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Describing the Shibuya Event Round #2

by Tonkatsu Chikara - February 19, 2002, 12:52 am PST

The creative minds behind Animal Leader, Doshin the Giant and Resident Evil gathered at the GameCube in Shibuya event to chat, and PGC was there!

The PGC Japan team was in the audience at the February 16 GameCube in Shibuya special event, the Nintendo Creator Talk Battle. Featured as special guests were, in order of introduction, Gento Matsumoto, graphic designer and inspiration behind Animal Leader, Kazutoshi Iida, concept writer and inspiration behind Doshin the Giant, and Hiroyuki Kobayashi, producer of Resident Evil. While there wasn’t much battling going on, some very interesting words were exchanged.

All participants appeared very relaxed and in good spirits, and were warmly greeted by the crowd. As they entered, each creator’s respective software trailer video played on the main screen. After taking their seats, the creators introduced themselves personally, and bantered back and forth quite a bit.

The first real issue they addressed was “What is a creator?” Mr. Matsumoto responded, stating that regarding games, to create and be a creator meant taking a personal idea and developing it from start to finish as best one can. He related his experience of working to develop Animal Leader from its first stages on the Nintendo 64 to its present, releasable state as a GameCube title, which all in all took nearly four and a half years. He later reflected jokingly with his supervisor about that period, when they would “fight daily like children” over such things as fade-ins and load times.

Mr. Iida added to this, speaking of the transition Doshin the Giant made from the 64DD to the GameCube and his role as creator during that time. He called the 64DD Doshin the ‘secret game,’ referring to its dismal sales as they corresponded with the scant sales of the 64DD hardware. When questioned as to how many copies Doshin did sell on the 64DD, Mr. Iida replied, “Few enough that I can’t tell you.”

The forum continued with each of the guests demonstrating their software personally. Mr. Matsumoto began, playing in a very advanced area of Animal Leader. Naturally, he was very good, and before long gave Mr. Iida and Mr. Kobayashi a try. General comments were made among the forum members about the GameCube’s excellent loading time, and Mr. Matsumoto he chose Nintendo due to the fact that he can’t stand the load times on Playstation hardware. Both Mr. Iida and Mr. Kobayashi tried Animal Leader briefly, and Mr. Iida expressed his desire to play it further.

Before demonstrating Doshin the Giant, Mr. Iida said that his initial inspiration to make Doshin came from his own desire to grow larger. He said he has a “shortness complex”, and that’s why he is making Doshin. The forum leader replied, “Shouldn’t you say ‘you made?’” Mr. Iida quickly replied that no, he’s still making it.

He demonstrated Doshin using a personal save file. On his island he had formed a mountain range into a half-pipe, into which he slid upon his butt from a peak high above. He wished to show the freedom of gameplay in his game, and that while the gamer can choose to either help or torment the islanders there are also many other opportunities for enjoyment. Before finishing the demonstration, he criticized his own game, saying that the animation in Doshin was terrible compared to Animal Leader.

Finally, Mr. Kobayashi presented Resident Evil, first by showing the latest promotional video and then by playing through parts of the latest build. He commended Nintendo, praising them for their excellent cooperation, and remarked that he was amazed how quickly the GameCube version of Resident Evil was made. For Mr. Kobayashi’s full comments, check out PGC’s exclusive Resident Evil demonstration transcript. For the full description of the demonstration’s contents, see our updated preview.

The Talk Battle closed with a photo op and a large round of applause. It seemed a great time was had by both creator and audience member alike. I sure had a good time!

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