August 24, 2013
As for the reason why Ueda-san won't comment further about the game; if The Last Guardian has become a PS4 game and is being treated as an unannounced game he won't talk about it until SCE announce it again. It is very frustrating that he won't talk about the game's progress but the truth is he cannot by contract - not out of disrespect to the fans however. It's safe to presume his contract includes an NDA, which means he cannot discuss the game openly unless authorised.
Meanwhile Yoshida-san confirmed yesterday The Last Guardian will be announced again sometime in the future. And yes, from his comments one can infer it has been reworked into a PS4 game.
SCE have announced a special pre-TGS press conference on the 9th September. I believe they'll announce release details for PS4 in Japan. New game announcements are more likely to happen at TGS proper.
Since Ueda-san left Sony there are some who started to think his relationship with SCE turned sour, but that's not the case really since he's still chums enough to be judge for PlayStation Mobile GameJam. Plenty of pics from July's Sony event at Inside Games.
Ah yes, in Japan right now ICO and Shadow of the Colossus are free to play to all PS+ subscribers.
One final note: Is Ueda-san working on something else other than The Last Guardian? His Twitter profile does seem to suggest that...
February 18, 2013
Ico's horns, at first, used to point downwards. They were changed late in the development cycle because Ico seemed inadvertently submissive that way.
Yorda went through a myriad of changes. In the pilot movie she wore a horned helmet and cursed runes on her right arm. The runes were intended to function as a health indicator. Her clothes and hair were constantly being modified. Ueda-san even gave her 'a haircut' the day before the final version of the game was due.
The smokemen we see in the final version of the game weren't the first type of enemy. In the pilot movie they were robots and when development started they were turned into soldiers. In a later build of the game, after the enemies were changed yet again, there was a segment, before the end sequence with the Queen, where the player faced a large number of smokemen of gigantic proportions. The idea was abandoned because it required considerable additions to the fighting system.
Many of the things that were modified appeared again years later in Shadow of the Colossus (the huge enemy) and The Last Guardian (the cursed runes, the soldiers).
February 17, 2013
About Ueda-san's UGC game idea... Could one of the gimmicks in a stage be a player character? She'd play the role of the villain.— Team ICO Gamers (@teamicogamers) February 17, 2013
Yours truly, drinking tea at seven in the morning and imagining what Fumito Ueda could do with the UGC game idea he patented a while back.
ブログ再編集して更新しました。 「トークセッション「ビデオゲーム：今世紀の芸術といえるのだろうか？」にて。」 goo.gl/0I6su— イコブクロ＠大鷲トリコ待ち (@ico296) February 16, 2013
Japanese fan Ikobukuro pretty excited after listening to a talk between Ueda-san, Eric Chahi (Another World), Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Space Channel 5, Rez) & illustrator Katsuya Terada (Legend of Zelda). This one's for Japanese fans; expect my summary of the talk in English later this week.
If TLG is a launch title for PS4, I'm gonna be there day 0. Hell, I'll buy 4 PS4s （ ＴДＴ）— nbnt (@nbnt) February 15, 2013
So it turns out The Last Guardian may be really coming out on the next PlayStation.— Team ICO Gamers (@teamicogamers) February 13, 2013
A very excited nbnt being scary about the possibility of The Last Guardian shifting platforms to the new PlayStation console Sony's ought to announce in three days.
The idea might not be so preposterous actually. A confirmed Sony ex-employee has suggested development of The Last Guardian transferred to "PlayStation 4" quite some time ago. If a more powerful console is key to finishing the game as Ueda-san always intended the change is welcome, in my opinion.
6 years ago today (February 14, 2007) we discovered Team ICO were working on a 3rd game. Remember this picture? twitter.com/teamicogamers/…— Team ICO Gamers (@teamicogamers) February 14, 2013
That's me celebrating six years waiting for The Last Guardian. Actually we've been waiting more than that, even before that puzzling picture with all the sketches of birds, cliffs and secret messages appeared in a Famitsu advert.
See one of Ueda-san's first creative outbursts; his interactive installation at SME Art Artist Audition 1994 youtu.be/fNoKP6-bI04 (6:20)— Team ICO Gamers (@teamicogamers) February 13, 2013
Hey, it's Ueda-san on TV! He appeared in a segment on TBS News23 and talked about his way of making games, and showed a clip of an interactive piece of art he built to participate at Sony Music Entertainment's Art Artist Audition in 1994. More about that on the 20th February in a special and extensive article about his life from kindergarten painting wonder to world-renowned creative genius.
フォロワーのみなさま。今更ではありますが問い合わせが多いこともあり、近状をまとめました。fumi.to— 上田文人 (@fumito_ueda) February 13, 2013
The hit of the week, Ueda-san posting a message to all of his fans, confirming personally his decision to leave Sony (and wondering what to do next) and saying The Last Guardian is on track for an official announcement.
