Interesting Project Zero/Fatal Frame V interviews + what do you want for VI?

Eolz

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Didn't see that specific interview posted on Gaf, but I probably missed it. It's from the official guidebook, translation from FFTranslations (cool website also having Siren stuff). Picture of the interviewees from wikia, since the pictures are broken on the other website.
Selected extracts, full interview here
A new Zero, capitalising upon the merits of the Wii U

―This is the fourth project to be jointly developed by Koei Tecmo Games and Nintendo. Please tell us about the events that led up to its development.

Kikuchi: A big part of it was new hardware, in the form of the Wii U, coming out. Just like when I saw the Wii when we were making Tsukihami no Kamen and I thought, "Well this is a console where we can have intuitive controls," when I saw the Wii U gamepad I felt as though it could be used as the Camera Obscura. I thought that if we used it in a game, it would allow us to create a scary experience full of realism. I wanted to realise the catchphrase, "delivering horror to your living room," and started discussing it.

Ohtani: We all began thinking from the fundamental point of whether we should really continue on with a "Japanese style" as the theme, and all kinds of ideas were presented, but we all arrived at the mutual consensus that what we should aim for with Zero was the absolute scariest game.

Izuno: The first thing I thought was that, instead of trying to get the game out to a broader, more general range of customer, we should make current fans of the series and people who like horror think, "This game is really scary!"

―So you narrowed it down to being aimed at enthusiasts.

Izuno: The Wii U is Nintendo's HD console, and I thought it would have to be the hardcore fans who would be the first to leap on board with such high-spec hardware, so we did narrow down the target.

Osawa: The so-called early adopters (people who are sensitive to the trends and are assertive at taking on board and purchasing new products), yes. I thought that the horror genre would be a good fit for the customers' image of the hardware, and appeal to them in various ways.

―Who made the initial approach: Koei Tecmo Games or Nintendo?

Kikuchi: Just like with Shinku no Chou, I was the one who made the proposal. It's sort of like, if it's something that seems like we can commercialise, then we'll begin planning from there and discuss it as it takes form.

Izuno: The way I produce games focuses on getting the merits out of the hardware, but the Wii U's gamepad really is a perfect fit for Zero's Camera Obscura, so I definitely wanted us to make it.

―Were there any things about the new Wii U console that you found troublesome, or contrarily found good?


Kikuchi: It was really hard to utilise the hardware's special traits and actually make it look like you're really taking photos with a camera, so every day was repetitive trial and error. However, with regards to the Wii U itself, its architecture is different to that of the Wii, but I felt like it was a simple and fascinating console to develop for.

―How about the fact that it's an HD console?

Kikuchi: Since the hardware's power of expression has increased, we had to pay quite some attention to how things look. Particularly how the water is shown, or the sexiness of a woman when her clothes get wet - everything was made with the utmost attention to even the finer details. If it's too clear, though, the scariness is lessened. Shibata and I met with everyone at Nintendo over and over again face to face to discuss things like the brightness and darkness that would give us a good balance between fear and realism, and did lots of fine-tuning.

Izuno: I really strongly felt that we couldn't simply use smoke and mirrors.

Osawa: The clarity of the image is not inextricably linked to the scariness. If you just outright show something, you take away the margin for imagination. Because of that, we had to carefully make scary things.

Shibata: Another thing we really struggled with was whether we should go on as we have so far, with Zero-ish anime-style, cartoonish looks, or make it realistic-looking. Eventually - as you can see by looking at the game - we kept the established balance, with detailed visuals. I thought it would be of more value not to change the game's taste.

Osawa: The theme for this game is "water", so we paid particular attention to how things change when they become wet, and went after it thoroughly. Like Mr. Kikuchi said before, that was the women's wet clothing and the water's surface. It's quite technical to make these things using CG, but the staff had a shared mentality that Zero would be the optimum title with which to challenge such a difficult issue.

―Speaking of the staff, Mr. Ohtani and Mr. Sakamoto were added for this game - did anything change with their addition?

Osawa: The sexiness and brutality, I guess (laughs).

All: (laugh)

Kikuchi: We got ideas for sexy elements from Mr. Sakamoto, and Mr. Ohtani proposed a lot of scary things. Highlighting feminine charm acts as a counter and makes the scariness stand out better. I also thought that it might show a new kind of charm to people who have played the rest of the series, so happily accepted the proposal.

Osawa: Izuno and I have something called the "Nintendo Horror Club", often going and seeing horror films together, and Ohtani is a member as well.

Ohtani: Yeah. I've had interest in Zero for a while now, so asked to join in as part of the Horror Club and was allowed.

