UPDATE: Thanks, everyone. I have to run to catch my flight to Seattle now! I will be at GameSamba's booth during PAX (6016), so stop by and say hi! I'll answer more questions later this weekend, so keep asking them!


Hi everyone, I’m Tetsuya Mizuguchi (“Miz” for short!) and I'm excited to take questions from you!

You probably know me from games I've worked on, such as Lumines, Rez, and Child of Eden. I’m currently developing Rez Infinite for PlayStation 4 and PS VR under my new company, Enhance Games.

I’ve teamed up with Mobcast to bring back Lumines on mobile — Lumines: Puzzle & Music will go live on the 1st!

I’ll be at PAX West, so feel free to come over to GameSamba’s booth (#6016) on September 3rd and 4th between 3pm-5pm! GameSamba will be demoing Mobcast's puzzle RPG, 18: Dream World, as well as Tokyo Ghoul: Dark War. Mobcast will be demoing Lumines: Puzzle & Music, and giving away lots of prizes.

I'm looking forward to our session, reddit!

My Proof: https://twitter.com/Mizuguchitter/status/768793293941383169?lang=en

Comments: 82 • Responses: 21  • Date: 

juliodogpit27 karma

What's your favorite anime? (please tell me you like anime)

IamMizuguchi35 karma

I LIKE ANIME!

I like works by Hayao Miyazaki for example, and like really old Disney works too.

I also really like Sci-fi.

BarrelKin17 karma

Hello!

Thank you for doing this AMA, to be honest I'm a little upset it hasn't gotten more views!

Can you tell me a trend that is changing in the gaming world that you like and something that you don't like?

Thank you!

IamMizuguchi22 karma

I don’t feel anything I don’t really like. I think game developers are being challenged into a really creative position due to VR. I think the recent rise of smartphone gaming was kind of driving the game dev scene into a very core-focused direction, which is sort of being unleashed into a more creative direction due to VR.

Gaming is by its nature very borderless and free. It’s a unique art form. I really can’t stop being part of this, and the arrival of new technology I find to be most exciting. I think gaming is a union of technology and art, and so I really like how people are being pushed towards a more creative atmosphere.

Vesperina389 karma

Hi Miz! I'm really looking forward to the new mobile Lumines and Rez Infinite.

Will you ever consider revisiting Child of Eden? Has Genki Rockets been up to anything lately? Rez is a great game that definitely deserves a HD remaster, but I personally liked Child of Eden better - because of Genki Rockets!

IamMizuguchi13 karma

I don’t know yet, but I might revisit Child of Eden in the future.

Genki Rockets is in the future now.

Thank you!

IamMizuguchi9 karma

Thanks, everyone. I have to run now to catch my flight to Seattle!

I will be in GameSamba's booth, so stop by and say hi! I'll answer more of your questions later this weekend, so keep asking!

Poyon16 karma

What inspires you when making games?

Is there a game you are particularly proud of?

IamMizuguchi14 karma

Life and journey. Music. Food. People. Technology. Art.

I am emotionally attached to all of them, but Rez is the first game that I tackled the concept of synesthesia, so it holds a special place in my heart.

I had a lot of trouble with it, had to do a lot of thinking, and it definitely changed my life as a creator.

A new game titled Rez Infinite is coming out as a PSVR launch title on October 13th (also playable on PS4 without PSVR). This should still be Rez at the core, but will also be a totally different experience.

iceman428125 karma

Hello Mizuguchi-san! I loved playing Lumines on my PSP when I was a kid, I put a ton of hours into it. Will the new Lumines game be similar to the original game?

IamMizuguchi5 karma

The hardware is different, but the gameplay feel should be the same.

It might take a bit of time to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, you should be able to play it like the old days.

One of the bigger differences is the landscape-portrait change, but it’s a part of the game that I’d love for you to enjoy.

quinja795 karma

Hi Miz! Where do you get your music inspiration from, especially those that have influenced your selection for your games?

IamMizuguchi9 karma

Inspiration arrives… from somewhere. lol

I actually have no idea.

I am surrounded by many musicians and sound designers, and we often do brainstorming-type sessions where we just bounce ideas off of each other. Someone comes up with a demo at some point, which then bounces off of others to get refined into something more concrete. This drive the “fun” in my games as well. I think the audio in a game carries a certain power that drives the fun in games, and the brainstorming process is a big part of it.

