"A long time ago there were no colors, just dots on a screen, bleep sounds. Now, we can express so much more, combining so many elements, and it's possible, genuinely, to move people."
- Enhance Games founder Tetsuya Mizuguchi, reminiscing with Waypoint about his 20+ years in game dev.
Japanese game developer Tetsuya Mizuguchi is best known for his work on groundbreaking music games like Rez and Child of Eden, but he famously started his career working on Sega arcade games in the '90s.
Devs may appreciate that while Mizuguchi's route to getting a job at Sega was a bit unorthodox, he recently told Waypoint that he learned a lot in his time there -- including that games can go beyond entertainment to foster meaningful emotional experiences.
"Twenty years ago, when I was working on racing games, I couldn't imagine in that way—I couldn't think about how these games could impact the players in an emotional way," Mizuguchi said. "A long time ago there were no colors, just dots on a screen, bleep sounds. Now, we can express so much more, combining so many elements, and it's possible, genuinely, to move people."
He goes on to recognize that the tools and technologies available to game developers have improved by leaps and bounds since he got started, but notes that in his eyes the constant push for greater realism in games is less interesting than the pursuit of meaningful experiences.
"It's boring to create things that you can see in the real world. So the big reason I left arcade racing games behind, is because the future of that genre was always to move towards the real thing—to get games closer to the experience of driving an actual car," he continued. "I want to create illusions, entertainment through new experiences, like Rez."
Devs curious to hear more of Mizuguchi's perspective on game design ("it's not just being a games designer—you're a human experience designer, right?") should check out the full interview over on Waypoint.