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Katamari Team Disbands

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the no-more-damacy dept.

45

Gamasutra reports that the team behind Katamari Damacy, We *heart* Katamari, and My My Katamari has dissolved. The official Katamari site states that there are no plans for sequels to the hit rollin' games. From the article: "The official announcement does mention that 'Professor Katamari' (presumably Keita Takahashi) is currently working on a new game design, though apparently not with the core Katamari Damacy team. 'You don't roll things up, or get bigger, but you might find it interesting anyway,' says the site." Which is good news, considering his earlier comments about making playground equipment.

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person to watch: dr katamari (1)

oedneil (871555) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949114)

I'll be looking out for anything Takahashi is a part of in the future. The Katamari series is brilliant and a real break from some of the uninnovative games we've been subjected to lately. Whether it involves rolling things up in a ball or not, I'm looking forward to seeing what he does next.

Let me be the first to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14949164)

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Well, he never wanted to do a sequel in the first place, so I guess it's best not to ruin it. I would love to see an anniversary comeback in a few console generations. Katamari on a PS5 would be awesome.

This is terrible (4, Funny)

CriminalNerd (882826) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949174)

This is really terrible news. I've always had fun playing the Katamari games in the past and the news that there would be no more sequels is truly shocking. Somebody should go out there and roll the entire team back into a katamari!

Re:This is terrible (2, Insightful)

syntaxglitch (889367) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949303)

I know you probably just wanted to use the line about rolling the dev team into a katamari, but I have to say that I'm actually glad they won't be rehashing the game. One of the major reasons Katamari Damacy was so neat was that it actually had innovative gameplay and it'd be a shame to waste the talent behind it on remakes and sequels.

Re:This is terrible (3, Interesting)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949483)

i read in an interview before the release of We Love Katamari that Takahashi Keita actually had to be roped into doing the sequel at all.. apparently it was only when he saw what namco had planned for the afforementioned sequel (a clone of the first, with a bunch of christmas graphics spliced in) that he got involved again. it IS a shame, though.. i could handle playing new levels of the same old katamari for YEARS to come.. :)

Re:This is terrible (1)

syntaxglitch (889367) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949602)

I doubt Namco actually intended to do that. I'm thinking it was deliberate blackmail. ;)

Also, I imagine someone will make a Katamari clone at some point--it's a pretty simple concept, something of a cult hit, and all but begs to have a level editor...

Re:This is terrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14951573)

the news that there would be no more sequels is truly shocking

And I always thought that sequels were bad...

Re:This is terrible (1)

108 (688828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14968867)

If you like the Katamari games, you know, you can still keep playing the old ones! They don't have to make new ones for you to keep playing, you know!!

Great! (5, Insightful)

Zarxrax (652423) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949178)

As much as I love a good game like Katamari, I don't want to be fed the same crap over and over. Katamari came, and it was good, now it's over. Time for some new stuff.

Yeah but (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14951098)

it'd be nice to see what the dev team could have done after Katamari beyond sequals.

Unicode, damnit! (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949180)

We *heart* Katamari
You mean we ♥ Katamari!

Re:Unicode, damnit! (1)

syntaxglitch (889367) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949199)

Failing that, I do believe "We <3 Katamari" is the commonly-accepted substitute.

Alternately, the Japanese title of "Minna Daisuki Katamari Damashii" or "Everyone Loves Katamari Damacy" should also be acceptable.

Re:Unicode, damnit! (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949238)

Smilies have gotten out of hand. I used to be able to decode a smily just by tilting my head. But what is a <3 or a o_o supposed to look like?

Re:Unicode, damnit! (0, Offtopic)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949253)

o_o == telephone
3 == um, boobies?

Re:Unicode, damnit! (1)

syntaxglitch (889367) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949287)

Surely you jest? Or maybe have a very peculiar font.

A o_o is a two eyes and a mouth, don't even have to turn your head. Horizontal emoticons of that variety are commonly used in Asia (and by Japan-fixated anime fans). <3 is, if you tilt your head in the opposite direction of a :) face, is clearly a heart, hence the "We < Katamari".

Re:Unicode, damnit! (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949357)

Thank you. It comes as no suprise to be told that I'm tilting in the wrong direction.

But why on earth did o_o replace :). Less cute?

Re:Unicode, damnit! (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949392)

(*^o^*)

kill me now...

