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AusGamers Toshihiro Nagoshi Binary Domain Interview
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 04:34pm 14/10/11 | Comments
We chat to SEGA legend, Toshihiro Nagoshi. Read on for what he had to say...

We had a chance to sit down with Toshihiro Nagoshi, a legend in the Japanese videogaming industry who has spent the majority of his time out at SEGA. His credits include such staple classics as Daytona USA and Super Monkey Ball, but he also worked with Nintendo’s EAD development team to bring F-Zero to the GameCube with F-Zero GX, which was critically acclaimed.

AusGamers: Ladies and gents, welcome back to AusGamers. We have a very special guest with us for our interview today, we’re here with SEGA’s Nagoshi-san, who has done some amazing things and basically needs no introduction.

Nagoshi-san, thank you for joining us today. We’re here to talk about Binary Domain, but I’m hoping that we can also talk a bit about your history in the games industry and the legacy you’ve created there. But let’s start with this game first.

Can you run us through SEGA’s overall direction with Binary Domain and what you hope to achieve with this game?

Toshihiro Nagoshi: What we’re trying to do with Binary domain is... third person shooters are obviously a very popular genre in western markets, and increasingly Japanese-developed titles are not received well in western markets. So what we’re trying to do with Binary Domain is break through this barrier.

Going into this very busy and competitive market is definitely a challenge for us, but we believe that by putting all of our resources and know-how from previous titles and the attention to detail that Japanese developers excel at, we are confident that we can achieve our goal and make this title accepted by many western players.

AusGamers: Is it also important then, to make sure that it has a Japanese appeal as well -- which appears to be very much in there, especially with the art direction which seems inspired by a lot of Japanese pop-culture, Anime and Manga and things like that?

And in that sense, was it an internal philosophy to make sure that it carried both western and eastern flair to help bridge that gap that you’re talking about -- Japanese developers breaking into the western market, but also needing to keep some appeal here in Japan?

Nagoshi-san: Very much so. As you pointed out, if we were doing a copy of a western title, it wouldn’t be as good. As Japanese developers, we had to bring our own unique style into this game. Take, for example, our robot design: some of them were created internally, but we also used a very good designer who specialises in robot designing and sketches and that’s just one of the collaborations that we’ve done to pick the best talents in Japanese gaming and the entertainment industry.

AusGamers: I’m curious as to what you feel makes a western game a western game in contrast to a Japanese game?

Nagoshi-san: One of the prominent and unique things in the western market is that there are more core gamers in the western market than in the Japanese market. So they tend to have more skills, knowledge and awareness of games and the difficulty level changes accordingly as well.

So I think that’s probably one of the main reasons why we have such a different market in Japan than the west.

AusGamers: Traditionally, some of the games you’ve worked on have been really simple concepts -- Super Monkey Ball was such a simple concept, but it still had an amazing amount of challenge involved. So surely there’s still a way to make games simplified -- not overly complex -- with a higher difficulty level as well. Do you think Japanese development has lost its way somewhat?

Nagoshi-san: Yes and no. In a way, Japanese developers have lost the appetite and ability to create that sort of game. But at the same time, as a general observation it’s probably true that many people don’t spend as much time playing one single game anymore. So as a game developer, it makes more sense to put the same resources into making the next game, rather than to make one game perfect.

AusGamers: Do you ever miss developing just for a SEGA console? These days there’s obviously a lot of resources invested into making sure your game comes out on as many platforms as possible, whereas back in the day you would just create a game for Dreamcast or Saturn. Do you wish you could go back to the days of working on a single console?

Nagoshi-san: It’s actually something of a relief now, because back then when we were working on single consoles, we were making games, but we also had a mission to promote the hardware at the same time. So it was almost like having two jobs.

Whereas now, we can focus on the software and creating a good game, so I prefer it now.

AusGamers: In your own words, can you tell us what is the most appealing thing about Binary Domain. As a cheap way to put it, can you pitch the game to me?

Nagoshi-san: Binary Domain is a squad-based shooter where trust between your squad members really matters. Everything happens in real-time and every action, every decision and everything you say to a team member will have a great consequence in the game.

You can also use voice-commands to give directions and communicate with your team members which is a really intense and exhilarating experience.

AusGamers: Ok, I’m sold. Thank you very much for your time today.

Nagoshi-san: Thank you very much.
Read more about Binary Domain on the game page - we've got the latest news, screenshots, videos, and more!

Latest Comments
Posted 06:29pm 14/10/11
Saw a video over at gametrailers where they showed off the "Consequence system". If your team trusts you they shoot better, cover you when asked to etc, if they don't your pretty much on your own as they do what they want.
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