Interviews

Child of Eden: 'This makes Kinect worthwhile for core gamers'

Producer James Mielke on mixing Mizuguchi magic and motion control...

Microsoft's seen huge success with Kinect since its November launch last year. According to MS figures, it's already sold ten million units worldwide.

But according to Tesuya Mizuguchi (Rez, Space Channel 5) studio Q Entertainment, Kinect's early adopters are still waiting for that core gamer experience to "challenge their senses" - and Child of Eden is it.

At first glance the colourful title is a strict spiritual successor to the cult-classic PS2 and Dreamcast shooter - and admittedly with a controller it plays virtually the same. But stand in front of the Kinect sensor and extend your arm to spray colourful, psychedelic bullets across an spectacular screen display, and a whole new level of immersion is added to the traditional 'synaesthesia' experience.

We recently sat down with Q Entertainment producer James Mielke to discuss Kinect, audience and how many beanbags are in Mizuguchi's office.

Ubisoft seems to have really thrown its support behind Child of Eden...

Ubisoft has been, probably the optimal publishing partner because it's not just a traditional third-party publishing relationship, they've supported us a lot in terms of technology and creative support. They're really working with us to let us realise our vision for the game.

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Between getting the Kinect stuff up and running and doing stuff like the Journey project, where we solicited pictures from people of happy memories in their life, which we're putting into the game. That takes a lot of co-ordination and effort and they've been really fantastic about helping us do that.

I think it really reflects well on them - they're coming out with this really ambitious, innovative title that doesn't follow in the lines of other genres. They're taking a chance and it is really cool to work with a company like that.

Do you think in some ways Kinect has always been part of Mizuguchi's vision for the game? That if he could have had this technology years ago, this is what you would have been making?

He said it himself, so I'm going to steal a little bit from him but to him this is kind of his life's work - the culmination of his life's work and life's theme. He's always got these positive emotions and messages he's trying to get across; love, happiness... It's a bit like future techno-hippy but he's been consistent about it, that's for sure.

He's always trying to create something that's a little bit different. It's not to say that shooters or gory games are negative. They're all good fun, we all love them but since other people do those games very well he wants to stick to the games he knows. What he knows is a good feeling - how to take pleasure in simple things. He wants to tell stories about love and things that might cause an allergic reaction in some masculine gamers but he doesn't care about that.

He wants to create something that people will remember fondly. When you have those really warm moments when you finish a game and there's something special about it - games like Ico. That's the sort of mentality that he's got.

This whole thing is about the story he's been developing for years with Genki Rockets, the character Lumi who is actually the singer for Genki Rockets. It all ties together. It's a real multimedia crossover. It's safe to say this is the ultimate example - this is Mizuguchi in a capsule.

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Do you think it's fair to say this is the anti-Gears of War then?

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