible. The challenge is there, and waiting for a capable developer to take the reins and make it happen. Nintendo set the bar, so it's time for everyone else to try and go for it. That's enough of my rambling for now. I'm sure I'll have another SGI Rantatorial for you guys soon enough.

-Game On.

Source(s): Gamasutra, WiiAreDeep

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