Osawa-san, what helped you out of your agony over how to make Rhythm Paradise fun on the DS?
Was it completing the Flicking control?
Well... we hadn’t actually “completed” it.
Oh, that’s right. (laughs) So, uh...not “completed” but...
I still don’t think we’ve completed it.
Hey, that’s enough of that! (laughs)
...It’s just, rather than ever complete something, …you improve it, little by little, on and on.
Oh, I can understand that.
We’d been going along like that, and reached a certain point, when we had Tsunku-san look at it. We couldn’t meet him face-to-face, so I sent a sample. And he really...
...really tore it apart.
That day...all day long...I was fed up.
Your agony doubled!
Yeah, he was in twice the agony.
While I was agonizing, it seems that for some reason…others noticed my state.
Of course we noticed!
How could we not?!
So they suggested I talk to Tsunku-san. I sent him an e-mail, went to Tokyo, and asked him what was wrong with the sample.
Oh! You went right up to him! And?
And everything he said was…exactly right.
I could tell he really understood what we were trying for. But that didn’t mean we could easily reflect his comments in the game.
Yes, I suppose so. I started as a programmer too, so I really understand.
But he gave me a big hint as to what should be done. The concept behind what eventually became the frog game came from Tsunku-san
The one with the frogs shaking their hips?
On my way to work this morning I was playing that the whole time.
It isn’t an easy game, but once you get it…it’s a blast.
Yes, it sure is.
When we finished that, it felt just right. I thought, “Oh, this is what Tsunku-san was talking about.” I started to think…it just might work.
Good for you.
Very good for you.
At times like that, once you get a good lead, it has a good effect on other areas as well. Once you get one axis in place, you can polish off other areas with renewed vigour.
That’s exactly what it was like. I got the strength to continue in that direction.
Yes, I know what you mean. How did it appear to you, Takeuchi-san, when you saw Osawa-san break free of his agony?
Well, Tsunku-san makes quite an impression. When development had fallen into a rut and everyone was pretty gloomy, we went to Tokyo to talk with Tsunku-san and came back – all of us, not just Osawa-san—reinvigorated.
Oh...really? Tsunku-san is like the sun!
His involvement was considerable.
Even though there are people who know that it isn’t the case, a certain number of people suspect that when someone of a celebrity stature supervises a project, they don’t really have much to do with it. They simply attach their name.
Yes, that’s right.
But for this game Tsunku-san went far beyond mere supervision. He was deeply involved. He didn’t just participate in planning and then provide some songs. He did a lot, from seeing us through dilemmas such as the one we just talked about to suggesting new roads we could take with the project.
That’s right. But you can’t understand what he means through e-mail. Just reading the e-mails, you wonder why he’s saying what he is.
But if you meet him, you understand?
Yes. He sings and actually gets into the rhythm and says, “Here! Here! Here!” so we can easily understand. He doesn’t say a lot, but goes point by point until you suddenly understand.
You get all kinds of hints just by meeting face-to-face.
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