At last weekend's Bitsummit indie games event in Kyoto, Japan, Tetsuya Mizuguchi of REZ and Child of Eden fame showed off his latest project - a remaster of beloved music-puzzle game, Lumines. As advocates for using the interaction between music and games in pioneering ways, it was great to play the new version and catch up with him to discuss the potential of Nintendo Switch and his vision for future titles.
Nintendo Life: How has your Bitsummit been for you so far?
Tetsuya Mizuguchi: Every year it is getting bigger and bigger, and I've been to four out of the six events. I was surprised at how many people and especially the range in age of people attending this year.
When did you think about bringing Lumines to Switch? Did you think about doing something for the console straight away?
I was really inspired by the HD rumble and I thought this is new and also I've heard many voices from people who played the original on PSP but they said, ”I want to keep playing but my PSP is broken,” or some just move on to the next hardware.
I felt I needed to succeed the first Lumines, and I had been thinking about the game on new platforms and I felt I had to do that, but there was no right timing. Then Nintendo announced the Switch and I realised it was a good time to remaster the game, as well as taking advantage of the 4K available on PS4/Xbox One. I had many reasons but both the resolution and the rumble of the Switch meant it was the right time. Everything has come together.
Was it important to remaster it and use the technical features as opposed to just a port?
Yes, I wanted to remaster purely the same game because it has its fans and they have loud voices. We have no satisfaction from just a port, and we are thinking about the new technology all the time. For the remastered version, there are also online leaderboards and a few extra features such as a shuffle mode, which randomises the stages and music. The progress through stages and music in the original Luminess was linear.
Once the game was announced, what was the reaction from your perspective?
I became very aware, and I was so, so happy. We wanted to announce around the time of GDC, and I checked social media a lot. The reaction was very positive.
What's next to get the Mizuguchi music treatment?
It's a never-ending story of projects but I want to try and mix these elements into a new style. This is in the future but I still have the passion and energy and I don't want to stop.
Luminess is also one of my ’babies’, so now if we have higher resolution technology, we can create more and more great experiences in the future. I never promise to create the next Luminess (sequel), it's about how can we create a new thing, it's always a new experience in my mind. Maybe in the future I can create crazy stuff! One of my reasons to produce Lumines now is that it's 13-14 years old but maybe it will be new to some players, and we can gather a new generation of fans and go into the future together. This is one of my dreams.
Any interest in bringing Meteos back in the same way?
So Meteos is mainly a game by Masahiro Sakurai, and if Sakurai-San wants to make a new Meteos with new technology... Personally, I think it is his game and we have kind of discussed it, but his passion and mastery is so deep and great. If he wants to make a new experience or mechanism, that would be awesome, but firstly, it's up to him.
What's coming up after Lumines?
Still secret...! But we are doing the next project...
With Switch in mind...?!
...Still secret...! Please wait for a while!
We would like to thank Mizuguchi-San for his time. Are you an old school fan or new to the series? Let us know below...