During a keynote at Develop Conference in Brighton, UK, Legendary Metal Gear Solid Creator Hideo Kojima and PS4 Architect Mark Cerny had an interesting chat about media, games, technology and Kojima-san’s upcoming game Death Stranding.
Specifically, Kojima-san gave more cryptic details details about what we can expect from Death Stranding.
“So in principle it’s an action game where the player will be able to execute the actions that they’re used to. When humankind evolved, it started using tools. The first tool was the stick and the second tool was the string.
The stick was used to create a distance against unpleasant things and enemies, while the string will be used for the opposite, to tie things that you want to keep close to yourself. Those two tools allowed evolution and and generated our current era and even games.
Technology has evolved from 3D to VR and what not, but I still think that most games nowadays are based on the stick, on shooting, on kicking and punching, and all these ideas that come back to a stick. In Death Stranding there will be stick-esque elements, but I want to put in there the string, the rope that will organically tie things.
While I cannot get into specifics yet, that’s the idea that I have for this game.”
Incidentally, Kojima-san was also asked about what inspired him to move to horror for Silent Hills (funnily, when Silent Hills was named, he whispered “here it comes,” indicating that he was expecting someone to ask about that sooner or later), and he mentioned that for him Metal Gear Solid was actually already kind of a horror game, as he wanted to convey the thrill of risking to be spotted.
While in Metal Gear Solid you’re scared to be found by other humans, in P.T. there was a different kind of horror, related to the unknown. While Kojima-san did not think about it too much, it was a conscious change of theme towards a different kind of horror.
We also heard about his relationship with Mark Cerny. They have known each other for over 20 years. They eat together and “plot evil things together.” Kojima-san actually sees Cerny as his Senpai (senior in Japanese) in game development.
While they’re both game designers, Cerny is an expert of both software and hardware, and there aren’t many people who have such a wide expertise. There are people who know about software, others who know about hardware or game design. There really isn’t anyone else who knows about software, hardware and game design on the same level in the world.
Kojima-san mentioned that he is Cerny’s fan, and he wants to learn more about hardware and software from him. Their working relationship on Death Stranding gives him confidence that he won’t need to make compromises on Death Stranding, and that it might be his best work so far.