Izuno: His preferences seem to lean towards splatter or violent horror, though.

Osawa; That's why he's "head of brutality" (laughs).

Izuno: Sakamoto was an advisor to draw out the characters' charms, and was also in charge of the technical side of things.

Sakamoto: The Zero series' games are also attractive because of the beauty and sexiness of their female characters, so I gave opinions on what's my specialist field.

Ohtani: Mainly "head of sexy" (laughs).

Osawa: Not a role you see often at Nintendo (laughs).

Izuno: I also wanted to put in an objective viewpoint that we hadn't had in Zero so far, so those two were added, and in the end I think the team became quite interesting.
Efforts to show visuals with an analogue feeling

―In contrast to the cleanness of the HD quality, I also saw many videos with blurry analogue quality; did you make them this way on purpose?

Shibata: We were quite conscious of it, yes. Opinion was divided at first, and some people said we should have rich videos with realism to them, but we used ones for movies of the past and Mitori scenes so in the end it has an even stronger analogue feel than ever before.

―What kind of solutions did you come up with to strengthen that analogue feeling?

Shibata: We created the base movies normally, but recorded them playing on a monitor using a digital camera, and performed dubbing at 3x mode using a VHS tape we bought at a 100 yen shop. Then we re-digitized it.

Kikuchi: We pulled the dubbed film out of the video tape and crumpled it up, then smoothed it back out and played it - all kinds of things.

Ohtani: Isn't it really, really important how you do it? You only get one shot at it.

Shibata: We tested it out one time, and once we had a feel for what worked we did it all in one recording.

Shibata: I did think, though, that situations shouldn't often be resolved in horror. If the situation gradually improves, you'll end up feeling like there are more and more safe areas. I think that taking things in a bad direction is more horror-like, so the idea was dropped.

Osawa: However, the keyword of "rescue" itself remained afterwards, and the role of searching for people who had gone missing was given to the protagonist.

The "wetness" system, taking hints from DoA

―Could you please tell us about how you arrived at the "wetness" keyword?

Osawa: I think I was the one who suggested it... There's a system in Dead or Alive 5 where the characters sweat, but I wondered if there wasn't also a way to use it to express the scariness of water in a horror game.

Sakamoto: I liked Dead or Alive 5, and since it was also a game by Koe Tecmo Games I really wanted to use it to highlight the sexy elements. I had only thought of it as a kind of visual thing, but we thought we had to tie it to gameplay in the Nintendo way.

Shibata: We did quite a lot of talking about how to tie it into gameplay and make it interesting. All we really had at first, though, was simply getting wet, or making it much easier to encounter ghosts. I thought maybe we could do a bit more with it.

Osawa: I really thought we had to think about how to directly tie what happens when you get wet into the gameplay.

Shibata: At first, I'd thought so far as getting wet being the end - something like, you couldn't get in the water, and being wet meant death. So I hadn't thought of what would happen after you get wet.

Osawa: Yomi Nure is the remnant of that. You get all blackened and wet, and there's nothing good about it. We made it into a really brutal attack.

Shibata: But you did say you wanted it to have gameplay-related merits too, didn't you?

Osawa: Don't you think it would only be stressful if it was all bad things? If for example you have something like a drop in defence but an increase in attack power, or lots of enemies appear but you earn lots of points - I wanted a sort of balance like that. Then, when I was talking to you about giving it some kind of merits if it just involved normally getting wet, the staff around us agreed and got excited, and it was pretty much decided then and there.

Shibata: Come to think of it, we also had the idea of not drinking Sacred Water, but pour it onto yourself.

Osawa: We did. Something like, when you used Sacred Water you'd get the option whether to "pour" or "drink" it (laughs).

―Please tell us how Ayane was selected to be a collaboration character.

Izuno: I saw a picture of Ayane being used in Sakamoto's proposal, wanted to have her in Zero, and went to speak to Koei Tecmo Games about it.

Ohtani: It started with us thinking that maybe utilising a popular character from one of Koei Tecmo Games' titles might broaden the fanbase.

Osawa: Ayane is, even in Dead or Alive, a quite dark and shadowy character, so I did think she would fit Zero's worldview. There were other candidates, but I was sort of too indifferent to them...
The characters' costumes

―About the characters' costumes - there seem to be some people who say that no one would wear those outfits to a horror spot.

Kikuchi: You could say that about the whole series.
About the future of the Zero series

―Finally, if you could please each give a comment on the future of the Zero series.

Izuno: I've done some exploring to see if there's any other fun things we can use the gamepad for besides a camera, but couldn't incorporate it into this game, so I'd like to try out those things next time.

