The lights are on
We recently had a chance to talk with Capcom's Keiji Inafune during our trip to Blue Castle Games in Vancouver. As the company's global head of production, he's been in charge of making sure that its games are up to snuff. He's been critical of Japanese development and has worked closely with Western developers over the past few years. In our conversation we talked about how that strategy has been working out for Capcom, how he knew his Dead Rising was going to be successful, and much more.What’s going on with the Dead Rising movie?
Dead Rising 2 is being made by Blue Castle, and I have hands on of course, but in the three years of development there are times where I wasn’t able to much supervising. So I thought, ‘What can I do with this time?’ It’s not like I have a lot of extra time, but what could I do for the fans? Dead Rising is a game that’s targeted toward zombie fans, so as a zombie movie fan, maybe I could make a movie for those fans that’s sort of related to the world of Dead Rising.
Do you see yourself making more of these movies in the future?
I’d like to make more movies, as much as I’d like to make games. After making this film, it took a lot of my time. As much as I’d like to make movies, there are people at executive levels who maybe want me to use my time on other things. I want to make movies and games, and maybe in the future something that would integrate the two—the essence of the two mediums.
How involved have you been in the production of Dead Rising 2?
In terms of the game, I’m involved from the beginning in the story, creating the story and the basic game design. We have some staff, like six staff in Osaka R&D, so everyone is very involved in the basic concept and game design. Typically what happens with a developer in the publisher developer relationship is the you say to the developer, ‘Here’s Dead Rising, please make Dead Rising,’ and that’s it, there’s not a whole lot of involvement. With this game, both parties are heavily involved. We have weekly video conferences that last anywhere from two hours to four hours, and we do that once a week. We also have regular visits, where we come maybe every other month, and they’ll come just as often. It’s a very collaborative development.
Dead Rising was interesting because it was a Japanese look at American culture. With the sequel, we’re getting a look at American culture through a Japanese and Canadian prism. Has Blue Castle given you any insight in how Americans are presented in the sequel?
Blue Castle had a lot of input into making this game into where it is now. It’s interesting because since Canadians tried to take on what we did successfully on what we did in Dead Rising, they had a lot of input that blended together into an integration. It made it a lot better. The interesting part about Dead Rising 2 is that the setting is the United States. It’s really hard for Americans to find humor in and make fun of their own culture, but with Japanese and Canadian eyes we could overexaggerate what Western culture is. I think that’s what’s adding to the black humor in the game.
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