Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Expert Insight From Miyamoto, Todd Hollenshead

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the wisdom-of-the-ages dept.

Games 52

njkid1 writes "Nintendo's legendary Shigeru Miyamoto, id Software's Todd Hollenshead and BioWare's Ray Muzyka offer up their expert advice on how to rise to the top of the industry at GameDaily. Miyamoto says his secret to success is that he makes sure sequels are entirely new games rather than just minor updates to the same engine. From Muzkya's comments in the article: 'BioWare's success is based entirely on the fact that we have a lot of very humble, hard-working and smart people at our company who are allowed to take creative risks. We put quality as our number one studio priority, because we believe it leads to long-term success, and as a result we don't release a game until we've achieved and exceeded our high quality targets.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

"Creative Risks" (5, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697115)

I think this is the key, more than the 'no lame sequels' bit. If you don't allow your people to take creative risks, they can't produce anything truly new, which means any sequels will indeed be the same game with new graphics.

Nintendo takes a lot of them, too... Turning SMB into a 3D game... Then turning it into a 2D/3D hybrid RPG... Link went from a side scroller to a 3/4 overhead RPG to a fully 3d realistic-looking RPG... They've split just about every game off into side-games like Dr Mario and Yoshi's Cookie... They're masters of this.

It's also possible to fail utterly while taking the risks, of course. The other half of the secret of their success is strict quality control. You let your people take risks, but you let them know with no uncertainty if they fail one of them. And you don't ship the product until it's good.

Re:"Creative Risks" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20697255)

"Link went from a side scroller to a 3/4 overhead RPG to a fully 3d realistic-looking RPG..."

Yeah, big risk there. Nobody else was on the "3D me too" bandwagon or anything.

Re:"Creative Risks" (2, Interesting)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697325)

A big risk Nintendo took with the N64 was the controller. An analog joystick that players had to get used to -- it could have failed completely but the design was solid enough (and play control in Mario 64 tight enough; forget about Shadows of the Empire haha good grief, awesome game but the controls... T_T) that it took off.

The 3D jump had already started before N64. Nintendo just showed people how to do it *right.*

Re:"Creative Risks" (1)

pieaholicx (1148705) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697479)

Though the N64 controller was pretty much perfect for one thing: First Person Shooters. Just look at how well games like Goldeneye and Perfect Dark did for it.

Re:"Creative Risks" (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703007)

As Sega demonstrated with Sonic the hard part is making the game actually work. You can slap 3d onto anything but often the gameplay needs a lot of adjustment after that change. Nintendo got it right and made what many consider the best games released while other developers failed and produced crappy games riddled with technical issues when the 2d games were among the better games out there.

Re:"Creative Risks" (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727001)

As Sega demonstrated with Sonic the hard part is making the game actually work. You can slap 3d onto anything but often the gameplay needs a lot of adjustment after that change. Nintendo got it right and made what many consider the best games released while other developers failed and produced crappy games riddled with technical issues when the 2d games were among the better games out there.

Yeah. If you want to see how hard the switch from 2D to 3D is, look at Konami. They went from being the single best third-party developer for consoles to being a distributor of mainly crappy 3D games and DDR. I know this sounds a bit harsh; Konami does have franchises that made the jump (well, at least one: MGS), but this is no comparison to the NES/Gameboy/SNES days where you could go into a games shop, pick up any Konami game (even stupid spin-offs that should, by all rights, be crappy, such as Kid Dracula, or that Street Fighter clone on the Gameboy), and know that it would be awesome.

Re:"Creative Risks" (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697713)

Minor nit. "Link" (by which I assume you mean "The Legend of Zelda") started as overhead. It wasn't until the much maligned Zelda II that it went Side-scroller.

Re:"Creative Risks" (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#20698665)

Hah, yes, you're correct. I didn't actually jump on the Zelda bandwagon until the third game. Game news wasn't as easy to get back then.

Re:"Creative Risks" (1)

ArchAngelQ (35053) | more than 7 years ago | (#20698917)

I'm sorry, but I have to take your geek license away. Link went from a 3/4 overhead Action/RPG to a side scroller, and then back. It did not start as a side scroller. Even the one with side scrolling action sequences had a 3/4 overhead overland map.

