Nobody said making lifechanging games was easy
As Seneca the Younger once pronounced with a waft of his toga, it is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness. The man who once dispensed advice to emperor Nero of Rome knew very well that making awesome videogames – or books, or films, or animation – is really bloody hard indeed. Hence the prevalence of painful crunch periods at studios the world over, the tolls taken on those who make games, and of course the cascades of bugs that need patching up with day-one updates. For a lot of developers, it’s not just a rough road but a long one, too. Just ask Fumito Ueda, whose most recently published game reached shelves a few weeks prior to the arrival of Xbox 360 way back in late 2005.
Following the majestic Shadow Of The Colossus, Ueda passed over an entire generation of console hardware, a feat we’re fairly certain no other high-profile videogame developer can match. When The Last Guardian is released later this year, it will be into an environment that’s moved on a bit. But it’s done so, in part, thanks to the efforts of Ueda and his team. Where would we be today without all of the up-and-coming developers who’ve cited 2001’s Ico as an inspiration in recent years? (No less a talent than Hidetaka Miyazaki has said that it was the game that “awoke” him to the potential of videogames, inspiring him to break into the industry, resulting in the Dark Souls series.) For a man with director credits on just two published titles, Ueda has made an extremely deep impression across the world of videogames, and only in a positive way.
Now he and his colleagues are ready for the modern era, with the adventure of a young boy and his peculiar cat-like companion. On p64 we look at the culmination of work that began nine eventful years ago.
In this issue we also visit Playtonic, whose Yooka-Laylee is essentially a follow-up to 2000’s Banjo-Tooie. The team hasn’t skipped a generation in the intervening time, but its past 16 years haven’t always been satisfying ones. On p78 we find out how it got back to where it feels like it belongs.
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