NightSky Dev: Kojima is Terrible At Making Games

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NightSky Dev: Kojima is Terrible At Making Games

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Nicalis founder, Tyrone Rodriguez, talks about Hideo Kojima and the "indie" label. It turns out he doesn't particularly care for either of them.

Founded by former IGN editor, Tyrone Rodriguez, Nicalis is a small developer known mostly for its ports of popular indie games, Cave Story and VVVVVV. The company also developed and published NightSky, a charming physics-based puzzle/platformer with an attractive aesthetic. Oh, and it has what is pretty much the coolest website I've ever seen.

During an interview with IndieGames.com, Rodriguez was asked if the recent criticism leveled at modern Japanese games by entirely likable and not-smug-at-all indie developers, Jonathan Blow and Phil Fish - who I shall now collectively refer to as BlowFish, witty and original wordsmith that I am - was justified. Rodriguez couldn't name any Japanese indie games, save Cave Story, that weren't bowel-shatteringly awful, but he did name drop a few mainstream titles; Demon's Souls, Street Fighter IV and The World Ends with you, to name a few. Then the name "Konami" came up, and all of a sudden Rodriguez was on the war path.

The following was written by IndieGames editor, John Polson:

And then I mentioned Konami. "Konami doesn't make good stuff," he argued. He says in particular that Metal Gear Solid developer Hideo Kojima should stop making games and start making bad movies (ironically, Kojima just might). "He's terrible at making games. Metal Gear is good in spite of him. I haven't enjoyed a game of his since maybe the original Metal Gear Solid, maybe." He feels the recent ones are tedious, riddled with bad writing, bad story-telling, and bad control.

Having exposed Konami and Kojima to the full extent of his fury, Rodriguez turned his attention to indie game developers.

"The main thing I want to see from indie developers is to stop calling themselves indie developers," he said. "You're either a game developer or you're not. Indie has nothing to do with it. It's like this cool buzzword now. Do you make games? Okay, then you're a game developer."

Source: IndieGames

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Oh, pish posh. Kojima's a crazy sob whose rediculous characters and loooong, silly stories put the developers in a unique position to do a lot of things that aren't as encouraged in other games. Its weird, but what's so bad about such silliness existing?

As for indie devs, why should they stop using a term because some people have appropriated "Indie" for stylish buzz? It still is technically accurate.

I'd tell him to lighten up, but to be honest, Cavestory and VVVVVV are some pretty great games, regardless of the "indie" status. His money is where his mouth is.
Still, I do find it a bit unreasonable to hold others to such a high standard; personally, I'd rather see more games out there being produced, even if they're mediocre than fewer, better games.

The second I read "IGN", I knew the guy wasn't worth listening to.

Erana:
Oh, pish posh. Kojima's a crazy sob whose rediculous characters and loooong, silly stories put the developers in a unique position to do a lot of things that aren't as encouraged in other games. Its weird, but what's so bad about such silliness existing?

He's fellated as a genius and a great storyteller.

Rodriguez couldn't name any Japanese indie games that weren't bowel-shatteringly awful

Founded by former IGN editor, Tyrone Rodriguez, Nicalis is a small developer known mostly for its ports of popular indie games, Cave Story and VVVVVV.

You couldn't name the Japanese indie game that you ported over?

While the modern Japanese gaming scene does seem to churn out even more samey mediocre titles then the West's, dismissing an entire part of the world as creatively bankrupt is just...dumb. Nothing more to be said about the guy. He seems dumb.

Oh, and indie developer's acknowledge themselves as such to highlight their lack of resources and higher need for fan support and advertisement. It may be used obnoxiously on occasion, but I really just get the feeling that he's only pissed because it makes him feel like he's not a part of the big boy's club.

Zachary Amaranth:

Erana:
Oh, pish posh. Kojima's a crazy sob whose rediculous characters and loooong, silly stories put the developers in a unique position to do a lot of things that aren't as encouraged in other games. Its weird, but what's so bad about such silliness existing?

He's fellated as a genius and a great storyteller.