Bioware guy makes more sense (2, Interesting)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697241)

Miyamoto is a genius and possibly a demigod, but sometimes what he says just doesn't make sense to me... I think that his success is largely attributable not to the fact that he innovates within his franchises (especially considering the Pokemon franchise, Twilight Princess going back to the "Ocarina" design, Mario Kart for DS being essentially MK64, and so forth), but with two other things:
1) it has to do with the fact that these franchises started off SO AMAZINGLY HIGH-QUALITY (for their time, at the very least) and retained that quality regardless of whether they were "re-imagined" or not. More of the same (design-wise) is great if it was awesome to begin with.
2) it has to do with the fact that some of Nintendo's innovation is also VERY HIGH-QUALITY. When I say this I mostly think of Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time, but the Wii as a piece of technology is another example. (The Virtual Boy isn't, hence the "some innovation" ^_^)

A more rubbish developer/publisher can innovate within its franchises all it wants, but it won't reach any level of success unless the franchises start strong and the innovation keeps them strong by being well designed/executed. Likewise, a strong developer does not need to innovate within a franchise (to the degree that Miyamoto suggested) to remain successful. Halo, Ninja Gaiden, DMC, Pokemon, Smash Bros, Mario Kart, and even Zelda are examples of very strong franchises that remain[ed] strong even without massive innovation in successive titles.

Re:Bioware guy makes more sense (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697317)

Pokemon is not his, nor is Mario Kart. And Zelda was because fans pushed like hell to get him to do it, the mechanics of the game though play very little like Ocarina.

Re:Bioware guy makes more sense (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697403)

I have Twilight Princess... I think it plays a lot like Ocarina as well as other Zeldas. It doesn't feel like a "different design" to me in the sense that even Mario Sunshine compared to Mario 64 did... but anyway, I still don't see how this gives his comment more validity. As much as Nintendo always privileges innovation, it's *design done right* (innovative or not) that sells and that people enjoy. Nintendo, luckily for us gamers, designs stuff well and does it right a lot of the time ^_^

Re:Bioware guy makes more sense (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#20699223)

you dont think the whole Twilight World wolf thing was different from Ocarina? I mean there is not a huge difference between Mario 1 and 3 but there thats vast... but there IS a difference here.

Re:Bioware guy makes more sense (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#20700951)

The wolf thing was a "new" addition to Zelda... but then again I didn't like it much, heh. Anyway the core gameplay is very much "good ol' Zelda" and to be honest I like it that way ^_^

Re:Bioware guy makes more sense (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703145)

Twilight Princess wasn't Miyamoto's either, it was handled by Eiji Aonuma who made Majora's Mask and Wind Waker as well. AFAIK Miyamoto doesn't give his full attention to many games anymore, Super Mario Galaxy is one of his projects though (not sure he did anything between Pikmin and SMG).

What was Miyamoto working on? (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727025)

(not sure he did anything between Pikmin and SMG).

Wii Sports and Wii Fit perhaps? I think he was working on several Wii titles or concepts. Wii Music is another one.

Re:Bioware guy makes more sense (1)

Nevyn (5505) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703377)

Miyamoto pretty much is Nintendo QA, I don't believe that anything gets released without him signing off on it.

Re:Bioware guy makes more sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20710355)

I agree with your thoughts, but let's keep the talk sensible.

How do you "innovate within a franchise"? Why don't you just say "within a series"? (Why export economics/biz jargon to places where it doesn't belong?)

And "innovation" cannot be "high quality". It just is -- or happens, rather. A product may be high quality, but you cannot set out to perform some high-quality innovatin' like it's a daily chore ;-)

Marketdroids have already perverted "innovation" past any meaningful use (actual significance), let's take a bit of stand here. (Where we can.)

But not blaming you Sciros, just tired of marketdroid bullshit-speak no end :-)

Re:Bioware guy makes more sense (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727015)

Hey, the Virtual Boy is great. It started Mario Tennis (and still has one of the best versions of the game, in my opinion), and it has an awesome Wario sidescroller. It's a pity that it only had about seven games and made your eyes bleed after 2 minutes of using it, but it's still one of my favourite failed consoles :-)

Since when did Miyamoto make creative risks? (1)

sam_paris (919837) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697263)

Every Zelda game has followed the same formula since the nes.

Super Mario Sunshine??? Take Mario 64 and give him a water pistol! Mario Galaxy, put Mario 64 in Space. hmm. There's not denying he makes great games, but they are hardly original.

NES Zelda 1 or NES Zelda 2? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697375)

Every Zelda game has followed the same formula since the nes.
The formula of The Legend of Zelda or the vastly different formula of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link?

Re:NES Zelda 1 or NES Zelda 2? (1)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 7 years ago | (#20700077)

ugh shut up II was really bad and barely counts as a videogame

Re:NES Zelda 1 or NES Zelda 2? (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727045)

Speaking like somebody who is not old enough to actually have played it.

