Mega Man Creator To Young Devs: Be Daring, Be Adventurous

Mega Man Creator To Young Devs: Be Daring, Be Adventurous

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Keiji Inafune, creator of Mega Man and Dead Rising, hosts a class called "Inafune Academy", where young game developers attend to learn about game design.

"I would tell these young creators don't end up small. You're young and starting your career. Be daring. Be adventurous. You're allowed to make mistakes," is the advice Kenji Inafune, creator of Mega Man and Dead Rising, has to offer fresh graduates of game design. Inafune hosts his own game development workshop, called "Inafune Academy", where graduates from video game colleges attend to learn about game design. Speaking with Siliconera, he talked about what the key to success is for both console and mobile game developers, and offered some advice for young game designers.

For console games, Inafune says the most important thing is being able to show a brand new gaming experience. It has to be something players haven't seen before. On the other hand, he says that people that play smartphone games tend to want to play something they've seen before, so creating a game that feels familiar to players is the key to success in mobile game development.

"It's very difficult to say how things are going to change. The idea I have in mind is smartphones and the next generation of consoles should be in different spaces," said Inafune, responding to a question about how he thinks the upcoming generation of consoles will change the gaming landscape. "Consoles should be more creative when it comes to business models. You should be able to have free to play and other models that we didn't have before."

For his own Comcept and Intercept studios, Inafune says he wants to try a bit of everything, from smartphone dollar apps to big budget console titles. He feels that developing for multiple platforms is the key to staying fresh. "If you keep creating on one side you might get better at that, but you may miss out by not learning about what else is out there. I hope we will be successful on all of the platforms we work on."

Inafune ends his interview with some sage wisdom for the up-and-comers in the gaming industry. "Don't try to be smart and end up wrapping yourself up into a small package. Break out of your shell and try to do things." Inafune has previously expressed his distaste of the stagnancy of fresh ideas in Japanese game development, going so far as to say that the entire industry is finished.

Source & Image: Siliconera

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Just look to the PC market for new stuff, the console market wants safe and proven stuff, games that are easy to pick up and wont take too long to finish, stuff that isnt too complex or complicated, stuff that makes the player feel successful all the time and stays as far away from failure states as possible.

It isnt about the platform as much as its the playerbase, consoles and smartphones are easy to get hold of and set up, dont have any fiddling required to get running and dont really need any tinkering to get the most out of the devices... basically buy and forget, so naturally a large percentage of the players prefer titles that are pick up and play and dont want to struggle to learn how to beat the game.
Naturally you do get a small group of gamers on consoles that are hardcore, who play the Disgeas, Phantom Blue, Dark Souls... console titles that require a lot of time and dedication to really master with complex mechanisms hidden inside seemingly simple gameplay... but the majority of complexity still sits on the old PC, mostly because a small developer can still afford to toss about weird ideas and not need to pay for licensing and patching.

If console gamers looked for new experiences all the time, why is the most successful console titles sequels that dont mess with the core mechanisms much ? Change of location, tweak some mechanics, add some set pieces ... but generally the same game.

Good advice, great developer. The man knows what he's talking about. I'm currently playing through Soul Sacrifice, his latest, and it's brilliant. Without devs being daring and taking chances, we wouldn't have got awesomeness like Thomas Was Alone, The Unfinished Swan, Machinarium, and lots of other indie hits :)

ASnogarD:
Just look to the PC market for new stuff, the console market wants safe and proven stuff, games that are easy to pick up and wont take too long to finish, stuff that isnt too complex or complicated, stuff that makes the player feel successful all the time and stays as far away from failure states as possible.

It isnt about the platform as much as its the playerbase, consoles and smartphones are easy to get hold of and set up, dont have any fiddling required to get running and dont really need any tinkering to get the most out of the devices... basically buy and forget, so naturally a large percentage of the players prefer titles that are pick up and play and dont want to struggle to learn how to beat the game.
Naturally you do get a small group of gamers on consoles that are hardcore, who play the Disgeas, Phantom Blue, Dark Souls... console titles that require a lot of time and dedication to really master with complex mechanisms hidden inside seemingly simple gameplay... but the majority of complexity still sits on the old PC, mostly because a small developer can still afford to toss about weird ideas and not need to pay for licensing and patching.

