Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

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Vextor
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Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Vextor » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:02 pm

I went through reading blogs of developers involved in Tierkreis, and in the blog of Osamu Komuta he explained how he thought Suikoden needed to steer away from the "old story."

In his entry, he mentions how there was significant resistance within Konami to shift focus away from the established storyline, especially when continuity was what made Suikoden distinctive from the rest. However, after much thought he came to the conlcusion that change was necessary, and decided going through with the new direction we saw in Tierkreis.

Despite whatever disagreement may exist within fans, I think there's a general consensus that everyone wants to see the story continue, instead of having new directors and producers come in to paint the world their own colors (which is often what creative people want to do).

It seems quite clear that Komuta was the main voice behind the new direction, so naturally it would be best to focus our united voice towards him (if possible). If the fans all agree that one of the main reasons we like the series is because of the continuity, then he needs to be clearly shown that fact-- otherwise he may continue to go on the current tangent.
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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Raww Le Klueze » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:27 pm

I hope the blog allowed comments and they were of the 2chan variety.
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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Piisuke » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:05 pm

I do too. Although I don't mind expanding the universe, to abolish the entire established series is an extreme step, which will venture away all existing fans.

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Masked Bishop » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:14 pm

I don't even understand any sense of reasoning behind that. Why take away the most unique and interesting aspect of the series and try to turn it into something bland and derivative? There is an intensely loyal, pre-existing fanbase that will be turned away, and for what?

That being said, I'm still excited about this new title. Things are so tense around these parts these days I don't want to run the risk of being misconstrued.

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Oppenheimer » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:15 pm

Seems reasonable. Does anyone know how to contact Komuta then?

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Exophase » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:17 pm

Do you have any links to these blogs? Did you read them on google translate or do you read Japanese - if the latter is true would you mind translating anything for us?

If resistance within Konami didn't deter him I doubt resistance within the fanbase will. I'm sure he knows full well that existing fans are not happy with this movement and instead is convinced that this will bring in a new fandom and that the old fans will be so impressed with the stories that they'll have to admit their quality despite their disagreement.

I originally thought that Tierkreis and the direction the upcoming PSP title may be taking were purely cold financial decisions. Konami saw that Suikoden sales were dwindling and decided to try something different merely as an attempt to sell more. I'm starting to think it's more a case of them having appointed Komuta to fill the production leadership void for the series and Komuta had more desire to use his own creative work rather than continue someone else's. I really doubt he was able to justify this change as being necessary in any sense of the word and was just pushing this as an excuse. In the interviews you can see how utterly enthralled he is with "infinity", believing it to be this new and compelling concept that allows for increased levels in storytelling freedom (in reality, multiverses are extremely common in fiction and even the coalescing realities plot line has been done a fair amount).

If any of this is true he seems pretty selfish and I doubt he'll want to give up this level of creative control in order to give in to what other people want. It's a shame Konami didn't appoint someone who loves the original games like we do because they would have stuck with the original setting so long as they had power to do so, regardless of how "necessary" anyone else would have thought it were to change. A director who doesn't care about the original series probably doesn't care about its fanbase either.

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby DoReMi_Vampire » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:38 pm

These news are outright shocking to me. I don't want to judge Komuta too harshly as I don't know much about him, but in the worst case scenario we might have another George Lucas on our hands, someone who merely cares to create his own vision even if the public and the company disapproves.

If he wants to create his own vision as an artist, fine. But in that case he should at least create his own game-series instead of imposing his vision on somebody else's work. Directors may have a lot of power, but if they have the job to create stories for an established series they need to create stories as craftsmen not as artists.

Anyway, I don't want to sound like I'm making him a scapegoat so I would like to know more in case I'm overreacting. By all means post the link to the blog please.
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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Feldoon » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:54 pm

So is Komuta directing this game?

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Exophase » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:16 pm

I don't think anyone yet knows who is directing the PSP Suikoden. But we do know Komuta is directing Frontier Gate. Is it common for Japanese game directors to head two games at the same time?

Something's been bothering me. Recently Komuta made the claim that the "Suikoden team" was disbanded and that they're hiring tri-Ace to assist with Frontier Gate. Fans took this to mean that there'd be even less chance of a return to the original series. But what Suikoden team was there at this point to begin with? I'm having a hard time finding detailed credits for Tierkreis that go much beyond composers and voice acting, but with what is there I can't find a single person who worked on both it and Suikoden V. Someone please inform me if you have any examples. The closest I can find is Masayuki Saruta, who worked on IV and Tactics. It looks to me like any "team" the fans would relate to as behind the original series already disbanded years ago, or at least havn't done another Suikoden game.

It may well be that Komuta was referring to the Tierkreis team that got disbanded. It's no secret that he wasn't merely interested in doing a spin-off but wanted to take complete control of the series and give it new direction from here on out. So it wouldn't be surprising if he expected the Tierkreis team to work on future Suikoden titles and referred to this as the Suikoden team - the "new" Suikoden team, if you will. Konami disbanding this team and moving its director to another game and then going on to rather silently announce a new Suikoden could actually be good news. It'd mean that, while recognizing that Komuta can develop a well-selling handheld game, they don't see him or his team as fit for Suikoden which they want to move forward with more new people, who won't necessarily be as committed to Komuta's vision. It'd probably be just as well to see Saruta go too, since in interviews he seemed bizarrely enthusiastic about "infinity" too.