And people say the same thing about Pollock's work.
People just have different opinions, ranging from interpretations of him as a sheer genius, to just different views on how interesting he is when you literally do just take his work as a bunch of paint splatter.
Some people find his contribution to the idea of action painting useful, even though they think is work is terrible.
There are so many ways to appreciate and dislike a work.

So yeah, there's a statement to respond to your own statement of something people are already familiar with.

Erana:
SNIP

OMG ITS JUST AN OPINION GUISE is kinda inane, given the guy who originally commented also was just offering an opinion. I sincerely hope you were self-aware as you posted that, because otherwise...:|

zaver:

Rodriguez couldn't name any Japanese indie games that weren't bowel-shatteringly awful

Founded by former IGN editor, Tyrone Rodriguez, Nicalis is a small developer known mostly for its ports of popular indie games, Cave Story and VVVVVV.

You couldn't name the Japanese indie game that you ported over?

Looks like the story has been edited but that aside, he didn't mention Recettear. He can suck it!

I haven't played Cave Story but I have played VVVVVV. It was alright. It had a certain charm to it but I just couldn't get invested in it.

Uhm, neither Mr Rodriguez or Nicalis are the dev(s) for NightSky; They did the publishing.
The developer is Mr Niklas "Nifflas" Nygren http://nifflas.ni2.se/

Erana:

Zachary Amaranth:

Erana:
Oh, pish posh. Kojima's a crazy sob whose rediculous characters and loooong, silly stories put the developers in a unique position to do a lot of things that aren't as encouraged in other games. Its weird, but what's so bad about such silliness existing?

He's fellated as a genius and a great storyteller.

And people say the same thing about Pollock's work.
People just have different opinions, ranging from interpretations of him as a sheer genius, to just different views on how interesting he is when you literally do just take his work as a bunch of paint splatter.
Some people find his contribution to the idea of action painting useful, even though they think is work is terrible.
There are so many ways to appreciate and dislike a work.

So yeah, there's a statement to respond to your own statement of something people are already familiar with.

Yes, and some opinions are fucking stupid and lead to stupid decisions.

OT: Bravo, someone with the balls to actually say something beyond "it makes me sad that..." And giving Kojima shit to boot. I played MGS4 and no, I did not rike it.

Rauten:
Uhm, neither Mr Rodriguez or Nicalis are the dev(s) for NightSky; They did the publishing.
The developer is Mr Niklas "Nifflas" Nygren http://nifflas.ni2.se/

Interesting, according to the Nicalis website, it was developed in-house with Nygren acting as design director.

Well after the complete shambles that was MGS2 i can understand where this guy is coming from. Though MGS3 somehow managed to be pretty damn good... The appeal of Snake's ultra smexy voice probably had a factor in there somewhere. And maybe Kojima was away during half of the cutscene to gameplay ratio meetings?

That makes sense i suppose. Since apparently (from what i've heard) MGS4 goes back to the loopy world of MGS2 where nothing makes sense and cutscenes are an hour long again. Oh joy. Wonder if a huge Diabolus Ex Machina turns up to invalidate two/three hours of gameplay in that game too.

Grey Carter:

Rauten:
Uhm, neither Mr Rodriguez or Nicalis are the dev(s) for NightSky; They did the publishing.
The developer is Mr Niklas "Nifflas" Nygren http://nifflas.ni2.se/

Interesting, according to the Nicalis website, it was developed in-house with Nygren acting as design director.

Hrm, guess they reached some sort of agreement to put Nicalis as dev, but the whole game reeks of Nifflas, the graphics, the soundtrack, the, hell, everything; he even used Multimedia Fusion for the game (same piece of crap he used for his previous games), and he actually asked around his forums for people to help him test some update builds before he'd throw them into Steam's hands.

But whatever, if they claim he's just an advisor, either that was the case, or they reached an agreement to have him show only as such.

Yeah... he can tell me why I care what he thinks AFTER he's made more than one original title to his name, instead of just doing the porting job. It's like Hijinx Studio claiming to know "what horror is" after porting the Silent Hill collection to HD...

