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SEGA_MadWorld collection | wishlist Blog Posts: 3
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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Narrativity

Yasumi Matsuno
Writer
Contracted by Platinum Games for MadWorld


When PlatinumGames approached me for MadWorld, I thought about whether or not gamers actually expected a complex world setting or narrative in an action game. Personally, I don’t buy action games for their stories. However, due to the recent evolution of hardware, games have become more detailed, as can be seen by the ever improving graphics. Due to this, I can understand that modern gamers are not satisfied with action itself. So, for gamers that set a high value on atmosphere and depth of the story, I was requested to build the game’s world and script from the ground up.

In order to write the story, I met the development team more times than I could count in order to understand their game design and needs as clearly as possible. What I found interesting was that the development team told me one thing and producer was telling me another. More specifically, they gave me different orders from their respective positions.


Click here for a higher res version of today's gameplay image.

The development team gave me two guidelines. First, “Jack is not a righteous person”. This is because he has no hesitation in regards to his violence. Secondly, “Violence is accepted in the world”. This was from the same reasoning as the first point. During gameplay, they did not want the players to doubt their action when performing an extreme act of violence.

On the other hand, the producer believed that “Violence should ultimately be denied in the end”. It meant that we had to be concerned about the current circumstance surrounding the videogame industry. I thought it was a quite reasonable request because, as a company, both SEGA and PlatinumGames did not consider violence right.

The setting of DeathWatch (an illegal underground live show) came from these two contradictory orders - the acceptance and negation of violence. In the extraordinary world of the DeathWatch games, violence and brutality is not only required, but accepted. However, once you step out of the show, the world outside is ruled by normal conventions. It’s not only in MADWORLD. Haven’t you felt that big contradiction in your life? I would like gamers to play the game so that they can experience the unusual world & its story that was created from these two conflicting orders.

Finally, it may be a little difficult to catch everything in the story by only playing the game once. With each replay you can understand the true meaning of each character’s dialogue more and more.

 

Posted: 3:11 pm by SEGA_MadWorld      Rating:  9  0     Views: 1015

Comments (11)
3/4 4:31pm, vortigauntslayer222 posted:

I'm totally psyched. Keep up the good work Platinum.
 
3/4 6:50pm, viewtifulal posted:

sounds like a tough balance, but Matsuno-san is well credentialed. sounds strange in such a violent game to be doubting violence. hopefully at the end it isn't a simple turnaround from all that killing to oh yeh, it isnt right, but there's a need to keep going through the game not doubting all the violence. will wait and see. only 3 weeks to i get it.
 
3/5 3:41am, PaveMood posted:

I may be wrong but I still anticipate wincing: provided I suspend disbelief and enter the game world, I'm still a 'real' (or realistic) person killing other 'real' (or realistic) people.

An alternative possibility which strikes me is this. Either you make the characters even less realistic/humanoid. (The current comic book approach does this to some degree.) Or even in the game world the player character is presented not as 'real' but rather as virtual, in the manner of Tron, say. Then violence is placed at one further remove again and for this reason you can go sick. Perhaps this then makes the final denial of violence a little tricky to accomplish.

I'm just sensitive that on some plane 'real' people are getting sliced up. I suppose, like No More Heroes, by its very self-referentiality and (possibly) comic excess the game can deny me any unpleasant immersion and I can 'enjoy' the kills as thoroughly virtual, which of course they are. Here's hoping. Of course then that places limits on how deeply I can get sucked into the game world - I'll come to enjoy the game more as a form of tennis then as a form of story-book reading. It'll be impressive if this tight-rope gets walked.
 
3/5 5:28am, EvilLinkyshinks posted:

It's great to see you return, Matsuna-san. Thanks for the blog which I find fascinating. I'm really looking forward to seeing what crazy stuff you have devised for the game scenarios grin

Thanks!
 
3/5 5:37am, EvilLinkyshinks posted:

It's great to see you return, Matsuno-san. Thanks for the blog which I find fascinating. It's great to know you are healthy and productive again.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what crazy stuff you have devised for the game scenarios grin

Thanks!
 
3/5 7:59am, smallz5467 posted:

Can't wait for this game, but I might have to delay picking it up due to finals week... could ruin a couple grades.
 
3/5 8:55am, ArbtheRipper posted:

I will enjoy killing things in your game. Please get to work on a sequel.
 
3/5 11:57am, kamiboy posted:

Wow, so there you are Yasumi Matsuno. Ever since FFXII I've wondered what you were busying your ultra talented hands with. I must admit, I agree that narrative is largely an afterthought in most actions games, and with good reason. At the very least the narrative should strive not to obstruct any of the other aspects of such an game.

RPG's though, which are your forte Mr. Yasumi Matsuno, is a genre where narrative plays a much more active role. To this day Vagrant Story remains my absolute favourite RPG. Because you do no longer work for Square I have all but given hope to see a sequel to that master piece. But I retain hope to see an Matsuno directed RPG in the future, carrying with it your signature disregard for tired conventions and useless genre traditions long due to retirement. I hope Platinum Games sees fit to employ you full time and give you free reigns to bedazzle RPG fans all over the world once more.

I am waiting with great anticipation
 
3/5 3:07pm, DolbyDigital1369 posted:

Long Live Platinum Games!!
Seriously, you guys and gals are such a breath of fresh air to this industry. I hope you guys stay around for awhile and create a bunch of quality games for all platforms. I will be supporting you guys along the way so keep up the great work. You can expect some more emails from me with my impressions of MadWorld and suggestions for the SEQUEL. I tend to get a little long winded so I will keep this post short wink
 
3/5 5:23pm, koolkitties posted:

Tres bien! Tu es des mauvais garcons.
 

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