Roundtable With Katsura Hashino (Atlus: Persona Series), Jin Fujisawa (Square Enix: Dragon Quest X), Keiichiro Toyama (SIE: Gravity Rush), and Yoko Taro (NieR and Drakengard Series)
Some interesting bits of their talks about Japanese Game Development prespective:
How was your time in your young days as a game creators?
YokoTaro: Well those who survived as directors in our generations have lived their life by spitting up their upper generations.
All: (bitter smile) (silence)
Yoko Taro: Well I have no idea, but I feel like it’s an inhumanity side. Because everyone are silent, I think that it can be concluded that only those kind of people can become directors (laugh)
Hashino: But actually, it’s more like the thought of “It’ll be more fun if I made it myself”. That’s a kind rebellious feels I had.
Toyama: Well.. I remembered when in the silence that I never learned directly about “director job”. But they are like good mentors.
About Japanese Game that got a lot of attention on 2017
YokoTaro: The overseas version of the original NieR was created with an old-man as a main character. However, as a result, overseas players complain “I like an old-man character, but I don’t want it on Square Enix games”. The conclusion is that Japanese people making a character looks like an overseas AAA games did not work well for Square Enix. So now we made NieR solidly based on Japanese experience. In short, I just did whatever I thought was interesting.
Hashino: It’s also the same as Persona 5 case. In the beginning it was hard to think a Megami Tensei game that suits the overseas consumers. That is why I was doubtful about aiming Persona 5 for overseas. In first place, it would not be okay to change the content of Persona 5, because many of Persona series’ overseas customer support the series “as it is”.
Fujisawa: After all, I think it’s imposible to imitate Americans style of video game development completely. That’s all about different approach on making a game project. If you compare it to movie business, the number of staff and budget are different between Japanese and Hollywood movies. Hollywood movie had this idea to make it “big” in worldwide from the start. As a result, many people around the world, including Japan, watch the Hollywood movies.
YokoTaro: I see. By the way, in my case, if Square Enix says “Make it overseas”, then I just make it. But I’m not a person who can talk big about “fighting the overseas market” as I have a feeling that I can’t really compete in Japan market. So I think those that can’t sell in Japan, will not sell overseas. To be honest all the hype about “Let’s sell this overseas” are all a terrible lie to a client who’s willing to gives money. (Laugh)
About AAA game development
YokoTaro: I think the game dev situation have changed a lot if I look it in the last 2 years. Overseas AAA title has matured and there’re so much risk in making them. On the other hand, indie game with low budget is starting to pop out and shine.
Fujisawa: Now you’re talking about the polarization of game development.
Yoko Taro: It’s the polarization between large budget games and indie games. But Japanese game dev starts to enter an empty zone in the middle of it. In the past 10 years, as Japan can no longer participate in the AAA battle, we went to a very interesting position as we reach a new dimension while still getting lost. Until now the Japanese game industry cannot wake up from that, so I don’t know what will happen in the future (laugh). However, it is fun because it’s the game creator’s job to search for the answer as they get lost like this. It’s funny because there’s no answer.
About writing and direction style
Toyama: There is a fact that the role of the director has changed from the era of 8-bit until now. In the past it’s possible to exclude things I don’t like and include the good stuffs only. But now the scale of development is bigger, for example for an open world game. You’d most likely leave some of the stuff to the other staffs, so the director can now focusing on controlling the staff’s creation.
YokoTaro: As you know, I’m writing the scenario myself. However I don’t want to write it separately. It’s for a reason that everyone here may know. Changes caused by one factors, in reality can be best handled by managing the scenario. For example, there’s a game image that did not match the event scene. Correcting the scenario is more effective in most cases rather than re-creating the image.
Fujisawa: Text repairing is often drastically better. I think the scenario is the important part for the players and I can’t really trust it to others, even on the scale of Dragon Quest X.