But all of that's probably just wishful thinking, and the "another million worlds" tagline throws somewhat of a wrench at it, showing that the game at the very least has market sense that's in line with Komuta's...

Is there any chance that Konami released the trailer specifically to gauge fan reaction, to determine more how to proceed with the game's development? If there really has been internal conflict in Konami about how to handle the series it'd make sense that they'd try something like this. This trailer/announcement is one of the vaguest I have ever seen in the industry and screams of having almost nothing to present, and they didn't even bother listing it on their pre-TGS lineup. Makes you wonder what purpose it's supposed to serve exactly.

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Vextor » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:12 pm

http://mp.i-revo.jp/user.php/genso-staff/entry/12.html

Above is the link to the blog. It's a type where you need to register with some site to comment, and strangely there's only one comment.

I'll translate the entry into English (I'm a native speaker of Japanese):

The Birth of Tierkreus

"What is Genso Suikoden?"
It was decided that a sequel will be created,
and this was the first question I thought about.

108 stars, an HQ, a story that is not good vs evil, and a story that has continuity. There's probably many more components that make a game "Genso Suikoden."

All of the games take place at some time on the same historical timeline, and are connected in some way... that's the charm of the Genso Suikoden seires, so we should continue that story. That sort of comment was made repeatedly in our initial discussion.

However, is that really acceptable?

Doesn't the world of "Genso Suikoden" have greater possibilities?
Aren't there things we are held back from doing because of all the history that exists?
Can't a new story be created while keeping the story that has been created over a span of 10 years?

The answer to that question was the "Million Worlds" (infinity), and the creation of Tierkreis-- not merely as a side-story, but as a new saga.

-----------<translation end>

After that he goes on to describe game mechanics of Tierkreis so I won't bother translating it, but this entry is from 2009, so it is a while ago. Perhaps he may have changed his mind since, but at least this was his original perspective.
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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Feldoon » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:17 pm

Vextor wrote:Can't a new story be created while keeping the story that has been created over a span of 10 years?

Am I missing something due to translation or did he really say something that dumb?

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Vextor » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:21 pm

Feldoon wrote:Am I missing something due to translation or did he really say something that dumb?


Nothing is missing there, unfortunately.
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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Exophase » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:39 pm

Thanks Vextor.

He has been hinting all along that Infinity is "safe" because they can always claim the original series was part of the same multiverse and that they're free to return to it, regardless of their intentions to ever do such a thing. I'm sure no one's really buying it.

Someone who says that the original Suikoden series is too limiting really does have no love for the series. I think what it really comes down to is that Komuta wanted to do yet another parallel universes story, knew that it'd look out of place doing it in the context of the established world and didn't try (and it's probably better that he didn't). Anything about the Suikoden canon itself being limiting or exhausted is just another excuse to gain more creative control. I could see that line of thinking making sense with Castlevania but to say that about Suikoden which has so many open ended plot threads and opportunities begging to be taken just shows an utter lack of respect for the source material.

And it's pretty ironic that he said this while pretending to be exploiting more what the world of "Genso Suikoden" has greater possibilities. Tierkreis is demonstrably not a product of what that world has to offer.

I thought Suikoden became a victim of executive meddling but that's obviously not the half of it. That there was this much of a conscious design effort to not do a proper Suikoden game depresses me.

All of this also brings some question as to whether Tierkreis was actually not originally intended to be a Suikoden game, because the blog seems to contradict that...

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby KC_MCDOHL » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:02 pm

I have been speaking to Mr. Komuta for the last 10 months and have said so more than once already. I have also stressed to him the resistance from fans to steer away from the main storyline.

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Rooks » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:26 pm

Yep, KC has, and he has shared some of them with me.

Listen, I don't think it is that he does not Love Suikoden, it is simply that -as an artist- he felt constricted making someone else's sequel. This blog is from 2009, correct? meaning it is after the release of Tierkreis. Sounds to me like he is just trying to justify his own actions by saying things like "there are so many more possibilities." If he really felt that way, if he felt so constrained, he should have just made his own, separate game.

Which brings us back to whether or not Tierkreis was originally a Suikoden or a separate game with the Suikoden title slapped onto it. I have asserted this, and I still think it is true. This actually proves to me that Mr. Komuta was forced to make a Suikoden game rather than his own. At least that is how I see this.

Mr. Komuta is directing Frontier Gate, correct? If this is true, then it looks like he really is getting to make his own game now, and I am happy for him. I am also happy to because this likely means he was not involved in the new Suikoden title.

If you want to confront him on FB KC, then sure, I will help you if you need it. I am . . . hesitant to spam his personal account though. Because I don't think her really meant anything personal by Tierkreis lol.
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