Hideo Kojima, the mind behind the Metal Gear series and game director of the upcoming Death Stranding, revealed on Saturday that even as the production teams he manages have gotten bigger, he still contributes to multiple stages of the game development process. Kojima is one of the most recognized names in the video game industry, and his games are known to have a bizarre flair that marks them as distinctly "Hideo Kojima games."
Kojima's latest project, the PS4-exclusive Death Stranding, has screamed "Hideo Kojima" since its first trailer debuted at E3 2016, which starred a nude Norman Reedus, dead sea creatures and an invisible baby. Actual details about the game have remained largely a mystery since then, with gameplay and cinematic trailers only showcasing more weird imagery and celebrity actors. In May 2019, Kojima released a new eight-minute trailer and finally began to explain the game's premise. As viewers tried to interpret the trailer, Kojima clarified that Death Stranding will not be a stealth game or a first-person shooter, saying that it instead falls into a new genre he calls "action game/strand game(social strand system)."
Just how does Kojima manage to create such strange, complex game concepts? The game director recently gave fans a look into his development philosophy on Twitter: Kojima explained that, at the beginning of his 33-year career in game development, the small teams he worked with necessitated that he be involved in all areas of development, from writing the story to inputting data.
33 years ago in Game Industry, the game dev team was formed only 5-6 ppl. Creating the concept ideas, writing the story & specs, drawing the mapon the graph paper, helping dot draw, inputting the data directly, managing the flag, constructing simplified language by logic,— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) June 15, 2019
As his teams got bigger and he began to take on more administrative tasks, Kojima said, he continued to be involved in the more granular levels of development, as well. Kojima compared this style of creative involvement to that of smaller, independent game studios, and said this is what allows him to make "A HIDEO KOJIMA GAME."
I get involved myself with the game creation from upstream to downstream. That’s A HIDEO KOJIMA GAME。— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) June 15, 2019
Death Stranding is Kojima's first game since 2015's Konami-published Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Kojima left Konami in late 2015 after a long and public breakup with the company and established Kojima Productions as an independent studio. Even before he was out from under Konami's thumb, though, Kojima was still renowned for as a visionary of the industry. The Metal Gear series is known for characters and stories just as wild as those that appear to be the focus of Death Stranding.
As interesting as it is to get this look into Kojima's development philosophy, it's not entirely surprising. Just looking at what we've seen so far of Death Stranding, it's immediately obvious that Kojima has his hands all over the game's concepts, themes and story, so it's no wonder that he's involving himself in other aspects of the game's creation.
Source: Hideo Kojima/Twitter