Hashino: I do not write anything aside of screenplay. And it’s usually only when I make it together with Persona 3 scenario team. I think the direct handling of a director should be saved for the last resort. So basically, leave it to others, but if it’s an important parts, starts helping. I’m actually more of a battle gameplay planner, so I’d like to do the battle planning myself. But if I have a good guy, I’ll leave it on him.
So remember how I said I was going to do a bunch of Persona edits as people in the ask box requested them?
That was a complete and utter mistake, as it turns out.
But I still did everyone’s weird and strange requests (save for 1 or 2 REAL weird ones I didn’t want to touch.)
But regardless let’s get onto it!
Being that Morgana has a body structure only comparable to that of a bobble head, this was kinda hard to do and probably why nobody else has done it yet, but I sure TRIED MY DARNEST. I hope you appreciate maid Morgana with a weirdly human looking body. (Just remember this blog’s motto: Quality Never Guaranteed.)
Did you know that the police can legally arrest you for having these images on your hard drive in some American states?
Sometimes I get worried that I’m making someone’s fetish material.
Unfortunately, I CAN do crossdressing shadow Yosuke. This is a very powerful concept, and an even more powerful image, I feel.
I did both.
Mixing P5 Portraits with P3 and P4 ones is hard.
Yukari’s maid outfit was a blessing.
A beautiful lady.
Anyway, that’s it!
I hope all you monsters who made these requests are satisfied with the results!
What did you name your Persona protagonists or is that information classified? Alternatively, did you give them Japanese names or something else
In the order that I played the games:
Persona 3 Portable FeMC: “Ayami Kozuki”
I named her after the first thing I saw in the game that really stuck with me, which was the image of the full moon against a dark, starless sky. “Ayami” actually means “beautiful arrow”, but I went with it because it has “yami” in there (original, I know). “Kouzuki” just means “bright moon”.
Persona 3 Portable MaleMC: “Meiki Kouzuki”
Same as above, but I went with “Meiki” that time, because I wanted a Yin-Yang counterpart to “Ayami” it means “bright wish” (and just calling him “Hikaru” seemed too obvious.)
Persona 4, Vanilla: “Tadashi Funato”
I knew about the Anime but still wanted to be “unique”, so I just grabbed the first and last kanji from the traditional spelling of Izanagi (
伊邪那岐) and made a name from them somehow.
岐=Funato. The names don’t really mean anything. I just couldn’t come up with anything better to associate with the character this early on, other than “Izanagi is a thing, I guess.”
Persona 2 IS: “Tatsuya Suou”
I gave up.
Persona Q: “Yu Narukami” & “Makoto Yuuki”
Megami Ibunroku Persona: “Naoya Toudo”
Persona 5: “Shou Minazuki”
Based on a fan-conspiracy that the two are the same character, plus the fact that their cut-in artworks look ridiculously similar with their slasher smiles, which I will continue to point out until the moment my body is lowered into the cold, dead earth.
Persona 4 Golden: “Yosuke Hanamura”
I was bored.
Making Yosuke talk about himself in the third person seemed like a good use of my time.
rules: tag ten of your followers that you want to get to know better
star sign: gemini
height: 4’ 10" (YES I’M TINY)
what images do you have set as your desktop/cell wallpapers? desktop: group pic of my coworkers; phone lockscreen: fan art of persona 3 characters :3 & phone wallpaper: is just the words los/ver
have you ever had a crush on a teacher? BAHAHAHAHAHA yes…
what was your last text message? “so I don’t have to take the abuse from yo AHAHAHAHAH”
what do you see yourself doing in 10 years? living in NYC because D R E A M, but I want to be traveling everywhere and learning/experiencing new things. tbh as long as I’m not still where I am rn, I’d be pretty content.
