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The Last Guardian: 10 Years in the Making Interview

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IGN released a new  interview with The Last Guardian director and creator Fumito Ueda, the video is on his thoughts about the games long development and the upcoming release. There’s obviously more to it as well, so just check it out-

Gematsu created a transcript for those who want to skip the video-

Development Period

“It’s been about ten years since the previous title was released, but it’s not like we’ve been in active development for all those ten years. After Shadow of the Colossus was released on PS2, there was some time before we started the development of The Last Guardian, and it’s not like since that point we’ve been in active development for the entirety of the time. There have been some changes due to changes in the hardware and changes in the priority of the studio.

“We weren’t always in active development so it’s really difficult to provide an accurate number in terms of the development period, but one thing I can say is that we thought that it was going to be shorter, or we thought that Ico and Shadow of the Colossus took a long time to develop, so one of of the missions of The Last Guardian was that we wanted to create something good in a short period of time, so the fact that it took a long time to develop was completely unexpected for me.

“During that time, we had the release of the high def edition of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, and I think that was really good for us. Although this high def edition wasn’t a new title, since we weren’t able to publish The Last Guardian for a long time, if it did not exist maybe it would have made it difficult to release The Last Guardian. Also, it may have made it difficult to keep our motivation up.”

Game Design

“In terms of the game design for [The Last Guardian] we haven’t changed it since the very beginning. We have made some minor changes but the idea that the boy hangs on to Trico and moves to places that they boy would not have been able to go [to] by himself is the main concept for this game. And the contrast between the small movements that the boy makes by himself and the large, dynamic movements that the boy makes with Trico is at the heart of the game, and that has not changed since the very beginning.”

Division of Roles: genDESIGN and SIE Japan Studio

“As for the division of roles between genDESIGN and Japan Studio, genDESIGN is in charge of the direction for game design and the art and the animations. As for Japan Studio, they are in charge of the implementation of the game and also they are in charge of developing the game engine and maintaining it. Initially, I was worried about whether this kind of structure would work out, but when I look back at it now I think it’s gone very well. The way we have it right now is very easy for me to work, and if there’s an opportunity in the future where I can do it in a similar way, I would definitely want to.”

Transitioning to PlayStation 4

“When it was decided that the game would be transitioned to PS4 it was difficult for me to accept. Now that I look back at it, the PS3 market has become smaller at this point and now I think the PS4 market is the main market, so I am happy to have this title as a PS4 exclusive title, but when the decision was first made I had some difficulty and I felt a little disappointed because I wanted to release this game earlier.

“In terms of the good things that happened since the transition to PS4, of course the quality of the graphics, the details of the graphics, have improved, but in addition to that, I think that in development—in the process of releasing a title—you have to go through a process called optimization, but I think we were able to compress that process. For Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian, we tried to create graphics that are not determined by the hardware specifications. In other words, the art does not really try to place a burden on the machine, or it doesn’t try to max it out. This goal has not really changed [in the transition to PS4] but how fast we can get to it, I think when you look at it from that perspective, PS4 allows you to get to your goal much faster.”

Completion Percentage

“I can’t really tell you what percentage of the development is actually done, but we are working very hard to release the game by the end of the year. In terms of the current situation, we’ve been working on this development for a very long time, but I think that recently the progress has been quite steady. I’ve never been on a game that has taken so long to develop, so a part of me feels sad, but a part of me feels like I just want to complete it. So I have mixed feelings.

“I really hope that players enjoy the game, and not just myself, but the entire staff that have worked on this project feel the same way. And I feel that if players enjoy the game then all the time that it took to develop this game and all the struggles that we went through would be worth it.”