Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
Infiltrating Kojima Productions: Ryan Payton Talks Metal Gear Solid 4
arrowPress Releases
August 4, 2021
Games Press
View All     RSS
If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


Infiltrating Kojima Productions: Ryan Payton Talks Metal Gear Solid 4

October 15, 2007 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 6 Next

BS: It's kind of ironic to have to explain simple controls to people. It's kind of the opposite of the usual scenario.

RP: Well it's also maybe our own fault, because this is a sequel of a sequel of a sequel, and people come into the game with expectations. So, if this was a totally new IP, I think they would go into it with a fresh slate, and I think they would work with us. "OK, so this is how you press up against a wall," or, "This is how you shoot," but here everybody goes into the game expecting that you just run up against a wall to latch onto it, whereas this time you have to push the triangle button.

Those little icons are reminiscent of Gears of War.

RP: Absolutely. I mean, we've played a lot of Gears.

BS: And they're useful.

RP: They're very useful.

Speaking of auto-aim -- before we started the demo, you said it was because Japanese gamers prefer auto-aim, but the Western play style is over-the-shoulder. Can you go into that? How did that develop?

RP: Yeah, it's a tough balance! Obviously, we have about 99% Japanese men and women in our team, and sometimes it feels like 99 against one -- since there are two control schemes. The whole process has been about re-looking at the game, and deciding what needs to stay, what needs to be revised. So, really there were no "sacred cows" as far as the control scheme was concerned.

One thing that I did was put an Xbox 360 in an area of the studio where there's a lot of foot traffic, and I also have a PS3 there, and I'll bring in western-developed games. I'll be playing them, or I'll just have it on and running through the intro, to be repeating on the title menu. People will pick it up and play it, and so now we have a lot of Gears fans, and people are playing Bioshock. So people are checking out games that they wouldn't normally check out, and they're getting ideas and inspiration as far as, "OK, this is how things can work for us; this is what we like."

So, obviously, the first-person perspective is something that the Japanese have a hard time with, because they actually get a lot of motion sickness -- we obviously aren't making Metal Gear Solid a first-person shooter, but we're also moving the camera closer to the action by having it right above Snake's shoulder. What I've found is that my Japanese colleagues will play Gears of War every weekend for three months, but they'll play Halo for maybe a day or two and they'll get sick from motion sickness. So I think there's something about being able to see the character; something about that view that really works well for Japanese. And works well for Americans, too.

It's also been well-liked in America. SOCOM -- which is really popular -- made the decision to use a third-person perspective. And that's, to my understanding, because it's better received by the PlayStation 2 user base.

RP: I keep referring to Gears of War, but this is something that kind of originated with Resident Evil 4, which was developed by Japanese. This over-the-shoulder view. Obviously the Gears of War guys, they've refined it, and I think we've got a pretty cool system here where you can actually swap the camera between Snake's left and right shoulder by clicking in the R3 button. And that's something really cool; depending on if you're going around a corner, you can snap that and switch perspectives.


Article Start Previous Page 2 of 6 Next

Related Jobs

Sucker Punch Productions
Sucker Punch Productions — Bellevue, Washington, United States

AI Systems Designer
Insomniac Games
Insomniac Games — Burbank, California, United States

Lead Character Artist
Xbox Graphics
Xbox Graphics — Redmond, Washington, United States

Senior Software Engineer: GPU Compilers
Xbox Graphics
Xbox Graphics — Redmond, Washington, United States

Senior Software Engineer: Performance Tooling

Loading Comments

loader image