When Norman Reedus claimed that Death Stranding would release in 2019, we here at the PlayStation Brahs scoffed at what he said. There was no way such a grand project could be done in such a short time. After all, Kojima revealed DS at E3 2016 and here we are just over 3 years later with the game releasing on November 8th.
How did Kojima and his team do it exactly? In an interview with Gamespot, Kojima-San explained his development seekrits.
Hideo Kojima: Don’t get me wrong, I’m always quick. It’s like, three years? I can’t really say anything about Sony right now…maybe it will take 8 years, or maybe 10 years for first-party titles, like Nintendo as well. Cyberpunk has probably been worked on for more than 8 years. I’ve created in three years. When I was creating Metal Gear Solid 5, I needed more time because I had to produce the engine, as well as produce other titles.
So, if you looked back at the interviews three or four years ago, I’m as consistent as I said about game design… I’m kind of very efficient in the way I make games in a short time. Every day, every hour, I decide right or left. I won’t say, “I’ll think about it” or “let’s think about it,” I make a decision on the spot. So, that’s one reason I don’t outsource so much because you have to answer emails and wait for answers, that’s why I do it in house as much as possible.
One of the reasons it’s fast is because I do all the planning, design, and produce, and that kind of forces me to make quick decisions. There’s no time lag. Like other developers might have different people doing boss battles, and different people doing the cutscenes–it’s a bit chaotic when they have to pull everything together. But our team is only about 80 people, usually other big teams are 300 or 600. So that’s what–with the short amount of time and [fewer] amount of people, and the direct feedback I give–allows me to make this game in this time.
There you have it! How to develop games the Kojima way! Of course it didn’t hurt that his team had the POWAH’ of the Guerrilla’s Decima engine to help speed the process, but still! With 52 days to go, we shall see if Death Stranding is able to warrant all the hype it has received the past few years.
For now you could watch this 49 minute video of Death Stranding gameplay from Tokyo Game Show 2019!