The Metal Gear Solid demo for the Nintendo 3DS was one of the most impressive sights at E3 last month. Who knew what lengths its developers went to keep it secret, even from their co-workers?
I know, because I listen to video game podcasts, that wild audio frontier where gaming secrets are sometimes whispered.
On the latest episode of Kojima Productions' podcast, some of the folks who work at the house of Metal Gear reveal the secrets behind the development of what is called Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D "The Naked Sample."
If you haven't seen it yet, imagine a version of the PS2 game Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater running on a portable device, utilizing glasses-free 3D for extra depth and pop-out visuals. The demo shown at E3 wasn't a game that could be played, but an interactive fly-through of some scenes related to that game, with the user allowed some camera control. It exhibited real gaming graphics, not canned cinematics. And it was made secretly.
From the new episode of the Kojima Productions Report audio podcast, stating at about the 4:50 mark (censored in the original file, not by Kotaku):
Shawn Eyestone, Kojima Productions: "That whole thing, it was really like a top secret thing. .. The way Kojima Productions works is that mostly everyone is on the same floor. We're up in the [censored] floor. But for that project they actually got a separate room down on the [censored] floor. And they had a special passcode to get in there… So for the first month or so it really was just the core guys who were doing the tech, looking at it, the programmers... those were the only guys who were really aware of this…
Chris Johns, Kojima Productions: "We knew something was going on. Because we knew people were going somewhere and doing other work, but they couldn't say why or what they were doing.
Eyestone: "So there were all these rumors flying around in the studio: 'What are they doing down there?' 'I think maybe it's this…' There were all these conspiracies…
Mark MacDonald, podcast guest, 8-4 Ltd.: "I want to know what some of the conspiracies [were]…PSP2?
Eyestone: "That was a common one."
MacDonald: "I heard it was PS4."
Eyestone: "Not too may PS4… but there was a lot of PSP2 rumors going around and there was 3DS [rumors] going around. I think most people kind of had an idea that it was one of those two. But it wasn't until maybe a month before the unveiling that they started bringing more people in. You know, that whole demo, it's pretty hard to believe, that whole thing got developed in about two months. It was a really accelerated schedule. The first month was the core tech guys, a few key people on there, and then one month into it they started bringing in more artists so they could flesh out all the assets.
"About a month before E3 they let us down there … of course we had to localize that as well, put in the English voices.. David Hayter [who plays Snake] and Lori Alan [who plays The Boss] are in there.. we came into it at that point. It still wasn't done at that point… the first time I saw it it floored me. "
There's more Kojima-related gaming talk on the Kojima Productions Report, covering the E3 response to Metal Gear Solid Rising, the reason Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is so hard, and the level of involvement between team Kojima and the makers of Castlevania Lord of Shadow.
The Kojima Productions Report Session 121 [iTunes]