NieR and Drakengard Creator Says NieR Was Inspired By 9-11

By Robert Ward . March 20, 2014 . 1:01pm

Note: This session naturally contains a few spoilers for NieR.

 

At a panel at GDC this morning, titled “Making Weird Games for Weird People,” Drakengard and Nier creator Taro Yoko—in a typically off-kilter fashion—began with his conclusion.

 

Story and gameplay, he said, are not the most important things to him. Neither are graphics or making money. “All I care about is heading for the goal,” Yoko shared. It’s hard to explain just what that goal is, though, he said.

 

Starting with the conclusion, Yoko revealed, is how he writes his games as well. When he started out, Yoko said, he didn’t know how to write, so he bought books off of Amazon, along the lines of “How to Write a Hollywood Blockbuster”. Unfortunately, he shared, he had no idea what they were talking about.

 

“What is the self-concept of the main character? How to they view themselves in this world? I just didn’t get it. Maybe it’s because I’m stupid,” he joked.

 

For a while, Yoko said, he would nod his head, trying to read through these books, but ultimately, he gave up. Instead, he developed his own techniques, which he said are: backwards thinking/scriptwriting and photo-thinking. Backwards scriptwriting, he explained, is the process of creating cause or reason, starting with the conclusion of the story. Yoko cited Nier, which he directed, as one example of this approach.

 

Backwards scriptwriting:

When making a game, this is the very first thing Yoko puts his head to. The reason, he said, is simple: cost. Oftentimes, the luxury of time and money isn’t available, and one needs to work within their limitations. For this reason, if you’ve never made a game before, Yoko suggests you refer to games that are similar to what you’re making. In fact, you might even want to mimic what they’re doing, he said, and aim for about 70% similarity in both quality and volume.

 

Yoko then presented a slide that said “Emotional Peak”. Sadness, fear, love, pain, cool… these are the emotions we feel when our hearts are moved. The “Emotional Peak” was then replaced with the text “A Girl Dies”.

 

Let’s say your pet died, Yoko suggested, going off on a slight tangent. Your pet dog, who had played with you since you were a child. Ultimately, it grew old along with you. It’s simple, but a sad event. However, Yoko said, if your pet in a videogame were to die, you probably wouldn’t be sad. This is because your videogame pet hasn’t been sharing your life with you. The difference here is past experiences. So, with that in mind, what would make people feel sad about this girl dying?

 

One instance in which emotions are triggered is when the weak are treated in a cruel manner. Knights aren’t weak. An example of someone that might be weak would be female children. So, to tie this into the event of the girl dying…

 

“A girl dies.”

“She is still young.”

“She cannot speak.”

 

To add to that, the young girl has a kind and beautiful personality. She’s done nothing wrong, but unfortunately, her life was taken away. That would make it sad. There’s great sadness the moment she dies. Her happiness, which she was supposed to experience, was shattered. Imagining what that was or could be, it was her dream wedding, Yoko said. Something that she always wanted.

 

Yoko explained that he takes a step back to look at what he has. He layers on reasons to trigger emotion from the beginning of the game and spreads these elements throughout the story. The Girl Dies –> Her wedding Day –> She is Kind –> Cannot Speak –> She is Young. He searches for reasons such as these that lead him to true sadness. He thinks about these reasons and layers them neatly on top of each other. And this is why backwards scriptwriting works—because you need to come up with causes that would trigger emotion. Reasons for sadness come at the start of the game, and the player finds the emotional peak at the end.

 

Of course, he added, there are numerous emotional peaks in a final product or game, and each of them demands a stack of reasons to make sense.

 

Photo-Thinking:

Next, Yoko discussed photo-thinking. This he says, is the concept of envisioning the situation in your head. The scene where “the girl dies,” for example. How was that written out?

 

She was killed during her wedding. She was stabbed to death. She’s a citizen of a different land and culture. She wears a mask. She mutters “thank you for marrying me,” as she dies. That scene was visualized, Yoko said, along with all of the additional details—the prince holding her, her feeble voice, her bloody hand.

