We’ve got another new interview with Kazunori Yamauchi via GameBlog.fr, and while it’s not as personal or as thorough as Xavier Ocampo’s, it does produce two interesting and encouraging statements. First, he reiterates the updated damange modeling in Gran Turismo 5 – reinforcing my personal suspicion that negative reactions to the damage shown off at GamesCom was the primary decision for a 2010 release. On the subject of release dates, Yamauchi confirms that is a decision in the hands of Sony Computer Entertainment, since “both versions [PAL and NTSC, presumably] will be finished at the same time”.
GB: From virtual to real, recently you have won an important competition on the Nurburgring, is it a great memory?
Kazunori Yamauchi: You know it takes around 10 minutes to make a full lap on the Nurburgring circuit. Honestly, after 7 laps and more than 1 hour racing, corner after corner, I was starting to brake and change gears completely by instinct. I felt I was not thinking anymore, so much that I had the feeling I was dreaming. I almost forgot I was actually driving. Frankly, I felt like in a trance state, something I never experienced with a video game. You know this race will remain a strong experience for me, this unique sensation that you and the car are one.
GB: Gran Turismo 5 will not be released in Japan before March 2010. What about Europe?
KZ: Trust me, it should be very close from this date because our schedules didn’t changed. What I can assure you is both versions will be finished at the same time.
GB: Gran Turismo 5 will offer a new kind of damage…
KY: Right now we are adding a brand new real-time deformation engine that will process according to the speed and angle of impact. But doing this in real-time remains truly complex. We could make it an easier way with pre-damaged models but definitely we don’t want to make it that way.
GB: Players have changed since the original Gran Turismo. How does GT adapt to this?
KY: You would notice that in Gran Turismo for PSP, game progression was accelerated. Before this, it took hours and hours to collect all cars and complete all license tests, this is not true anymore. This is a trend we are considering the possibility for GT5.
GB: You seem to be more concerned about your competitors…
KY: To tell you the truth, when I’m interested in other games, it’s really difficult to not look at them with the creator’s eyes. I notice some details and I think to myself: “oh, they must have really hard worked on this point” or “hmm, they must have lacked time for this very aspect”. I can’t prevent myself from putting me in their place.
GB: More than 10 years after Gran Turismo’s debut, what will you record from Polyphony Digital’s evolution?
KY: I will probably surprise you but, since more than 10 years I design Gran Turismos we never told ourselves that we were the best, the numbers one. As far as I search in my memories, I can’t remember a moment when we felt satisfied with what we’ve achieved because we always want to make it better. That being said, maybe that when everything will be over, the day I will not make video games anymore, I will feel this satisfaction… but this is not in the near future.
GB: During the Gamescom, you told us about the possibility of making a RPG. Would it be a Kazunori-style Shenmue?
KY: (laugh) Indeed it could resemble Shenmue, just because it resemble my own tastes. But if I really had to make another game, I would like it to include how characters live and die. To introduce a true life cycle and evolution.
Translation via napoleon_ist.