Ohtani: I have ideas about trying to change Zero. I'd like to have a think about what kind of a Zero we could make that would be played worldwide.

Sakamoto: I think there are lots of people who aren't so great with horror games and maintain a respectful distance, so I hoped that the emphasis on the sexiness in this game will have acted as a gateway that makes people think, "This is scary, but I want to give it a go." I hope to make another chance for people to find it fun to play if we make a sequel.

Osawa: Out of the things Mr. Shibata and I spoke about in the initial planning stages about what to do next, there are two things we didn't use in this game. If we do another, I'd like to make use of those unused things somehow. It would be quite different to the current Zero, though.

Shibata: This game began by destroying Zero, and was made with the hope that different customers to usual would be brought in, but I think upon reflection that maybe the crucial scariness of the ghosts was a bit lacking. I'd like one more time to use a system where you're scared but can avoid it to rework Japanese horror.

Kikuchi: We made the first Zero game in 2001, and the year after next it will welcome in its 15th anniversary. It's something that could be called Shibata and my life work, but with some new impetus... be it the appearance of a new console, or some kind of anniversary, with some kind of timing like that I hope we can start planning. We're starting to exhaust the ideas that have already been used as far as horror games go, so I'd like to keep stocking up on ideas to create a new fear.
Other interesting quotes from the guidebook, but that were already talked about in other interviews:
Planning for Zero: Nuregarasu no Miko began in 2011, the year when we were making Shinku no Chou.

This doesn't mean that we were coming up with the ultimate settings for Nuregarasu no Miko from the start - there were lots of scrapped games and scenarios during that time, and, as I repeatedly broke them down, they ended up converging into the current settings and scenario.

It is a mix of four stories: there was the Wii U game "Zero: Nuregarasu no Miko" in which Hisoka Kurosawa searched for a spirited away girl throughout paranormal spots across the country; a Wii U game called "Zero: The Jet Black Bride" in which Ren Hojo had to choose a partner with whom to enter into yuukon at a stunning waterside location; a 3DS game called "Zero: The Box of Yomi" in which Yuuri Kurosawa, a fledgling actress, goes back and forth between an antiques shop and cafe owned by Miku and Miu Hinasaki whilst becoming caught up in an oddity occurring at a shoot location; and the PS3 game "Zero: Black Scar, Black Cocoon", in which former detective Ren Kirishima, having memories of killing a girl, rescues women with black wounds on their bodies from a village that is on the verge of being submerged, and as he does so he realises that they are like the girl he killed and becoming objects of terror for him.
Endings explanations, also includes scrapped ones.
If you are holding this book in your hands, then you must certainly be a fan of the game. I think there are a fair few fans who have been one throughout the series, too. Without the fans of this series, we would never have been able to realise this game. I am grateful to those who have loved this series, despite my favouristism ruining the balance in various ways, and to those who have come along for my "final game" again.

I don't know when it will be, but I hope we can meet again with my next "final game".

Koei Tecmo Games
Makoto Shibata
What would you want from a Fatal Frame VI, if it happens? It's likely that Nintendo will once again be the ones funding it, but you never know. Would you like it on handheld? VR? Another studio or dev having its go at it, like Suda 51 in the past? Bigger collaboration with Nintendo than in V (which from the looks of it, was bigger than expected)?
I just wish we'll get a new one next gen (NX/etc), and that it tries to goes even deeper in japanese mythology, with new characters (no links to older ones).
Spoilers about V are probably allowed, but please, let's not talk about localization issues, there has been enough threads about that.
 

Eolz

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I'm sorry if that's against the rules to self-bump, looked for it and couldn't find an answer on that topic, but I've just noticed that part was really interesting for a FFVI:

Kikuchi: We made the first Zero game in 2001, and the year after next it will welcome in its 15th anniversary. It's something that could be called Shibata and my life work, but with some new impetus... be it the appearance of a new console, or some kind of anniversary, with some kind of timing like that I hope we can start planning. We're starting to exhaust the ideas that have already been used as far as horror games go, so I'd like to keep stocking up on ideas to create a new fear.
(also putting it there since I've seen some really niche websites pick it up)
NX? PSVR? Anyone having some speculation about it or the OP? Hope it will have been of interest for some people at least.
 

-Horizon-

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Suda51 and crew worked on the 4th game? Sad it was japan only.

I also really need to get around to getting this 5th one. I liked what I played of that demo/intro.
 

