E3: K-Project impressions

[05.20.01] » Mizuguchi wonders sometimes ... about sound and vision.

   Though unmentioned in any of their press materials, Sega had a kiosk at the show running a looping demo of Tetsuya Mizuguchi's next project, codenamed K-Project. The on-show staff had received the videotape of the Space Channel 5 creator's project just before the show, and couldn't tell us much about it. Even so, this promising title was already heads and shoulders above Frequency, the other music-based tunnel game for the PS2. In contrast to that game's linear tunnels, K-Project's levels are filled with lights, lines, and shapes of all types and dimensions. It's not so much a tunnel as a colorful, shifting universe.

   Mizuguchi told us a little bit about the game, but revealed little that was not already known. The game combines graphics and music into a new form of sensory experience. What makes K-Project different from other music games is that it isn't simply "visualization" of the music. Instead, the environments are created from the music, and how the player interacts with the environment will dynamically affect the music. A large explosion, for example, will generate both a dynamic lighting effect as well as a bass drum on the soundtrack. The word Mizuguchi used to describe the game was "fusion"--the music will drive the graphics, the graphics will drive the music, and the two together will create a seamless, original gameplay experience.

   When the GIA asked Mizuguchi if he had found developing for the PS2 difficult at all, he replied that no, he had not. In fact, he spoke glowingly of the system's power, and seemed to feel that the console would handle K-Project without a problem. When we asked if players would be able to use their own music to generate levels, he said that it was being considered, but nothing has been finalized. The video footage was described as from a 50% complete version of the game--once United Game Artists finishes the other half, the game should look (and sound) incredible.

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