Thursday, July 6, 2017

【Workplace】 Mystery Fiction Used For Games (2010)

Title: 【Workplace】 Mystery Fiction Used For Games / 「仕事場】ミステリー小説がゲーム作りに生かされました 」
Source: ZakZak (down)

In 2010, around the release of Takumi Shū's game Ghost Trick, ZakZak featured several columns by Takumi Shū their series The Workplace Of Top Creators, where creators got a place to talk about how their jobs and how they got them. In this second column originally posted on June 25, 2010, Takumi talks about how he first got hooked on mystery fiction, and how it played a role in helping him create his first original game: Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney GBA).

Ghost Trick Director Takumi Shū – Part 3: Mystery Fiction

Mystery fiction is the only thing I ever read, but I only started with it because of a misunderstanding. I often watched the anime Lupin III when I was in elementary school, and I had someone buy me the Arsène Lupin series published by Poplar Publishing, as I thought it was a novelization of the Lupin III series. I was surprised to learn that Lupin III didn’t appear in those books at all! But then I started to read Sherlock Holmes, and got hooked on Ellery Queen and Dickson Carr. As for foreign novels, I like Chesterton’s Father Brown series the best. And I love the television show Columbo. I like orthodox mystery stories, which can shock the reader through unique ideas.

The experience of reading all of that mystery fiction naturally led to Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney), a mystery adventure game I directed. I had the fortune to be given a chance to make whatever game I liked, and as I didn’t want to have any regrets about this rare chance, I decided to make mystery fiction the theme of my game.

But how could I make a mystery story that'd be fun for a gamer to play through…. The answer I came up with was a mechanic where the player would present items to contradictions made by mistake by the culprit. I love the courtroom drama Perry Mason novels by Gardner, and that moment where the culprit is revealed, that’s always really exciting. I also figured that as there were no other games set in the courtroom yet, I could go with this. It was then that I saw what kind of game this could be.

But I could never have dreamt it would turn into the series it is now. I guess it turned out alright that I didn’t go for a popular genre, but made what I myself liked.

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