 

Taro cited The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci (a book) at this point. You build a memory palace in your brain, he explained, and place items you wish to remember in your palace as you visualize it in your head. The application of visual memory skills (photo-thinking) is not about remembering something specific, he said, but going there to see, or create, or generate, the scene. Be visualizing the scene in this manner, that image is embedded in your head as the setting of the game. Due to the girl’s death, one understands that the mood in the village is sad and depressing. By traveling inside the brain in this manner, this world will gradually start to form itself, Yoko explained.

 

At the same time, he cautions, one needs to be careful not to overvisualize things with photo-thinking. Young scriptwriters tell Yoko all the time that they can’t get into creating a setting. They’re distracted by too many meaningless details, Yoko said. When you’re trying to convey an emotional peak, the solution is to make every effort to visualize only the emotional peak, and nothing outside of that.

 

The Goal:

So, if story and gameplay aren’t important, what is? The goal, Yoko revealed, is that players will play the games he makes, and hopefully feel an emotion. The goal is to cause an emotional stir inside the player’s brain, not the middle step of shipping the game to them.

 

Yoko said he sees a bunch of games on the shelf at GameStop, but isn’t excited by them. The number of well-made games has increased, but the number of games that make his heart pound, that move him, have not. Big-budget games provide lengthy play-time with gorgeous visuals. Meanwhile, in the case of indies, we normally see bite-sized games. Perhaps, he suggested, the industry is entering a blind alley. Yoko would like to fight that. He believes there’s a strong potential for games.

 

NieR and 9-11:

Later in the panel, Yoko moved on to discussing Nier and some of the ways in which that game attempts to move the player. For Nier’s design, he revealed, he was deeply influenced by the events of 9/11 and the world thereafter.

 

9-11 was an unfortunate event that triggered out of a situation where both sides believed they were doing the right thing. The question is, what did they see from their point-of-view? What does it look like from each other’s perspectives? These were the thoughts that went through his head when he was making Nier.

 

Yoko said he has spent 20 years trying to move players with his games, but has failed. He failed to break through that invisible wall, into the grey area of gaming, to tap into its full potential, which, to him, is being able to emotionally affect the player in an extreme or otherwise substantial way. However, he still believes in their potential, which is what he was attempting to outline throughout his panel, and that’s the reason he was at GDC today. He wasn’t able to overcome that wall in 20 years, Yoko said, but stated that if members of the audience could attempt to challenge that same invisible wall over the next 20 years, it could amount to 200 years worth of work.

 

Yoko ended his presentation by asking that the audience—many of which he assumed were much younger than him—take advantage of the fact that they were born with computers and networks around them, and that they possessed skills different from his. The potential for videogames is limitless, Yoko said, and that he would like for everyone to break the wall and step over to the other side.


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  • Saphiren

    NieR is absolutely beautiful in story and characters. I love this game so much. Thank you, Taro!

  • flameraver64

    I wouldn’t say he failed, I was definitely very moved by Nier. Was just an amazing experience

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iml_cqyxxWU thanossapiens

      Too bad the gameplay sucked :(

      • Brimfyre

        I don’t get why people say this. Maybe my expectations were low going in the first time I played it, but having jsut REplayed it last moth, I find the gameplay to be a blast.

        Nothing more fulfilling then summoning giant lances and fists in the air and beating the crap out of monsters with them.

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iml_cqyxxWU thanossapiens

          The dungeons were extremely repetitive
          You will also revisit many of them numerous times

          • Shippoyasha

            Yeah the game is grindy but it was a lot more serviceable as an action game than made out to be. Some dungeon scenarios and bosses were actually brilliant

          • MasterofMidnight

            You’re only in them for 15 – 30 minutes. When you’re a higher level, you breeze through them, so what’s the problem?

        • http://vanilladice.deviantart.com/ Dice

          It’s alright, and every experience is surely unique…. But other games have done better….IMO (just super-saiyan).

      • Rayhan PromisedGallery

        i find it better than The Last of Us that feels more like interactive movie.
        Heck, the ending is also similar but it’s done better.