We don’t actually really sit down and say like “hey let’s make a song for our game”. It’s also very “anytime anywhere” - like sometimes we would meet in a studio to jam, or we would just throw ideas at each other over the internet.

JamesMontagna4 karma

Hi Mizuguchi-san!

My question is about how Meteos came about. What is the story behind the decision to create Meteos? How did you first meet Masahiro Sakurai, and what was the experience like working together? Since it was a game started by my two favorite designers, I hope to see another Meteos someday. :)

Thank you for the AMA!

IamMizuguchi5 karma

I was discussing with Sakurai-san about how we can do something new with the two screens. We were thinking about doing things in the bottom screen and launching or sending things into the top screen, and how to make that feel good with the stylus, and Meteos was the result. As you know, Sakurai-san is a genius game designer and working with him was super exciting.

Peeeps933 karma

Hello Tetsuya!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to design games but isn't good with art?

What's something about the industry that people normally don't realize?

Thanks for doing the AMA :D

IamMizuguchi10 karma

What’s most important I think is to really love art. Games are a type of combined art form, so there’s no need to fixate on visuals or art.

Instead, you can focus on the experience.

So the fast track to getting into game design is to have lots of life experiences, and art is only one facet.

One important aspect of game design is to discover something core. Like, why is this fun? Why is this beautiful? I think game design is about re-designing that experience as a game.

about the second question:

People sometimes think game development is very digital and cold, but it’s actually very human, emotional, and based on instinct. You really have to go face to face with the human side of things. Of course the digital stuff is important too, but it’s a balance.

aricantthinkofaname3 karma

HI! What mobile games do you play yourself? How do they inspire or influence you?

IamMizuguchi5 karma

In the past, I spent an unhealthily long time at the arcades. I played a lot of shooters, like R-Type, and racing games. One day I ran into a huge game called R360, and I thought “Who came up with this monster?!” It said “SEGA” so that’s where I went.

More recently, I spend a lot of time on the games I work on. It’s really hard to come up with the time to really sit down and play other games, which is very sad. I also spend a lot of time thinking about future games, like things that tie mobile gaming to VR that I mentioned in a previous question, playing them in my head. One thing to note is that I get a lot of inspiration for my games outside of gaming. Music, traveling, life in general.

ldse3 karma

First of all, you're amazing! Now, a quick question regarding Lumines, do you have any plans on bringing it to PS4, XBO or PC?

Thanks for all your great work!

IamMizuguchi5 karma

Some day! Lumines will continue to evolve.

hectique3 karma

Hello Mizuguchi-san!

In your GDC Rez Postmortem you were talking about including all senses is very important for a game like Rez, and that this was a big reason to invent the synesthesia suit. On the PS2 the player had the additional vibrating motor because the gamepad's vibration is not sufficient.

Do you have plans for enhanced vibration for Rez Infinite as well? Or will the player be limited to the gamepad's vibration motors only?

IamMizuguchi6 karma

The current plan is to work with the technology that is available to us. Please look forward to hearing from us soon about this.

I cannot stress enough that I have a strong desire to do something in the synesthesia suit realm. However our plans for a suit is still in its investigation phase. I do have the desire to one day create a suit and deliver it to people who want one.

How much would you pay for a new synesthesia suit? :)

Varletry3 karma

For the VR games that your working on, do you have any solutions or plans for immersive movement that seems to be the current problem with VR setups?

IamMizuguchi7 karma

One thing that is really important is to prevent VR sickness. It has to be a new and fun experience, but that is something I really watch out for when making the game.

VR is a really new experience for everyone, so there really isn’t a frame of reference. Video has always had a rectangular frame, but now that that’s gone, the concept of presentation is totally different. Not to mention the fact that everything is in 3D.

Everything is so new, it is so exciting, and I have a lot of fun making content in this realm. I think this will catch on and people will start really making exciting things.

On the other hand, like I mentioned above, this VR sickness issue is also a new problem that we have to be aware of, so I’m really watching out for that too.

cubitoaequet2 karma

Very excited for a new Rez game! Has the process of making a VR game presented any interesting new design challenges you haven't encountered when making non-VR games?

IamMizuguchi5 karma

Oh, tons.

