Though few gamers stop and think about it, the process that one endures when developing a video game is long, strenuous, and requires a lot of work. So, whenever a game designer takes the time to actually talk about what is being done to create a project, it can be a very interesting and enlightening experience.
“At present, we’ve at last cleared the initial phase. Regarding art creation, we’re already getting a very good atmosphere. We’re extremely confident about the graphics this time. Of course, we can’t recreate the same quality as shown in these image boards, but we can deliver game screens with atmosphere that is close to this. There are still mountains of inadequate areas, though, so we’ll have to work with the designers on brushing these up.”
That said, all we’ve seen so far, in regards to visuals, is a collection of various backgrounds that will most likely appear in the game, so it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not Mikami’s confidence is well-placed.
In an interview with Famitsu, Mikami went on to discuss the humble beginnings of Zwei. Initial planning for the project began back at the end of 2010, and after a short break following New Year’s, the first steps were taken towards making the game.
The interview continued with Mikami explaining what he felt was “true” survival horror: it isn’t just the horror aspect that was important – though that is clearly the key factor into making a game in the genre – the survival aspect is necessary too. That is, essentially, what the player is trying to do, and that is where, at least part of, the entertainment comes from. The player should enjoy overcoming the obstacles that they are faced with and living to the end of the game, while also being effectively scared by what they confront.
Mikami certainly seems to have a solid grasp on what should go into a survival horror game, and what will make it ultimately enjoyable. This seems to be a common understanding amongst game developers in recent months – with regard to the survival horror genre. The producer of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City noted that it was rather difficult to remove the horror aspects from the game to focus more on the action. Likewise, the producer of Silent Hill: Downpour felt that survival horror games needed to go back to the slower, more evenly-paced, style of gameplay, rather than the action-oriented approach that more recent games have taken.
The interview concluded with Mikami saying that they’re about halfway through finishing the basic settings for Zwei, and have yet to run into any bugs – much to his relief. He’s also said that he doesn’t know what console the game will be released on just yet – but the HD consoles are his prime choice.