        People who complain about repetitiveness is seems to be mostly trophy hunter (most of the tedious things like farming and fishing are in there) that wants 300+hours game to be not repetitive at all. If you skip most/all OPTIONAL things like sidequest, you can finish it quick since main story-wise you only need to visit most dungeon 2 or 3 times.

        i miss PS1 and PS2 days when people’s standard are not so high.

        • Scipio

          “i miss PS1 and PS2 days when people’s standard are not so high.”

          Congratulations, you’re living them right now. The standards of your average video game enthusiast has taken a nose-dive in recent years.

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iml_cqyxxWU thanossapiens

          My expectations were definitely not high(GS gave it a 5)
          I LIKED it but i cant overlook the cheapness of the game,I mean missions that you have to read walls of text? really?,a fishing game that sucks badly,
          bad camera etc
          I will agree with you on TLOU
          most overrated game of the year

          • Rayhan PromisedGallery

            i give you that for the camera (though i think it’s still pretty okay, not the worst) and text adventure (not for everyone, especially for those who wants to just enjoy the action).

            But the fishing minigame is overexaggerated when it is OPTIONAL. The game only tell you to fish ONE time and the game is kind enough to give you free fish if you failed three times, then you never have to go back to fishing again. Unless the player is an idiot who fish on the wrong spot then drop the game to give it 0/10 in the review. Same thing with gardening that is also optional.
            Honestly there are plenty of games that has suck ass minigames outside of main story like Yakuza and even Kingdom Hearts, and yet NieR is the only one that seems to be overexaggerated in how bad ONE OPTIONAL minigames is to the whole game.

            The optional sidequest are also overexaggerated when there are many more game that has fetch quest as bad as it is and maybe even more than Nier. And Nier’s sidequests at least has various story to it that help the world building and make NPC feels more alive, not just statues.

            I just feels most people who overexaggeratting the bad are mostly trophy hunter when trophy is also OPTIONAL. It’s not like gaining platinum trophy will give you real money or anything.
            Honestly if i need to consider every single thing in games in the review maybe even most of my favorite games will end up 2/10 or 3/10 in my eye since every games can be tedious.

          • MasterofMidnight

            Fully agreed with this. Everything people have a problem with in this game are optional extras. The text adventures aren’t even adventures. It’s just some long text messages with the odd choice 2 or 3 times. Not only that, but they’re really well written.

            On the contrary, people are happy to shower AAA games with compliments, even if they have hours of dragging cutscenes that don’t go anywhere.

            A bad camera? Are people serious? I mean, the aiming with Lancer is a bit iffy, but the camera is just standard 3rd person stuff.

            The game is short. Even if you mess about, it shouldn’t take you any more than 22 hours to complete, if that. The fighting isn’t the deepest, but then again, neither is Assassin’s Creed’s or Grand Theft Auto’s. And, at least with Nier, the game doesn’t force endless waves of battles 90% of the time. Actually, a lot of the time, I felt like there wasn’t enough fighting in the game.

            Repetitive dungeons? You’ve only in them for about 30-45 min for goodness sakes. By the time you go back there a 3rd time, you can whizz through them in less than 15. And, I admire a game where locations are reused, as opposed to games where they put all that effort making a room look amazing, but have the gamer spend 2 minutes in a room before never seeing it again.

            I also can’t get over the hypocracy that people overlook the repetitiveness of games like GTA and Elder Scrolls, games over 4x longer than Nier, but have a problem with revisiting the locations in Nier 2 or 3 times. I mean, REALLY? And those games don’t even have well designed locations, just crappy sandbox locals that requires pretty much zero intelligent level design.

            I think gamers these days have the WRONG expectations of games. Not lower or higher expectations, just plain WRONG expectations. What the point of having fun and beautiful locations if you’re only going to play through them once?

      • DesmaX

        I though it was decent enough. Didn’t motivated me to go to the other endings, but I managed to beat it one time.

        I know it’s not the right thing to do, but…

        • Rayhan PromisedGallery

          this is internet, people loves to overexageratting something that isn’t AAA

        • Vanadise

          Honestly, you need to get at least the second ending for NieR. If you haven’t played through a second time, you haven’t really even figured out what the plot is about yet.