if you could be anywhere else right now, where would you be? omg so many places but maybe Canada? bc I’ve never been and I want to visit
what was your coolest halloween costume? in all my 24 years, I’ve dressed up 4 times bc my mother refused to give me a decent childhood. I think my coolest would be Joyce Byers, where I literally put scotch tape all over me lol sad
what was your favorite 90′s show? F R I E N D S - I’ll be there foorrr youuu
what was your last kiss? oh gOD. a year ago. not a good one lol
have you ever been stood up? nope
favorite ice cream flavor? coffeeeee (Haagen Dazs makes me their bitch for that flavor)
have you been to Las Vegas? yassss
favorite pair of shoes? Nike freeruns
favorite flavor? uh this is such a vague question? but Ima go with coffee once again
what is your favorite book? H A R R Y P O T T E R - if I have to choose one, it’d be prisoner of askaban
what’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done? haaaaaaaaaaa exist
one. first day of my life - bright eyes; two. kiss me - the fray; three. angels - the xx; four. somewhere only we know - lily allen; five. maps - yeah yeah yeahs; six. we are birds - brighten; seven. somewhere only we know - lily allen; eight. paper moon - our lady peace; nine. a perfect sonnet - bright eyes; tehn. i don’t think about you anymore, but i don’t think about you any less - hungry ghosts; eleven. all fall down - one republic twelve. october - broken bells; thirteen. chin up - copeland; fourteen. samson - regina spektor; fifteen. you - keaton henson;
No matter where we go Or even if we don’t And even if they try They’ll never take my body from your side Love don’t die…” ___________________________________________
June 6th, 2016
Today, I am getting “married” to @adminsans after a silly little comic that I posted almost 2 months ago in response to a post they made here on Tumblr that I just knew was aimed at me. What started out as me fangirling, because they were showing my work on The Undertale Fandom Facebook page, has actually turned into a pretty wonderful friendship that I totally wasn’t expecting because they are famous in my head. xD And I dunno if they realize how grateful I am for them and all the hard work they do. We’re sharing friendships with our mutuals and introducing each other to some pretty amazing people, becoming penpals, and I can only imagine what the future is to bring.
June is always a very hard month for me. Anyone who knows me well enough knows why. While picking a day for our wedding to occur, I was so very nervous because I know what state I am in during this time period, but the more I talk to them, and the closer it got, the more comfortable I became with sharing this month with something other than sad memories. I became excited the closer it rolled around and eagerly finished this drawing like, 8 days in advance. xD I know in all honesty, it’s good for me to be able to associate the month of June with something happy. I just never imagined this would be how. =P So, I want to say thank you for that. <3 Thank you for giving me a glimmer of happiness in the hardest month of my life.
Now, I usually portray them as Sans in all my other work, but this time, I decided to portray them as G!Sans, because I know this is the character they really associate with the most and who a lot of people feel they are more like. And lemme tell you, G was super fun to draw my persona getting married too. ;3 The way I look at it, our wedding could go like the image above, ooooor it could go a little more like the image below. xD Choose your destiny~ =P
But in all seriousness, thank you for everything. I never imagined I would have the opportunity to be friends with you or Frisk. I never imagined you would like my work so much to share it with others. I never imagined I would have something to look forward to in June. I never imagined any of it and I really appreciate it all more than I will ever be able to express. I think you are an amazing person and I hope that we will always be friends. I know sometimes words are hard for you, and that’s okay. <3 Words aren’t easy for me sometimes either and I’m always a little insecure about myself and how I present myself to others. But, my friends are important to me. Friendship is something that I fight for strongly and rarely give up on. I promise you too, that I will always do my very best to be a friend you can depend on. You are important to me and so is our friendship. Thank you for being mine. <3
Before I forget, I have also listened to nothing but The Fray lately, especially while working on this drawing. This band is like my lifeline and I feel like they write the words of my own heart that I can never say. I’ve loved them since I was 15. I share many memories with them and they have gotten me through many many difficult moments in my life. I find special attachments with people in my life to their music. I’m happy to be able to share one of their songs with you now. <3
With all this being said, I hope you like this gift. I am really proud of it for more than one reason and I hope it brings just as much happiness to you as our friendship does to me.
June 6th, 2016- the day I deem our friendaversary. <3 Happy wedding~ <3 And remember that love don’t die. ;3