40 Comments
Posted by nintendmoe

I want one of those masks. For stuff

Edited by DarkbeatDK

Mikami knows what's up

Posted by SonofSeth

Yes

Edited by Redhorn

I actually care less and less about story as time goes on. The old me would have been critical of anyone typing this next sentence, but: I just want to shoot things.

.....I'm gonna go play Quake.

edit: I love the Dumptrucks, btw. Great work.

Edited by ptys

Cool, I think the thing about Resident Evil which has been missed is that it was one of the first games we got to play which was like a mature movie. It's not just about the scares, moreso about the atmosphere and setting. Hope he can rekindle the magic, I think a choice of playable characters or even customisation is something that could help.

Posted by Skanes

I didn't know he was responsible for RE4. I feel so uninformed now...

Posted by jimmyfenix

@ptys: His story about Japanese publishers not using big budgets and sometime playing it safe is interesting. i hope evil within is a great game for both mikami and Bethesda

Edited by DTS

This was fascinating.

Posted by Daneian

God Hand is pretty cool.

Edited by bquintero

"Suvival horror is Back! Haha" - SM

"Ehhh. Errr..." -PK

LMAO

Posted by themangalist

It's interesting how Mikami said he didn't "learn" techniques to scare people in games, and in the end suggest that (new) horror game devs should stick with their personal fears (which would help guide them to create a good horror experience I guess). Either it was the language barrier that brought about this answer, or that he hasn't (had time to play or) played many horror games.

This kind of falls in line with what I hear about how Japanese developers produce their games: "Stick with what works". To be honest, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre type setpiece sounds really tired Pyramid Head anyone?). Horror has prob long since moved on, and Patrick, in a several questions, seemed to hope for a more interesting answer to this problem.

Posted by JamesJeux007

If this is not about Shinji Mikami taking a dump, someone screwed up.

Edited by CaLe

@themangalist: There was nothing lost in translation there, it's pretty much exactly what he said. The interpreter did a great job overall, even fleshing out Patrick's questions to make them easier to answer.

Edited by tourgen

@nekrokreuz said:

I actually care less and less about story as time goes on. The old me would have been critical of anyone typing this next sentence, but: I just want to shoot things.

.....I'm gonna go play Quake.

edit: I love the Dumptrucks, btw. Great work.

I just played through Doom 3 and I can see where you are coming from. Sometimes I just want to play a quality, tightly-tuned game.

Cutscenes usually just wreck a good game's pace. In-game, concurrent events and dialog are WAAAAY more interesting to me - Like Half Life 2 or Portal 1 & 2. Some of the delivery methods in Skyrim are pretty decent too.

Anyway, I am demanding better games first. Better stories are nice but they can come after we have excellent gameplay locked in. And not at the expense of the game.

Edited by leinad44

Say what you will about Patrick. He does good interviews.

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Posted by VikG
Posted by Pop

The wife is the scariest thing around.

Posted by Maajin

Interviews with Japanese game developers are always so weird, the cultural barrier is there, of course... But it seems there is even more profound philosophical differences that almost make it seem that you are both talking about different things, sometimes.

Great effort nonetheless.

Posted by Holmzy

Beep Beep

Edited by mcain99

Had a good laugh:

Q: Do you feel any pressure to have more story elements in your game[...]?

Translator: [30 seconds of translation]

A: Yes

Posted by mbr2

Apparently running away and hiding is not a part of surviving.

Edited by claybrez

Shinji Mikami seems like a chill duder. I wish I could understand Japanese, I'd love to hear him DIRECTLY talk horror.

Edited by huss

I was never a big Resident Evil guy but The Evil Within seems really cool. Genuinely excited for it.

Posted by AssInAss

Haven't listened to all of this, but is he asked about what he thinks of the recent horror revolution on the PC scene with Amnesia and other similar games where they focus more on hiding with no combat?

Posted by SatelliteOfLove

Note how he says Japanese pubs are loathe to spend extra money, and American ones are loathe to not spend extra money...

Posted by katsu044

Good listen oddly enough was able to get a gist of what he was saying most of the time.

Edited by JohnRabbit

mark cerny had a great moment when speaking to geoff keighley during E3 with the studio head of Knack. the developer was speaking in Japanese and mark was translating for him. at one point the dev answered a question from keighley and mark sort of flustered saying "oh they always do this, they say something you can't possibly translate into English". it was great.

@maajin said:

Interviews with Japanese game developers are always so weird, the cultural barrier is there, of course... But it seems there is even more profound philosophical differences that almost make it seem that you are both talking about different things, sometimes.

Great effort nonetheless.

Edited by CaLe

@johnrabbit said:

mark cerny had a great moment when speaking to geoff keighley during E3 with the studio head of Knack. the developer was speaking in Japanese and mark was translating for him. at one point the dev answered a question from keighley and mark sort of flustered saying "oh they always do this, they say something you can't possibly translate into English". it was great.

@maajin said:

Interviews with Japanese game developers are always so weird, the cultural barrier is there, of course... But it seems there is even more profound philosophical differences that almost make it seem that you are both talking about different things, sometimes.

Great effort nonetheless.

What he said in the Cerny interview wasn't untranslatable at all. He just said he wasn't cut out for being the hospitable type, or more literally, that he doesn't have the spirit of hospitality--something that's super important when it comes to doing Japanese tea ceremony. He used the words おもてなし and 精神, which admittedly do have a lot more nuance to them than the English words 'hospitality' or 'spirit' do, but nothing mysterious or untranslatable. Cerny's heavily accented Japanese puzzles me though, I'm pretty sure he's lived in Japan long enough to have gotten rid of that.

