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Fumito Ueda’s Next Project is Underway! (Famitsu Translation)

Here’s a short one-page interview from a recent Famitsu, where Fumito Ueda gives some information about  what he’s been up to lately. Enjoy it!

Note: Do not repost the full translation. Please use the first two paragraphs, link to this translation, and credit Source Gaming. The following is a selection from Famitsu. Source Gaming does not run ads on its website. If you enjoy this translation, please let us know on Twitter! Translation by Brando. Thanks to Crane043 and MasterOfBear for looking over this.


Originally published in Famitsu on September 13, 2018

Fumito Ueda’s Next Project is Underway!



“Aiming for the same scale as before…”



Currently prototyping and testing game ideas



Has work really started on your next project, Mr. Ueda?

Rather than saying it’s started, it’s more like we’re in the middle of trying various experiments. We’re creating prototypes and testing these game ideas we’ve come up with to see if they’re actually interesting. That’s the stage we’re at right now, and Kowloon Nights is supporting us.

Why did you decide to get assistance from Kowloon Nights?

Suddenly starting up a project and getting a lot of people together to make a game… That’s the way past productions have gone, but this time, I’d like to confirm whether or not what we’ve planned is actually interesting, and only then expand upon it. For this kind of production style, I thought that going with a large organization might make that difficult. Also, we wanted to be more responsible for our own brand, so that’s why we thought to get backing from them.

So you’re saying that the environment Kowloon Nights is providing is a good match for the development style you’re aiming for?

It’s made things easier for us, and it’s very fulfilling to have this production environment where we can focus on prototyping. And from a technical standpoint, it’s good timing that now we’re able to do that.

When you say “made things easier,” what kind of things are you talking about?

When planning a game, at the outset everything is only thought up in your head, or written down on paper, so a lot of the time you don’t actually know if something will be fun or not until you’ve actually built it and seen it in motion. When you reach that point and you’ve tried making it for real, sometimes it turns out to not be as fun as you’d originally imagined. That can happen, so ideally you want to hold off on things like adding details to art and expanding levels until after you polish and flesh out your ideas. Once you decide on something and the staff start to go to work on it, it’s difficult to backtrack on that and when deadlines are set, sometimes you really have no choice but to give up on parts that you want to spend more time on. First, we want to work out the core part of the game, and then develop it into a product without any of those complications. That’s our challenge this time, anyway.

Have there been any requests from Kowloon Nights?

Nothing in particular. We aren’t launching some project where everything is exactly planned and decided, we just want to experiment with some ideas that we’ve hit upon and test them out, before turning them into a real game. That’s what we told them [Kowloon Nights] and they said no problem. So, we’ve got these ideas and we want to try them all out, then go from there.

A few years ago, this kind of development process was pretty much unheard of.

What we’re making now doesn’t feel like an indie game—we’re hoping for it to be on the same scale as ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, or The Last Guardian by the end.

I’m very glad to hear that. So it’s not like you’re going to be creating it entirely with just a small number of people, just because it’s a new working arrangement.

To start with, Kowloon Nights is helping us with this first stage of ideas and prototyping, and then depending on the situation we could join up with a publisher and expand to larger-scale development, I think.

So Kowloon Nights is basically providing assistance for the initial stages?

That also depends on the game ideas we’re currently experimenting with. If it turns out that expanding development efforts would be better for a project, then I think we’ll assemble a large-scale development team and make it a game with some volume. On the other hand, if the idea would be better off put together in a smaller way, then there’s also the possibility that we’ll continue with Kowloon Night’s backing until the end.

This won’t be a sequel, but a completely new work?

That’s correct. I really wish we had screenshots. It’ll take more time though, and there’s also the matter of appealing to publishers. That’s about all I can share at this time.