Creating things for VR is almost totally new compared to non-VR.

For example, in the past, no matter how big your imagination was, you had to confine your end result into a rectangular view frame of some sort. Now in VR you don’t have that constraint at all, which is huge. I think that is an enormous challenge that many creators all over the world are tackling, and I expect something really exciting to come out in a few years from now.

Right now we are at the brink of a new discovery, a new experience, and I find these moments most exciting. Because of this, I am in a chaotic state of fun and challenge and difficulty.

I personally think that my work in synesthesia will really take off and explode into something huge in VR. Not just Rez, but a lot of other things I think can be done.

hectique2 karma

Hello again, Mizuguchi-san!

I am living in Fukushima and remember after the time after the disaster being quite stressful. Losing myself in a session of Lumines or Rez was a great way to recharge energy and forgot the worries for a while.

How do you look at games as a way to enrich a person's life or simply relief stress?

You joined the global game jam at the time ... do you have any plans for joining (or maybe hosting) another event like this? It surely would be amazing being able to learn some things about developing such immersing gaming experiences as you do from yourself.

IamMizuguchi6 karma

I think it’s a very important aspect. We want to live a better life, a happier life, and we do lots of things to achieve that. I think it’s natural that gaming is a choice that is available for that end, and I am very glad that it is.

Games, I think, is a kind of mirror that reflects a person’s desire or dreams. I always hope that I can add to that in some way, make someone’s day a bit happier or something like that.

I think that positive influence feeds back into the rest of a person’s life. Being able to bounce that back and forth would be great.

Ryallen12 karma

Hello! I am an aspiring video game writer and I suppose this is my question:

What is the best way to break into the industry and finding employment in the writing field? Has anyone ever told you how they managed to become employed in the industry?

IamMizuguchi3 karma

What most everyone does is to just dive in. As an intern or whatever, just really get started with it and start experiencing. I know a lot of people for example who started as a game journalist and transitioned to a creative role inside game development, so that’s one good route I think.

cocohead7811 karma

What was the most hectic game you've ever worked on?

IamMizuguchi3 karma

Rez and Space Channel 5.

Flamingozilla1 karma

Hello Miz, thank you for doing this AMA.

Rez is, in my opinion, one of the best games released for the Dreamcast, and shows that game design truly is an art form.

My question is, how difficult was it to make sure that the sounds triggered by the player in Rez would match up with the backing track? Regardless of how I play and how fast my reflexes are, I've noticed that the firing jingles always mesh perfectly with the BGM.

Also, would you ever think of designing another game centred around enhancing a player's sense of synesthesia, just as Rez and Child of Eden were? I've always thought that was a novel concept and would love to see it used in more video have.

IamMizuguchi6 karma

Technologically speaking, it wasn’t that difficult, in my opinion. It was getting to that idea though that took a lot of time.

For example I had the entire team join a drum workshop and talk about the mechanism behind how syncing up with others feels good. We worked with like a musical call-response paradigm and thought about how to apply that in gaming. Things we kind of take for granted in life, if we wanted to apply that to games, we really have to analyze it and turn it into a logical paradigm. This is a process that I find to be really fun and exciting.

Of course I am thinking about doing more synesthesia in games. I don’t think I’ve come up with a masterpiece at all yet, so that will have to be created before I give up. I think VR will definitely enhance synesthesia significantly.

If for example we were able to combine that with mobile, we would be able to enjoy synesthesia freely in any environment, which would unlock a whole new creative avenue. That’s the kind of dreaming I am doing now.

TurfMasta1 karma

Rez and Space Channel 5 are 2 of my favorite games of all time. Is there any chance for another SC5 sequel?

IamMizuguchi2 karma

I hope so!

Eldrac1 karma

I consider the original Lumines my favorite game ever, so I'm looking forward to the new mobile version! Will it support any sort of external controller? Touch sounds like it will be a bit tricky since the game always felt very precise to me.

IamMizuguchi4 karma

We are aware that the demand for this kind of thing is really high. We don’t have concrete plans yet, and we designed the new mobile Lumines around the concept of touch controls, so we believe it is enjoyable without an external controller. Please give it a shot and let us know!

ElliottB11 karma

What is your estimated release window for Rez Infinite?

IamMizuguchi4 karma

October 13th!