Re:Since when did Miyamoto make creative risks? (1)

James Kilton (714163) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697419)

Who said anything about originality? Originality is not on the table here, it's innovating and keeping sequels as high a quality as the original, and in some cases even more so. Even then, the main issue is that the games are FUN! Mario Galaxy is going to be a TON OF FUN! as was Mario 64. Never played much of Sunshine, but I know it was the same Nintendo quality you can expect. I'm currently going through Zelda TP and man, it's a blast. I don't care about "originality", it's a solid, perfectly executed, FUN game.

Sorry, but originality has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion at hand.

Re:Since when did Miyamoto make creative risks? (4, Funny)

Glacial Wanderer (962045) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697521)

Let me try...

Ipod, shrink a boom box and add some headphones. Porsche, take a wagon and add an engine. Aircraft carrier, put a small village on a boat and add some guns.

Re:Since when did Miyamoto make creative risks? (2, Interesting)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697633)

I think the jury is still out on Super Mario: Galaxy. I've read a few different impressions from various journalists who play tested some levels at E3 this summer and they've said that it's amazing. If you compare Super Mario Bros. to Super Mario Bros. 2 (The Japanese version, not the American one.) how much changed between the games? They were both 2D side-scrolling platformers with a lot in common. Super Mario Bros. 3 was also fairly similar, but did feature some upgrades. In a similar fashion, I don't expect huge changes to Galaxy. It's still going to be a 3D platformer, but from what I've heard that concept for the game allowed for level design that easily lends itself to a great camera, something that can easily get in the way in other 3D games, platformer or not. I don't expect Nintendo to come out with some blatantly obvious, mind-blowing feature that will change the series or the genre, but I expect there to be an incredible amount of subtle changes that overall create an incredible play experience. The overall package might not be innovative or original, but I'm willing to bet that some components of the game will be.

Re:Since when did Miyamoto make creative risks? (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697829)

Every Zelda game has followed the same formula since the nes.

No, they're not at all.

Zelda 1 was about exploration.

Zelda 2 was a side scrolling game that added RPG elements.

Zelda 3 went back to the Zelda 1 core style, but took away much of the focus on exploration, and replaced it with an emphasis on story and puzzles.

Ocarina of Time shifted further towards story and had only minimal exploration.

Majora's Mask was basically the movie Groundhog Day turned into a video game.

Past that, they aren't as distinct. Wind Waker tried to shift back towards exploration, but didn't work out as well as it could have due to being rushed.

Twilight Princess... well, early on it's so story heavy its a chore to play, so I haven't managed to get very far.

Oh, and all the GameBoy versions are like Zelda 3.

Super Mario Sunshine??? Take Mario 64 and give him a water pistol!

Sunshine is just Mario 64 with easier to land jumps (due to the water pack) and much weaker level design.

Mario Galaxy, put Mario 64 in Space. hmm. There's not denying he makes great games, but they are hardly original.

The point of putting Mario in space is the gravity changing due to the nearby objects. Jump in the air and get pulled over to the asteroid floating nearby. You've got the core concepts the game is built around (your jumping ability) changing as you play. Sounds like a big change to me.

Re:Since when did Miyamoto make creative risks? (2, Funny)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 7 years ago | (#20698259)

Man you just nailed what I've never been able to put my finger on about Zelda. I love the original Zelda, and I always find myself interested in each new Zelda game, but I haven't really liked any of them since the original. The exploration is all I cared about in that game. Drop me in the middle of nowhere and give me a wooden sword. No talk bubbles to click through, no horribly mindless errands to run for characters about which I couldn't be bothered to give a damn. Just let me go on my way!

Re:Since when did Miyamoto make creative risks? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#20698819)

I feel the same. I tend to lose interest in a game when they lock me into a static environment, or I've been everywhere.

I want plot, too, but not 'boy meets girl' crap that's been done a billion times. Since 'every possible story has already been told' (a mangled quote from a great philosopher whose name I forget now) and I read a -lot-, I don't expect to find much worthwhile in the plot of any new video game, or most movies and books.

Re:Since when did Miyamoto make creative risks? (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#20705579)

Drop me in the middle of nowhere and give me a wooden sword. No talk bubbles to click through, no horribly mindless errands to run for characters about which I couldn't be bothered to give a damn. Just let me go on my way!

