During a stage event at Bitsummit 7 Spirits that is currently going on in Kyoto, PlatinumGames Executive Producer Atsushi Inaba and Astral Chain Director Takahisa Taura talked about their work at the beloved studio.
Inaba-san explained that not many Japanese studios make an effort to train their young developers up to Director rank, while that’s something PlatinumGames focuses on.
Taura-san, who previously worked as Lead Designer on NieR: Automata and is currently directing Astral Chain, mentioned that the one important thing that one needs to not forget when becoming a new Director is passion. It’s crucial to be able to focus on it and to be open enough to learn and see that passion from a variety of different sources.
He never loses his passion, and he believes that one of the keys to becoming a Director is to be able to focus your feelings and motivation on something that’s going well. There is always something new to create and explore, which helps him to hold on to that drive.
According to Inaba-san, Taura-san is kind of superhuman when it comes to passion. He just loves making games.
Working with great “senpai,” as in more experienced creators like Yoko Taro or Hideki Kamiya, Taura-san’s feelings are primarily those of a fan, but speaking truthfully, there is more to it: when you are trained by those experienced developers, you’re kind of “stealing” part of their craft. They’re at the same time the last boss, masters he needs to learn from, and people he’s a big fan of, all at the same time.
Inaba-san explained that PlatinumGames always wants to give new creators a chance to grow, to do original things and a wide variety of content. Right now there are a lot of different games that are moving forward internally and that have not been announced, giving new directors a chance to shine in addition to what Hideki Kamiya is doing.
According to Taura-san, working on Astral Chain is very challenging because as a new Director it’s twice as difficult to work on a new IP as opposed to working on an established franchise.
He mentioned that one of those challenges for him is that he’s not very confident on a personal level. That makes it difficult to communicate his ideas to the developers he works with.
There is always a lot of pressure when you make an original game, but according to Inaba-san, Taura-san’s passion has been keeping that pressure away from his team.
Taura-san explained that Astral Chain is the work of a team, and that team is “amazing” including a lot of really young creators. According to Taura-san, it’s great to have such young blood and fresh energy focusing on a single game, and he believes that it’s going to be something very special due to that.
If you’re unfamiliar with Astral Chain, you can check out the original announcement and the first details and screenshots. The game will release exclusively on Nintendo Switch on August 30 both in North America and Europe.