Not sure if this was mentioned before, Kenji Eno interview

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Not sure if this was mentioned before, Kenji Eno interview

Post by UnholyTancred » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:53 am

Kenji Eno, the mastermind behind WARP, was interviewed last September by 1UP.

The entire interview is 10 pages long and can be read here:
http://www.1up.com/do/feature?pager.off ... Id=3169166

He even mentions his classic mahjong game.

Some interesting 3DO stuff here that I excerpted:

You guys should check out the full interview. I didn't excerpt every 3DO mention.
1UP: Why did you choose the 3DO for Warp's first few games?

KE: When I first established Warp, I went to 3DO, and that was right around the time that 3DO opened their Japanese branch. And 3DO Japan was very nice to me. And they were telling me, "You can become a publisher whenever you want." Back in the day, to make a game for Nintendo, it was very difficult because the cartridges were expensive. It cost something like 1,000 yen [around $10] up front for each unit made, so it was too difficult for me to do. And 3DO's licensing fee was very reasonable.

So I didn't have a choice, really. I didn't have the finances to create a game on Nintendo -- that was one factor -- but also, 3DO was a very good company. And 3DO was a San Francisco-based company, and since I was influenced a lot by the "Be-In" event, which was held in San Francisco, too, I wanted to feel the independent-creator culture from San Francisco.
1UP: What did you think of 3DO founder Trip Hawkins?

KE: I didn't actually, like, "work" work with him, so I don't know about him too much. But I have met him, and I think he's a great guy. And I guess he kept balls in places all over the office...and he'd call out, "Battle!" And everybody would start throwing the balls at each other. So, yeah, I respect Trip a lot in that way, and he influenced me a lot. He showed me how to create the atmosphere, and how to balance the creators and the management.

So when I first went to the 3DO office, like, usually when you visit an office, they ask you to wait while they call the proper people to come get you. But what they did was, they said, "OK, you want to go to that department? Follow that river." They had blue lines, red lines, and yellow lines on the floor. And the blue line leads to marketing, the red one leads to PR -- like, they had different lines to go to different divisions. That was very cool to me.

1UP: Even though many think that D was Warp's first game, it was actually preceded by Totsugeki Karakuri Megadasu!!, a weird vehicular fighting game, and Trip'd, an even weirder puzzle game. What was your inspiration for those?

KE: I was always trying to keep the balance of the company. I actually really enjoy smaller, simpler action games. And I was trying to keep the balance of the company by creating a hardcore game like D and then a casual puzzle game. And D sold a lot, so the next thing we made was a mahjong game. So that was how I was balancing the company out, because if I were only creating horror games, we'd gain a reputation for those and be stuck doing games like that. That wouldn't have been good for the outside or inside of the company. This is how I was running Warp. Warp would have four big titles and four small titles if I kept mixing it up.

1UP: Warp's 3DO puzzle game, Trip'd -- called Flopon World in Japan -- seemed flat-out bizarre, especially its packaging. You must've been responsible for that, right?

KE: I basically put bulls*** all over that manual. We were explaining things like where the company is, and I had this beautiful picture of Mt. Fuji, and then there's a bullet train and there's like a temple, and I was like, "This is my company." And there were character introductions, and I put stuff like, "This guy's dad is a sumo wrestler and his mom is a ninja." So just, like, total bulls*** in the manual. That was very crazy and cool.

1UP: D was the game that made Warp famous. Were you trying to push the boundaries and preconceptions of game storylines with its cannibalism theme?

KE: There's a crazy story behind this. When I was first making D, it had no story. The game was already almost completed, so to put a story in the game, I had to insert it as flashbacks. While I was doing that, I wanted to do some kind of a trick. Back in those days, you weren't allowed to make any violent games -- like, stabbing people inside the game was taboo -- so you weren't allowed to do that. D has cannibalism, which was a total taboo back in the day!

But I wanted to put this in the game, so what I did was I didn't show anyone else in the company those scenes; I was hiding them until the very end. You submit the master, and they check the master and approve the master and put a sticker on it, and this gets sent to the U.S. to get printed. There was a penalty you had to pay if you're late in submitting the master, but you'd also have to deliver it by hand. So, knowing this, I submitted it late on purpose. I submitted a clean one and got it approved. Then I had to bring it to America. So on the plane, I switched the discs and submitted it to 3DO, and it got manufactured like that.

1UP: What can you tell us about Short Warp, the wild minigame collection you made for 3DO?

KE: This was the funkiest game!

1UP: And it even came packaged with a free condom. Were you trying to get gamers to have more sex? Because when we see used copies in stores, the condom is always unused and unopened.

KE: That's sad. [Laughs] This game was made when I was almost on the edge. My mental status was getting very unbalanced, so I wanted to balance myself back by creating a game like this. I was thinking, "If I'm going to create a game like this, I should do something really crazy." And that's how I came up with the idea of this game, and that's why I included a condom. However, I had to make it limited because the packaging was expensive because it came packed with a condom, so the physical dimensions of the package got thicker, and there weren't any packages like that. So the manufacturing fee jumped up, and condoms weren't cheap either, so it was expensive to manufacture the games. If I manufactured too many units, I was going to be deep in the red. So that's why I limited the units.

1UP: How many units did you make?

KE: 10,000, and I hand-numbered all of the packages myself.

1UP: That's crazy.

KE: I'm depressed right now because I don't usually go back and think about my past, and we're digging it all up now, and I'm kind of thinking, "Hmm, very interesting."
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Post by Trev » Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:11 am

Thanks for the nice read.

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