And I mean INTENTIONAL Horror!

Being a shameless MGS fanboy who hasn't done anything but play Peace Walker for the last few days I think I may be too biased to provide input here. Although I would be arguing against the word of someone from IGN so he has no real high ground...

Ehhhh I agree with his comment on indie games. When I find a new game on the Android market that I like, I think "Cool, I just discovered a cool smartphone game!", not, "Excellent, I have just been informed of the most innovative, original and artistic indie game! *sips starbucks coffee*"

Ironic that he's made one of the best video game series around isn't it? Seems to me that the guy accusing Kojima of being a terrible dev is not really thinking like Kojima.

Of course Kojima doesn't care about smaller markets or smaller projects, that's not his cocking style. When Kojima get's a hold of a game engine, he knows he can freaking put War and Peace into a bloody game, and make it 4 hours longer than the actual book itself.

Kojima's imagination is wild, off the wall yet grounded enough to not come under fantasy and fairy tales. His stories are insane, yet genius. Character's are like actual freaking people, bar the crazy imaginings of them.

Kojima is exactly what the games industry needs. I truly believe that Hideo is the Da Vinci of gaming. His work is quite well known and popular among gaming circles, but when he pops his clogs and this generation of gaming is consigned to 'retro,' his fame will sky-rocket as one of the visionaries of the 7th generation.

Funny, because I enjoy Kojima's games far more than his games. Most fans of Metal Gear will admit that his writing is bat shit crazy and has long cut scenes. I for one enjoy the fact that he can do what he wants without someone looking over his shoulder telling him what to do because they want to make it accessible for a wider audience or some stupid crap like that. Kojima is one of the few game creators around who can do what he wants.

Yes, his writing is at times really bad and crazy, but to the degree of self parody, or satire. I don't think Kojima takes everything he does seriously.

Robert Ewing:
Ironic that he's made one of the best video game series around isn't it? Seems to me that the guy accusing Kojima of being a terrible dev is not really thinking like Kojima.

Of course Kojima doesn't care about smaller markets or smaller projects, that's not his cocking style. When Kojima get's a hold of a game engine, he knows he can freaking put War and Peace into a bloody game, and make it 4 hours longer than the actual book itself.

Kojima's imagination is wild, off the wall yet grounded enough to not come under fantasy and fairy tales. His stories are insane, yet genius. Character's are like actual freaking people, bar the crazy imaginings of them.

Kojima is exactly what the games industry needs. I truly believe that Hideo is the Da Vinci of gaming. His work is quite well known and popular among gaming circles, but when he pops his clogs and this generation of gaming is consigned to 'retro,' his fame will sky-rocket as one of the visionaries of the 7th generation.

Essentially I agree with this guy.

I wouldn't mind the guy's opinion about the indie label if it were not for the fact that it actually means something, and is a very real factor in what kind of resources the developer is working with in order to produce a game.

As for his thoughts on Kojima and Konami, well that's just his opinion. Kinda rude, but if he feels strongly enough about it to make a stand, it's better he makes his case.

Before I flip and rage, I'd like him to expand this thought. That way I have a tangible way of arguing back. This guy might just hate stealth.

Calumon: Maybe he's just a big meanie who hates things because he's a meanie!

I've only ever played MGS 1, 2, and 4 and I've only enjoyed 1 and 2. 4 was really really bad. Everyone hates on Raiden in 2, but the gameplay was was more than good enough to make up for it. MGS4 is just so damn boring to play. I will say that MGS1 and it's VR missions where two of the best games I've ever played.

uh huh, well I disagree, played all of games and enjoyed them immensely, but whatever good for him.

I fucking hate all of Konami's games. They're twisted, clunky, fucked up pieces of junk. Great concepts behind them, bloody terrible execution.

It's the gameplay, people.

Zachary Amaranth:

Erana:
Oh, pish posh. Kojima's a crazy sob whose rediculous characters and loooong, silly stories put the developers in a unique position to do a lot of things that aren't as encouraged in other games. Its weird, but what's so bad about such silliness existing?

