A Game Director Set Out To Make A Game For His Son Who Isn’t Interested In Games

By Spencer . June 27, 2013 . 2:55am


Puppeteer has a Japanese flair to it since it’s based on bunraku, a form of Japanese puppet theater. In the game, you play as Kutaro who has been soul taken from him and put into a puppet by the Moon Bear King. The evil Moon Bear King wants to turn Kutaro and other children into his servants, but Kutaro steals his pair of giant scissors and escapes. Puppeteer takes place on a stage, but a big difference is the world moves around him and you can cut parts of the level with the Moon Bear King’s scissors.


How did Sony come up with an idea for a platformer that stars a head-changing puppet?




"The creative director Gavin [Moore] lives in Tokyo. He was concerned because he has a son that’s under ten years old and they were at home playing games and his son put down the controller and went outside to play with his friends," producer Tsubasa Inaba said to Siliconera.


"As a parent, you’re kind of happy that he did that, but at the same time from a game creator’s point of view, I do not want to be making games that my son does not want to play. He immediately noticed that kids have shorter and shorter attention spans. He wanted to make something that was always fresh and the inspiration was theater like Broadway and especially bunraku which is Japanese theater with puppets. [In bunraku] stages rotate around the cast and it’s really high tempo. That’s how they keep the storyline fresh as well. When he watched bunraku he thought this is what I need to do," Inaba continued.


While Puppeteer’s origins are in bunraku, the game’s art style gives it a Western feel. Kutaro will cut through levels with pirates and I played a mine cart stage with a dragon at the end. Puppeteer is slated September 10 in North America and it will retail considerably lower than other PS3 games at $39.99.

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  • Go2hell66

    “”The creative director Gavin [Moore] lives in Tokyo. He was concerned
    because he has a son that’s under ten years old and they were at home
    playing games and his son put down the controller and went outside to
    play with his friends,”


    no really as a parent i’d be pretty damn worried as well
    kid that wants to play outside instead of play videogames, i’d send him straight to the shrink

    • Ixbran

      Did you not read past that?
      “As a parent, you’re kind of happy that he did that, but at the same time
      from a game creator’s point of view, I do not want to be making games
      that my son does not want to play.”

      Can you blame him, Its his job to make video games after all. Imagine being an artist, and filling your home full of paintings you make, and get paid to make, and you see your child tearing the art down because the don’t like it.

      That’s how it felt for him! Its his job to make video games! If you have family members who dont enjoy, or dont show interest in doing something you love, its going to fucking hurt. Of course hes going to try and make a game to impress his son, until he does the hurt is never going to go away.

      • puchinri

        I get that point, but at the same time, if a kid puts playing with his friends over any game/show/whatever media, that’s a pretty good thing and one should never feel too hurt. Unless his son specifically said that the game is boring and he’d rather play outside. (It’s not like he wanted to change video games either, he changed activities altogether.)

        • I’d rather my kid be normal as well. One thing you’ll learn as a parent if you ever get to that point in your life is that your child does NOT necessarily have the same interests as you and MAY NEVER. And there is no do-over. You had the kid, you take care of him or her and you raise them while taking hold of their interests that they DO enjoy. If their interests change over time to something you like, that’s fine, just don’t expect it to happen in a day, month or even a year. Sometimes it takes decades.

          Don’t do that…hey, remember, they’re the ones that will take care of you in your older years. It’s one thing to not have similar interests as your child while trying to get in touch with what they do like. It’s quite another to ignore their interests and then wonder why you’re suddenly lonely at age 50+ when no one calls. You’ll find things other than video games if interests ever fall flat, less you want this to happen later on.

          The fact that this person is taking the time to do this for his son isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, if the son doesn’t get it now, he may over time and that’s the important thing but it’s also important to take what the kid wants into account which is how this structure towards the video game came about (i.e. not wanting the same thing over and over, something different, every one of these are boring now, etc. and so forth). That’s called acting on those interests and doing something about it.

          Some of the text in these comments for this article is outright disturbing. Sure as hell hope most of this was sarcasm.

          • puchinri

            Yeah~. I’m going to become a parent rather soon actually, and the one thing I’ve stuck by is that I want my child to pursue what they want and I’ll encourage them to do so. I have completely different interests from my guardian, but because I was always encouraged to do what I wanted (and she would watch anime with me and play games with me), I feel pretty comfortable in my interests and such and am happier for it. Love and freedom all the way~.

            But yeah, some of the comments got me to side-eye a bit, but I’m guessing they were being sarcastic. Hopefully. >u<

    • Nitraion

      Hmm to me that is really good thing really…
      surprisely i don’t want my child to addicted in video games….

      In fact i want him/her good at sports and don’t play video games at all if could :P
      Anyway the dilema is not there his job is making video games yet his son seemly not interested that’s fucking hurt…

      • Aoshi00

        Same here, when I was younger, I thought I would like my kids to play games w/ me when I become a dad, but now I don’t want my kids to be like me and should be into healthier hobbies (I would lock all my collection in a basement and he would discover it when he’s 20 lol).. well, we’ll see and let nature take its course, shouldn’t force anything.. If he does game, I would definitely impose time limit and homework first.

        It’s funny that’s the opposite stance of Miyazaki, he was like he doesn’t want kids to stand home and want them to go out and play, he didn’t even like his son Goro following his footsteps being an animation director..

