It’s safe to say that Death Stranding is easily one of the most anticipated games currently in development. While we’ve received a steady drip feed of trailers for the game over the last 18 months, there’s still a lot we don’t know.
Death Stranding’s highly regarded Creative Director Hideo Kojima has been incredibly outspoken about his newest project since first revealing it during E3 2016, but he has still kept many secrets of the game hidden. In a new highlight feature with Japanese magazine Dengeki PlayStation, Kojima spoke a bit more about the development process that Death Stranding has gone through since beginning and also teased some potential announcements for next year.
Kojima started by remembering the launch of the new Kojima Productions on December 16th, 2015. At that time there were only four staff members including him. As of January 2016, he started looking for technologies around the world, including game engines, while building up the company’s organization at the same time.
In parallel, he also started to work on various experiments for the game and scenario design of Death Stranding. At E3 2016 he presented the first teaser, and the second in December of the same year, after deciding on the DECIMA Engine and making various improvements.
Game development continued without any breaks and ranges from the improvements of the engine and tools to advances in game design and production. One thing that has not changed since the foundation of Kojima Productions is that everything is running in parallel. Kojima has traveled overseas and was invited to game shows, so he doesn’t remember having time to rest or to play. 2017 was truly a year in which he worked a full 365 days.
At the present stage, after the end of the experimental phase and moving to the next step, he feels a strong response to Death Stranding and its character. In the game industry, many games are produced over three to five years with organizations, people, gaming systems, engines, tools, and more already in place, but Kojima Productions is creating all of that at the same time while working on Death Stranding.
Steady progress is being made towards the completion of a fixed schedule. Even the partners at Sony Interactive Entertainment have been saying, “we have never seen development at such a fast pace.” The only irregular situation was the strike of the American actor union SAG AFTRA that began last year in October. As a result, the schedule of planned things like 3D scans, performance capture, and voice recording had to be changed, but that has been solved this past November.
The final achievement of 2017 was the new trailer released at the The Game Awards in December. In 2018 Kojima said he intends to make an announcement that will further surprise fans. To that end, he teases that they should stay tuned.
The development of Death Stranding has definitely been an odd one, but to hear that Sony is talk about the insane speed at which the game is being made is an incredibly positive sign. It’s also exciting to hear that we will indeed learn more about the game next year. Gameplay footage seems to be the next big mile marker Death Stranding, but with Kojima it’s always hard to predict.