Are you concerned that if your games are too good, that people will just enjoy nature there and not real nature?
YW: In Japan, there are lots of fans of Harvest Moon who play in Tokyo, and because they really like it, they actually went to a real farm in Hokkaido to enjoy the farm life.
So you're not worried about that. Have you ever farmed yourself?
YW: I have, but it was really minimum-sized.
Do you have a garden right now?
YW: I'm living in a condo, but I have a veranda, and in the veranda I have some vegetables and some herbs growing.
Another silly question -- what's your favorite animal?
YW: A dog.
Yeah, the dog always gets really good treatment in the games, so that makes sense. What kind of games are you hoping to make in the future? Harvest Moon is very well established. Do you want to create a new universe of that scale and size?
YW: I'd love to make Spore today. In the first place we thought about Osama Monogatari, it was more like Spore than what it is now. But since we put Kimura-san on it, it kind of diverted from the original concept.
like to make something like Spore, where you create something,
and from there, new stuff is going to be created again and again and
again. In a micro world, like The Sims for example, you have
the city expanding but you can't see it. But you want to be one of the
people living in the city, and to be a part of this growing too.
So you can control from macro to
micro. Since when were you thinking about this idea?
YW: Since I started working in video
games. Harvest Moon was actually a part of this idea.
Do you think it's something you could still do now?
YW: I think you can do it now, machines specifications are getting better, graphics are getting better, and space is getting bigger too. For a small calculation, you should be able to make that too. It will be one day, that we are able to make this game.
I think Will Wright has been working
on Spore for many years now, and it's not even coming out until next year. I interviewed Will Wright a while ago about various things. He's
a very smart guy, but the way he makes his games is that he makes a
bunch of very small prototypes -- like 200 prototypes -- and out of
those, he will use two, or something like that. Then he goes through
such a long prototyping process to create this thing that it seems very,
very labor-intensive, more than design-intensive.
YW: For Osama Monogatari, of course we made a prototype, but before making a prototype, we first wrote what we wanted to do with the game on paper. We made many, many concepts, just to get rid of the stuff we couldn't make because we didn't want to use it, and we made sure of what we few ideas we wanted to use, using the talent of the producer and the guy who made this game concept. After that, he's working really hard on this, to re-improve it, and in the end we got Osama Monogatari.
I think it will be really interesting
if you do manage to do it. It seems like it may take a very, very large
staff, so that will be difficult, but I hope it happens.
YW: After ten years, maybe! Just joking.
So you plan to stay in video games for a long time?