If console gamers looked for new experiences all the time, why is the most successful console titles sequels that dont mess with the core mechanisms much ? Change of location, tweak some mechanics, add some set pieces ... but generally the same game.

I don't know...that seems to be stereotyping a little. Dark Souls is hardly niche, it sold a couple of million on consoles if I remember right. So did Heavy Rain, and they were both new and interesting ideas. Journey is the best selling PSN game ever, and the Unfinished Swan sold quite a lot too. LittleBigPlanet sold over 5 million copies when that was released, and I think Catherine was Atlus's fastest selling game ever. Minecraft had the most simultaneous players on Xbox 360 a while back, from memory. The Vita has been flooded with indies recently, and it's looking to get more. Meanwhile, in its debut week, Medal of Honor Warfighter, a military FPS of all things, was outsold by Farming Simulator 2013. Console players don't just want tried and true; they crave something new as well. Some like security, others like adventure, just like PC gamers. There's no need to make generalisations like that.

I dont think its generalisation to say there are more casual players on consoles than on PC, it doesnt mean there are no hardcore gamers on consoles just more casual gamers thus the market is more favourable for casual gaming on the console.

It isnt a case of casual gamers suck and hardcore rules, its about time and willingness or ability to dedicate time to a game. Its not about lesser or greater gamers, its about how deep down the rabbit hole you are prepared to dive, and in the modern rat race where time is a scarce commodity gamers are moving to shorter easier experiences on devices that dont take time to set up or need regular maintenance and updates... consoles.

Dark Souls sold a few million in its lifespan, CoD outsold DS on its opening hour... CoD is much easier to pick up and play, and constantly pats the player on the head with rewards while DS is much harder to get to grips with and will tear the player a new one for small mistakes.

Warfighter failed because its predecessor was underwhelming, especially in the MP area... players were keen on the reboot of MoH but the game was a pitiful shadow copy of CoD.... and when Warfighter showed up there was no interest, the only reason anyone bothered with Warfighter was to get a beta invite for BF4 I would say.

Dont think I am saying ALL console gamers are casual, or that console sucks and PC rules... I am merely pointing out that there is more casual gamers on the console, and the market is bigger if you cater to casual gamers.

Honestly, I'm glad someone like Keiji Inafune is running a class on Game Design. He's got a proven track record on the level of many other greats and I'm certain he has a lot of things to share on the industry as a whole.

Love Keiji Inafune ! Enjoying Soul Sacrifice at the moment, and being a game artist myself. I hope that maybe one day I will meet the man :)

What a contrast compared to the Zynga school of game design where "Don't innovate. We don't want innovators here."

Just to be as creative and adventurous as possible, I'm not even going to follow this guy's advice! Shooters and farm games for the iOS it is!

Besides the key phraze "know thy demographics" How about putting enough options under the hood(menu screen) so we can de nref/gimp the game? Single player stuff is pointless to track anyway but if you must just put in a flag that makes it so achievements are turned off if you use the deep tuning options.

ASnogarD:

If console gamers looked for new experiences all the time, why is the most successful console titles sequels that dont mess with the core mechanisms much ? Change of location, tweak some mechanics, add some set pieces ... but generally the same game.

I have a better question. How does the creator of Megaman games tell others to make and/or look for new experiences when he himself is famous for numerous games of a formulaic nature?

(To whit, HOW many games of Dr. Wily and his eight Robot Masters? He could've dominated the world YEARS AGO if he considered just making alot more BEFORE trying to take over!)

Interesting I didn't know people like him gave classes of game desing. I'd love that Shigeru Miyamoto, Keiji Inafune, Suda51 or Hideo Kojima gave me classes.

 

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