Hideo Kojima’s lunch
Hideo Kojima likes to post pictures of his food on Twitter. Let’s take a look at what the Metal Gear creator’s been chowing down on over the past few weeks, and see if we can use this information to uncover the secret behind making a good game.
Hideo Kojima takes the term Twitter feed rather literally. Basically, he likes to post pictures of the food he’s about to eat. Using a dodgy Kanji translation tool to decipher his Tweets, we’ve decided to take a look at some of his recent breakfasts, brunches, dinners and luncheons to see if we can discover the secret behind making a great videogame.
That looks like a tasty orange/tangerine/mandarin – we don’t have an item of perceivable size to use as a point of reference and ascertain the identity of that particular fruit). What we do know is that Kojima-san is definitely healthy. Using our admittedly pooor translation tool,「冬至」なので貰った。comes out as “Because it was ‘Winter solstice’, it got it”. Perhaps Kojima-san is looking forward to the longer days and shorter nights of summer, and this fruits remnds him of brighter days?
Here we see a selection of food, laid out neatly and cleanly in front of a white surface. It seems that Kojima is very much about the presentation of things, and ensuring they are clear and understandable. ミッドタウン混んでるので、ひとり飯。apparently translates to “Because the midtown is crowded, one rice.” Ah-ha! We can ascertain that Kojima-san is a man who likes two rices. Perhaps more. More is always more, is probably what he’s saying here. Probably.
Here we have something a little more refined – a meal that shows attention to detail. Note the careful placing of the greens. Meticulous planning is important. Here, Kojima-san simply writes 肉, which means ‘Meat’. There’s no messing about. No fuss. Kojima gets straight to the point.
Ah! A change of pace! This time Kojima-san has gone for a small bottle of liquid. エレベーターの片隅で見つけた,「秋の残滓」。果たして逃げ遅れたのか。逃げ伸びたのか he writes, which translates (very, very, very loosely) into “A hot lemon of throat pain ginger was bought.” When he’s got a bug, Kojima-san wastes no time tackling the problem head on. Note the framing of the bottle with a beautiful dark leather backdrop. Again, we see the recurring theme of presentation.
Beautiful, colourful, well-presented, and somewhat non-conformist. This meal looks at those around it and says “NO. I will be different, I will find my own style.” And by golly it’s done it. It’s like a Picasso painting in food form. Kojima writes 会食中, intimating that he is eating this vibrant fish-based meal with another. He is a man that shares responsibility.
So, what have we learned from this exploration into the tastes of one man? What can we take from this endeavour? Well:
Hideo Kojima’s games must look good. They must be well presented, both graphically and in terms of UI.
The more features that appear in a Kojima game, the better. ‘Less is more’ means nothing to this game designer.
Although there may be more features this must not be at the risk of over-complicating the experience. Kojima-san’s games get straight to the point.
Hideo Kojima demands perfection in his work. His games must be free of bugs and running like a well-oiled machine upon release.
Good planning and pre-production is essential. So too is working with a team and sharing the work load.
His games must be different. They must stand out from the crowd. They must try things that other games are unwilling to experiment with.
His games must contain food of some sort. Perhaps as a health item.
So, there we have it. We’ve uncovered the secret to making a great Metal Gear Solid. Probably. Or maybe we’ve just looked at some pictures of some food and drawn out a very silly joke. Which is it? YOU DECIDE.