GamesCom – The Yamauchi Interview

Hello all, from drizzly Cologne!

At this morning’s breakout session at the Radisson Hotel, Cologne we were told that all information and media given was subject to an embargo until 0900 GMT Thursday morning – which we, unlike other sites, intend to respect – we were left in somewhat of a no-man’s land. Andreas, Venari and I couldn’t really bring you any of the information we wanted to and yet, at the same time, we have to report something. This is, after all, what you’re paying us for.

What we can bring you is news that, yet again, the GT5 code has received a few tweaks and is another, more recent build than E3, there’s some good news on expected features, some better news on some potential fears and some great news on some unexpected (but by now, thanks to “other sites”, internet-wide) features. We’ll provide more the instant the embargo expires tomorrow. Kazunori seemed quite nervous beforehand – pacing the courtyard, cigarette in hand – but his nervousness was unfounded.

Luckily, after a quick play on the GamesCom show floor of the latest GT5 build (with new tracks and cars as exclusively revealed late yesterday), Andreas received an SMS from Sony’s Alex Armour – Kazunori Yamauchi would see us now…

As Andreas, Venari and I sat down with Yamauchi, we were asked to be brief – it was, after all, lunchtime after a stressful morning and we were feeling hunger-pangs too. We didn’t quite get all the questions out that we wanted and Kazunori didn’t want to be filmed during the interview, but we tried our best to interrogate while respecting his time constraints.

Can you tell us anything about PSN Trophies in GT5?

Kazunori looked a little confused at first. We’d put to him the rumour about multiple Platinum trophies which he dismissed as just that – rumour. He clarified that he really hadn’t thought about Trophies in GT5 but that they will be in. Our considered opinion is that GT has been doing “trophies” since 1997 and it’s more likely than not that the Trophies system will be grafted onto the existing trophy aspects of the game.

Will GT5 feature LAN mode/multiple monitor support?

“Probably” was the reply. At this point, there are still aspects of the game that the 140-man strong team are still refining. My understanding of Kazunori’s precise words were more probably-likely than probably-possibly.

We’ve seen changing light and, recently, weather. Will this be available on all tracks?

“Not on all tracks, but some.”. We’d imagine that tracks with 24 hour races are more likely to see diurnal cycles, but whether you can race the ‘Ring in snow… at this point it is still up in the air.

With GT5, how close are you to your goal of “The Real Driving Simulator”?

“90%” was the instant answer. “Well, 85-90%”.

Are there any features missing from GT5 that you’d like to have included?

Kazunori said “Yes”, without hesistation. “But there’s still time to work on things!”

Would this include a livery editor?

“Probably not for GT5, though it’s certainly on our list of things to work on…”.

Previously we’ve seen you say things about weather, lighting, skidmarks, that you’d add them if you felt they added to gameplay. How much is this the case, compared to community pressure (from sites like GTPlanet) to add things?

“It’s probably evenly balanced”, said Kazunori. We’d interpret this as a borderline tacit admission that our forums – and many other sites – form research for PD, especially with regards to features. We have, after all, seen a recent addition of real-time skidmarks and reverse lights in the latest demo builds, now that there is the software and hardware to achieve it.

At this point we were asked if we could wrap it up quickly – we were originally told 3-4 minutes and we were already near ten. So the last question was the question I’d decided (hey, executive decision!) was the very best “alternate” question we’d received.

Given the time, money, space and resources, which fantasy Gran Turismo track would you create in the real world?

Kazunori was visibly awed by this question and spent nearly a minute thinking of an answer. “Deep Forest”, he said. I countered with “Trial Mountain?”. His next answer was complex – the team haven’t revealed anywhere near all of the tracks yet and there may be a fantasy GT5 track which exceeds Deep Forest in his estimations, and Trial Mountain in mine.

Kazunori continued, “A construction company in Japan [Maeda] investigated the possibility of building Grand Valley. They wrote a book about it!”. We weren’t able to get an accurate title from Kazunori or Translator-san – it didn’t seem to translate well, but “Fantasy Business Scheme” was the final answer. If you know of this book, please let us know!

And that was that – the first meeting between the world’s largest Gran Turismo site and the game’s creator, courtesy of Alex Armour at Sony, Darin Gangi at InsideSimRacing, Andreas Nie (our co-conspirator) and Jordan.

Edit: Thanks to Doctor_No for clarifying the comment about Maeda construction.

As ever, we’ll let Translator-san have the last word:

“We need your name!”