    • Tom

      I’m with you on this. In 2 hours Nier just sucked me in 2 years ago. I beat the game in about a month (doing all the side quests and I also have a job, that’s why it took so long). And hasn’t released me since. I plan on getting the soundtrack CDs, the Japanese version of NieR RepliCant and the official stragegy quide&artbook. I love Nier!

  • Warren

    wow this inspired me to right my own game story. As long as you believe something and care about what you write then it’ll be a success.

  • Sal

    In other words Drakengard 3 will be a real Megaton Punch to the gut, won’t it?

    • http://www.unit03.net blackraen

      Drakengard 3 is an extremely manipulative experience in which Yoko is quite obviously trying to pull your strings.

      Even though you know what’s happening, it still works, so I’ll give the guy credit, his system for emotional manipulation works. I just wish he’d put more effort into telling a story while he’s trying to mess with your head.

  • Six

    He didn’t fail me. Drakengard and Nier were emotional roller coasters.

    I want him to open a small studio like IGA is doing. His strength lies in story-telling, and not being tied down to a AAA publisher will give him the freedom to run wild.

    • KnifeAndFork

      No money

    • Rayhan PromisedGallery

      i find it annoying hat people were expecting FF&KH-level of content and graphic when they play NieR JUST because it has Square Enix written on the cover

    • MasterofMidnight

      Well, isn’t he part of Access Games now? The company responsible for games like Deadly Premonition? This company are full of a number of people from older companies that made more risky ventures. I think, if he is part of that company, he’s good where he is. Or, if he isn’t, he ought to join them.

  • http://mewisthebest.deviantart.com/ AnotherDeadArtist

    I feel like a really bad person for chuckling while reading how he just kept listing off ways to make a death more emotionally damaging. Regardless of my moment of slight sadism, the man knows his stuff. He’s made quite a bit of people feel such emotions with his games.

    Heck, even the soundtrack for NieR brings me nearly to tears sometimes and I haven’t even experienced that game. He may not have thought he succeeded but in the minds of many fans I’m sure he has at least in some way.

    • Shippoyasha

      I sorta egrudge the title Weird games for Weird people.

      What’s the point of stories that plays it safe? It’s not a bad thing for some games to be sadistic and punishing. Pretty much every family friendly game fills the quota for feel good experiences anyway. We are not some sickos for wanting some emotional stimulation in games.

  • Ni ~Algidus~

    >Yoko said he sees a bunch of games on the shelf at GameStop, but isn’t excited by them. The number of well-made games has increased, but the number of games that make his heart pound, that move him, have not.

    I just love this guy. the amount of game that make me want to play them or that rise emotions during my playthrough have decreased alot for me in the past years.

    >Yoko said he has spent 20 years trying to move players with his games, but has failed. He failed to break through that invisible wall, into the grey area of gaming, to tap into its full potential, which, to him, is being able to emotionally affect the player in an extreme or otherwise substantial way.

    I don’t think that he failed. just that the numbers of people that he made feel emotional is really low. I can’t blame him for thinking that he failed the backslash that Drakengard and Nier received for not beign TOP GRAPHIX was insane and many people really coudn’t understand the games. Well I for one jsut can’t play nier agian without feeling sad or angry to the fact that i have to kill the enemies and bosses. Drakengard just made me angry because it’s a good way of showing the type shit and fucked people (and how to turn someone fucked in the head) that exist in our world

    • MasterofMidnight

      I’m exactly the same as Yoko. Top tier games don’t excite me in the slightest. Just the same stories with the same gameplay mechanics and cliched plots.

      It’s been the mid-tier games like Nier, Deadly Premonition, Sonic Unleashed, Venetica, and Army of 2: 40th Day that have surprised me. It’s these such games that take a few more risks, or a slightly different approach, and offer a more unique experience. The games are flawed, but that’s what’s to be expected when you don’t know what to expect from a game that breaks away from the norm. Nier is the best game of this particular generation in that regard.

