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JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
Thread on GAF about what is "wrong" with Japanese games. I was going to reply there, but I'd rather reply here. http://t.co/ifxgBEzg
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
First, someone posted that Vanquish "failed" because we made the story "dudebro." That's weird because it implies that was the intent.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
For the record, no one ever tried to write the story of Vanquish in any way other than the way we wanted to write the story. We create.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
The problems with Japanese games aren't that they are JPN games or that they are Westernized games. The problems with JPN games are simple:
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
Most of them aren't very good games. People don't buy those. Most games from anywhere aren't good. That's why exceptional means exceptional.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
Most Japanese publishers/developers can't invest money/manpower enough to compete with exceptional Western productions. Risk is too high.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
It costs money and sweat to make things stand out, but it also raises the risk. Then marketing is crazy expensive after that.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
Games today sell on spectacle. Spectacle is also easy to market. However, good ideas lie behind these spectacles.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
So it makes me mad to see people dis "AAA" games like they are all rote executions on some tired formula. They sell because they are good.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
They match great production values with great execution on great ideas. They sell on easy to understand themes.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
Even Western games that don't get that right fail. Just because you make a "dudebro" shooter doesn't mean it is a sure thing.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
Japanese games can be awesome. They can suck too. It is about picking ideas and themes that you can execute exceptionally on.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
Japanese games can be awesome. They can suck too. It is about picking ideas and themes that you can execute exceptionally on.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
Then you have to communicate that exceptionalism in a way that people understand that your game is exceptional.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
You have to do both, and you have to do both at a high level, or you will fail. It is just how the industry goes right now.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
Japanese can make a highly Western game, Westerners can make highly Japanese games. These are talented creators on both sides.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
However, if you screw up executing on the ideas you are supposed to be executing on… You fail. Simple as that.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
Where Japanese games need to get better is reducing friction. If we have the best ideas, we need to make sure you don't have to wonder why.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
Friction means you need to look at a character and identify with what that character is supposed to represent.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
Friction means never underestimating the intelligence of your audience.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
Culturally, Japanese design is about being inclusive. They don't wany anyone left behind, so they will add friction to an experience.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
Except then you move at the pace of the slowest one in a group. It bogs the experience down for people who already get it.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
Just imagine if you had to order McDonald's like a Japanese game's option menu. It would be horrific if you had ever been to a McD's before.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
Can I take your order. Hamburger. Hamburger is a piece of meat, two buns, ketchup and mustard. Are you sure you want a hamburger? Yes.
JP Kellams @synaesthesiajp
That is friction. Western games stop when the user says hamburger. They assume that user intent is initially correct. JPN games should too.
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