“No you don’t. Translator-san will do just fine…”

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Comments (114)

  1. carl.vain

    PLEASE!!! Make Attention! GTplanet READ THIS! And share this information with KAZUNORI! and every fan of Gt. Well brothers and sisters everybody knows that Kazunori is a master of creation simulation and we love his work.But there is one missing thing that gt5 do not have and makes me cry.Kazunori forget to put a one beautiful camera that Forza3 have. Everybody love the grafics in gt5 but WHERE! is this camera that you could enjoy the beautiful grafics from outside the car.I meen that you could pull the triger during a race and look around every side and see whole boody of a car, like they instal in FoRza3.Inside in the cockpit view is perfect you can turn around camera on left end right . Why they do not instal this view:(

  2. kaori

    Am I crazy ?

    I’m sure to have read yesterday a thing like : kazunori yamauchi, the producer, told that in GT5 ALL the cars will have in-car cockpit view.
    it’s just that 200 premium cars will have amazingly in-car details with a lot more polishing.
    he said that polishing all 1000 cars it would take ages so he decided to do it in a selection of cars…

    1. Vulcao

      There was a lot of confusion around this topic. It’s very possible that you really have read that somewhere.

  3. OGI

    Slightly disappointed with the questions asked. Ths PSN trophies are of little interest to me. As for LAN and im surprised Kazunori didn’t shake his head in utter disgust. Just imagine they have spent all this time working on the online aspect of GT5 and then someone asks about a feature that is no longer required due to broadband being widely available.

  4. Doctor_No

    >>Kazunori continued, “A construction company in Japan [Maede] investigated the possibility of building Grand Valley. They wrote a book about it!”. We weren’t able to get an accurate title from Kazunori or Translator-san – it didn’t seem to translate well, but “Fantasy Business Scheme” was the final answer. If you know of this book, please let us know!

    The company’s name is “Maeda”, not ‘Maede’. They are well-known for building the Tokyo Bay Aqualine, which is the underground tunnel traveling beneath Tokyo Bay.

    In the interview he is likely referring to this:

    The project goes over several theoretical scenarios and discusses how they would be made in the real world. For instance, they would investigate how much it would cost to make a Gundam in the real world.

    Grand Valley circuit was Project 03 in investigated in 2005, there is a discussion of the Maeda page here:

  5. recca

    sounds like there’s a lot of people here who either don’t understand the meaning of the word embargo or didn’t read the article thoroughly.

    What pains me the most is knowing that Kaz smokes. This man must live on, he can’t afford to shorten his life span or risk contracting cancer. Kaz please stop smoking =(

  6. zeromobius

    Welp it seems we have everything but 1 major feature and that’s weather. Which at this point I don’t care. We have more then enough content to keep us busy till GT6!

  7. Tenacious D

    Even this tease of an interview is epic! Great job Famine… even though you neglected the font color thingie… ;D

    Man, tomorrow evening is going to take forever to get here. And so is GT5! It’s even worse because I have a massive vacation coming at the same time. Every day is going to feel like Groundhog Day.

  8. AGNT009

    My question was asking why they werent trying to destroy Forza (in the only category Forza has them beat)and work on decals and livery customization. It got answered for the most part, that they will try…next time.

    So, if they are sitting on 5 Christmases worth of juicy intel BEFORE the interview, but cant publish it TODAY, then you CALL AN AUDIBLE, and ask in depth questions of the intel to be revealed tomorrow (its called forward thinking, try it some time), and release this interview TOMORROW. Instead they come off like 9th grade reporters asking mostly lame questions that dont effect game play. Opportunity wasted, and EPIC FAIL. If they didnt have the big intel yet, its still an EPIC FAIL either way. This wasnt some rep they had in front of them, it was THE MAN! For GT6, send me to Germany for you.

    1. Mickle Pickle

      The translator-San will shut you up at first instant…
      you cant do whatever you want… and even if you do…
      they dont owe you any answers.

      They can simply deny or refuse to answer you.

      simple Bah…

    2. randomer199

      Ever occur to you that “things that effect gameplay” might have been covered in the breakout session BEFORE this interview?

    3. FoolKiller

      So wait, it was a bad interview because they didn’t press further on a question you wanted asked? This was a friendly sit down in a courtyard, not some in-depth grilling of a politician. If they did it like that I guarantee the interview would have ended very quickly.

  9. BZSIN

    I’m kinda glad we don’t know Translator-San’s name. I like the mysticism surrounding him, a bit like The Stig :P

    Cheers for the interview.

