ICO CREATOR LOOKS BACK AT COLOSSUS DEVELOPMENT


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1.29.2009

Brandon Boyer

4 Replies

1UP’s just-published interview with Ico creator Fumito Ueda looking back at spiritual sequel Shadow of the Colossus some three years later was interesting not so much at what it revealed about the game, but about the practicality of Ueda in his approach to its creation.

Both games are heralded as some of the high-water-marks of games as art, and Ueda wins points for his approach the narrative debate (“there should be game design first and a story that suits the design, not the other way around”), and commercial intentions (“if I were to choose between something that sells for a moment and is forgotten, and something that doesn’t sell much but is remembered, I would choose the latter”).

His response to the hero dynamic was interesting, though:

Making a lead character female seems to be fascinating cinematically, but I picked a male character since most game players are male, and they need to become emotionally involved with the lead character. However, recently there have been many female gamers, so it is possible to have a female leading character, I guess.

And it was interesting to see that in both games, unlike most other adventures which are built on the very foundation (see: Zelda), Ueda deliberately left out unlockable weapons that would operate as “skill changes” — keeping the player on an even keel throughout.

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As for what the team is doing now, nothing much has been said other than the above teaser image used for a recruitment ad, and a comically unhelpful appearance on the PS3′s Mainichi Issyo channel (aka, where those Sony cats come from), where he showed up and parted with nothing more than a drawing of the cats being chased by a colosso-feline.

Shadow of the Colossus Postmortem Interview [1UP]


COMMENTS

  1. The whole ‘female characters can have a wider range of emotion’ thing is a pretty trite meme. The only thing keeping male game characters locked in their strong, silent-type ghetto is game designers who think that emotion is the antithesis of masculinity, and gamers won’t play something unless they can inhabit the body of an uber-macho space marine. Shadow of the Colossus wasn’t courting the Gears of War set anyway, which left the protagonist more androgynous, but he was still pretty boring. If there was any game that could handle a little experimentation, it was that one.

    I’m glad it occurred to the interviewer at least to even ask the question, “Hey, why not have a female who isn’t just passively waiting to be rescued?” It was one of the few things that turned me off Colossus.


  2. @gadfly:

    Overract much? “Cinematically interesting” just means that female protagonists have a wider range of emotions to play with. As for the other… well he had a binary choice, and he chose one because of the clight advantage that he describes. Seriously, try not to get so worked up.

    Both games are wonderful, although their minimalist approach isn’t to everyone’s tastes (you sometimes get morons asking ‘but wheres teh game?!!’ and so on)


  3. how kind of him to indulge our stark inability to emotionally identify with a female… and what’s this about a female lead being “cinematically interesting?” is that his polite way of saying “ohh BOOBS!!” ?

    nice-looking games, anyway, though i haven’t played them. and not all of the interview is such garbage as those few lines.


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