  • Chardo

    I agree completely with how he sees the whole “how to make your blockbuster” philosophy, all of those “how does the character see the world, blah blah, motivations” didn’t work me at all when they taught it to me at script class, they force you to think in an uncreative way, just try to focus on your goal/message and build your reasons from there.

  • Brimfyre

    Nier really isn’t as depressing as people say it is, imo anyway.

    Ending A and B are pretty happy endings for the main characters, just not the villains (or the human race).

    I think a lot of people think D is canon because it is such a downer, and I think it’s the best ending, but it the Grimoire Neir article Yoko specifically says one ending isn’t more canon than the others. Just because D is last doesn’t mean it’s the true ending.

    Sure no matter what the endings, the human race will completely die out in a generation, but who cares? The main characters can live in peace without having to worry about conflict until they die. That’s about as happy as you can hope for in a Drakengard game.

    • http://nabe.kokidokom.net/ Cybersteel

      Unless there’s a time loop, there’s never a TRUE end.

    • Rayhan PromisedGallery

      If you play Drakengard 3 (And read its book), from the plot then you’ll know that every ending are basically canon

      • Keichi Morisato

        i find that very interesting indeed.

    • AokiShizuku

      Edit: Just read the comment again. My bad.

      • AokiShizuku

        Edited my comment

    • Laith Rem

      Ending A is an incomplete ending. It’s logical to assume that ending C/D happen just as the game cuts because nothing changes. Nier and Kaine follow the same events and that’s that.

      Ending A exists to make you care about the characters so that C/D can slay you.

      Ending E is the most happy tho. Also Replicants and Gestalts join to fight aliens according to Yoko so… =V

      • AokiShizuku

        Aliens.

        This man knows no bounds.

        • Xed51

          Actually when the aliens arrive mankind is already extinct, future Emil fitghts them in the drama cd

      • Brimfyre

        You are of course free to think that, and it makes sense that Kaine is going to be taken over one way or another, but there is nothing to suggest that is the case officially, as he has stated the contrary in that interview I mentioned above.

        One of the designers of the game also makes an interesting point that she felt Ending C was the Father ending and Ending D was the Brother Ending, because a Father would never leave his kid to fend for herself, where the Brother would sacrifice himself for love, because he would know his sister could take care of herself.

        I think Yoko said he never even planned it that way, but liked that idea.

  • Pfantzypantz

    Many thanks for this article, always awesome seeing Yoko talk.

  • KnifeAndFork

    Makes me wonder if Yoko has played Yakuza, Beyond: Two Souls, Heavy Rain, The Last Of Us, Suikoden III, Lost Odyssey, Spec Ops: The Line, Max Payne 3, Binary Domain, Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll…

    • Keichi Morisato

      Yakuza… 3 had so many feels. i miss Rikiya…

    • Aoshi00

      Yeah, those games definitely pull our heart strings too, shed tears for Lost Odyssey.. Heave Rain and the Last of Us were very unique experience, so was Steins;Gate which was an emotional roller coaster. But Yoko Taro is indeed something, even the example he just gave makes me sad lol.. I would forever remember how Drakengard and Nier made me feel.. I like Drakengard 3 a lot, but it didn’t strike me as deeply as Nier.. maybe it’s because the novella and DLCs were separated from the main game.. but got to love this guy’s way of thinking regarding storytelling. I really like a good interactive experience. Oh, the Walking Dead Game as well, also very emotional and memorable.

      Also Yoko Taro using Okabe Keiichi’s music and Emi Evans’ vocals in his games’ soundtrack, that makes things even more epic, sad, and beautiful. Drakengard 3 has a very different soundtrack than Nier, but several tracks are Nier-esque and I love them. It’s like Sakaguchi teaming up w/ Uematsu, just can’t go wrong. Lost Odyssey and Nier.. I really couldn’t hold back my tears lol..

      I’m still missing like 5-6 weapons to get the D route for Drakengard, I have gotten the Two & Three DLCs alrdy, 600 yen each a bit expensive but worth it.. all these years I’m still missing 1 single weapon for Nier’s ending D and I was too lazy to go back, and haven’t finished Replicant yet either lol..

