As Grasshopper Manufacture prepares to release The Silver Case in English for the first time through an HD remastered version on PC, Siliconera takes a look back at the game that started it all for the game studio. Artist Takashi Miyamoto shares his sources of inspiration while designing the art for The Silver Case all those years ago, and how it might look dramatically different were it being made for the first time today.
The Silver Case was originally made over 15 years ago. If you were making The Silver Case today, what would you do differently? How would you make use of the latest technologies?
Takashi Miyamoto, Artist: I think that the 2D art would be replaced with 3D. If illustrations are used, I would like to take more time in making them so that they don’t look cheaper than 3D graphics. Drones would probably be used to film the live action. In fact, I think the whole story would probably change a lot, as The Silver Case was made with the vision of the future.
Art is such an important part of the storytelling in a visual novel. What were your main sources of inspiration when creating the art for The Silver Case?
It’s a massive mixture of everything ranging from literature, films, music, cover arts, past experiences, imagination etc. There are overlaps with Suda’s likeness of films with mine, and also parts that isn’t; it’s like a mix of that. There were film posters decorating the company at the time, and that told the essence of The Silver Case.
In The Silver Case, there are moments when live action videos or 3D cinematics are used to convey the story rather than traditional art panels. What was it like creating art for a game using several different mediums? What challenges arose, and how did you overcome them?
I wasn’t a part of anything outside of the illustrations, so I personally wasn’t in peril. I guess the thanks goes to the other staff members for this. However, it was my first time using Photoshop, well, first time using a PC at the time so getting used to the “digital” was the hardest challenge of all.
When it was decided that Flower, Sun, and Rain would be an adventure title and not a visual novel like The Silver Case, how did that change your approach to designing the the look and feel of the game?
The change of the genre wasn’t a big issue, but the scenario changed to a tropical island, so the vibe of the art had to be changed, causing a bit of a problem.
As the game industry makes a shift to creating worlds that are bigger and more open than ever before and utilizing VR technology to immerse the player, what types of art for games are you most excited to create in the future?
Today, there are real-looking 3D graphics in the market. If there are future jobs in relation to the gaming industry, I would focus towards a more picturesque style in my art so it differentiates from 3D. It would take some time, but I would also like to intergrades art styles of album covers. If only there are games that allow me to do this.
Realistically speaking, the industry today wouldn’t seek for art like what’s used in The Silver Case, so the work would probably focus around making a blueprint art for 3D graphics. To be honest, I think the mechanical design work that I do for the animation industry have a stronger demand in the gaming industry.
The HD remaster of The Silver Case is expected to launch on PC in Fall 2016. It is the first time the game has been localized in English. Aspiring artists can learn more about how Takashi Miyamoto entered the gaming industry, and his thoughts on what makes an artist’s portfolio stand out in a previous interview.