Vena

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I'm sorry if that's against the rules to self-bump, looked for it and couldn't find an answer on that topic, but I've just noticed that part was really interesting for a FFVI:

(also putting it there since I've seen some really niche websites pick it up)
NX? PSVR? Anyone having some speculation about it or the OP? Hope it will have been of interest for some people at least.
Doesn't Nintendo own some publisher rights for Fatal Frame nowadays? Or something?
 

Semajer

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I enjoyed 5, but I want 6 to have less characters, and be similar in structure to the first three games. Hidden ghosts should return, items should be persistent throughout the whole game, and the story doesn't need to be dissected into so many different chapters or mission. And what do I have to do to get a proper mission mode?

I'd also throw some babies down a well for HD ports of the first three games.

Doesn't Nintendo own some publisher rights for Fatal Frame nowadays? Or something?
Only for the games they publish/develop.
 

Skeeter49

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There was a time where I thought Fatal Frame was perfect as a Nintendo exclusive, with the ways they could utilize the Wiimote and Wii U controls. I really enjoyed Fatal Frame 4 and the 2 Remake, so in a way they handled the Wiimote setup really well, shame FF5 wasn't well received though, as it could have really showed off the Wii U well. FF could make an interesting VR game, but since the series is locked with Nintendo, that'll most likely never be a reality.

I'm hopeful that Fatal Frame 6 will utilize the NX well, there's still a part of me that believed the series would be perfect with Nintendo, but looking at the last 3 games, 4 only released in Japan, and was a bitch to get and make playable, FF2 barely made it over, and it still didn't release in NA, and Fatal Frame 5 finally made it over everywhere, but digitally. FF is a great series, and Nintendo needs to treat it with more respect.
 

Eolz

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Glad to see some posts! :)

Suda51 and crew worked on the 4th game? Sad it was japan only.

I also really need to get around to getting this 5th one. I liked what I played of that demo/intro.
Yep, he was co-director!
It's unfortunate the game was never released, but the fantranslation is good enough for a playthrough, despite the bugs. It's an interesting game despite not being very "Suda51"-y.

Doesn't Nintendo own some publisher rights for Fatal Frame nowadays? Or something?
No, a lot of people think so, especially since an article said it was the case, but they basically just co-own (or own for the 3DS game) the games being released on their platforms.
As said before, it's just that they are basically the only ones wanting to fund it, it's a good addition to their portfolio.
 

-shadow-

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I'm hoping for the first three (actually four but considering that never made it outside of Japan I'm leaving that out of it) games remade in the engine of Maiden of Black Water. That game looks absolutely amazing! Just needs some work on the controls, there's more than enough buttons to make it work and support for the Pro Controller.

Well that or a new game on the NX next year at launch!

Doesn't Nintendo own some publisher rights for Fatal Frame nowadays? Or something?
Yes and no. They co-develop them since the fourth game and own the publishing rights to those games world wide (despite what Reggie has said about IV publishing rights being owned by KT). However the rights of the series is still owned by KT themselves. The first three games are for example on PSN, something they wouldn't be able to do without those rights.
 

Vena

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No, a lot of people think so, especially since an article said it was the case, but they basically just co-own (or own for the 3DS game) the games being released on their platforms.
As said before, it's just that they are basically the only ones wanting to fund it, it's a good addition to their portfolio.
Ahh I see. I thought they had set-up some sort of forward-ownership contract since the Wii releases that gives them some sort of control over the IP without owning it. Guess that's not true and its just that no one else cares for the IP.
 

notaskwid

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Suda51 and crew worked on the 4th game? Sad it was japan only.

I also really need to get around to getting this 5th one. I liked what I played of that demo/intro.
It's my least favorite in the series though.

I'm fine with another Fatal Frame, whichever platform, I'll be there. Doesn't need to be revolutionary or wtv, in fact, I'd like them to return to a III like structure where you go deeper and deeper into a nightmare.
Also, I want to see the two Kurosawas teaming up (Rei and Hisoka), or maybe Rei looking for Hisoka... I just want more of those two!
Or beter yet, bring in Tsukimori Aya and make a game out of her character! (Avatar quote)
 

Eolz

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I'm hoping for the first three (actually four but considering that never made it outside of Japan I'm leaving that out of it) games remade in the engine of Maiden of Black Water. That game looks absolutely amazing! Just needs some work on the controls, there's more than enough buttons to make it work and support for the Pro Controller.
Ohhh, that would be great. A collection would be really nice for the 15th anniversary too.

