More Than Just Lips: Keiichi Yano On Music Game Innovation
November 21, 2008 Page 4 of 4
As you know and I know, karaoke technology in Japan is very advanced compared to some other markets. Did you look at any of the features that were on karaoke machines that are available in Japan? Just in terms of just having used them, or did you do research or anything like that?
KY: Well, I live in the country, and that's something we do all the time. Without even really researching it, we know and understand that a lot of these things are happening. To be honest, it's probably somewhere in my head, but I didn't really look to that that much because I knew I wanted to create an experience specially tailored for the home.
That might not be this one‑off thing. Because you're going to buy this, and you're going to grow with the game. You're going to advance with it, you're going to grow with it, you're going to evolve with it, yourself. I wanted to make sure this game would have all the mechanics that would set us up to enable players to do that.
So, what's interesting to me is the mini‑games. They certainly feel a little more like iNiS.
Was that part of the initial design, to have those mini‑games, and how did you arrive at them, and what do you think they bring into it?
KY: Yeah, it was definitely part of the design to have different backgrounds that the user could select, not just the video. I think, our background, with the other music games that we've done in the past, we just like to have a zany experience, right? [laughs] We're all about having a lot of fun in crazy ways.
I really wanted to make sure that we got that sense, and that fans of our previous games could look at that, as you noted, and say, "Oh, yeah, that's that little bit of iNiS in there." Not to mention, "I can score millions of points." [laughs]
It came very natural for us to say we want to put these games in, and let's have a little bit of a wacky presentation in them, and just have fun with it.
The mini‑games also seem like some of them are a little bit more skill‑based and some of them are more obviously catered to appealing to a casual audience. I'm assuming this is a natural outgrowth of the different audiences you saw in the game, and that's kind of the way the game goes, is that you're trying to appeal to the broadest audience of everyone from hardcore to casual gamers, right?
KY: When we designed the games, I didn't really think about the difficulty level. I just wanted to make sure that we had some type of a competitive mode, some type of a cooperative mode, and some type of a mode where maybe you are pressured into doing the right thing so that you can see the song to the end.
That's really how I approached it. [I just tried] to make sure that we had things that were appropriate for each type of singing. That's how we came about it.
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