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Hideo Kojima Reads the Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker Script

Plus, the Metal Gear creator details his game design process.


The latest installment of Kojima Productions' regular podcast has a special treat for Metal Gear fanatics. Hideo Kojima and his staff recently conducted a mock reading of the Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker script, and they're letting us hear a sampling of it! That's right, we get to hear Kojima himself act out a few sequences from his game!

Worried about spoilers? Then you obviously weren't paying attention when Kojima Productions teased Peace Walker and Rizing's announcements in late May with a highly censored interview in Famitsu. The podcast reading is also censored, with beeps blocking out a few key names.

You can download the podcast for yourself here. The reading begins at the 11:20 mark and run through 16:05.

I'm not going to try to figure out what's being said during the script reading, but here's a summary of what's said before as Kojima, speaking with Raging Raven voice actress Yumi Kikuchi, describes the basic development process.

Kojima starts by explaining that one difference between making a movie and making a game is that the initial "script" for a game is not necessarily too detailed. They have to build up the script as they try out things with gameplay, or they'd end up just making a story. The E3 trailer for Peace Walker was made at this point in the game's development progress.

The script reading session at Kojima Productions.

After they've advanced to a certain point with the game's stage creation and tests, they create something called a "Scriptment." This document includes everything about the game, from start to finish -- the dialogue for the story, the gameplay elements, item information, and so forth. Using this script, the team conducts tests on the game in order to fix things like memory issues and bugs, and also makes small adjustments to the story.

The next development step involves pulling out all the drama areas of the Scriptment to get a script. A few members of the game's staff are asked to read this script and share their opinion with Kojima, who looks at the feedback and makes fixes based off it. Next, they have members from outside the team, but within Kojima Productions, read the script. Following this, they have people outside Kojima Productions read the script. This step is dangerous, says Kojima, noting recent cases of movie scripts being leaked onto the internet.

Once the script has been fixed through this process, they have the game's development staff gather to act out the roles. This is another method of polishing the script, as they can determine if words need to be changed around to make things easier to understand or easier to say.

What you're hearing in this podcast is this phase of the polishing process -- the staff gathering to act out the parts.

The readers consist of everyone from designers, to writers, to Kojima's secretary, to bigger names like Kojima himself and Shuyo Murata.

Kojima asks that listeners send in comments about who they want to actually play the roles in the final game. Anyone is okay, including stars. Of course, Snake's voice actor is already set.

As you might have probably guessed by the fact that they're already in the final polishing phase of the script, Peace Walker is clearly far along in development. The staff is currently in the casting phase, says Kojima in the podcast, and will soon be bringing voice actors into the studio to start recording.

Perhaps Kojima himself will be among them.

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