Fumito Ueda Talks Trico With Japanese Press
Transitioning to PS3, official logos, and sad endings.
This year's Tokyo Game Show marked the domestic debut for The Last Guardian. Sony made the most of the occasion by sharing a brand new trailer along with some behind the scenes footage inside the game's development studio.
It also granted a series of interviews to major Japanese publications like Famitsu.com and 4gamer. Here's a summary of some of the key points that Team ICO leader Fumito Ueda shared with the Japanese press.
The documentary footage shown in Sony's booth this year was filmed over a one week period, Ueda disclosed to Famitsu.com, resulting in a very detailed look at the game. The footage aired at TGS is just a portion of the recorded footage. No, he did not specify when we'd be seeing more.
While the game was seeing its official debut in Japan at TGS, Ueda admitted to 4gamer that he wasn't aware that it hadn't been unveiled here before.
Joining the official Japanese debut was the first official Japanese logo, shown here:
The logo is just the text for the Japanese name (Hito Kui no Oowashi Trico -- literally, The Giant Man Eating Eagle Trico), but it's written using a mix of fonts. This is similar to the design of the game's eagle-like giant, explained Ueda, which was made by mixing and matching various animals.
4gamer got Ueda to share some insight into his design process for the eagle creature. The site asked how many revisions the design went through before it was finalized. Ueda responded that that the creature hasn't changed all that much since it first started moving around in the game. However, before that, they tried a number of creature styles -- a dog base design and a camel base design, for instance.
Regardless of its design base, the creature that serves as you companion in the game is an animal. Ueda confirmed with Famitsu.com that the use of an animal means that, similar to ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, Trico will have very little in the way of conversation. Ueda actually wants to rid the game of dialogue as much as possible. This is not because he hates dialogue, but that when considering the person playing the game, he felt that he wants to fill the game up with ideas that can be conveyed through images.
Famitsu.com suggested that this might be in order to reduce the distance between the player and the character. Ueda responded that in the end this probably ends up being the case.
Famitsu's editors were particularly interested in Team ICO's transition from the PlayStation 2 to PlayStation 3 (the team's first two projects, ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, were both PS2 -- but you already knew that, didn't you?).
One area of improvement offered by the PS3 was in added expressive freedom, said Ueda. However, while he admitted that some of the stress associated with not being able to express something that he wanted was cleared thanks to the platform change, he added that he's the type of creator who makes something good within limitations, and that he does not hate being given limitations.
He does seem to be impressed with one particular area of the PS3, though: resolution. In the past, Ueda admitted, he didn't really concern himself with the gamers' playback environment -- neither for video nor for audio. He felt that a good image would look good even in a low resolution environment. However, with Trico, he saw the difference between high and low res and felt that the high resolution is better.
4Gamer asked a particularly hardcore question of Ueda -- and they apparently weren't alone! The site asked Ueda if The Last Guardian would have a sad ending. Ueda responded with, "People from overseas asked that too. Hmm... I wonder."
As a final message to Famitsu.com's readers (all Japanese video game interviews seem to end with the interviewers asking for a message of some form, Ueda said, "It will probably take a bit more time, but despite feeling great pressure, we're aiming to surpass expectations."