Re:Unicode, damnit! (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949512)

Additional variety, I suppose...
o_o = blank stare
O_O = surprised?
ô_o = raising an eyebrow, possibly
o_O = confused-ish
ò_ó = pissed
ó_ò = sad or something
>_< = $^#&^#$&*!!!!!
^.^' = typical us/japanese cartoon eyes with the ol' giant drop of.. sweat, I suppose

And in addition, you can combine them with other characters for added personality ;)
(>_<) = $^#&^#$&* CARTMAN!!!!!
[-_-].zZ = sleeping

Re:Unicode, damnit! (1)

syntaxglitch (889367) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949580)

But why on earth did o_o replace :). Less cute?

Well, ^_^ would actually be the replacement... the ^ representing anime style arch-shapped happy eyes, apparently. The o_o face is more of a blank stare, as someone else said. And it wasn't a matter of replacing so much as I don't think the :) style ever caught on in Japan (and wherever else the horizontal style is used). It's a cultural thing, don't worry about it. If you're really curious, try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emoticon [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Unicode, damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14949954)

Or, from a much more reliable source, http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Emoticonics [uncyclopedia.org] :D

It's something that happens (4, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949197)

They'll be rolled into other departments.

Why the wailing and nashing of teeth? (3, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949209)

Katamari is a COOL game. But aren't 2 sequels enough?

Given the creativity, wouldn't it be nice to see something else, rather than yet another "roll crap up" sequel?

Re:Why the wailing and nashing of teeth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14949237)

tell that to those of us that were waiting for a Nintendo DS port :P

Re:Why the wailing and nashing of teeth? (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14950240)

Or only got one Katamari game so far, We <3 Katamari, like some often overseen continent.
Sure it's small, but there's still lots of stuff to roll up in Europe..

I agree (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14950273)

Imagine all the people freed up to do other, even cooler things...

As to the DS port, it can still be done pretty easily. Porting a game is not at the same creative level as creating a good one, and a technically compentent team can still do so. Hopefully keeping in mind a good control scheme.

Let the bad puns roll! (2, Funny)

Jim in Buffalo (939861) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949214)

Whatever new project they get rolling on, I'm sure they'll have a ball.

Good. (3, Insightful)

drwiii (434) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949256)

It was a good game, but now everyone can move onto creating the next big thing instead of trying to strangle the life out of a title from 2003.

Who didn't see it coming, though? From one of the endings to "We Love Katamari": link [ytmnd.com]

Re:Good. (1)

Alex Reynolds (102024) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949411)

Wow, that made me cry. This is such sad news. :(

Might be a good thing (4, Insightful)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949450)

I've always preferred that good movies, TV shows, book series and games, etc go out on top, before becoming nothing more than a money factory devoid of any artistic merit.

How many times have we all read that game series X is getting yet another installment with much-hyped additions that render the game just a marginal improvement over the earlier incarnations? How many times have we all purchased the latest game in a series only to discover we've been sold essentially the same game we already own? Sometimes it's good to just let a good thing die if you're not sure you can really take it any further without compromising the quality.

There are plenty of games out there waiting to be made, riding the same franchises year after year, decade after decade usually ends with a group of hardcore fans that will likely lap up whatever you throw their way, while the masses that flocked to your games move on to something better.

grrrrrrr... (5, Insightful)

nmaster64 (867033) | more than 7 years ago | (#14949903)

Personally, I thought that was a series that just shouldn't be sequel'd too much, but there's one thing I'm disappointed about...where's the Nintendo DS version!? It was sort of psuedo-announced, even Nintendo Power reported on it, but then it just faded off. The game was so perfect for the DS, with it's touch control, and so not perfect for the PSP, with it's one analog nub. It's really a shame, because the DS was the only system that really had the perfect control scheme for it...and that would have been the perfect sequel for the series to go out on. The two sequels really don't live up to the original game in my opinion, but I think with the innovation of the DS, it really would have felt like a new game rather than just a quickly put together expansion on the original.

PSP's superior 3D-fu (0, Troll)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14950385)

The game was so perfect for the DS, with it's touch control, and so not perfect for the PSP, with it's one analog nub.

There's too much stuff to roll up to fit on a Nintendo DS. Do you think the DS's 3D hardware, with its limit of 2,000 triangles per scene, could have held up?

Re:PSP's superior 3D-fu (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14950860)

I'm unsure. In any case, I'm going to need a confirmation of the 2000 triangles figure, that seems too small for even Mario 64.

