Interviews// GDC Exclusive: Tetsuya Mizuguchi

Now, I’m ready to make a game – I’m full

Posted 12 Mar 2007 16:52 by
Every Extend Extra Extreme
Every Extend Extra Extreme
SPOnG always derives extreme pleasure from catching up with Tetsuya Mizuguchi ? as well as being one of the coolest guys in the games industry the man behind Q Entertainment is one of the nicest. And, of course, he?s a legend, with games like Rez, Lumines, Meteos and Every Extend Extra (henceforth, E3) on his CV.

I caught up with him at GDC, where he was demoing the forthcoming Every Extend Extra Extreme (aka E4), his second foray onto Xbox Live Arcade ? his first being Lumines LIVE. But he also revealed that he?s itching to embark on a big two-to-three-year project which might ? just might ? be the long-awaited sequel to Rez. This is what he said.

TM: Do you know Heavenly Star it?s is the music from the (Japanese band) Genki Rockets. It is from the hybrid music group ? I produced it. We cut this vinyl three weeks ago in Tokyo ? we had this remix at number one in the charts. This music came from Lumines II. It?s a side-dish, not the main plate. We said: Let?s cut the remix, so we did, and it has done the big numbers. And it got to number one in three weeks ? it?s amazing.

So, what should I do next? I?m seriously thinking that I ought to make a live show, with the music, visuals, new sounds, all synchronised, using lights and lasers; with VJs and DJs ? a kind of mash-up thing ? the same concept as Rez.

SPOnG: You always have a lot of projects on the go ? care there any you can tell me about? Such as Rez 2, for example?

TM: Er?

SPOnG: Because you?ve said in the past that it?s something you want to make.

TM: I?m always preparing that new thing. So, I?m waiting on many things, adjusting. We?re talking to people.

SPOnG: Publishers?

TM: Not only publishers ? everything: budget and production, with publishers and thinking about which platform. But we can?t make an announcement yet.

SPOnG: It?s the sort of thing that Sony could really use with the PS3, though

TM: Mm. Mm (laughs).

SPOnG: So after E4, the main focus has to be getting the Rez sequel project going?

TM: So, ah, hmm. I want to talk a lot ? everything is on the tip of my tongue.

SPOnG: What inspires you at the moment?

TM: In the last year, I?ve travelled a lot, and I?ve had many inspirations from travelling. Now, I?m ready to make a game ? I?m full. I have a lot of energy now, so I?m ready to go. Maybe for the next two or three years, I can concentrate on making something new; Not only games, but also the audio/visual expressions. Maybe release some music, too ? it?s not my main job, but we need this kind of side-dish for the main course.

The interactive stuff is the main stage for me, but the music is very important ? I want to make new experiences with music and visuals that are interactive. So, it might be a Rez sequel ? maybe; or something different.

SPOnG: So, what?s different in E4?

TM: There are a few things that are different ? this is still very much in development. There?s single-player and multiplayer: in single-player mode, you will have stages: E4, S4, R4; and in multi-player, there?s a thing called Each 4, as well. Each 4 is the main core, like the Arcade Challenge mode in E3, where you clear the stage and go to the next one. S4 is where you can integrate your favourite music, and play with that in the background ? the game has a beat detector, so it?s not just there for decoration. R4: The Revenge we won?t be able to show today but once we get through E4 the game, it?s easier to explain how R4 is.

Starting with E4: Saturday Night Drive, this was also in E3, but the other two are completely new. Immediately, you?ll see some things that are different. There?s a shield now: whenever you have that on, you?re protected from any enemies. The shield also has a countdown. The shield comes on automatically. The new item corresponding to the shield extends its time. In this mode, your stock is completely unlimited.

Quicken now goes to 20; and after 20, it goes to Overdrive, where the points start doubling. It?s almost like a firework display. Another new thing is that you can purposefully cancel out of a chain reaction to gain more time. Say your time is down to 15 seconds; sometimes a chain reaction can take 10 seconds, so you might want to cancel out of it to pick up some time-extends.
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