AI: The Somnium Files Interview – Director Talks Development and Reflects on Past Works
AI: The Somnium Files looks like it’ll be one of the most unique games coming out this year. It’s been getting our attention as Spike Chunsoft has been sharing bits of pieces of it, like the mysterious video for it that we shared recently and of course, the release date announcement. To say that we’re excited and intrigued would be an understatement as we’ve been dying to know more about the thrilling detective adventure game that’s from the mind behind the Zero Escape series, Kotaro Uchikoshi.
Filled with many questions, at GDC 2019, we thankfully had the opportunity to sit down with Kotaro Uchikoski to get some much-needed answers, and learn a little bit more about the director’s past.
Brad Crespo: After focusing on a series for so many years, what was it like developing a new IP and what have you learned in terms of storytelling and development from the Zero Escape series?
Kotaro Uchikoshi: With AI, I wanted to try something different. In Zero Escape 3, I used a lot of cut scenes so when I approached AI, I wanted to do something different. The main thing that I wanted to do was make this new IP totally different than the entire Zero Escape series.
BC: Did you have specific inspirations for using the eye symbolism of the game?
KU: The theme came from the act of looking at something through your own eyes. This is because people can have different points of view, even when they look at the same thing. This is where the idea of the eye came from.
BC: Originally, you labeled the game as Psync (sync with a P), can you tell us what the P stands for?
KU: The word Psync was used to describe the act of people diving into someone’s mind. The word itself was taken from [the word] “synchronize” and also the word “psychology.”
BC: Will there be any changes that you know of between the Japanese and Western versions of the game?
KU: This is a worldwide release, the version that is coming out is the version that everyone will get. The game will launch with dual-audio, Japanese and English.
BC: You recently launched a new studio in Japan, what has it been like for you to be out on your own? Were you scared?
KU: There was a lot of freedom and excitement, but then came the emotions and pressure of having more responsibilities. I know it’s selfish of me, but I’m actually feeling pretty tired right now.
BC: This week marks the 15th anniversary of Remember11, what are your thoughts on that title and would you like to see it officially released in the west one day?
KU: Wow, I didn’t realize it’s been 15 years already. Wait, how did you even know about that game if it hasn’t been localized? I’m really happy that you even brought it up right now. It’s crazy that it’s been so long, but I’m glad that people in the west have played it.
BC: Is there anything you’d like to tell fans?
KU: For the adventure game fans, I can guarantee that you’ll have a great time with this game. And for the boys out there, there are some cute and sexy scenes that you can be happy about.
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