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Miyamoto Interview Discusses, Defends GTA 30

Thanks to an anonymous reader for pointing us to this interview with Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto conducted on Gamespy. Particularly interesting is his attitude to the Grand Theft Auto series (he says "I think we should welcome this game" when asked about it), and his contention that taking the Mario series into 3D has reduced the user base, because 3D games are so much more complicated.
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Miyamoto Interview Discusses, Defends GTA

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  • ya know (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gangien ( 151940 ) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @01:41AM (#5978442) Homepage
    everytime I read something by him, I realise why he has been so successful. To bad People can't get past the idea that graphics make the game enjoyable, I can't recall a game of his i haven't enjoyed.
    • I'm curious. It mentioned at the end how he collaberated with different developers (i.e. Kojima). Anyone happen to know which game they did together?
      • I call dupe from ages ago on this article. It was on the front page back then, too.

        As for Kojima, I suspect they may have collaborated on Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand, which was mentioned in the E3 Konami roundup. Ooh, vampire-slaying.
  • by Babbster ( 107076 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (bbabnoraa)> on Saturday May 17, 2003 @02:23AM (#5978600) Homepage
    I've got to disagree with him on the 2D->3D issue. I'm a gamer from way back (not to Odyssey but to the first Atari 2600 in the neighborhood) and I've actually found 3D games to be easier than 2D. I know it sounds odd but I'll try to explain...

    In the side-scrolling Mario games, the perspective is quite unnatural in that your character moves in only one dimension. Adding to that problem (?) is that what you are seeing isn't necessarily all that Mario would see. For example, if there's a big pit coming up and I'm running as fast as I can, my avatar should be seeing that pit before it appears on my screen (and I inevitably go running right over the edge). In 3D platforming games, I get to see everything (depending on the camera and the depth rendered) that my character could see. So, if I'm going straight ahead, I'm going to see any osbstructions or pitfalls that are straight ahead of my character.

    That's the mechanical side, but then there's the comfort side. I'm quite used to moving [rarely] in three dimensions in real life, and that translates to me feeling more comfortable playing a game that simulates that kind of natural movement.

    I suppose small children and new gamers may find the simplicity inherent in side scrollers to be easier, and Miyamoto may be referring to those kinds of gamers instead of the gaming world overall (very possible since I think Miyamoto is the kind of game designer who wants to get new people hooked - "Try it once. It feels good."). Of course, I wonder if he would have preferred to design Pikmin in 2D (I doubt it).

    In short, for me, if the controls and camera are working I have a much easier time gaming in 3D than I have in 2D...though I'm still going to get Viewtiful Joe. :)

    • You make a good point, but consider this: We interact with a 3D world every day, and it's no problem for us. However, when you load up Mario Sunshine or whatever, the interface is totally different. For one, you're seeing everything from a 3rd person perspective. Thus, you're not seeing what your avatar would see, you're seeing what someone observing your avatar would see.

      Now consider your interface to the 3D world. We move around with our legs, we interact with our environment with our hands, and we tilt our neck or shift our eyes to look around. With a video game, our interface is through a controller.

      Now, even though Mario Sunshine's 3D world is more like our own world than, say, Super Mario Bros. 3, the differences in perception and interaction are vastly different. That can make it cognitively difficult to interact with these video game worlds.

      I play lots of video games, so I'm used to it. It's not as natural to me as interacting with the real world via my own body, but it's not too bad. But for anyone who isn't used to that, it can be really difficult.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Your argument has everything to do with trying to match the game to real life and has nothing to do with what makes a game fun. A typical approach of amateur game designers is to try to mimick the real world as much as possible. Great designers know that what's fun may very well be and often is something different. And believe me, as a developer at a major game studio, I've seen the amateur mistake made so many times that as soon as I see the designer talking about how something is or isn't true to the real
      • Actually, my argument has NOTHING to do with representing the real world and EVERYTHING to do with the perspective *I* personally find the most comfortable when gaming. To use the most obvious current example, Super Mario Sunshine has little to do with the real world except perhaps for water and the sky but, for me, the 3D environment is more comfortable than if the game had been released as a 2D side-scroller.

        You're reading something into my screed that just isn't there.

        • But this may be because you are bringing more experience and knowledge of games to Mario Sunshine than most people might.

          In a side scrolling someone might have to learn how to move left and right and jump.

          In a 3d game you have to learn how to move forwards and backwards, strafe, turn by rotation or by a combination of camera angle and stick direction. You also need some way of manipulating the camera angle, something that is completely unnatural to a non gamer.

