It's similar in a very superficial way, but they obviously have a very different character. And it's interesting to see, because something that I've been thinking about is, a lot of developers try to replicate hardcore 3D games on PSP, and they run into problems with the controls, or with visibility of the game; and I was wondering, how much of your approach was based around solving those problems? Or was it just your personal inspiration that led you to make a game in this manner?
HK: Well, the most important point about Patapon was to make it simple. The less of the information, the better. Therefore, there's only three major types of command; that is: pata-pata-patapon, pon-pon-patapon, and chaka-chaka-patapon.
We're reaching the point in the industry that we're trying to make games that are more simple, and more broadly appealing, and some developers, I think, really struggle with that because they want to make games that are more hardcore instead. It seems to me that you naturally wanted to make a game that could be enjoyed pretty easily, and have ideas that people could relate to, or understand easily -- so I was wondering if that's true; if that's the case?
HK: Actually, I'm very honored to hear that, in saying that I just naturally came up with the easy, enjoyable game, so that people can understand what is going on in the game, and so they can feel closer to the game. I'm very honored -- and I think the Patapons are happy, too!
There's been a belief that a simple game can't be deep, and I think that a simple game can be deep; and, conversely, I think that a complicated game might be a shallow game, from a gameplay perspective -- it just has a lot of complication. So, how do you see that issue, within development?
HK: The way I came up with a solution is to divide the game into two different layers. One is the very simple game, so that a player can clear the goal with just three commands. But for those users who want to play a deeper game, they can use weapons; they can collect equipment and weapons, to try to clear different missions, with different goals.
In addition to that, the basic idea of this game is about rhythm, so you have to beat the rhythm in the accurate way -- and even though you are giving the command by beating the rhythm, you are also singing a song with the Patapons.
And so, it's not just a simple game: it's like creating the music with the Patapons, and that's what makes the deeper aspect of this game.