Actually, I like the talk and the errands. Hyrule in Zelda 1 was kind of desolate. The entire country had a population of maybe twenty people; hardly worth going to all this effort to save the damn place! Adding more people to talk to with lives of their own gets you involved, it lets you see what you're actually fighting for. Coming back to Lon Lon Ranch in the future in Ocarina really bloody hurt, and provided all the motivation I needed to want to chop Ganon up into lots of little bits.

But you're right about the freedom to roam. Too-obvious artificial restrictions annoy me. Maybe I physically can't reach a certain area without a certain item - that's OK. That was there on the NES - items like the Ladder or Raft opened up whole new sections of the realm to explore. And maybe if I do go to some areas too soon I'll be slaughtered by monsters I'm nowhere near equipped to face. But if I think I'm hard enough I shouldn't be prevented from challenging them. I don't like the King of Red Lions saying 'Nope, it's too early to go this way - let's go here instead!' Fuck you, boat - I see land over there and I want to explore it! Who's the one with the magic wand controlling the wind? NOT YOU.

Tingle! (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727065)

If you like the exploration part of the Zelda games, you might want to have a look at "Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland" for the DS. It's not officially published in the US, but it is in Europe, and the Europe version has an English language mode.

You don't play Link, you play Zelda, and the game is basically all exploration. It's one of my favourite games right now, especially due to all the inside jokes about Zelda.

Correction (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#20727081)

You don't play Link, you play Zelda,

Damn, I meant to write "You don't play as Link, you play as Tingle."

Re:Since when did Miyamoto make creative risks? (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 7 years ago | (#20698611)

Majora's Mask was basically the movie Groundhog Day turned into a video game.
Actually, "Majora's Mask" was "Donnie Darko" turned into a video game.

Re:Since when did Miyamoto make creative risks? (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 7 years ago | (#20733977)

Actually, "Majora's Mask" was "Donnie Darko" turned into a video game.
Besides the fact that Donnie Darko came out later (so if anything it would have been DD was MM turned into a movie) the similarity between Groundhog Day and Majora's Mask was the redoing of the same day or three again and again and again. Bill Murray (the dude in GD) saves a kid from falling out a tree, makes new friends and does other good things, and the next morning he wakes up and the kid's still climbing up the tree and all the people he talked to don't remember him. Link rescues a princess and kills the evil spirit poisoning the swamp, and then time resets and the princess is still kidnapped and the swamp is still poisoned. Murray drives headfirst into a train, and Link watches the moon crash into the earth, and then they're both just fine once time resets. Donnie Darko didn't have that repetition, since he only goes back in time one, but that repetition is really what sets apart GD and MM from other movies and video games, and while DD is similar to MM in the basic theme of having to go back in time so everyone doesn't die they're really not alike beyond that.

Re:Since when did Miyamoto make creative risks? (1)

TruePoindexter (975295) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697859)

He's talking about from a design standpoint, not just features and setting. Miyamoto is infamous for "upending the table." That is if he doesn't like where the game is going he chucks it to the ground and they start over. This is why Twilight Princess took so long. Yeah, on the surface it looks a lot like Ocarina of Time. It however is not just Ocarina of Time code with an updated engine and a new environment. It's its own game built from the ground up.

As for not innovating, you're talking about the man who pretty much has set the bar of what gamers expect. Time and time again he's set the standard and gone off in his new direction. Unless you think the control scheme for the new Zelda DS game is not innovative?

Re:Since when did Miyamoto make creative risks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20697955)

Every zelda on the consoles is vastly different, the only thing in common is the setting of the game, and the majority of items to find (boomerang, bow, hammer, etc.). The gameplay mechanics, usage of said items, way of telling the story, battle system, viewpoint all differ enough to call them very differently.

I think the only exception to this is the various gameboy and gba versions, where it was kind of the other way around.

Re:Since when did Miyamoto make creative risks? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20698303)

Every Zelda game has followed the same formula since the nes.
I beg to differ. Majora's Mask was a very different formula than the other Zeldas. There was no Master Sword. There was no Triforce. Zelda didn't need rescuing, and only existed in a dream sequence. There was no Gannon. It had some of the best dungeon design to date (the dungeon that flips upside down was awesome!) NPCs didn't just wander around aimlessly. They all had specific schedules they followed and the NPCs took a more interactive role in this story than in any other Zelda. The game's ending sequence would change based on your interactions with the NPCs. It was one of the first games to use the flow of time as a major plot device. Fierce Deity Link is still the most bad ass Link ever!

Re:Since when did Miyamoto make creative risks? (1)

eboot (697478) | more than 7 years ago | (#20698327)

By the same token you will admit then that Bioshock is just an FPS underwater and is essentially System Shock Submerged?

