Kikuchi-san, did working together on a game with Nintendo have an influence on you?
I touched upon it earlier, but the way of thinking toward expanding the entertainment experience had a big influence on me. Most of the time, we tend to dig deep in one direction, but we received a lot of suggestions for expanding the game from a perspective different than our own.
Nintendo came in from different angles and made unreasonable demands? (laughs)
That’s exactly right! (laughs) During development, it’s common for various problems to arise and you get stuck sometimes, but Nintendo can toss aside what they’ve built so far and continue on by coming up with one different approach after the other. That spirit of persistence had quite an influence on our staff. I also think it was great how the team was able to move as one together with Izuno-san and Makino-san. In my experience, when a project spans multiple companies, a development team working as a single entity doesn’t come together easily.
It isn’t often that a project involves more than one company and you strike upon a relationship in which you can say, “Let’s make another game in the series!”
Five years ago, you gave us the chance to make Zero: Tsukihami no Kamen, and while there were quite a few things that didn’t go so well, I feel like we developed that rare kind of relationship in which we shared an experience where we had both joy and hardship, where now we can say anything to each other.
Even if you say something negative, you’re not tearing each other apart. Rather, as a single organisation with a shared task and goal, you’re on the same level.
A lot of times, Izuno-san, you came to talk to me almost as if possessed by Kikuchi-san. That’s the sign of a unified team. I could always sense that, and I’ve noticed it again as we talk today.
I still don’t know how next time we will make use of the forms of play and skills we built up this time, but I would like to develop upon this framework and work together with Tecmo Koei Games again in making an enjoyable product.
Alright, to finish up, could I ask each of you to say something to the fans of the Project Zero series, as well as to people who have never played it? Let’s start with you, Makino-san.
To fans of the series, a cute girl shows up this time, too, so don’t worry! (laughs) The style of gameplay has changed a little, but that Project Zero taste you get by experiencing the story is still there. And, of course, I think people will be able to experience this new form of horror game that Tecmo Koei Games and Nintendo have made together.
And to people who have never played the series?
To people who aren’t great at scary games, I recommend Spirit Camera mode. It’s fun when people gather, to test your courage, or play it at a singles party.
It’s so strange to mention the words horror game and singles party in a single sentence. (laughs)
I don’t think there’s ever been a horror game before that you wanted to show to other people.
Since properly experiencing a horror game required a certain amount of time and the right environment, I suppose it has been the genre least suited to showing to others.
Yes. I think we’ve been able to overturn that in some respects.
How about you, Izuno-san?
Adding to what Makino-san said, I would ask Project Zero series fans to check out the battles. In the Project Zero series, you don’t like it when something scary gets close, but in order to drive away a vengeful spirit, you need them to get close to you to inflict a lot of damage. That psychological push and pull has been increased by a substantial percentage, so it’s a lot of fun.
A dramatic improvement on the existing formula?
Yes. (laughs) For other players, it is a scary horror game, but I want them to try it out casually, rather than bracing themselves beforehand. We’ve prepared a lot of new and unusual experiences that you can only have with the Nintendo 3DS system.
You could say that it doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth, right?
Right. While we did make it scary, I think players will be able to experience something different and surprising.
Kikuchi-san, you’re last.
It’s been ten years since I started working on the Project Zero series. During that time, a lot of fans have supported it. I’m thankful for being able to continue making it. This time, with Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir, we have gone back to basics while also establishing a new structure and format. The structure has totally changed, but those who have played the Project Zero series so far will be able to feel the essence of Project Zero everywhere.
It turned out to be the kind of game that even you - the one who is most particular about the Project Zero series - feel that way about.
Yes. The Nintendo 3DS system becomes the Camera Obscura, which has so far only existed inside the games. If you look through that camera at the world around you, you can feel the world of Project Zero close at hand.
It truly has become contiguous with the real world.
The staff on the development team have worked with me on the graphics and other aspects of the Project Zero series for some time now, so I think players will be satisfied with the quality. To people who have never played Project Zero, it is a game that allows players to casually fulfil that desire to see something scary and have bite-size scary experiences like those when you enter a haunted mansion.
Is it also okay for people who have difficulty with game controls?
Yes. Fancy fingerwork isn’t that important.
So everyone in the family can be scared and scream together. (laughs)
I believe so. Also, we paid attention to sharing the fear when making it, so you’ll naturally want to show it to people. You can enjoy a chill when showing spirit photos that you’ve taken while travelling and you can carry it around, ready to share the experience at any time. Simply put, it’s a portable fear.
A portable fear! That’s catchy! (laughs)
Thanks! (laughs) And we’ve used the Nintendo 3DS system’s features to the fullest. We’ve prepared many ways to play that utilise features that are innate to the Nintendo 3DS system - making use of its portability, the cameras, the gyro sensor, stereoscopic 3D, and AR - so it polished up into a horror game that facilitates communication between players. I hope lots of people will try it out and experience this new genre of AR horror!
Thank you for today, everyone.
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