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SUNDAY, 2 OCTOBER 2005
2005.10.02 Sunday

I lost my shoes in last night's dream. I exited a plane and realized: "I am barefoot! My shoes aren't here… I must have forgotten them!"

I spoke with someone who worked for the airline, but he didn't know a thing about my shoes. I couldn't even remember when I lost them. When did I take them off? Perhaps I never wore them to begin with.

As I panicked, I traveled from place to place looking for my shoes; yet, none of these locations shared a border or had any means of physical connection. I simply was there, then in another place, and then another.

...and then the exam started! I suddenly remembered! I had to take that exam!

Was it a trial exam? An entrance exam? I had no clue! And even though the exam had started, I kept looking for my shoes. I gave up on taking the exam, but not on looking for my shoes. Everything became unclear... why I lost my shoes... memory weakened.

And on that subject, why was I even on that plane? Where was I going?

Feeling confined, constricted, I woke up.

It was an unpleasant dream. My body felt heavy.

I took a morning drive to prevent the battery in the car from weakening. I listened to my new music while I drove: The Tears and H.I.M.

My musical tastes aren't eclectic. I rarely listen to metal with the exception of the band Apocalyptica. Metal's aesthetic displeases me completely: the cover art, the logos, the fashion, the overall art design... even the music itself. I need more than just the music itself to think well of metal. I need to enjoy the cover art, the logotype, the fashion, and the art design – the total aesthetic counts.

Please understand, I don't mean that metal music is absolutely bad. I simply don't enjoy it.

Yet many people in Kojima Productions are fans of metal music, especially those who were born in the 1970's. They listen to metal quite a lot.

Maybe it's a simple matter of a generation gap. Shin-chan and Toyopy are practically experts in metal. Their generation traveled along the road of trends that took music from progressive to metal. My generation listened to progressive music at the same time that we encouraged punk rock onward. I suppose that makes people of my generation a little twisted!

A world of difference exists between two generations.

H.I.M.'s new album has some catchy melodies, so I found it pleasant to listen to. It is closer to the Romantic movement in hard rock during the 1980's than to metal. I expect that the group will have many female fans.

This will be their fifth album, even though it's their debut release in Japan. I was surprised by the introduction to the music on the first track. It's practically like listening to Goblin itself!

H.I.M. is from Finland, as is Apocalyptica. Music from Northern Europe is simple and sentimental... so pure, it's almost rural, provincial. In order to survive in such a harsh and cold environment, the people seek music that connects directly to the soul and the mind.

I read an article about Maruzen closing its business in yesterday's Asahi Journal Evening Edition. It claims that many people are leaving lemons in the department store, just like the main character in Motojiro Kajii's short story titled LEMON. Coincidentally, I learned that many people are buying LEMON from the bookstore inside Maruzen.

LEMON is featured in school textbooks; there aren't many Japanese who don't know the story. I am fond of the story myself. I learned the name Maruzen for the first time through LEMON. To be perfectly honest... I left a lemon in Maruzen when I was a high school student. My friend did the same.

It must have been a nuisance for the people who worked there. I feel a bit sorry for having done it.

I’m sad that Maruzen is closing business, but I'm pleased to know that witty people still live in Japan. The knowledge relieves me somewhat.

Today, the Subsistence team rests before starting the final phase. Around my boot, everything is quiet. The MGA2 team is animated, however. MGA2 will be released in the same month as Subsistence.

The situation here is getting serious. Staff morale has improved since the debugging and adjustments on the game are going well. This is a good atmosphere to have when we are entering the final stages. At times like these, we need to know whether or not our work has resulted in a product that pleases us. If the results make us think, "Well, that's okay," then we will work hard to make it better than "okay" with the remaining time – right until the very end. If we think, "That looks bad," then we try to complete it as soon as possible. We don't spend much more time on it than necessary.

Our effectiveness comes from our understanding of what we create. A garbage game is always recognized as a garbage game by its creators.

Checking the three discs of Subsistence takes a lot of time, but MGA2 contains a lot of material too. One play-through of MGA2 takes about 30 hours, so we need to develop a schedule for ourselves.

I am finishing Subsistence first.

I checked all of the 3D images of the Sabra girls. The "space" of the real world that we experience day-to-day exists in this game, as opposed to the "space" that one sees in a television show. For example, assume that there is a scene in a television show wherein the camera rolls toward one of the Sabra girls for a close-up. In a television show, the scene would be cut there.

Not so with TOBIDAC!D.

The scene continues, and the girls watch the camera – and me – for eternity. I feel so embarrassed in front of them, I plead, "Please, stop, that's enough!" I feel as though I am really with them.

The three girls look really healthy and cute. In 3D, they become even more vivid! Ms. Ayumi Kinoshita is my favorite.

Since I have been so busy with TGS and GC, I again failed to submit the in-depth interview articles for which I am responsible. This makes the second month in a row that I haven't had the articles. I feel bad about this. I apologize, Mr. Okamura. I must write this month, for sure.

I am not making an excuse here, and it has had nothing to do with a lack of time. I couldn't write them because I felt like I was mentally driven into a corner. To write an article, one must clearly express one's concepts and ideas. When I was at TGS, I was talking and managing the promotional activities. I didn't feel very much like writing an article, which was my own weakness.

Mr. Teru Miyamoto, whose writing I respect, continued writing a series for a magazine even right after the Kobe (Hanshin) Earthquake. At the time, his writing was influenced heavily by the disaster.

Right now, I may not have the ability to write articles for a series.

I have decided on the movie that I'm going to write about for my article. I will watch the DVD in my personal hide-out. I've just been indecisive because this movie was in an article last month. When I mentioned next month's material to Mr. Nishimura – the only person who I can ask for advice regarding content – he responded:

"Mr. Director, that was last month's material. It's already old."

If that's his opinion, then it's probably right. What am I going to do? Should I try to find other material?

I checked the sound on the third disc, Existence, for the second part of chapter four. Though it pains me, I resolved to avoid dramatizing the gameplay aspects of the fight with The End. Players will have to put in the first disc to enjoy those scenes.

In the evening, our works (which we regard as our children) are ready. I leave them in Matsuhanan's hands.

Tomorrow morning, our "sons" head off for Aoyama. Traveling mercies to them!

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