Re:Since when did Miyamoto make creative risks? (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#20705615)

Super Mario Sunshine??? Take Mario 64 and give him a water pistol! Mario Galaxy, put Mario 64 in Space.

I see your point there. Miyamoto has taken no risks at all with Nintendo's central franchises. That's why Mario Galaxy is just the same as the previous games, but in space. You'd think they'd at least go 3D, or maybe try to come up with an innovative control system, or something... All this old-fashioned 'run-to-the-left' gaming is getting old.

From the Todd Hollenshead Book of Success: (4, Funny)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697343)

Step 1) Find a John Carmack
Step 2) Feed him lots of junk food and soda
Step 3) Harness his creative energy to publish some tech demos thinly disguised as games
Step 4) Sell the engine to someone who can make a game better than you can
Step 5) Profit!

Re:From the Todd Hollenshead Book of Success: (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20698149)

Step 1) Find a John Carmack
Step 2) Feed him lots of junk food and soda
Step 3) Harness his creative energy to publish some tech demos thinly disguised as games
Step 4) Sell the engine to someone who can make a game better than you can
Step 5) Profit!


The physics of this universe could not possibly cope with 2 John Carmacks. The concentration of genius would overload the known universe and we'd have a 2nd big bang expanding into 144 D Branes.

Re:From the Todd Hollenshead Book of Success: (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 7 years ago | (#20699417)

i = 0x5f3759df - ( i >> 1 ); // Collapse the universe!

Re:From the Todd Hollenshead Book of Success: (2, Informative)

EricR86 (1144023) | more than 7 years ago | (#20700593)

That fast square root function was NOT written by John Carmack. Beyond3D has a whole article dedicated to the history of that line of code.

Re:From the Todd Hollenshead Book of Success: (1)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 7 years ago | (#20703495)

Wow, I wonder how many people actually get that reference (which, by the way, wasn't created by Carmack)?

http://www.beyond3d.com/content/articles/8/ [beyond3d.com]

Re:From the Todd Hollenshead Book of Success: (1)

PixelScuba (686633) | more than 7 years ago | (#20699387)

Enough of this rubbish. You don't have to enjoy them, but I'm tired of this "id makes tech demo" garbage. If they made "tech demos", they would BE tech demos... not full blown games. If you want to argue that id makes largely mediocre games with a powerful underlying engine... we could certainly have a discussion. When people continue to try and be clever and say id releases "tech demos" then they, and you, are just wrong... inarguably wrong. repeat after me, id does not make "tech demos".

Re:From the Todd Hollenshead Book of Success: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20700377)

This might be difficult for a geek to understand, but I think he was using what they call a "metaphor."

Re:From the Todd Hollenshead Book of Success: (1)

spiderbitendeath (577712) | more than 7 years ago | (#20702903)

That's funny, cause I could have sworn they said that thing they showed off at the Mac convention was a tech demo. Something about demoing their new engine with about 20 gigs of textures, just to show what it could do. I could be mistaken though. ;)

Sorry, had to be an ass.

There's Always the Rockstar Way (2, Insightful)

hedkandee (1148031) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697649)

Toilet humor and violence, oh and a massive game world worked wonders for GTA and the sequels

Re:There's Always the Rockstar Way (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 7 years ago | (#20697995)

Don't forget "not exactly planned but nonetheless helpful publicity" media storms.

Re:There's Always the Rockstar Way (2, Funny)

pieaholicx (1148705) | more than 7 years ago | (#20698641)

And most importantly, find a way for the players to kill off an anti-game lawyer.

And yet Doom 3... (1)

dontspitconfetti (1153473) | more than 7 years ago | (#20700597)

Was still disappointing. Bravo, Tom.

Bioware creative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20702571)

The words 'bioware' and 'creative risk' do not belong in the same sentence. They really don't. Played one Bioware game, played them all. The graphics have improved and they've changed the setting every so often but they all play the same and the stories are all very much generic fantasy. Their games can be fun, I'll give them that, but stunningly original they are not.

Someone's bound to bring up Jade Empire but that's far from original in anything but a superficial way. It's just the same old thing dressed up in Eastern mythology. Same old Chosen One saving the world while accompanied by a freak show with an added hint of betrayal to give the plot a twist. Even the morality system is basically just KOTOR's simplistic light/dark meter redux in the end; it started out with promise of more but quickly degraded into the same old goody two-shoes/raging psychopath dichotomy that's been present in, well, has there ever been a Bioware RPG that didn't have it?
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?