Yukio Futatsugi's surprisingly prescient game idea

Back in 2007, Yukio Futatsugi did an interview with 1up for a PDS retrospective I’m sure we’ve all read. It’s here: 1up.com/features/panzer-drag … r.offset=4

What struck me is this section

[quote]YF: I want to create a Panzer without a dragon. [Laughs] You know, you’re not the person riding the dragon this time. You’re just a person, a nobody in the game, and you see a dragon flying in the distance, and you can’t even imagine riding such a thing. It might even appear to be an enemy.

1UP: So when does it get fun? [Laughs]

YF: I just want to create something that will make no money. You find bits and pieces of old planes and machines, and you rebuild it, and then you fly far away with it. You travel and find pieces of weapons and machines, and reassemble these things. So if someone came to me and said “Make a Panzer game that would make the original fans happy,” I’d make a shooter version of Azel. But if there was no lock on the concept, no preconceptions, I’d make the game I just described. You’re a little person in this town that’s about to collapse, you can’t ride the dragon. You just collect pieces from caves all over a mountain, and build a plane, fly somewhere else, create a gun or weapon, and just do stuff like that. I’d probably create a game like that.[/quote]

Doesn’t this strike you as presciently similar to the current state of games today, especially in the third party world? Minecraft, Starbound, Terraria, DayZ and Rust, etc etc etc - all about constructing an existence in a disinterested or uncaring world. Quite to the counter of the assertions above, that were made in a very different video game design climate, a game like this could stand to make a ton of money released today.

I’m just dreamstorming here, but wouldn’t a game like this set in the Panzer world make so much sense? Even at their best, games of this genre don’t come close to capturing that dirty, desolate yet not bleak, post-post-apocalyptic world that the Panzer games portray so beautifully? There are certain moments wandering around a Minecraft world that you might get this feeling of transcendental solitude, but without the sense of ancient history that the panzer games are built around.

It won’t happen, at least not with the Panzer license, but i think Yukio should take a look at gaming in the west, and give this another thought. After all he does finish the interview like this:

Stranger things have happened. If the economy truly turns around and people have more money to spend it would create more demand for new and different games.

If he has a genuine desire to make another game then the only thing that would really be stopping him is money.

I wish there was a bigger market for games set in bleak sci-fi worlds like Panzer Dragoon. Games seem either politically correct or niche to me. I want to see more niche games become more profitable (in order to justify making more - we have to be realistic).

I think we’re lucky that PD Saga was even made.

Sounds like a Paet simulator :anjou_happy:

Seriously, Yes.

I would like to play this game as well. It probably won’t happen with the Panzer license, but perhaps Futatsugi could do a Kickstarter for a game set in a similar world to Panzer Dragoon.

I don’t think it would work or be successful.

Firstly, what he is describing is known in the industry as ‘fetch quests’. Unless there’s a gripping story that justifies the constant fetch questing, people quickly become disinterested in such games. Which is why they’re usually optional in games and not an integral part of their design. It can work. I’ve just come out of my second playthrough of Nier, which I loved, but the majority of the gaming public, and especially professional reviewers shunted the game, part of which was because of its design, which seems similar to what the is describing in this interview.

Secondly, these days, such games are usually made in the West. When the Japanese attempt to imitate any kind of western style, it often ends up being too Japanesie for Western audience tastes, but not Japanesie enough for Japanese audiences, and end up not finding a market in either territory.

Before anyone mentions it though, when I say Japan ‘imitating’ the west, I do acknowledge that this idea was presented when such games in weren’t so prominent in the West, but if it were to be released today, it would certainly be convicted of being a poor imitator.

And honestly, at a glance, the idea of building a plane out of scrap doesn’t sound particularly fun to me. Dragons are awesome. They’re powerful. And they’re living creatures for which the player can bond with.

yup yup haha