Why did you choose English as the language for the game?
Suda: Well Killer7, which I worked on with Shinji Mikami, was a game created more for the overseas market, which later gathered a lot of public attention, so we sort of wanted to continue to develop and grow along those lines. But more than anything we felt that Grasshopper's style is more suited to the foreign than the local Japanese market.
I wondered if it was done that way for the Western audience or a Japanese audience that might find English rather interesting - but that kind of answers the question.
Suda: After the release of the PlayStation, there've been more games like Biohazard and Metal Gear Solid that take place in an overseas setting. Well, even before then, I mean Mario's Italian, right? From the get-go, the Japanese audience has been used to playing with foreign characters. There's no sense of incongruity.
I think it's funny that sometimes Japanese developers have Western characters and Western developers make games like Jade Empire or Heavenly Sword with Asian characters as the main. It's very strange.
Suda: I see, I see. Yeah, that's strange (laughs).
Do you know Kenji Eno?
Suda: Oh, yeah yeah. I know of him and see him every once in a while, but we're not close friends, I don't know him personally.
I know he's also making a sword fighting game... I was wondering if you may have seen it?
Suda: I haven't, but I do know that he's making games for the Wii.
His new company is called FYTO. From Yellow To Orange.
Suda: (Laughs) FYTO! I see. So it's "fight-o." I wonder why it's "from yellow to orange." From yellow to orange for a Japanese means… he likes blondes? No, that can't be it (laughs).
Could be. Last time we spoke, you mentioned that you adventure games from the old days - like Eric Chahi's stuff. They've really fallen out of fashion with modern game players, what do you think would bring them back?
Suda: Well first off, do you like adventure games?
Yes. A lot.
Suda: What do you like?
Monkey Island 2 and…
Suda: How about Snatcher and Policenauts?
Of course. The Konami and LucasArts games are great.
Suda: What games did LucasArts produce?
Monkey Island, Loom, Day of the Tentacle, games like that.
Suda: Hmm… tentacle… tentacles are alright (laughs). So you like games like that, not text adventures?
Right, point and click style. I understand you're a fan as well?
Suda: I love them. Action and adventure games are both my strengths and what I've spent most of my time working on up until now. But as for how to make them appeal to people...hmm. What should we do (laughs)? Well everyone likes to fire guns and fight, but fighting shouldn't be the sole logic behind games created for increasingly powerful engines like the PS3 and 360.
Different things and areas should be explored. As long as developers grasp how to express and bring pleasure to the player's experience, I think adventure games will be able to break out of their current state and make a comeback.
Have you played newer ones like Dreamfall?
Suda: No, not yet. What hardware does it run on?
The Xbox 360 and the PC. It's a new kind of adventure game...I would say Grasshopper's own Flower, Sun, and Rain is within the same genre. Would you ever be interested in making another game in that vein? More about the mystery of the story, and puzzles.
Suda: If there's a chance to do it, definitely. I do think of myself as someone in the adventure games field. How do I put this... I want to incorporate elements of the adventure style into my games. Like Mr. (Hideo) Kojima. He's a top-tier creator who debuted in adventure beginnings, and today he still says he wants to continue creating adventure games.
In the same way, I think adventure games gave me a chance at game creation, and I want to continue to develop them. Right now at Grasshopper we have a game called Silver 25 Wars, which is a small adventure game we're developing for mobile phones.