An Industry In Flux: Akira Yamaoka Speaks
October 8, 2010 Page 2 of 3
It can be said that this game's still is very Mikami-like, or Suda-like, or even Yamaoka-like.
AY: I agree. It's a very interesting project. Having all these sorts of powers mix together like this is resulting in a really fun kind of energy throughout.
You're handling just the sound?
AY: Right. For this title, I'm just handling the music and atmospheric sounds. I would like to handle production or direction duties for the next project, though.
How does the process work?
AY: Well, I start by having discussions with Mikami and Suda. We go through lots of meetings, so many of them. At the end of it, though, we come to a decision on what to make, what sort of things to have people play, what design to go with.
Along the way, I begin work on the music and sound design, and that also becomes part of the ongoing discussions and meetings -- people talk about what works and what should be changed. That's how the process goes.
This game seems more over-the-top than Silent Hill. Was it hard for you to make that change?
AY: It wasn't that hard for me, and that's because even as I was working on Silent Hill, I still wanted to try working on something with a different atmosphere, a different style. I was waiting for a project like this to come up, in other words.
You wanted something different from Silent Hill.
AY: Yes, yes.
For a while?
AY: Oh, yes, for a long time. There was always a different style that I wanted to tackle.
Well, Silent Hill 4 was pretty different from previous titles, and I had the impression that you did want to do something different with the series even back then.
AY: Certainly. Well, as a creator, you never want to do the same thing for too long -- you want to try different things and go in different directions. I'm no exception to that.
But it's hard when you're working with a series property.
AY: Yeah. It's very hard. I know that.
Grasshopper gives you that opportunity, meanwhile?
Suda was joking a bit earlier that he wanted you to take on new challenges in your musical style as well.
AY: Well, my musical tastes are very similar to Suda's.
The sort of music you like?
AY: Yes. It's very easy working with him.
Suda understands your way of thinking very quickly?
AY: Yes. Not in terms of speech, but in terms of music.
Suda's punk style, for example.
AY: Right; that or jungle or electric. Suda goes on about The Smiths and Joy Division and so on; so we share a lot of the same styles.
This game wouldn't have The Smiths... (laughs)
AY: Oh, that's not related. (laughs)
I think the game looks interesting, but you just have the teaser trailer for now.
AY: For now, yes. I think it oughta be a few more months before we have a playable version.
Suda and Mikami both have very big, larger-than-life personalities. Is there any difficulty working with them?
AY: Not at all. Mikami has been in the game business for 20 years; he's been doing this for so long now, from Resident Evil to Vanquish. Again, though, he and Suda -- and me, too -- we're very similar both in personal tastes and in the approach they take to making games. It's very much like a hobby for the both of them. So it's not been difficult at all.
No arguments or anything?
AY: No, not at all. Well... no. (laughs)
Well, Resident Evil and Silent Hill are rival properties, no?
AY: Mmmmmmmm... We still have a very close friendship, though, going out and drinking and so on. So, it's okay.
A friendly rivalry.
AY: Right! Not a problem.
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