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 July 2, 2010, Takumi talks about his hobby magic (illusions). he explains how his experience with magic also helped him create mystery stories, as the two are actually much closer than might seem at first sight.
Ghost Trick Director Takumi Shū – Part 4: Magic
My special skill is magic tricks. I imagine that many fans of mystery fiction like puzzles and magic, and I am no exception. I like surprises. My latest game is also a mystery game and contains surprises too of course.
I was in a magic circle in college. We went to camps where we’d make pigeons disappear and play tennis (laugh). I’m good at sly hand magic that requires fast fingers, so I’d always train with playing cards in a stoic way in front of the mirror. It might not be fancy, but I never got bored by it.
There’s the concept of a “routine” in magic. It’s about how each of your movements are planned from the moment you greet the audience until you leave the stage. Let’s say you have a trick with four balls, and you start out with one and end up with four. In between, you’ll make more balls appear or disappear, but each of those movements have meaning to them. Of course to surprise the audience, but sometimes the movement is there to make things more convenient for the performer themselves. You might need to distract the eyes of the audience with one hand so you can prepare something in secret with the other hand, for example. It’s here where the story “on stage” and the story “back stage” overlap. I like that about magic.
The same holds for a mystery story. You prepare things back stage while the audience is watching what is happening on the stage. How do you smooth out all these necessary movements? Having performed magic, I know how to structure a proper routine.
I actually showed one of my magic tricks during my job interview at Capcom. I had my props with me and performed it in front of the interviewer, who loved it. But then they wanted to know how I did it, and while revealing a magic trick is a grave sin, I revealed just a bit of it, because I wanted the job (laugh). But I’d like to believe that was not the only reason I got hired….