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Heaven's Night: An Interview With Akira Yamaoka
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Heaven's Night: An Interview With Akira Yamaoka

by  [Interview]

December 24, 2007 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 4 Next

Is there going to be a sequel to the movie, and are you going to be working on it, if so?

AY: Well there's nothing announced, but there's some production website out there talking about it I think. If I got the opportunity I'd love to do it again.

I'm curious to know what you think of interactive music right now in video games. Is there more that we could be doing with it? Games like Q Entertainment makes, or all the other companies that are trying to do that, like flOw on PSN.

AY: The interactivity makes games different from other entertainment, music, movies, DVDs, or books. Interactivity makes the difference. People who design games are seen as creating interactivity, and I think musicians should also be recognized as part of that... what should I call it -- entertainment group? Something like that.

It should be recognized in a different way... maybe it should be a new category, but sound and music creators need to be thought of as part of that interactive creation process from the beginning. I think if you do that, something different will happen, just from a change of project perspective. I've always thought you should get everyone thinking about the interactive and creative aspects of the game together, from the very beginning.

In the Silent Hill series, for instance, most of the interactivity of the music and background is either just sound effects or two tracks of music -- one that's just normal state, and the other that is when you're in the Silent Hill state. One goes down, and the other goes up, and then reverses. Do you think that you could go even deeper than that, and make something more like your actions really affect how the environment works and reacts to you?

AY: Oh yeah, we could go way deeper. There's nothing to say that we need to just have static state changes all the time. There's no limit. You really should be able to make the sound respond to the players' actions or movements. It's not just like "battle music start," or "ambient music start" and then crossfades like you were talking about... I think it's really important to go beyond that. I keep thinking I'd like to have the games and the graphics really and truly agree with each other. But it's still a game. I don't really want to make it virtual, I don't want to emulate reality.

Konami's Silent Hill 3 for the PS2

It seems like you could have several similar tracks running simultaneously that could thread in at different times. Not even just music, but also ambient sound that will really bring the player inside of the environment.

AY: Yeah, I think that's good.

Will you be trying to do that on the next Silent Hill, or is that even further in the future?

AY: Hmm, after all, the next one's going to be on a next-generation platform, so we'll utilize Dolby surround sound of course. We're trying to do some new things, but it's nothing like the type of interactivity I was just talking about. The music presentation could be more detailed.

What is it like working with an American team for Silent Hill 5? Is it different from having a team in-house with you?

AY: It's completely different working with an American team. There are of course advantages and disadvantages, but overall, I'm really impressed with the American staff and their technology. Their graphical and technical ability is amazing. There's a huge gap, actually. They're very advanced. I'm Japanese, and I think this is not just with Silent Hill but with the whole of the industry -- I look at what American developers are doing and I think wow... Japan is in trouble.


Article Start Previous Page 2 of 4 Next

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