Ahh I see. I thought they had set-up some sort of forward-ownership contract since the Wii releases that gives them some sort of control over the IP without owning it. Guess that's not true and its just that no one else cares for the IP.
I think it's more a case about no one caring about japanese horror games anymore sadly. We can see that with Silent Hill, Siren, Project Zero... There's still some great stuff being made, but I guess it's hard to stay in this style without taking a lot of risks :/
 

bobbychalkers

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I'm sorry if that's against the rules to self-bump, looked for it and couldn't find an answer on that topic, but I've just noticed that part was really interesting for a FFVI:



(also putting it there since I've seen some really niche websites pick it up)
NX? PSVR? Anyone having some speculation about it or the OP? Hope it will have been of interest for some people at least.
I'm leaning more towards NX on that comment. It could just be the translation but PSVR I wouldn't describe PSVR as a new console. For better or worse, Nintendo seems to be the only publisher that will fund new Fatal Frame games.
 

notaskwid

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I'm hoping for the first three (actually four but considering that never made it outside of Japan I'm leaving that out of it) games remade in the engine of Maiden of Black Water. That game looks absolutely amazing! Just needs some work on the controls, there's more than enough buttons to make it work and support for the Pro Controller.
I'd loooove that. But I'd haaate it! I sold my WiiU after completing FFV :(
 

Rymuth

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I'd like something a bit closer to II in terms of...well, a lot of elements.

- Oppressive tone (feeling trapped, spirited away)
- Grimdark setting (from what I've read of V, the wetness system and the fact that the characters go back home between missions basically deflates the tension)
- Return of the Kusabi

I'm waiting for the price of V to go down before picking it up (that or wait for limited games to release it physically)
 

Spirit Icana

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Lol, I thought the head of sexiness, "Sakamoto" was the Metroid guy at first. But it's actually Yuki Sakamoto. I don't know who that is.
 

alcheim

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If they ever get around to making another Fatal Frame, I hope they totally abandon gyro aiming and waggle controls. That really ruined the last 2 games for me.

Just keep the dual analog stick scheme --left for movement, right for aiming.
 

Eolz

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Lol, I thought the head of sexiness, "Sakamoto" was the Metroid guy at first. But it's actually Yuki Sakamoto. I don't know who that is.
Yeah, only thing I can find about him is that he helped on The Last Story, so likely involved with 3rd party collaborations. Maybe Shikamaru Ninja has more information about those guys?
 

-shadow-

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Or beter yet, bring in Tsukimori Aya and make a game out of her character! (Avatar quote)
Talking about the film, I'm still waiting for a official release outside of Japan. Doubt it'll happen though.

I'd loooove that. But I'd haaate it! I sold my WiiU after completing FFV :(
Guess it's time to rebuy one!

- Grimdark setting (from what I've read of 4, the wetness system and the fact that the characters go back home between missions basically deflates the tension)
Mask takes place on an Island where the only was off was using a boat that you can't access what-so-ever. The setting of IV is outright scary with the abandoned hospital. And honestly the reason why the island and hospital are abandoned really adds to it. It's my favorite location.

If they ever get around to making another Fatal Frame, I hope they totally abandon gyro aiming and waggle controls. That really ruined the last 2 games for me.

Just keep the dual analog stick scheme --left for movement, right for aiming.
For the Wii games, if your PC can handle it just play your games through Dolphin and place the motion controls on the second analog stick. The game doesn't use the pointer so it works just fine. IV uses the pointer for a few instances however. Though I think you should be able to do that also using the second stick.
 

Sumio Mondo

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They need to freshen things up next time and keep the design more varied. They kept dropping you in the same location on the map 3 chapters in a row. Really bizarre design decisions like that brought the game down, as did making you fight the same maiden enemies over and over when they had some really cool enemy designs that were really underused.

The next one should be the final game, I think. It's about time that Makoto Shibata created a new IP. He's definitely got the talent to do so, he was previously the director/designer of the Deception series, so it'd be great if he came up with something else fresh in a dark setting whether it be a horror game or something else entirely. I would classic him as the "father" of the Fatal Frame series since he wrote and directed every single one (aside from Spirit Camera).

I would be excited for one on NX or PSVR, for sure. It would make things fresh again after the experimental games that utilised motion controls (FF2 Remake, FFV, Spirit Camera). Maybe one that just goes back to using a normal controller again should suffice? And please, change the central plot from a ritual into something else, or at least not make it so predictable next time.
 

Rymuth

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Mask takes place on an Island where the only was off was using a boat that you can't access what-so-ever. The setting of IV is outright scary with the abandoned hospital. And honestly the reason why the island and hospital are abandoned really adds to it. It's my favorite location.
.
whooops!! Sorry, I meant 5!