In case someone missed it: Ueda-san playing Clever Beans' When Vikings Attack!, featuring a repurposed ICO helmet. youtu.be/xnztzX7W4FI— Team ICO Gamers (@teamicogamers) February 9, 2013
Ueda-san playing games! And wearing helmets! PS: That is indeed a repurposed ICO helmet, originally made as promotion merchandise for ICO's release in 2001. Team ICO members are famously known for wearing some very fashionable headdress apparel.
Yes, that's Locoroco creator Tsutomu Kouno wearing a duck on his head.
February 16, 2013
Patent application #1
Dated February 2009
New user-generated content game method
A user-generated content (UGC) game is characteristic in that stages are supplied by users acting as designers. Players play the stages supplied by the designers. But until now UGC games did not use a method to relay back players' game actions to the designers. Even when opinions were exchanged between the designers and the players via e-mail, message boards or the like, it is often the case that game actions are not accurately relayed back to the designers.
With the technology proposed in the patent actual game actions of players for a stage are relayed back to the designer that has developed the stage. Thus the designer can check the actual game actions of the players and can thereby receive better enjoyment from the game. For example, the designer can brush up a stage he/she has once supplied, based on the game actions of the players. As a result of the better enjoyment of the designer, it can be expected that a greater variety of stages are supplied by a greater number of designers. With a greater variety of stages supplied, the enjoyment of the players will increase and the UGC game as a whole can give a greater satisfaction to all users.
The figure above is a schematic illustration of a stage which is generated by a designer. A starting point and a finishing point are set in their predetermined positions. The stage is cleared when the player's character moves from the starting point to the finishing point. In the stage in the figure above the stage may be cleared when the player's character has reached the right edge of the stage.
The designer places gimmicks which serve as obstacles to the movement or travel of the player's character in the stage. In the figure above, a cliff, steps, a monster and thorns are placed as gimmicks.
The designers and players may either use stationary game devices or portable game devices.
Each user possesses virtual currency, or points, that has its worth in the game. The user can purchase points in the game and can further purchase game items such as weapons with which to arm the player's character with the points in possession. The stage has points to be paid to the player as the prize for clearing the stage, which is set according to the level of difficulty.
February 15, 2013
Patent application #4
Dated August 2011
A technology capable of flexibly expressing a motion of an object in accordance with a change in state of the object and the positional relationship between the object and another object.
Practical example (see video at 3m40s)
When the boy jumps from the monster and reaches the door, the technology from the patent adjusts the boy's motion in accordance to the position between the boy and the door, expressing the jump, landing and collision with the door physically accurately.
See Fumito Ueda patent for new user-generated content game method
February 14, 2013
Patent application #2
Dated June 2011
One or more characters possess an object, such as a pike, an arrow or a ball, and attack an opponent character by performing an action such as throwing the object to the opponent character. When the object released collides against the opponent character the object control program determines which character has released the object and the opponent character can perform an action such as an attack or positional movement in response to the character.
From a group of soldiers, one attacks the monster with a pike. Using the object control program from the patent, the monster is able to determine which of the soldiers attacked it, position itself in relation to that particular soldier and then respond by using the best attack in that particular situation.
The boy throws a ball at the monster. The ball collides with the monster and bounces away. Using the object control program from the patent, the monster is able to determine which object collided with it, position itself in relation to the ball, pick it up and give it back to the boy.
Patent application #3
Dated July 2011
A technology capable of changing a parameter relating to gravity, physically calculating a motion and generating, when a surface of a certain object collides with another object which rides thereon or clings thereto, an image expressing a natural deformation of the former object.
Using the technology from the patent, while the boy clings to the monster's ear, the ear bends to compensate for the added weight.
See Team ICO patent 4 for The Last Guardian
February 13, 2013
As some of you may have heard, I left Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Studio some time ago to pursue my creative passions. Nevertheless, I continue working on THE LAST GUARDIAN as a freelance contributor.
While it’s been a long time coming, THE LAST GUARDIAN remains under my creative supervision and is still in development by an incredibly talented team.
I should also mention that details regarding THE LAST GUARDIAN's release is solely decided by Sony Computer Entertainment, not myself. Please keep an eye out for their official announcement.
Moving forward, it is my intent to continue my involvement with THE LAST GUARDIAN project, as well as pursue new creative projects with a fresh perspective. As I rekindle my passions as a creator, I look forward to seeing where it will take me, and I deeply appreciate your support during this transition.
様々な創作の可能性を模索したいという動機から、少し前に（株）ソニー・コンピュータエンタテインメント （以下SCE） ジャパンスタジオを退社いたしました。
Fumito Ueda had already started working on his idea before joining Sony. Shuhei Yoshida then encouraged him to develop it further and make it into a feasible project. Ueda-san spent three months working on a pilot movie to make his vision tangible and to lead his future team during development. These images are from the earliest version of that movie.
February 12, 2013
They will discuss the impact and implications of video games in all creative fields in a talk named, "Video games: Art of the Century?"
The talk will be followed by a live concert by musician 2080.
Source: French / Japanese announcement
Do you notice something colossal in the distance?
Soldiers fighting a monster. Do you recognise the pattern on their clothes?
The same(?) soldiers climbing to face a curious figure.