The strange thing is, I was reading an old Kojima interview just today and funnily enough Mark Cerny was brought up along with the word おもてなし. Kojima was saying that Crash Bandicoot was as successful as it was because Mark Cerny was able to bring this おもてなし spirit to that game, and that set it apart from most other Western games which he considered rough and hard to approach. They had no おもてなし to them! Yeah, this is actually a very nuanced word... Things like having a tutorial, short intervals between saves, getting back into the game quickly after dying, etc, etc, could all fall under this term.

Posted by RaidenMitsuru

This is amazing, I wish you could do more of these with Japanese devs.

Posted by Swordcery

Absolutely love these interviews. Mikami seems like such a cool guy.

Edited by North6

Mostly solid interview, but I feel like Patrick lost his own thread or got confused at one point. He asked Mikami to define "Survival Horror", then later Mikami defined "Pure Horror" then Patrick asked him if he would make a "Pure Survival" game without it being defined, or if he would "add more survival elements to make it more difficult". I don't feel like that translated well. Mikami seemed to equate "Survival" with combat, so I think Patrick probably mixed "Survival" with "Horror" (at least in Mikami's definition).

Good interview though! Very entertaining.

Posted by bquintero

@north6: i commented earlier about a similar awkward moment but honestly sometimes an interviewer just has to drop his thread to keep the conversation moving or else this would be a dumptruck about nothing more than back and forth on trying to translate his definition of survival horror.

Posted by mnzy

@assinass said:

Haven't listened to all of this, but is he asked about what he thinks of the recent horror revolution on the PC scene with Amnesia and other similar games where they focus more on hiding with no combat?

That's pretty much exactly one question he asked.

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Posted by flanker22

Its a crime that more people dont know who shinji mikami is, he really knows gameplay design.

Posted by Inquisitor

Cool interview, thanks Patrick.

Edited by Pepsiman

As another Japanese speaker, I'd like to chime in and say this interpreter did a really solid job translating the back-and-forth between Patrick and Mikami. There are certain things I'd have personally translated differently, but they boil down mostly to semantic differences that are born from him being a Japanese native interpreter versus me being an English native one. He wasn't at all prone to dropping out details from both sides, which was a pleasantly nice thing to hear since it's still relatively common to have that happen in these sorts of interviews, especially when the interpreter doesn't specialize in games. Also pretty apparent that Mikami has either hired this guy before or he's just that personable, since they bounced off well when speaking to each other in Japanese, which is always a good bonus to have for interviews.

@cale said:

@johnrabbit said:

mark cerny had a great moment when speaking to geoff keighley during E3 with the studio head of Knack. the developer was speaking in Japanese and mark was translating for him. at one point the dev answered a question from keighley and mark sort of flustered saying "oh they always do this, they say something you can't possibly translate into English". it was great.

@maajin said:

Interviews with Japanese game developers are always so weird, the cultural barrier is there, of course... But it seems there is even more profound philosophical differences that almost make it seem that you are both talking about different things, sometimes.

Great effort nonetheless.

What he said in the Cerny interview wasn't untranslatable at all. He just said he wasn't cut out for being the hospitable type, or more literally, that he doesn't have the spirit of hospitality--something that's super important when it comes to doing Japanese tea ceremony. He used the words おもてなし and 精神, which admittedly do have a lot more nuance to them than the English words 'hospitality' or 'spirit' do, but nothing mysterious or untranslatable. Cerny's heavily accented Japanese puzzles me though, I'm pretty sure he's lived in Japan long enough to have gotten rid of that.

The strange thing is, I was reading an old Kojima interview just today and funnily enough Mark Cerny was brought up along with the word おもてなし. Kojima was saying that Crash Bandicoot was as successful as it was because Mark Cerny was able to bring this おもてなし spirit to that game, and that set it apart from most other Western games which he considered rough and hard to approach. They had no おもてなし to them! Yeah, this is actually a very nuanced word... Things like having a tutorial, short intervals between saves, getting back into the game quickly after dying, etc, etc, could all fall under this term.

I haven't seen the Cerny interview in question, but I wonder if his difficulties in translating those sorts of words come from him being an engineering type first and foremost. I'm not at all claiming I'm perfect in my own translation and interpretation work when it comes to Japanese, but I could see that sort of background potentially making him less... I guess semantically flexible and articulate when it comes to more abstract concepts like おもてなし and 精神 since his meat and potatoes would naturally lie more in the comparatively straightforward sciences. I agree that those are concepts that are perfectly conveyable in English with the right sort of sentimental sensitivity, but if he just got his translation chops from simply learning Japanese as lived and worked there and not from some formal training, I could see that being the case. That being said, I do find it odd, too, when I hear other longtime American expats still not get rid of the accent. Sometimes I wonder if they're just tone deaf about it and people are too polite to tell them that they still sound like they got off the plane.

Also is there any chance you could hook me up with that Kojima interview? I don't read as much creator interviews in Japanese as I would like and Kojima talking about stuff like おもてなし in that sort of context sounds really interesting. Thanks!

Posted by CaLe
Posted by Xshinobi

Shinji Mikami is the fucking man!

Posted by MacEG
Posted by dr_mantas

"Pure Horror" is a GREAT name for the genre occupied by Amnesia and it's ilk.

Also, listening to Japanese, even though I don't understand it, is very interesting and relaxing. It's truly a beautiful sounding language.