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Interviews

Tetsuya Mizuguchi

Prolific designer on Kinect's Child of Eden

Tetsuya Mizuguchi is the creator of cult classics Space Channel 5, Rez and PSP puzzler Lumines, among others.

The former Sega designer and his studio, Q Entertainment, are famous for psychedelic visuals and music-lead video games, often pegged as 'synaesthesia' experiences (that's seeing sound and hearing sight, art fans).

Mizuguchi-san's latest project is a spiritual sequel of sorts to his most critically successful game to date, Rez. It's called Child of Eden and it's perhaps the most exciting core game in the Kinect line-up.

We recently quizzed the man himself on the game - and got his thoughts on some of the biggest issues in games today. Here's what he had to say...

Zoom

Why did you opt for Kinect first over Move for Child of Eden? Is it anything to do with immersion factor, of not actually having to hold a controller?

I really love working with new technology and seeing what sort of experience we can create around it. The Kinect technology happened to be the first one we got our hands on, so we wanted to see how it could work with Child of Eden.

How have you found working with Kinect? A lot of developers told us they're still working hard to eliminate lag...

Every day the technology and software improves, so we're constantly tuning it. Nothing is optimal at the beginning of a new technology, but it's been getting better and better the more we work with it.

Were you surprised to discover that your game was one of few 'core' Kinect games at E3?

It wasn't actually a surprise. I don't really care about genres, and to me Child of Eden isn't a core game or a casual game. I'm making a game that everybody can enjoy. That said, I do appreciate that core gamers - people who appreciate exciting core games - view Child of Eden as something they'd play.

There's been a lot of talk of using Kinect for non-gaming purposes, such as on PC. Do you see a use for Kinect beyond gaming?

Yeah. Maybe you can use Kinect while watching TV, and use it in interactive televisions, and not just games. Like, real live television, or just for communication instead of Skype.

What's the status on Move support for the game?

We can't say anything at this time.

You've always jumped to adopt new hardware and technology. We're surprised not to hear of any plans to release Child of Eden in 3D? Surely it would be stunning...

Unfortunately we can't comment on that at the moment, either.

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Why Ubisoft and not a Japanese publisher? What can a Western company bring to the table that a Japanese partner cannot?

I don't look at it like "western" or "Japanese" publishers, but Ubisoft has a really good balance of sensibilities of entertainment and art and business and creativity. They know how all of these things should work together. They always accept a creative challenge, and support exploring new experiences. So because of this it's been really great to work with them.

Did Ubisoft offer any design advice on how to make Child of Eden more appealing to the West?

Yeah. We have a good chemistry with them. We're always exchanging ideas.

So far Q Entertainment has stuck to relatively small scale games on handhelds, console download services and collaborations. Why wait until now for a big console release?

It wasn't really a case of Q 'sticking' to a small format. As I mentioned before, I really love to explore new challenges and opportunities. Q Entertainment as a company is built around these sorts of challenges. So with the handheld games, the PSP and DS were new platforms and we embraced those technologies.

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