    1. RS

      embargo: A request by a source that the information or news provided by that source not be published until a certain date or certain conditions have been met. The understanding is that if the embargo is broken by reporting before then, the source will retaliate by restricting access to further information by that journalist or his publication, giving them a long-term disadvantage relative to more cooperative outlets.

  10. Razor BR

    can anyone confirme that it will be possible to transfer the cars from GTPSP to GT5 , because there are a few cars tha i would like to use in GT5

    1. Famine

      I’ve been told, third hand, that the competition for the SLS won’t be exclusively based on outright in-game pace. I don’t know what it actually entails, but rest assured you can still win the SLS even if you aren’t good at GT5.

  11. AGNT009

    Epic waste of an interview. Fantasy tracks in real life? You seriously asked a lame question like that that has NOTHING to do with gameplay and you had THE MAN right in front of you? Pffft. The only thing valuable in this was, as expected dont think there will be any surprises for livery editor in GT5, its confirmed not there this time. And the LAN question was good. Aside from that, total waste. Trophies, who cares. Changing light, weather on all tracks, we knew that answer, of course it wasnt going to be on all tracks. Im really going to hope that you already HAD the answwers to the good questions in hand, but embargo-san kept you from revealing right now, because if not, what a total let down overall for the time you had with him. Questions wasted on stroking his ego and yours…..sad.

    1. Liam

      Mate…this wasn’t the interview for asking if there’s cock-pit view in standard cars and all that…It was more an interview just for asking genral questions, easy to answer type of thing. He know’s he gotta keep his mouth shut about 90% of things anyway. I mean just the fact GTPlanet got the interview is quite incredible and an achievement in itself if you ask me. Anywho hopefully most of the question you were looking for will be answered tommorrow ;)

    2. F.G.

      I’m with AGNT009 here. What a pathetic interview. How many GT fans give a rats ass about which circuit he would like to see in real life. What does that have to do with the game? The only good question was…actually, there wasn’t one.

      You had a massive opportunity here GTPlanet and you blew it.

    3. RACECAR

      Has it occured to you that there is something called a “Embargo”? We can’t read the other big info until thursday morning. Until you are actually the one doing these interviews and getting answers, shut the hell up.

    4. FoolKiller

      I don’t recall either of you two in the forum thread posing your end-all be-all questions. And in case you didn’t know, that was proposed question by a member of GTPlanet’s forums. You know, where us GT fans hang out.

    5. Vulcao

      If you want to criticize, do it politely.

      Also, wouldn’t you be nervous and anxious to make such an important interview like that? I don’t think I’d be able to do it.

      PS: I agree with riivaaja.

    6. magburner

      I tend to agree AGNT. It was a great opportunity for the interviewee to be in the presence of greatness, but for the rest of us, it felt like a missed opportunity.

      The LAN and trophy questions were REALLY lame. Trophies are trohpies, they are not integral to the gameplay. As for LAN, who the hell is going to use that!? 99% of people who play GT5, will do so through online multiplayer. LAN would be a nice feature to round out the game, but it is not something I am going to lose sleep over if it is not included.

      The last one was pretty daft too. I’ve read enough KY interviews to know, that the last question you should always ask is…

      “Can you tell us something about the game that has not already been mentioned?”

  12. LoneWanderer

    To me, GT5 would be worthy of multiple platinum trophies.

    One for 100% completion.
    One for unlocking all cars.
    One for earning all other available trophies.

    Also, I would love to see a gran turismo track in real life.

  13. RAugie

    Man….You guys at GTPlanet are amazing… Great job with what interview time you had with the great GT Creator. Glad to hear that Kaz takes input from sites like GTPlanet…. I love seeing the results unfold right before my eyes

  14. Pete_k

    This might be a silly question, but why is there an embargo on what information can be published from the breakout session?

  15. neb

    For some reason I have a feeling the track editor will actually not be as good as we think… Probably too limited in some ways. In which case, I’d rather have the Livery Editor, but if I’m wrong, and the Track Editor is actually well executed, then I’ll deal with the lack of Livery Editor.

    1. Big Ron

      I feel ok to have a track editor than a livery editor. It is better for long time playing to race on lots of tracks than race own skins on the same tracks.

      We will see, how it works.

  16. marcus

    I would prefer a track editor tbh rather than a livery editor, we should still be able to customize with rims etc… but at least if u get bored of tracks, just make a new one :D

  17. irnbrutwinturbo

    Good job guys, well worth my donation. Some very clear answers there, which is a little refreshing.

