Since life does have many paths, to have all paths be interesting might be a potential way to solve that problem.
Suda: That's true. I must agree. (laughs)
So you're more interested in directing the player's vision than having the player form their own story? Like a movie director's vision or something.
Suda: Well, the ending… it's easier to write scenarios for stories that go straight towards a definite ending, so this is somewhat better. Generally, writing for games with multiple scenarios I fall behind, so considering the production schedule, having only one story is definitely better. (laughs) I'm just kidding.
That's true though.
Suda: When you write many endings, you have to work with many writers, and that can be very overwhelming, because you have to work with everyone. If possible, I'd want to write everything myself, alone. That's just how I feel.
Some people also find that that sort of focused vision is a way to make players feel certain emotions atcertain times, because you can control what they're seeing, whereas in a GTA-like game you can't really create emotion because the players are doing everything themselves. But in a focused game, you can really make people consider certain points that you want them to consider.
Suda: For me what's important is the change in emotions. Large emotional fluxes: it can be anger or it can be joy. Essentially what I strive for the most is to create a world that no one has ever seen. I have the desire to make things never before created, and in an entirely novel domain. I want players to be surprised, or in other words, I want to provide them with something fresh, and if my work can arouse different emotions, I'd be very happy.
What's most important is after you finish playing the game, you walk away feeling lucky to have played it, and elements in the game's storyline or the game itself can actually influence you somehow in real life. If I make a game like that, I can die anytime with no regrets. But I'm greedy, so I think I probably won't die. At least not until I make lots of money like Rockstar Games!
When we spoke once about games that could have political impact. Are you looking at all into that area with No More Heroes? Not specific politics, but just worldview for the player?
Suda: I do believe in that, but I'm not doing it in No More Heroes. If you're wondering why, Killer7 had what you may call innate political elements. When creating a game staged in the US from a Japanese perspective, I thought about the Japanese viewpoint from the American perspective.
That's why Japanese are also intertwined into the story: there's the Japanese politician who lives in the States, Narita, who makes his appearance, and the behind-the-scenes yakuza mastermind who also appears. When I shaped their characters, it was impossible to eliminate politics. But this time No More Heroes is basically a story about a lone hit man, so there was no need to talk about politics. It's a direct result from the character's distinctive traits.
I asked because the title sounds like you could be deposing people in power.
Suda: Ahh, I see, I see. The title comes from a song by The Stranglers, a band from the UK. Either way it means to kill the person at the top. It's a story about heroes killing heroes.
Everyone these days, including Miyamoto, is talking about accessibility and a broader market for games. What do you think about that? Would you ever want to make something so casual for a lot of different players? Or are you still focused on games for game players?
Suda: If you want categorize my current style, what I value the most would probably be how many people I can get to play my games. Regarding controller handling, I'm not bound by the American standard, but I actually am inspired by the idea of deriving original gameplay and controller use. In other words, I think about reasons for people who don't normally play games to play.
So whatever Miyamoto's saying not only foresees the future of games, I think it's a wonderful thing. To sum it all up, I think it's good. The so-called Nintendo style, or to actually change the device to appeal to a greater audience is probably something only Nintendo can do; essentially converting the non-gamers. As for GTA, by creating a culture through the game, it made people who don't usually play games play it as part of culture.
In terms of non-gamers, GTA's a huge contributor to the games industry. I think Grasshopper has a different role. I want to be thinking about methods, ones unique to Grasshopper, of engaging people who normally never play games at all times. I believe that's my goal.
Grasshopper always has a very distinctive style though, would you have to compromise that at all in order reach a wider audience?
Suda: I think now is a time when a little change needs to be made.
And that's okay with you?
Suda: It's absolutely okay. I want to be evolving constantly. One day I want to make a character cuter than Mario.