I hope you all enjoyed my blog entry last week, and I’m happy that you are interested in our little game called MADWORLD. I think for this blog, I’ll continue from where I left off with my first post.
Our team developed MADWORLD here in Japan, and almost all of the staff were Japanese. I was constantly worried with the question of how my Japanese team would understand what makes people overseas laugh. It is a tough thing to do, and I worried if they were up to it.
However, as all the foreigners who had seen the signpost or the rose bush would bust up laughing, I came to believe that if we made the game on that level, other people overseas would be laughing with us as well. That’s when I instructed the team to, “Create gameplay situations and cause user reactions that we think are over-the-top, but don’t ever aim to get laughs!”
Why? Because I’ve never heard of a Japanese comedian think of some kind of gag that will get laughs overseas and have it actually work out. I thought that if we as a group simply don’t get what is funny in these cases, we shouldn’t be trying to get laughs, because we will just end up making something that falls flat.
In truth, the reaction to the signpost from the team was awful. Everyone thought it was mean-spirited and left a bad taste in their mouth. However, I think that was just the standard Japanese reaction to things. When foreigners saw it, they laughed out loud. Their completely opposite reaction, that over-the-top brutality = laughs, was the moment I realized that people, countries, and cultures are truly different. So it would be pointless for my Japanese team to suddenly declare, “We are going to make a game that makes westerners laugh!” What I did think was that we could make what had already gotten laughs the focal point and began to imagine what else might get laughs. So that’s what I told the team to do.
I figure for the non-Japanese who have read this far, a lot of you must be thinking, “What is really so brutal about this game, anyway?” That is the difference in reactions that I was discussing. Of course, I’m the only member of the team who thought the signpost was funny… Maybe I’m not really Japanese after all.
And now for something completely different… Some users on a site (NeoGAF) got organized and made some MADWORLD posters. I was really surprised by how awesome the design sense was. The other thing that shocked me was just how many posters they made.
Everyone took time out of their day and tried their hardest to make a cool MADWORLD ad. It really shot our motivation through the roof and made the team and I want to make an even better game for everyone out there! Thank you all so much for making these!!
(The poster below is the one I thought was the best out of all the designs!)
By the way, have you guys checked out the first episode of PGTV? I was interviewed for the first episode, and one of the questions was what were my favorite games… But it seems like I forgot to mention number 1! I think I screwed it up because I had a couple of drinks and I haven’t been playing Brain Training on the DS lately. So now is as good a time as any… My favorite game is… Grand Theft Auto.
I started playing GTA with GTA3, but then went back and played everything before and everything after. Right now I am playing GTA4. When I was at Capcom, I worked on the localization of GTA Vice City Stories for the PSP.
What makes GTA appealing to me is probably something so obvious I don’t even need to explain, but that is the amount of freedom in the game. It is so much fun! Even MADWORLD references elements of GTA’s level of freedom in its gameplay as well as in the on-screen map we use to help you get around. Of course, MADWORLD isn’t nearly as expansive a world as GTA, but I’d like to think that we’ve made a Wii game with the most amount of freedom found on the system. Everyone pick up a copy and enjoy our own special brand of freedom!