During a Q&A session at Nordic Game in Malmö, Sweden, Hideo Kojima shared a few tidbits of information about his new game, that is supposed to debut on PS4.
Kojima-san mentioned that he wants to do a big game despite having a small team. At the moment he cannot say when he’ll release the game, but he want it to be “as soon as possible.” Yet he clarified that we should expect that it will take “a little time” for that to happen.
He also explained that he normally prefers to use internal tools to make his games. That said, for his first game with the new studio he’ll use a third party engine, as he wants to release it for the people who are waiting for it. One of the reasons why he’s been traveling and visiting many studios is to find the technology he can use.
Kojima-san also talked about details that break the fourth wall in games, like the encounter with Psycho Mantis in the first Metal Gear Solid. He thinks it isn’t important to make the game super-realistic, but to make the player feel like he’s inside the game. He mentioned Disneyland as an example: you can explore many adventure worlds, but when you go to the toilet, if it’s just a normal toilet, it pulls you back to reality. Yet in Disneyland parks, even toilets are built with attention to detail and to the theme, so that they fit the world. The same should be done with games.
Asked whether single player-only games on console still have potential left (he was interviewed by Remedy Entertainment’s Head of PR Thomas Puha), he mentioned that games shouldn’t be judged by their duration, but the most important thing is how much you’re absorbed into the game.
Yet, he thinks that nowadays it could be “difficult to survive” for games that you can play just one time and complete in a couple of days.
We also hear that the cardboard boxes in Metal Gear Solid are inspired by Kobo Abe’s novel “The Box Man.” Kojima-san always wanted to make players experience the feeling of watching the world through the small opening of a cardboard box, but it wasn’t possible in the first Metal Gear, because it was 2D, so he couldn’t implement the view from inside.
Kojima-san mentioned that people think he’s a perfectionist, and that’s not wrong. However, while it’s all about making a game you’re satisfied with, a game isn’t complete until it’s in the hands of players. Many think that he often misses deadlines or overshoots budgets, but that’s not usually the case, in fact he missed a deadline only twice. He’s very strict with schedules and with making his games as planned.
Interestingly, we also got a bit of information about Kojima-san’s private life: since he only has a 24-hour day, his first priority is to play with his kids, then he needs to sleep and eat. After that, he needs to get some creative input from movies, novels and more. Finally, after all those things, he plays games. Of course, he checks out all the most relevant games, and when they are complicated, he asks his staff to play.
Incidentally, Kojima-san also mentioned that he thinks that Remedy Entertainment’s Quantum Break is a “Wonderful game”
Below you can see the full recording of the Q&A, including some funny information about Kojima-san’s participation in a couple of Japanese movies and more.