The Let's Play Archive


by slowbeef

Part 11: (Kojima's Comments)

George posted:

Is the "her Kenzo Hojo" supposed to sound awkward and overly familiar or is it a typo?

Typo! ("...her husband, Kenzo Hojo...")

Anyway, it's time for more of...!

Kojima's Comments

BCP's lobby

In BCP's lobby, one of the monitors at the back actually displays the system memory screen that was used in the 3DO version of Policenauts. The first thing the designer in charge of the BCP lobby area created after he joined Konami was the memory screen for that version. This was during a time of much pressure and uncertainty in the development cycle. The gaming media commended the game for the lengths it went to just for the memory screen, which made him feel pretty good. He was kind of disappointed after he found out it wasn't going to be used in the PlayStation version, so I decided we should put it back in for the Saturn version.

You can also find a fan of police movies and TV shows hanging around the lobby from time to time. He'll call out to Jonathan and Ed, mistaking them for various cops from movies and TV shows. Some of them are pretty old. How many do you recognize? If you know them all, you must be a big fan of police dramas yourself.

The reunion scene

The reunion between Jonathan and Ed is the longest animation sequence in Policenauts. It's so long we split it into three parts, which resulted in us having to match up the sound to each part. This is an important scene in the game, where Ed, who had sunk to a very low point in his life, picks himself back up and says, "Let's do this thing!" so to speak. In the PC-98 version, it's pretty much Jonathan hurling abuse at him until he eventually gives in. This didn't feel very convincing, so we changed it from the 3DO version on. Now Jonathan pulls on Ed's heartstrings, saying, "I guess I really have lost everything now, huh?"

Meryl and Dave are metaphors for Earth (nature) and the colony (an artificial world), respectively. Meryl could also be considered the mother (Earth) and Dave the child (the colony). They seem like an odd pairing at first, but if you think carefully into their relationship, I think you'll come to see they're a very balanced pair of individuals.

Victor's model

Victor is based on Masahiko Ueno, a former Tokyo medical examiner. In an academic (and mental) sense, he's similar to Harry from Snatcher.

I wanted to give the AID its own AI, but if I had it pretty much would have killed off Victor as a character, so I made it just an analysis robot. I also originally thought about making it similar to the Metal Gear in Snatcher.

Gates and Redwood

We had planned to make the reunion scene with Gates into an animation sequence, but memory constraints and a lack of time prevented it from happening.

I wanted to make Redwood seem like a totally different person (in terms of how he treats you, his way of speaking, his attitude, etc.) than the one he was on the spaceplane. The bigger the difference between the real Redwood and the person he was pretending to be on the plane, the bigger the impact when you see him again here.

Developing the Shooting Trainer

While in America, we went to a real shooting range in Chicago to do research for making the Shooting Trainer. I'm a big gun fan, so while we were supposed to be there for research, I ended up spending most of the time just shooting. One day I got so into it I fired several hundred rounds.

We incorporated ideas from all the different types of targets and whatnot that we brought back with us. I wanted to have something that combined the fun of a game with a sense of reality.

The analysis results

With the capsules' analysis, I was aiming to mix the easy-to-understand explanations of a TV science program with the type of corny motifs you see in certain drug commercials.

Originally, I was just going to have the game give the player a straight analysis, throwing data after data at you, but in order to emphasize the capsules and then black poppies, we split it up into separate animation sequences.

We threw in close-ups of Victor as well to vary the pace. The loading times for the animation didn't give us any problems, thankfully. If the loading times between the animation sequences and the game screen, and vice versa, were too long, it would spoil the flow of the game.

The EMPS departure

The EMPS departure scene in front of BCP shows the player some of the capabilities of the Goddard. I thought it would be cool to use cel animation to rotate the screen around the Goddards, but it's very difficult to get them to move properly, as the EMPS were never designed for animation sequences in the first place.

We therefore digitally created the shot of them taking off instead. The EMPS have a lot of lines, so the only other option was to decrease the number of lines. Also, the smoke, the warning lights, and the verniers were all rendered in CG.

The car scenes

It takes a considerable amount of time to create loop animation with cel animation, so what we did was first have the artists draw the backgrounds and the cels, then we digitally added in the animation of objects outside the car, the reflections off the windows, and the city lights.

Tokugawa Pharmaceuticals

The Tokugawa Pharmaceuticals building was modeled after a workstation used for creating CG. I wanted to invoke the futuristic and high-tech aura associated with Japan. We also threw in a fairly large rendering of a family crest right in the center of it. The building was created by one of the artists in the animation section. All the buildings in the game are drawn using animation techniques, with their various details and effects digitally added in.

The lights at night and the sunlight during the day were rendered in CG and overlaid with a transparency effect.

The DDS Room

We originally planned to visit a real research facility and photograph the machines there to include them in the DDS Room, but having it look too realistic would have given it a sci-fi feel to it. We gave the room old-fashioned equipment that would be recognizable even to people not familiar with all the latest technology out there.

The receptionist

The receptionist in BCCH's lobby is a very popular character with the development team. You weren't able to do you-know-what to her up through the PlayStation version, but a lot of players requested that we add that, so in the Saturn version we gave you the option of reaching over the counter and doing it. Give it a try.

A claustrophobic pharmacy

Real pharmacies aren't as dark as the one in BCCH, but we made it like that to match Ishida's image. And the odd layout of forcing you to go through the director's office to get there, that was to make sure the player encountered Chris any time they were going through to the pharmacy.