#1 Posted by Raven10 (1724 posts) -

So I was watching Zero Punctuation's review of Killer is Dead and Yahtzee made an interesting comment regarding Suda's involvement in the numerous games credited to him. In quite a few of them he is listed as the "executive director" a position that as far as I know of doesn't exist outside of Grasshopper. Suda has been credited on every Grasshopper game released thus far but the company has put out 25+ games since its founding in 1999. That's a good 2 games a year. It makes you wonder how any person could possibly direct and write a half dozen games at any one time. I guess the question I have is how much is Suda actually involved in making these games? Is he really giving direct input on most design elements or is he "designing" these games in the same way Tom Clancy "writes" novels (that is put his name on a book written by somebody else to sell more copies)?

Anyone who has lead a team in any field can tell you how much effort needs to be put into working on even a single project. The idea that someone could be directly involved in a half dozen games at one time is kind of insane.

So what do you guys think? Is Suda more of a brand name or does the guy actually design the games that have his name on them?

#2 Edited by MEATBALL (3060 posts) -

I imagine for things like Shadows of the Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw the truth exists somewhere in between. I imagine he has a very general oversight and input, similar to the sort of role guys like Miyamoto often fill over at Nintendo with various projects where he isn't credited as a director or designer.

I don't mind so much, with SotD and Lollipop Chainsaw it resulted in games that fit the sort of tone and style you want from Suda/Grasshopper. Personally I consider them two of the games attributed to Suda51 that I've enjoyed most. Perhaps the less direct, hands on design and direction influence he has is for the better. It seems to me that Suda might actually be better in a more general role than more direct roles. It's funny, because the games are relatively upfront about Suda's role and the fact that he isn't director or lead designer, but PR is a different story where he is all over as the face of a game (which is fun at least, if not dishonest).

There's definitely a pocket of people that revere the guy a little too much, but I do like that Suda's name stands for something different and unique amongst games and so my ears definitely still pick up when a game from Suda and Grasshopper Manufacture is announced. They're not the highest quality games (though I thought Shadows of the Damned was pretty damn good), but I always enjoy enough about them to be there on day one.

#3 Posted by StarvingGamer (7991 posts) -

I imagine it is less him designing all the games and more him instilling his design style into the people designing all the games.

If that makes any sense.

#4 Edited by Danteveli (1160 posts) -

He just goes into he office and says "More dick jokes" and makes up characters names.

#5 Posted by seveword (141 posts) -

I'm sure he gives input in the same way that Kojima and Miyamoto and every other "face" gives input, in that the team takes their advice under consideration and does their best to fulfill what is part of that person's original vision for what the game should be.

Seeing as how my favorite GH game -Shadows of the Damned- is the most recent one he has had the least involvement in, maybe that's saying something, about my tastes at least.

#6 Edited by stubbleman (306 posts) -

One of the things I really hate about Grasshopper is how people seem to want to credit Suda for everything that happens over there. Suda is a writer first, and an anything else second. And as far as writing credits go, he wrote that one Firepro game, The Silver Case, Killer 7, No More Heroes, Fatal Frame 4 and Killer is Dead. He's co-written on a few others, Flower Sun and Rain, Shining Soul 2, and Shadows of the Damned.

The games he's directed are Twilight Syndrome, The Silver Case, FSR, Killer 7, and No More Heroes. And outside of that, I think he's really only like, a scenario writer. He really had very little to do with NMH2, SOTD or Lollipop. And yet he gets all the credit for them. I get the impression that he's just there to look at the check-ins and request more suplexes and luchador masks. And while that's an admirable pursuit to be sure, I just wish people didn't talk about him like he single-handedly makes all these games, with the exception of the occasions where someone else everyone's heard of comes to join him, like Akira Makoko or Shinji Mikami.

#7 Posted by joshwent (2112 posts) -

@seveword said:

I'm sure he gives input in the same way that Kojima and Miyamoto and every other "face" gives input, in that the team takes their advice under consideration and does their best to fulfill what is part of that person's original vision for what the game should be.

This. And you can even just replace "face" with "director" because that's a great general description.

Think of Peter Jackson and the LotR movies. There were hundreds and hundreds of people who designed everything, made the stuff, coached the actors, etc. and he's even one of the most hands on directors there is. But his job isn't to "make" the movie, so much as it is to look at what others have made, and say, "yes" or , "try it this way instead". Like the Captain of a large Ship. They don't do much of what you might call the "work", but they're vital to make sure everyone else is doing what they need to do to get to the destination in the right way.

#8 Posted by Raven10 (1724 posts) -

@joshwent said:

@seveword said:

I'm sure he gives input in the same way that Kojima and Miyamoto and every other "face" gives input, in that the team takes their advice under consideration and does their best to fulfill what is part of that person's original vision for what the game should be.

This. And you can even just replace "face" with "director" because that's a great general description.

Think of Peter Jackson and the LotR movies. There were hundreds and hundreds of people who designed everything, made the stuff, coached the actors, etc. and he's even one of the most hands on directors there is. But his job isn't to "make" the movie, so much as it is to look at what others have made, and say, "yes" or , "try it this way instead". Like the Captain of a large Ship. They don't do much of what you might call the "work", but they're vital to make sure everyone else is doing what they need to do to get to the destination in the right way.

I guess there is a difference between those people and Suda. Miyamoto is never credited as a director or writer, or really much of anything on any individual game. His role as an overseer is very public. In the case of Peter Jackson and Kojima, obviously they no longer are the people doing the leg work, but they are highly involved in every process. But they also only work on one game/movie at a time so I can believe they have direct input. But to me being a "Suda 51" game should really require Suda to actually design the game. And I don't mean actually programming the mechanics or placing individual enemies. I mean that he should come up with overall mechanics, systems, and levels. Saying, "Hey make a game about an Assassin who really likes boobs," does not make it his game.

#9 Edited by Abendlaender (2758 posts) -

I think Yahtzee is spot on and Suda 51 is just some magical pixie