By now I’m sure you all know that Shigeru Miyamoto has quite a bit of pull at Nintendo. In a process he refers to as “upending the tea table”, Shiggy will come in on any development project and turn it on its ass and force the development team to redo whatever it is their working on. That’s something that isn’t entirely uncommon in the gaming industry. Hell, Blizzard scrapped StarCraft Ghost because it was a complete steaming pile of monkey ammo. Whether or not the developers get pissed off at him is something we’ll never truly know. I’d imagine that if you wanted to continue to work at Nintendo, you’ll let shiggy do his thing. Hell, the man is brilliant after all. I wonder if Shiggy goes all happy mask salesmen on them, you know, shaking them, like the frightened small children they are. Anyway, here’s what Aonuma had to say regarding Shiggy’s special way of doing things.
Well, back at GDC, when that conversation was presented, I think it painted a picture of Mr. Miyamoto’s role inside the company as coming in and being a really disruptive force in the development process, but I view it a very different way and I think a lot of people do. It’s that his time to come in and flip things on their head is part of the development timeline. It’s an event that happens. It’s almost a ritual in that sense…And it’s a necessary process, because I find that when he offers that feedback, a lot of the time, he points out things that I, myself, was having trouble with and maybe felt that I couldn’t solve or didn’t have a good time for or felt like we didn’t have the time for and he comes in and really gives focus to everything. So I’d really like to reinforce that fact that I don’t view the process that people refer to as ‘upending the tea table’ as something unpleasant. It’s actually quite necessary and useful
I do agree with Aonuma that it is an essential process. Not just for game development, but for any form of media that you’re going to put out to a mass market. As a film editor, there have been many times where the director has come back to me and asked me to cut a scene a different way. Sometimes it works out better, sometimes we come to a compromise, but it’s still an essential process that must happen in order to get the best quality product out there.
I sort of see Miyamoto as a fatherly figure to Nintendo, trying to guide the company as best as he can, especially now that he’s getting older and sooner or later he’s going to retire. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out for Nintendo, it makes you wonder who’s going to be in charge of quality control afterwards. Possibly Aonuma? He is quite brilliant.
So dear readers, whats your thoughts on all this? Are you cool with how Shiggy rolls? Would you be annoyed if someone told you to redo something you’ve worked on for months? Leave some comments and let us know!