Author Topic: Translated Red Bull 5G interview with Puyo Puyo Producer Hosoyamada Mizu  (Read 1016 times)

Offline FlareHabanero

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25-Year Trajectory of "Puyo Puyo" and its Future: vol. 2
Mr. Hosoyamada, the nurturing parent [that is, opposed to "the inventor"] of the known-to-all "masterpiece" talks about the unknown story of "Puyo Puyo".

Puyo series producer Hosoyamada Mizu. © SUPERIDOL / @superidoljp. Image used under fair use.

Puyo Puyo!! Quest and Puyo Puyo Tetris

Red Bull 5G and Puyo Puyo have been together since 2012.

Hosoyamada: That's right. Back then, I received a phone call from the person in charge asking, "There is such and such a tournament, what do you think?" and I approved of it instantly.
In 2012 and 2013 the featured game was "Puyo Puyo!!" on Wii, and since 2014 they have ran "Puyo Puyo Tetris" at the event. This is the third year with PPT.

At CEDEC (Computer Entertainment Developers Conference), you mentioned Red Bull 5G as one of the triggers that prompted the development of "Puyo Puyo Tetris".

Hosoyamada: Yes. When we announced "Puyo Puyo Tetris", it made the top headlines on Yahoo! News. "A Dream Match Between Puyo Puyo and Tetris" or something. Some people responded surprisingly soberly, while others responded like "Huh, what's gonna happen?"

To elaborate, "Puyo Puyo Tetris" evoked a more positive response from the casual crowd. As for Puyo Puyo players, I got a rather sobering impression from them. We understand one of the concerns was "What, a crossover with Tetris? How's that supposed to work?" Another common desire was "More importantly, I want them to produce a dedicated Puyo Puyo game."

About that: as Puyo boomed in days past, some people seem to strongly see Puyo Puyo as the "old game", so we always try to take unique approaches when developing new games.

In fact, "Puyo Puyo Tetris" was once proposed and rejected, but this time when we checked they said "okay". The people then in charge of the project worked hard, and the timing was right.

Later, we received a considerable amount of demand asking, "Give us an English version!" from overseas hardcore puzzle game fans. Not only did we hear from western countries like U.S. and France, we also got many comments from Brazil, Korea, and so on. One of our goals was to spread the Puyo Puyo scene worldwide by the match collaboration with Tetris, so on that point we had a great reaction.

"Puyo Puyo itself is a hard sell, so will you help me, Tetris and its fans?" ...was part of our motives, honestly speaking. (lol)

Also, it may have worked because Red Bull 5G holds the Puyo Puyo tournaments. In Japan, almost all regular tournaments are community-based, and it's financially difficult to host Puyo Puyo tournaments... We had several Sega official tournaments as a part of PR, but it's better to do it bigger, and it's hard to keep holding tournaments of games that can only be monetized once, and there are many other problems that need to be solved.

Incidentally, we will be embracing opportunities for tournaments: in the coming days, the Red Bull 5G 2016 western qualifiers will take place on November 19, and on November 20, the Sega official "Puyo Puyo" Strongest Player Playoffs will take place as part of SegaFest. The application is already closed; more than double of the expected players applied and we reluctantly held a random draw, but the public viewing at the site is not restricted. We are also streaming it online, so please watch it.

In Red Bull 5G in 2014, the format was the "VS" rule: the final between the two Puyo Puyo qualifier winners and the two Tetris qualifier winners. The next year, the format was "Swap": a one-on-one match between Puyo Puyo and Tetris swapped at fixed intervals. And in this third year, the format is once again again "VS" like it was in 2014.

Hosoyamada: Yes, we think that the players of Puyo Puyo and Tetris were unlikely to interact with each other through normal play. However, from what we have perceived, even serious players of both series have come to interact through "Puyo Puyo Tetris". And Puyo Puyo players have started to practice Tetris, and Tetris players Puyo Puyo.

What most astonished me recently is the rise of the young hybrids who can play both Puyo Puyo and Tetris, like a new breed of human. The other day a certain TV show had "Puyo Puyo Tetris" matches, and this young person who had participated in prior shows and events had since made incredible progress. The capability for young people to improvement is quite amazing.

New players coming into the picture is healthy for communities too.

Hosoyamada: "Puyo Puyo Tetris" is, inevitably for a crossover between different games, criticized by some Puyo Puyo fans for not being perfectly balanced between the two series. However, I personally consider it to be successful in terms of the situation, and the business perspective of the long-term franchise development. Of course, we are always paying attention to how competitive players and casual players play. Nowadays it's provided quite specifically, since we can collect data online and conduct surveys easily. So we have to conduct new things by analyzing "what kind of players enjoy what kind of playing style" with data on hand.

Having solid statistics, the issue is "So, how much budget can you allocate for it?"

Hosoyamada: Yes... It's problematic when it comes to how much they will spend to play. Puzzle games are now generally expected to be free-to-play or have free aspects with a full game unlock, so the forms of entertainment must be devised so that it's economically viable. Of course, the "Puyo Puyo" franchise has the distinct advantage that it has many fans for its unique characters, but creating characters costs time and money, frankly speaking. Our attempts to work something out while being free-to-play are "Puyo Puyo!! Quest" and "Puyo Puyo!! Quest Arcade", which fortunately turned out well.

As a smartphone app, it garnered Puyo Puyo fans from a new demographic.

Hosoyamada: Yes. It will cost plenty of time and budget to produce an action puzzle for consoles targeted at Puyo Puyo character fans, so why not do it more easily for smartphones? is the point. (Incidentally, in operating "Puyo Puyo!! Quest", although we invest quite time and money, we are continually and profusely venturing what would be impossible on consoles.)

"Puyo Puyo!! Quest" often leads people to "Puyo Puyo Tetris", which is good; for some people it's the arcade to the smartphone to "Puyo Puyo Tetris", or "Puyo Puyo!! Quest" to the theatre production.

At a theatre production I asked the question to a kindergartener and an elementary student brother-and-sister, "Have you ever played Puyo Puyo?" and they said "Not (console) Puyo Puyo." That was a pretty curious feeling.

Now that it's the 25th anniversary, people who was born around the same time as the original "Puyo Puyo" would be old enough to be working.

Hosoyamada: They usually are. The kid who says "You're doing Puyo Puyo the wrong way!" turning out to be a second-year middle-schooler girl is not uncommon, so, all I can say is "Yeah, yeah, sorry..."

Offline Berto

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Re: Translated Red Bull 5G interview with Puyo Puyo Producer Hosoyamada Mizu
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2017, 02:02:36 am »
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