Interviews// Child of Eden: Tetsuya Mizuguchi

Posted 19 Apr 2011 17:00 by
If youíve played any of Tetsuya Mizuguchiís games in recent years, youíll quickly realise that he has one true love, and thatís music. The creator of Rez, Space Channel 5 and Lumines is constantly fascinated with the emotional power of sound, and has a knack of exploring how players can interact with music in order to create different experiences.

Itís easy to dismiss Child of Eden as a mere spiritual sequel to cult classic Rez, but to Mizuguchi the implementation of the Kinect peripheral represents so much more. Whereas in Rez you were controlling a character in third-person, here you are the main character, directly using your body to interact with enemies and the environment on screen.

I had the opportunity to sit down and chat to Mizuguchi about the desire to create Child of Eden, where he gets his inspiration from and what the future could hold - for both Q Entertainment projects and the games industry in general. Read on for more fascinating insight...

SPOnG: Nice to meet you again, Mizuguchi-san! The last time we spoke was quite some time ago, but I remember you saying that you werenít really interested in making sequels. So whatís the thinking behind Child of Eden, which is essentially a spiritual sequel to Rez?

Tetsuya Mizuguchi: I never really thought I could make a sequel to Rez really, although I have so many ideas and points of inspiration. I would ask myself, if I had the chance to make a sequel to Rez what could it possibly be like? Of course, it would have to be high-definition, have incredible visuals and include 5.1 surround soundÖ but those ideas alone wouldnít be enough.

I wanted to have a game with a much more organic feeling. Organic and emotional, that was the thing for me - but itís not to easy to make that feeling into a game without considering how to convey happy feelings through music. I started a music project called Genki Rockets to explore projecting emotions using music, and I also looked at implementing that into real space. Allowing players to interact directly with the colours and visuals around them.

SPOnG: What do you think of the music and rhythm genre as it stands at the moment? It was quite popular a few years ago with Guitar Hero and DJ Hero. Do you think thereís still ways to draw in an audience using the innovations that you introduce into Child of Eden?

Tetsuya Mizuguchi: (Laughs) I donít know about Child of Eden being innovative! But honestly, I donít care about that. When I started making games like Rez and Space Channel 5, there was no music genre at all. Even after the release of Lumines seven years agoÖ there was no such thing as a music and puzzle game. But still, people discovered those games and played them. So I think the trend existsÖ but I just donít care about it (laughs).

SPOnG: Was it difficult to develop for the Kinect? How was your experience with the device?

Tetsuya Mizuguchi: It was an interesting journey. At the early stage of Child of Edenís production, Kinect was just starting off as a platform. Over time, the hardware has remained the same, but Microsoft has been quick to keep improving the software to develop games on the device. Just like developing a game, the early development versions were not so great, but as you progress the technology gets better through the software, and that enabled us to make a more accurate game.

At the start of the gameís development, we had a time log to keep track of the sync between the actions the player would make and the visuals on screen. It was initially tough to have the sound change exactly as you make a move in front of the camera (laughs). But we got there. We believed, we had patience.
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