(I'm not saying the DS IS strong enough to run a version of Katamari, just that 2,000 seems too small.)

Re:PSP's superior 3D-fu (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14950995)

I'm going to need a confirmation of the 2000 triangles figure

At least this PDF [btinternet.com] lists a limit of 6144 vertices per scene, and if you search on forum.gbadev.org it should turn up more.

Re:PSP's superior 3D-fu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14951495)

Have you seen the Metroid Prime Hunters screenshots? I think they could have managed.

Re:PSP's superior 3D-fu (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14952059)

A lot of the geometry that I see in screen shots of Metroid Prime: Hunters could be faked with textures on a flat surface, as was done with N64 and PS1. But Katamari is different because it involves rolling up hundreds of objects, each of which must be represented with a separate mesh. Put on a Katamari game, enter a particularly dense area, freeze frame, count the objects in your playfield, and count the number of triangles that you think would be needed to represent those objects.

Re:PSP's superior 3D-fu (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14952668)

The same document, in the next section, suggests tricks, some of which may already be used in commercial software (like Mario Kart DS), for getting around that limit, including loading new vertex information on each scanline. Those techniques may not be universally applicable (it suggests that Mario Kart DS has some camera limitations because of it), but it seems that the limit may be escaped with clever programming.

The document also admits that it's the product of homebrew reverse engineering and may be inaccurate. Although honestly I'm inclined to accept their judgements, there's the possibility that there's some undeciphered register in the DS' banks that would allow more vertex data to be uploaded.

In any case, the thing about Katamari is, once objects are absorbed into the ball, once they're beyond the surface layer, they don't affect gameplay. So one could very well make a Katamari Damacy for DS if one didn't care about rendering the internal contents of the ball. That would eliminate some of the game's charm, although how much would require performing experiments to see how many objects could be discarded from the inside of the ball without being noticable, which would be a larger number than on the PS2 or even PSP because of the DS' lower resolution.

errrrr...no... (1)

nmaster64 (867033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14951676)

Do you think the DS's 3D hardware, with its limit of 2,000 triangles per scene, could have held up?

Honestly, yes, I do. And I think that figure you pulled out of the air is bull too. I don't think the developer's would have had any trouble fitting it. Of course it wouldn't have looked as good as the PS2 or PSP version, but gameplay is the only thing that truly matters in a video game, graphics take a back seat. And if there was ever a game that's all about the gameplay, it's definitly Katamari...

Re:errrrr...no... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14956874)

He didn't pull it out of the air, that's the hard limit the hardware accepts.

Re:errrrr...no... (1)

nmaster64 (867033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14967082)

I know, but it's still bull, because who said they needed to render that many triangles? There are other shapes too ya know...circles...squares...balls... :p

In all seriousness however, I really don't think it'd be an issue. The graphics would be dumbed down a bit, but the gameplay is what's important. I think the reviews for the PSP game that are now coming down the wire prove that the DS may have been a better fit for Katamari. The graphics may be intact, but that's definitly not what made this series so enjoyable...

Re:grrrrrrr... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14951094)

It's easy. Namco bet on the wrong horse, ported it to the PSP, and is paying for it now.

Everybody and their Cousins (1)

Demodian (658895) | more than 8 years ago | (#14950678)

We really enjoyed playing the two Katamari games that have been pushed in the U.S. so far. While they were simple in their concept, they had a very addictive game on their hands. Let's hope someone collects them into good projects in the future.

Breaking the mold (1)

christoscamaro (953618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14951011)

Katamari Damacy was (is) awesome.

Gone are the days when Tetris, Katamari, and DOOM show up again, in a different, original form.

Re:Breaking the mold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15007649)

Gone are the days when Tetris, Katamari, and DOOM show up again, in a different, original form.

what are you talking about you nonsensical person

Katamari Revolution (2, Interesting)

saboola (655522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14951828)

I was actually really hoping for a version of Katamari Damacy using the revolution controller. Watching my nieces play this game, while they flail the controller all over the air, made me think it would be an absolute perfect fit for the revolution.

Something new and internetest (1)

skreeech (221390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14955176)

I hope that the developer works on something new and interesting again and gives everyone another unique game to play. That would be much better than a third katamari. I had read elsewhere that what he wanted to do was make more appealing playgrounds for children with lots of round parts.
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