      I remember playing in the human perspective and then in the shadow or monster’s perspective, it was really a unique and illuminating experience.. to see things from point sides.

  • Valtiel Ikari

    this was a very good article and actually gave me interesting pointers on how to do my own stuff.

  • new_tradition

    I can definitely understand the “writing the ending first” concept. Just with my own crappy drabbles, I always end up writing something that happens much later in the story and try to make a back story from that.

    • Keichi Morisato

      i tend to write insanely long prologues that sets up the world and some of the events leading up to the main focus of the story. though i do have endings for stories i want to do, like in one it ends with the main characters love interest getting hit by a bus/truck in front of the main character, which causes the main character to have a mental break down and end up in a psychiatric hospital. my problem is everything leading up to that, i want it to be a slice of life story, with the death of the love interest coming out of no where.

      • Shippoyasha

        Did you ever watch Cross Game or the Ef anime shows? They kind of get into stuff like that. And funny enough, the super cutesy and happy Idolmaster did the mental break of its protagonist very well.

      • Pekola

        That is so fetch!

  • Nice Boat Quatro

    Damn, I never expected writing the game was so complex

  • H_Floyd

    Let’s not forget about Sawako Natori, who was the principal author of Drakengard and NIER. It’s a lot like with Chrono Trigger: Sakaguchi (and to a far lesser extent, Horii) came up with some basic outlines, but Masato Kato filled in most of the details. The relationship between Taro and Natori seems to be similar.

  • Keichi Morisato

    that explains why in Nier the bad guy thinks of what he is doing is the right thing to do, making him a very compelling villain.

    • Pekola

      Spoilers!

      He is doing the right thing. He’s supposed to usher in the roaming gestalts back to their created bodies and save humanity. He’s doing it to save Yonah, tho.

  • César H. Sandoval

    Nier, the character, was even born on 9/11 if you read his daughter’s diary. I’m playing it now and just noticed that detail yesterday myself, funny thing.

    • Guest

      Its a coded message, birthdays are days we celebrate, the game is telling us to not celebrate on the day 9/11 because Nier himself doesn’t celebrate his own birthday party

      • Xed51

        no actually, it’s just that drakengard was released on 9/11 and they used that date as Nier’s birthday, it’s stated in grimoire nier interviews

  • LanLan

    I’d say Taro has touched many people emotionally with NieR more so than many games have in the past 20 years, problem is he hasn’t touched as many people as he could have due to the review process game industry uses in other countries. It’s not a process that goes well with the way NieR was structured and tends to rail on NieR’s shortcomings. It’s unfortunate Yoko-san, but know that you have many fans internationally who appreciate your work.

  • Rayhan PromisedGallery

    Yonah’s letter in loading screen :
    “September 11…Today is Dad’s Birthday, but he’s not here. So I had a party by myself.”

    Nier was born on 9-11! And he’s terrible for not even being at his own birthday party.
    Its a coded message, birthdays are days we celebrate, the game is telling us to not celebrate on the day 9/11 because Nier himself doesn’t celebrate that day..

    At the same time 9/11 is Nowe’s birthday and Drakengard 1 release date

    • Scipio

      Holy shit, I forgot about that. I always though it didn’t have any meaning.

  • Darkrise

    Well, I can say that I was moved by Nier and I have no doubt that Drakengard 3 will do so as well.

  • Abysswalker90

    If it counts, I stopped playing Nier on my second playthrough because it made me depressed and I couldn’t bear it anymore.

    • Rayhan PromisedGallery

      well, you will definitely can’t tank the other endings then

  • Pablo Sanchez
  • Guest

    I’d say Taro has touched many people emotionally in a more powerful way with NieR more so than many games have in the past 20 years. Problem is he hasn’t touched as many people as he could have due to the review process game industry uses in other countries. It’s not a process that goes well with the way NieR was structured and tends to rail on NieR’s shortcomings. It’s unfortunate Yoko-san, but know that you have many fans internationally who appreciate your work.

  • Ghoul_Aid

    Inspirational guy he his.

