Hello everyone! Allow me to introduce myself. I am the ‘demented director’ of MADWORLD, Shigenori Nishikawa.
A few minutes ago, I was playing MADWORLD and shoving signs into enemies. I had sign-planted five enemies in a row, when my producer, Atsushi Inaba, came up to me and said, “If you’ve got time to play MADWORLD, you have time to blog.”
So here we are. I hope my blog will give you an idea of what it took to make MADWORLD, as well as what I think makes MADWORLD great, all from a game director’s perspective. Hopefully you will read it and think “I want to play MADWORLD now! I want to use the Caution sign!”
I think it is pretty obvious, but MADWORLD was a game of many challenges. I’d like to explain two of them here.
- The Challenge Of Making An Original Action Game That Stands Up To The Black, White, And Red Style
We had decided on the black, white and red graphics from the outset, so that hurdle was clear. Or so I thought. What was really hard was coming up with a fresh game concept that held up to the graphic style. Making an action game on the Wii is also a challenge in and of itself, but I was constantly running through my head how to make the game feel “fresh” and “original.”
What gave me a hint on how to proceed was one of the colors from the black, white and red palette. You see, as the color of blood, red could be splattered around everywhere until the stages were literally dripping. The problem with that was, it would just end up being another crappy violent video game. So I hit another wall and had to keep on thinking… Instead of a game about killing, what if MADWORLD was a game where killing and being killed were made completely over-the-top and unrealistic? I thought, if we did it that way, then how would turning the stages red with blood come off?
If we made a game that was based on over-the-top, slapstick violence, you would be laughing as you did all these crazy acts. There’s never been a game like that before…
- The Challenge Of Making A Fun Game With Adult Humor
Just like I outlined above, MADWORLD is a game born from over-the-top violence.
Once I had that set, the first element that I put into the game was shoving a sign through an enemy’s head. In a regular fighting action game, you would use weapons like a sword or a knife. But that wouldn’t be over over-the-top, so I went back to my own special profound state of worry.
As I was taking a stroll outside in said worried state, I just happened to catch sight of a traffic sign. An idea shot out at me. If you pulled this thing out of the ground and shoved it into an enemy’s head, and they walked around all staggered, that would be really cool! So I pushed the team to make it for me.
When they were finished and showed it to me, I laughed and said “Cool!” But what worried me was that I could sense the team all looking at each other and saying, “Huh!?”
However, I realized that the signpost would get old after a while, so I forced the team to come up with ideas that we would make and test out over and over again. Their direction was to “come up with funny ideas that you’ve never seen in a game before.”
This is where I think that MADWORLD really took form. But I have to admit that the team not being into it at first really shocked me. Even though they were Japanese like me, I wonder if I have my own special way of looking at things…
It made me really worried whether we could actually make a game that would make people all around the world laugh. But I’ll save that story for my next post.