He's fellated as a genius and a great storyteller.

So because it's factually provable that several million people enjoy his work he should stop doing because he's encouraging people to like things that a dude from IGN doesn't like?

I mean Metal Gear Solid 4 is my favourite all time game, what am I meant to say? Sorry? It's not even like I'm in a minority, his games sell really well and as you kindly pointed out are absolutely adored by loads of people

EDIT:
What the _fudge_ is this?
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You're not wrong about that website. Awesome stuff is awesome.

There are plenty of really, really good indie japanese games. I bought quite a number.

Grief Syndrome, New Super Marisa Land, Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, koumajou densetsu 2 and Recettear, to name a few.

It just doesn't fit the muscle guy mold male gamers demand, so of course western companies won't consider such games as good.

So because it's factually provable that several million people enjoy his work he should stop doing because he's encouraging people to like things that a dude from IGN doesn't like?

You're not allowed to like a good game because it doesn't fit that person's gaming standards, don't you get it? You bad, bad person, you!

wasnt journey made by a japanese indie game? im prety sure it was.

Okay, so one random game developer mentioned his less-than-favorable opinion on Kojima and the Metal Gear series in an interview... And that's news, somehow? Really slow news week, I guess? Because I don't see how any of this is relevant to anything at all. It's just one guy, who is probably also a gamer with the usual diverging sets of opinions that gamers tend to have, sounding off on a popular franchise; that's not news. Also, the interview went over a bit more than just his opinion on Metal Gear. He mentions his opinion on the PC vs XBLA as platforms for indie developers, he mentioned new games and projects that they're close to releasing, and he mentioned how he thinks game devs today should focus more on making shorter-but-sweeter games rather than huge time-sinks; literally all of that is more news-worthy than what he thinks of Hideo Kojima.

Robert Ewing:
Kojima's imagination is wild, off the wall yet grounded enough to not come under fantasy and fairy tales. His stories are insane, yet genius. Character's are like actual freaking people, bar the crazy imaginings of them.

If "actual freaking people" is a roundabout way of saying "walking exposition dumps with no sense of urgency" I agree entirely.

At the risk of getting flamed to death, I sort of agree with Mr. Rodrigez. I think that Kojima can write well-rounded characters and interesting stories, but anything good he does is always bogged down by massive amounts of boring, redundant exposition, ridiculous and poorly scripted action scenes and a million unnecessary plot threads.

If he could just learn to look at his own work with a more critical eye and cut shit out when necessary, Hideo could probably be a great writer, but I doubt his massive ego would allow that, especially with people saying things like...

I truly believe that Hideo is the Da Vinci of gaming.

At this point, I'd say he's more the Amanda McKittrick Ros.

Hideo Kojima is a pretty piss-awful writer, that's true(one of the industry's worst and that's saying something) and Metal Gear Solid 4 was pretty laughably awful. How is this news, though?

Metal Gear Solid 3 is easily the best in the series, and, if you don't mind occasionally putting the controller down and enjoying some exposition, its a well thought out epic. But hey, if I were an ex-editor turned small video game porter/developer with one game that has about the complexity of a jack in the box under my belt, I'd throw around my dislike of a game as proof the developer sucks too.

I love all Metal Gear Solid games and Kojima is fantastic.

I agree with this sentiments. I don't like the metal gear franchise and I think Kojima is a hack.

Micalas:

zaver:

Rodriguez couldn't name any Japanese indie games that weren't bowel-shatteringly awful

Founded by former IGN editor, Tyrone Rodriguez, Nicalis is a small developer known mostly for its ports of popular indie games, Cave Story and VVVVVV.

You couldn't name the Japanese indie game that you ported over?

Looks like the story has been edited but that aside, he didn't mention Recettear. He can suck it!

I haven't played Cave Story but I have played VVVVVV. It was alright. It had a certain charm to it but I just couldn't get invested in it.

I'm pretty sure VVVVVV was made by Terry Cavanagh, not Nicalis. http://distractionware.com/blog/category/vvvvvv-levels/

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