  • Hatirus

    I personally would like to see a sequel based on Ending E. I know Drakengard 3 isn’t here yet, but one man can dream, right?

    That Ending D though.

    • Guest

      everyone dies and then earth got invaded by aliens

      • Hatirus

        Well, Emil fights the Aliens, doesn’t he? Would be nice a sequel actually showing the invasion or even a prequel telling about Kainé’s story.

    • Adam Robert Sherman

      Ending E of Drakengard? That was NiER.
      Where’s the Ending E of NiER?

  • Arizato

    I am studying to get higher grades, so I can get into a University that offers the course “Game Writing”. Yoko Taro is one of the main reasons I am pursuing this career, as the man is a big inspiration to me. I want to write unique stories and worlds just like he does. Everything he’s involved in really speaks to me!

    NieR is one of my favorite games ever, especially for the storytelling after the first ending. This was a really interesting read for me, thanks Siliconera!

    • Pekola

      How viable is video game writing as a career?

      Honestly, gotten pretty tired with all these Video Game stories so I figured, hey why not make my own?

      Obviously it’s not as simple as that. But it’s an interesting prospect.

      • Arizato

        The university I am aiming at has many different programmes, like: Video games music, Sound Effect, Graphics, Programming, etc. All of these programmes are three years long and they work together on a project during the third year. Many of these teams stuck together and created their own studios after their time on the university was over.

        Now, I’m sure Game Writing may be a hard thing to earn a living on as long as you’re not starting your own company or join a rather big company in the first place.

  • Kornelious

    I just wish that we got Nier Replicant :(

    • Rayhan PromisedGallery

      if you use CFW there’s english patched version available

  • Göran Isacson

    Sometimes his tragic writing style works, sometimes… nnot so much. Drakengard is almost comedic at times with how over the top melodramatic it got. NieR on the other hand… well. Suffice to say that even if I raise my eyebrows a little at what he says here, and how it sort of explains some of my problems with his writing style, I still hold NieR as a succesful example of his writing.

  • Rake

    Nier did stir my emotions…

    Damn.. brings me to tears just thinknig about the game..

  • Mind0105A

    I wonder why his games didn’t move me at all?
    I only played Drag on dragon1/2/3 “Drakengard”. I didn’t try Nier.
    To me 3 was funny and I missed that dark story.

    So far TOX2 from Namco moved me a bit.

  • Scipio

    Fyra did nothing wrong to deserve what happened to her.

  • samjosiah

    This is actually pretty brilliant.

  • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

    I like that. He made a number if good points, especially on well-made vs heart-pounding titles. Both definitely need to exist side by side (and there should be some crossover too at times), but there simply is not enough heart-pounding.

    And while I like the process he had, some of what he used is very stereotypical and kind. . . that “meh” cliche; his overall point/method was excellent, but I can see how/when it is easily abused and think more needs to be taught there to avoid a number of the problems that plague writing across all the fields today.

  • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

    I think Nier’s lighthouse lady sidequest was the first time a game moved me to tears.

    • Tom

      The saddest moment was the little fetch-quest called A Dog Astray. The whole scene is redone here (search for “dog”):
      http://lparchive.org/NIER/Update%2016/

      I nierly cried just reading it again…

  • Ash_Riot

    Nier is still my favourite game of the PS3/360/Wii generation. And Taro is one of my favourite guys in the industry (Drakengard was so amazing). So he didn’t fail me and hasn’t yet.

    Loved Cavia’s other games too like Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, RE: Dead Aim etc.

  • Anime10121

    I love this guy :D

  • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

    What an eye-opening presentation. I look forward to playing Drakengard 3 and being emotionally moved.

  • Pekola

    I think his emotional approaches were a bit cliche, and maybe 15-16 year old me would have cried a lot more at them.

    No doubt, the man is unique. But I don’t think his games are weird. They’re good because they have that emotional pull and atmosphere that is so hard to find in games.

    Ending B tho. The last words they said in the ending. That’s when I broke down.

  • Zapp Martin

    “A girl dies, she cannot speak, its her wedding day” that sounds a lot like fyra.

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