Sakurai encourages developers to think outside the box
It's not about being weird but about doing never-seen-before things
The process of game development relies a lot on innovation. Whether it is sticking to the good ol’ methods or finding new ways to give life to a video game, the process requires a sharp mind but also a whole lot of creativity. This is why, when asked by Famitsu on what’s important when developing a video game Masahiro Sakurai – Creator of Super Smash Bros. & Kirby series – responds “thinking outside the box“.
For him, thinking outside the box isn’t being weird or doing something unconventional just for the sake of it. The innovative game developer takes for example the work of Director Yoko Taro on PlatinumGame’s NieR: Automata. The latest instalment in the NieR franchise was created with mechanics thought to make the player feel something for the first time. This is what creates never-seen-before experiences and defines a truly unique game.
Here is a short part of Sakurai’s Famitsu interview, translated by Source Gaming.
I think it’s always important to question if we should simply keep reusing and adhering to the old standards and existing systems. Sometimes you do end up going with what’s established, and that’s fine, but there’s no drawback to trying to think outside the box. I’m not saying people should deliberately try to be weird, and make unconventional games.
But in the case of NieR, everything about the game is done with intent and purpose, and choices like the one to make the main character an android feel like one part of a defined greater vision. The experience of feeling something you wouldn’t normally feel. I think that feeling of “trying something for the first time” is very important.