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"What I wanted to do was something very stylish, and very playable. As for the beautiful graphics and such, I guess you could just call that an unconscious habit on my part."
- Ico creator Fumito Ueda
A comprehensive, newly translated interview over at Shmuplations lays bare the genesis of the unique talent of Fumito Ueda, the visionary behind games such as Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and the forthcoming The Last Guardian.
The quote above, said with a laugh, comes after a lengthy discussion of Ueda's college days; he studied abstract art in Osaka, but tracked toward the game industry since that was the direction his natural interests lay.
The interview, conducted in 2005, covers his education, his work with Warp (he worked on D and Enemy Zero), and finally his PlayStation 2-era games, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.
Following on from the quote above, Ueda had this to say:
"What I mean is, I wasn’t trying especially hard to be super 'artistic' -- it was just natural for me to make it that way, a result of all I’d studied and cultivated in myself up to that point. The same could be said for the CG motion rendering."
The mark his personal style has left on the game industry is indelible, so it's interesting to hear that he was more inspired by the colorful cutouts of PaRappa the Rapper:
"The truth is that when I first came to SCE, I wanted to make a game very much like I.Q. or PaRappa the Rapper. But because my experience lied more in the CG/movie side of things, I didn’t think they would let me do a game like that right off the bat. Instead, I tried to capitalize on the graphics/visual experience that I did have."
The result remains a huge influence on developers today.
There's a ton more in the interview, which is a must-read.