Katamari Creator Starts New Company

Katamari Creator Starts New Company

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The brain behind Noby Noby Boy and the Katamari Damacy games has struck out on his own, in order to "broaden his horizons."

Following his departure from Namco early last month, Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi has started up a new company called Uvula, with his wife, composer Asuka Sakai.

Uvula - which refers to a part of the mouth that helps us speak, and more specifically, the dangly bit at the back of the throat - is not a development studio in the traditional sense, and seems instead to be an opportunity for the pair to get involved in a whole bunch of different creative endeavors. Unsurprisingly, Uvula will mainly concern itself with videogames and music, although its current project is the design of a playground in Nottingham, England.

The creation of Uvula isn't too much of a surprise, as only a few months ago, Takahashi said that he wanted to try things besides making videogames. He has expressed a certain amount of disillusionment with the videogame industry recently, saying after this year's E3 that he thought the future of games looked "dull," and that there wasn't a lot of room for his voice any more.

Considering that Takahashi is the man who made the bizarre Noby Noby Boy while working for a major Japanese publisher, it's going to be fascinating to see what he does when it's just him, his wife and their ideas.

Source: Gamasutra

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Uvula?

What. The. Hell.

Uvula?

Interesting company name to say the least >>

Will this new company be even more pretentious than Sudo 51. Signs point to yes.

Uvula?

wait... wut?
seriously who thought that would be a good name for a company?

Cant wait to see what else is going to come out of his crazy, crazy head lol

strange but good news

Uvula. Got that.

Added it to my list of developers to watch (which I can count on 1 hand).
Let's hope he doesn't quit games just yet.

As long as he continues to make crazy wacky stuff with catchy music, then I'm ok :D

icyneesan:
As long as he continues to make crazy wacky stuff with catchy music, then I'm ok :D

He said that his next game is going to be a shooter, feature a much darker color palette, and appeal to the West.

Onyx Oblivion:

icyneesan:
As long as he continues to make crazy wacky stuff with catchy music, then I'm ok :D

He said that his next game is going to be a shooter, feature a much darker color palette, and appeal to the West.

Then all hope is lost D:

Eric the Orange:
Will this new company be even more pretentious than Sudo 51. Signs point to yes.

I don't think so. At least this guy makes good games and none of them seem to take themselves seriously at all. I'm not saying his games are for everyone but pretentious isn't the word I would use.

I just hope he keeps doing more experimental stuff. Katamari was amazing and I even loved the re-hashes, but something new would be great.

I'm optimistic that when left to their own devices, Takahashi & the Mrs will come up with something original and entertaining again. I'm hoping for something like katamari in the sense that it's trippy, intuitive, and unlike anything else I've played.

Hell, I'm just glad he isn't leaving the industry altogether like he said he might do. The industry really needs someone like him.

GonzoGamer:
snip

Here is my reasoning,

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/90557-Noby-Noby-Boy-Creator-Denies-Drug-Use

In particular to quote,

On Noby Noby Boy's design: "I wanted to show an ironic point of view about our consumption-based society. But I wanted to make more objects. If [the game] were empty, I would feel empty or lonely. When I made Katamari Damacy and objects were rolled up into a ball, they were gone. I felt empty. I feel this way about our disposable society."

That just screams pretentious art house symbolism BS to me.

This company might very well be the definition of "Eccentric Artists, Inc".

That's not necessarily a bad thing..but I'll reserve judgment until I can see their results.
It should be interesting to follow in any case.

Eric the Orange:

GonzoGamer:
snip

Here is my reasoning,

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/90557-Noby-Noby-Boy-Creator-Denies-Drug-Use

In particular to quote,

On Noby Noby Boy's design: "I wanted to show an ironic point of view about our consumption-based society. But I wanted to make more objects. If [the game] were empty, I would feel empty or lonely. When I made Katamari Damacy and objects were rolled up into a ball, they were gone. I felt empty. I feel this way about our disposable society."

That just screams pretentious art house symbolism BS to me.

That's not pretentious, that's just intelligent. There's a big difference.

I don't think there's anything pretentious about having a serious theme as long as it doesn't drag the game down and I think we can agree that Noby & Katamari are pretty frikkin far from serious.
On the other hand gta4 was (IMO) very pretentious. Not because it tells a serious story and conveys a serious theme that's actually pretty close to that of Noby Boy, but because they let the serious tone drain a lot of the over the top fun I look for in a gta game. The previous gta games had some serious (and sometimes similar) themes but we still had the wild gameplay. In their attempt to make it realistic and gritty, they made it too bland and pretentious.

The difference: you don't have to get the serious theme of Katamari to enjoy the game. The same can't be said of gta4.

It's kind of like sitcoms: most of them get pretentious and bland after the characters have been developed to the point of conflict. Some are able to have points of conflict and dramatic interludes that aren't taken too seriously and/or have a punchline at the end (Arrested Development, Seinfeld, or the Dick Van Dyke show) so it doesn't drag the show down. Others get past the first season and spend half of each episode in overwrought dramatic tension (like Friends or pretty much any other sitcom that lasts more than a season) that drag the show down. That's pretentious.

 

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