What was it like to work on NieR:Automata and what was the process of bringing such an obscure world to life? That was the subject of a panel featuring Yoko Taro and Takahisa Taura, who both shared what it was like to work on this hit title from 2017.

A Fun Time in Which Some No-Good Game Developers May or May Not Discuss How We Made ‘NieR:Automata’ was one of the most popular panels during the GDC week. By 1:20 a massive line had gathered in front of Room 2005 at Moscone West and by 1:45 the staff was working to accommodate everyone who wanted to attend. When everything was set, Taro and Taura were introduced on stage by their translator.

Takahisa Taura began the panel by sharing his philosophy on game development. The overall core of his philosophy is easy to learn gameplay while not putting any restrictions on the flow of the experience. Most of the focus was on trying to create the right gameplay mechanic while also working to ensure that players are highly immersed in the experience.

Yoko Taro followed by discussing the need to include freedom in a game while finding a balance between open world and being rich in content instead of being dependent on map size alone. He notes that gamers always associate ultimate freedom in a game with open-worlds but too many of these titles lack substance. To solve this problem, Taro notes that he looked to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as a source of influence, in building the world of NieR.

Due to the time limit; the audience Q&A session had to be canceled but the duo had a series of questions already prepared as a quick substitute. These were basic questions that most fans were going to ask but they tried to have some fun with the answers and the experience.

After the panel; attendees got the chance to have either their picture taken with Yoko Taro and Takahisa Taura or have their copy of NieR: Automata signed. The GDC staff organized two separate lines based on what the attendees wanted and it was based on the limited time that was available.

A Fun Time in Which Some No-Good Game Developers May or May Not Discuss How We Made ‘NieR:Automata’ was one of many panels during the Game Developers Conference discussing the major releases of 2017 and what developers could learn from their successes.

This special report is part of 8Bit/Digi‘s coverage of the Game Developers Conference 2018. If you attended the event, please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: GDC provided 8Bit/Digi with press passes for the week.

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