The Last Guardian will be somewhat unique in the sense that the player won’t have the kind of control over their AI companion as they are used to in video games. Sometimes, Trico – the furry friend that accompanies you on your journey – will outright disobey your commands. In Edge #294, Fumito Ueda went into more detail on how Trico will revolutionise video game companions.
“Another game where you can completely control a creature wouldn’t be enjoyable for me because there are a lot out there where you can do that. I think I’ve had enough of them,” the explains.
“This creature isn’t like the cute pets that exist in other games, or an ally that’s really useful. The role of the creature is ambiguous; that’s something we wanted to express in the game, and it doesn’t always do what you ask it to do. That’s one of the themes of The Last Guardian. It’s something that’s difficult, and completely different. I want to create the next thing – an experience that people have never had before.”
He goes on to add that “in terms of whether Trico will follow you or not, that’s just an issue of tuning – it’s really easy to adjust that. The greater struggle for us was to make sure that it behaves in a very natural way. There were a lot of areas where it was behaving unnaturally. The amount of code is very large compared to AI in conventional games.
“We’ve given this creature its own desires, so depending on what action it wants to take, that affects everything, including its animation. It’s not like a normal humanoid character. For example, if Trico pays attention to something, the movement of its head might start from the roof to its neck, or it could start from the tip of its beak. The speed of rotation and the axis through which the rotation occurs depends on the situation or what it’s trying to look at, so having those kinds of variances has required lot of man hours.”
But examples like that are just the beginning. “It’s not like we’ve spent an eternity on just those things, but that doesn’t exist in other games, so the whole team is reaching out to try to feel where the wall is. If one person doesn’t feel that wall, the whole thing will collapse.”
All interesting stuff. For more The Last Guardian coverage, especially with E3 just around the corner, stay tuned to Gamespresso.