    Considering the embargo, and the interview lasted over ten minutes, it should be good reading tomorrow morning.

  18. ItsHim

    Famine, a good job well done! Congratulations and I, like many, envy you a lot because you actually got your hands on Kazunori. Well, you know what I mean.

    Very relevant questions, and the “unusual one” was really a good one!

    Just one more thing: is that Translator-san bit for real? He really hasn’t got a name? Or is he someone’s Japanese brother after all?

    Have you had a little chat with him? Seriously, this guy is über-cool and should be included in the honeymoon edition of GT5.

  19. lado

    I cant wait for this game ohh it´s not more than 2 1/2 months to wait and then we can just play it :D This information is nice! KY knows what to say, not much, but the right things. I hope to get some more information about the game, when i´m on GC on saturday ;)

  20. marky5244

    Great interview Famine, thanks. It’s a shame you didn’t get much time – but some time is much better than nothing.

  21. GT Cruiser

    Fantastic interview!! My hat’s off to every one involved with making this happen here at GT Planet, you guys rock!

  22. Timppaq

    Thanks for your efforts :tup: Too bad the time was so short.. :(

    Loving the 90% thing.. :D There’s always time to be found from a hotlap, and there seems to be always stuff to do for GT.

  23. neb

    I was really hoping for that livery editor. :( And when he says there is still time to work on things, it probably means the next few years until GT6 comes out… I hope I’m wrong.

  24. Stune

    Come to think of it GT has always had the best fantasy tracks in pretty much any racing game i can think of. I also love Deep Forest. It should be interesting to see what new ones which havnt yet been annouced are in GT5.

  25. Touring Mars

    If Kazunori tweets “ZOMG! I just met Famine off GTPlanet!” I’ll be most impressed. Good work guys, even if Kazunori was being as enigmatic and teasing as ever.

  26. Pete_k

    Good article Famine. But i cant wait until tomorrow! lol Couldnt you give us a ferrari encoded message…Are we going to see a rain soaked Nordschleife?

  27. Paulie

    Congrats to Famine and the team on the job well done so far, it sounds like you’ll have everything covered once the embargo is lifted. :)

  28. Sprite

    Thanks Famine. Great info and well written. Shame about the Embargo. Can’t wait to find out more. Have you scored and GT related goodies yet?

  29. m0j0

    shame about the livery editor.

    Its been one of the things that has kept me busy with Forza, long after i`m bored with racing..

    Would probably be the same with GT5.

  30. Tim

    good work , but i have noticed something is 90% kaz’s favorite percentage every time something is asked it’s 90%

    gt5 completion question a few months ago 90%
    gt5 how close to total realism realism 90%

  31. jjaisli

    Given the time constraints you were under, great job guys! And I’m very pleased to know LAN mode is a good possibility. Excellent! And thank you!

  32. chump

    Hopefully the GT series will never be more than 90% done. The last question was the best.. I’m sure kaz appreciated it.

    1. FlareKR

      I hope not! And what ever happened to the question about standard vs. premium? Wasn’t that number one in ideas to ask Kaz? I guess we’re still stuck looking for that black Rolex in a pond of s**t lol.
      Good interview though! I liked the last bit about making Grand Valley into a real track. I won’t be going to Disney World, imma going to a Kazunori World!

  33. Big Ron

    Now we know, that nobody can paint its own skins. But it is ok, most cars look already great without unique liveries.

    But I am very said, that you do not cared about our voting for the most asked questions. There was a big voting here and the most frequented question was: “Will standard cars have cockpit view”.

    Why not asked it?

    1. Famine

      This may have been asked by someone in the breakout session – which would make it covered by the embargo.

      Only way to find out? Tune in to this site at 0900GMT tomorrow…

  34. Famine

    I’d say you’re looking at another new track (probably appropriate to that part of the world – Bathurst?) and some more new cars at TGS.

    I did also ask if he’d like to model my brother’s Ariel Atom. He said yes – the Atom’s a car he’d like to include. Which kinda says it’s not in GT5. Yet.

    And we take no responsibility for GT5 being delayed to add Trophies.

  35. Antan

    Interesting. I guess we should expect the final FINAL details around TGS?………..Somw rather cryptic answers but certainly plenty of things to “read between the lines” …so to speak.

    1. tvensky

      I agree! He thinks first, then says best answer he could possibly think of! :) he is professional in every way.. and I just love KY style of work and demands, love to hear that PD intrests in GT series fans demands of features… cant wait till GT5!!!! I will loose my job when GT arrives :D sorry for mistakes!

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