          If you don't believe that there is any truth
    • Well my three year old son can play Mario Sunshine. He likes to make Mario run into walls on purpose and to make Mario slide on his stomache, but he is able to play it. The only trouble he has is when he gets Mario into the water, but even then he can usually work Mario back onto land.
    • The problem with 3D platform games is making jumps. It's very hard to properly judge the distance to jump unless you have a side view - which is what you always have in a 2D game. In 3D though, it's not always possible to get a good camera angle. This is the main reason the waterpack was added to Mario Sunshine - to allow you to land jumps easier.
  • Well, I can honestly say, that with all the dev companies out there, anything that Miyamoto-san puts his hands on are the only games that I will buy absolutely blindly. I've never been disappointed yet.
  • by Loosewire ( 628916 ) * on Saturday May 17, 2003 @06:50AM (#5979206) Homepage Journal
    Ok think about this, how many of you have played through Super Mario Brothers on your NES or SNES and loved it? - most who played it i would guess. How many of you played through Super mario world and loved it, again most, same goes for the lost levels and Super mario brothers 3 (2 was a disaster but then the game was converted from japanese from another game which wasnt even anything to do with mario) I played super mario 64 and it was great, however it wasnt as good as the old 2d sidescrollers, i prefered all of them. I dont want to do different challenges over the same landscape, id rather do lots of varying stuff like in 2d. I also played the other day super mario sunshine, the graphics were stunning, but the gameplay was a little boring. Nintendo, make us all some more 2d mario games - please.
    • Nintendo, make us all some more 2d mario games - please.
      I wish they'd make an "extended" version of Super Mario World... same graphics, same engine, same music, same characters... just 100 or so new levels. I'd pay $50, plus the cost of whatever new system it runs on, just to play it. I know i'm not the only one, either.
    • I have a feeling you'll see lots more 2d from Nintendo on the GBA.

      I bought one a month ago and have beat Metroid Prime (excellent) and Castlevania:Aria of Sorrow. These are the best 2d games I've played since Castlevania:Symphony of the Night on playstation 1.

      The GBA is where the old school and best 2d games live now. It's breathed new life into a dying art form.
  • Story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Deanasc ( 201050 ) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @10:25AM (#5979815) Homepage Journal
    I like the GTA games for their complex story and plot. Mario goes and rescues the princess isn't a story. Louie's girl sleeping with Tony is a story.

    These new games are to TV what motion pictures were to literature.

    • If you want a story, read a book.
      If you want to play a game, then buy a game.
      Chess is a great game, and has almost no story.

      A great story does not make a great game.
      • A great story does not make a great game.

        I don't feel like a gullible fool when I think about the time I cried during Final Fantasy 7...
        • Final Fantasy 7 was one of the worst games that I have ever played. However, it was an interesting movie. I just got sick of having to press buttons to keep the movie playing.

          The earlier Final Fantasy games were much better games. Not very good movies though.
      • Games can be much more then just an exercise in rule based strategy. So what you're saying could also be applied to the motion picture. Think about it this way...

        If you want a story read a book. If you want to see moving pictures get 6000 photographs and flip them down from the edge. Man, I thought that train was coming straight for me! Hee Hee, Look at Moe dance.

        My point is interactive video games can be the new literature. They can immerse the player into the story in ways Hemmingway, Faulkner and F

        • I am not against having a story in my games. I agree that there is great potential in something that is both movie and game... or book and game.

          However, making a book interactive doesn't make it better. It just makes it different. Same thing goes for movies. Personally, I have no problem reading a book, watching a movie, or playing a game. Also, they all deserve equal footing in being taught in a humanities class... but games don't need stories to be great.

          I still play Quakeworld every day (FuhQuake
          • Ok I can agree with you but how often do you read a book. Most books once. Some more then once if you really liked them. I've been through Halflife twice now and found new things the second time around. I have to admit I just this week got a PS2 and the only game I have is GTA3 but I do enjoy the cut scenes that move the game by moving the story. I'll probably get GTA:Vice City for the story too. That's not to say I'm never going to get Tony Hawk4. I loved TH3 on the PSone. No story there.
            • GTA is a masterpiece! I have had the original installed on my computer for about 4 years now. Back then, GTA wasn't considered cool or a good game by critics. I thought that it was a great game with a sprikling of story to motivate some direction in the seemingly limitless world. GTA3 and Vice City look like sequals that have improved every strong point of the original, and added new stuff to boot.

              GTA is great because even though you have a mostly linear story line, the game makes you feel like you are

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