        It’s very understandable though, as a parent, you want your kid to have a balanced and healthy life like going out and play and not addicted to just indoor activity. But as a game creator or any profession for that matter, you want your family members to appreciate what you do day in and day out. Many game creators want as many people as possible to enjoy their creation, including his kid..

        I d/l’ed the demo from Jpn PSN, will try it later. Pre-ordered the game from Amazon alrdy :)

  • grevlinghore

    Shorter and shorter attention span indeed.

    • And then shorter lifespan…

  • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

    Well if your son doesn’t appreciate it, I know I will. Going outside is overrated once you’ve passed grade school IMO. =P

    • Except that’s typically necessary to go to work. And be social to things past graphics and text. And a wide variety of things that require sunlight.

      You’ll have to face the outside world eventually. I have fun with video games for as much as I can anymore with my life but being out and about with real people isn’t really over-rated in the slightest.

      • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

        Lol I was totally kidding with that statement. About 70% of what comes from my mouth is not to be taken seriously. =D
        I’m pretty social but what I meant was that the wonder and excitement of going outside dies out when you get older (vacations are a different story). You don’t just go out and “play” like you used to when you were a kid.

  • Brimfyre

    That is my biggest fear, that my son won’t like video games. lol

    • Keima88

      Dont worry if he has your genes, he must like them!
      Otherwise you could just accept that your kid doesnt like video games. Nothing wrong with that either.

      Its your job to raise your kids properly and giving the freedom to choose want they like and guide them in right direction.

      • Brimfyre

        Yes I realize that. lol

        Being an only child myself I have been looking forward to having someone in the same household to play games with, so I’m hoping he will like them but whatever he likes is of course fine.

    • Go2hell66

      i know what you mean, would rather have my son tell me he was gay than tell me he doesn’t like videogames

      • TrannyMagic

        well here’s hoping he may be both. S/O to gaymers lol

    • Testsubject909

      Theories here but. Keep a good variety of genre, but not an overwhelming amount. Something like… 6 different games, 6 different genres, 6 different periods so that he can get a good taste of the old classic era as well as the newer modern era.

      My suggestions would be….

      -Chrono Trigger or Earthbound (Representing the 16-bit and JRPG genre)

      -Starfox 64 (Representing shooters and the early 3D era)
      -Mario Kart (Representing racing games)
      -Megaman 9 (Representing platformers and the 8-bit era)
      -Starcraft (Representing strategy games)

      Wait, you think Starcraft might be too much?


      Nonsense. Don’t underestimate kids. They can get interests in the most complex of things sometimes.

      Wait, I was supposed to suggest a 6th on right?

      -Ace Attorney or Professor Layton (Representing Puzzle games)

      Now that last one? You’ll need to get your kid to participate in it by acting it out, like reading a picture book.

      From that half a dozen games, you’ll have a wide enough range to determine which type of games your kid might like, what kind of story, gameplay elements and etc.

      But this is all just theory. Remember not to force it down on it, just see if something piques his interest and encourage it is all. And if ever he ends up getting interested in one of the games you’re playing… Well all the better…

      Oh and… Passing mention to Ni no Kuni.

  • Your child doesn’t like video games? Throw him out, make another. :D

    • Go2hell66

      i’d ground them or smack em with a belt.

      make them come right

      • Yeah, good old force can solve the problem just right! That, or have them skip meals on a daily basis until they learn their lesson!

        This is getting kind of silly. :P

        • I think you two could use a ‘time out’, honestly.

  • KonjikinoSora

    I feel like you guys are sending the wrong message. In his E3 interview, Gavin Moore stated that his son was tired of doing the same thing over and over again in a certain game; not that he dislikes games in general. Therefore, the game director chose to make a game that “changes” every 5-10 minutes.

    • They tried that with “Haven: Call of the King” and the game was REAL bad…

    • Elvick


  • As much as I want the younger generation to enjoy games. If the kid doesn’t want to play video games then I respect that heck I recommend it so that way he can enjoy other things in life.

  • Testsubject909

    It’s saddening to hear the shorter attention span of the newer generation if that is indeed how it is.

    But this is still an inspirational bit and quite a devoted father there. The game was already looking pretty sweet and was most definitely a day 1 pre-order.

    Now though, I’ll be all the more prideful of owning it.

    • Aoshi00

      well, can’t blame the kids because they’re blessed w/ so much materials and technology, it’s a first world problem really, adults become jaded too w/ 24/7 news cycle, people from generations before didn’t have computers or as many toys either. If you are starved for food, you won’t be picky. All you can do is try your best and become a good parent to your own kid, of course easier said than done.

      If his kid isn’t into games though, as a parent he should be glad.. as frankly video games isn’t the healthiest hobby. As long as his kid respects the work that his father does, because you want your loved ones to respect you.

  • Solomon_Kano

    The Rehearsal Edition (sorta-demo, not quite) is out on the JP PSN, if anyone’s interested.

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    The game sounds cool. All I need now is a PS Vita.

  • Göran Isacson

    It could also be that his son… just doesn’t like video games? I’m pretty sure kids like that exist too! Like, I’m grateful he did what he did because I’m hyped as hell for this title, but I wonder if he interpreted things the right way…

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