Rez HD Q&A

Rez HD Q&A

Published On January 31, 2008 | By Anthony Barker | News

With the recent launch of RezHD on Xbox LIVE Arcade, today we bring you an exclusive to XCN Q&A with Tetsuya Mizuguchi , Chief Creative Officer, Q Entertainment Inc.

What follows an in-depth Q&A exclusive to XCN members with Tetsuya.

  • REZ unfortunately wasn’t the commercial success it deserved to be. In my opinion the XBLA platform is just what it needs to reach a wider audience. What are your feelings regarding how the XBLA version of REZ will extend the popularity of the series?

I agree that the XBLA platform is the perfect venue for a game like Rez HD. Rez is a fairly simple, casual game, but was seen as a complicated, hard to understand game when it was released on the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 back in 2001/02. If only we had a way to provide a trial opportunity then, I think it could’ve done better. Not everyone was ready to take that risk of paying $40 for a game that they didn’t fully understand. What’s great about the XBLA platform is that you can try the game first before purchasing it and we can offer the game at a lower price point than a game sold at retail. Digital distribution has opened up a lot of opportunities for games like Rez and the chances of it being played by both fans and first-timers.

  • What will be the main differences between REZ HD and the original?

Aside from the game being recreated for hi-definition and digital surround sound, the game remains unchanged – all of the modes, areas, levels, music from the original are included. When I created the original Rez, we went through a lot of trials and errors to showcase the audio-visual-vibration experience and that was the best we could do at that time. With Rez HD, I feel as if I’ve been given the opportunity to work out those unsolved areas and present the game that I had envisioned since day one – to me, this is the ‘complete’ version of Rez.

There are a few things we added to Rez HD to enhance the gameplay experience – you can hook up the other controllers and get the trance vibration signal that is different than the one sent to the player controller; we also included some new sound and visual effects (cave, forest, concert hall for sound and sepia, tile, blur for visuals) that offers a customized Rez experience.

  • Will you take the REZ franchise even further? Will there be REZ 2?

First, I’ll have to see what kind of response we get from the XBLA audience! Whether or not it be a “REZ 2” or “sequel to REZ”, I just know that the core concept of creating a synesthetic experience through interactive entertainment or in other forms of art will continue to be my role and mission.

  • In what way will Rez take advantage of Xbox Live?

Rez HD is a single player game, so there will be no multi-player/versus/co-op modes in the game. Rankings will be displayed through the Score Attack Mode and you will be able to view the plays of those who are ranked in the top 20 using Replay Theater.

  • Will the new Rez use something similar to the original soundtrack or is this being reworked?

All of the elements in the original Rez including the music have been carried over to Rez HD. The tracks have been remixed and remastered in 5.1.

  • Do you expect Rez to appeal to a wide audience or a select few?

The XBLA platform is the perfect venue for a game like Rez HD. Rez is a fairly simple, casual game, but was seen as a complicated, hard to understand game when it was released on the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 back in 2001/02. If only we had a way to provide a trial opportunity then, I think it could’ve done better. Not everyone was ready to take that risk of paying $40 for a game that they didn’t fully understand. What’s great about the XBLA platform is that you can try the game first before purchasing it and we can offer the game at a lower price point than a game sold at retail. Digital distribution has opened up a lot of opportunities for games like Rez and the chances of it being played by both fans and first-timers. Also, with the popularity of music and rhythm-based games over the last few years, I’m hopeful that more people will want to try a game like Rez HD.

  • What inspired you while working on Rez?

There were many things that inspired me to create Rez, one of which is a famous 20th century painter Wassily Kandinsky. Kandinsky’s paintings were heavily influenced by music – the power of expression it gave to one’s body (stimulation) and freedom of imagination (visuals) it offers. I wanted to create a game that was true to the concept of synaesthesia, or the stimulation of the senses, using sounds, visual effects and vibration.

  • Do you have any plans to remake other United Games Artists games?

While I cannot comment on our current and future projects, the 360 is a very attractive platform and we hope to bring more quality titles that offer a rich, entertaining experience to the gamers.

  • Do you have plans for multiplayer and/or Co-op Mode?

Rez HD is a single player game, so there will be no multi-player/versus/co-op modes in the game. Individual rankings will be displayed through the Score Attack Mode and you will be able to view the plays of those who are ranked in the top 20 using Replay Theater.

  • Are there any differences between the XBLA Arcade Version and the Dreamcast Version?

Aside from the game being recreated for hi-definition and digital surround sound, the game remains unchanged – all of the modes, areas, levels, music from the original are included. When I created the original Rez, we went through a lot of trials and errors to showcase the audio-visual-vibration experience and that was the best we could do at that time. With Rez HD, I feel as if I’ve been given the opportunity to work out those unsolved areas and present the game that I had envisioned since day one – to me, this is the ‘complete’ version of Rez.

There are a few things we added to Rez HD to enhance the gameplay experience – you can hook up the other controllers and get the trance vibration signal that is different than the one sent to the player controller; we also included some new sound and visual effects (cave, forest, concert hall for sound and sepia, tile, blur for visuals) that offers a customized Rez experience.

  • Don’t you think, that 800 MS Points will be too expensive for Rez HD?

Considering this is a complete recreation of an older title (textures recreated, music remastered) that provides a richer gameplay experience, 800 MSP is not too expensive for Rez HD. We’ve seen many other titles released at the same price and Rez HD offers equal, if not, more value for the price.

  • Do you have any other plans for another XBLA title?

The XBLA platform is very attractive to us and we hope to bring more exciting, quality titles to the XBLA audience.

  • Does Rez HD support the Xbox LIVE Vision Camera?

No, it does not support the LIVE Vision Camera.

  • Is there any difference from the original version of Rez, besides high definition visuals and 5.1?

Aside from the game being recreated for hi-definition and digital surround sound, the game remains unchanged – all of the modes, areas, levels, music from the original are included. When I created the original Rez, we went through a lot of trials and errors to showcase the audio-visual-vibration experience and that was the best we could do at that time. With Rez HD, I feel as if I’ve been given the opportunity to work out those unsolved areas and present the game that I had envisioned since day one – to me, this is the ‘complete’ version of Rez.

There are a few things we added to Rez HD to enhance the gameplay experience – you can hook up the other controllers and get the trance vibration signal that is different than the one sent to the player controller; we also included some new sound and visual effects (cave, forest, concert hall for sound and sepia, tile, blur for visuals) that offers a customized Rez experience.

  • Which projects for Xbox 360 may we expect from Q Entertainment in the future? Space Channel 5 part three, for example?

While I cannot comment on our current and future projects, the 360 is a very attractive platform and we hope to bring more quality titles that offer a rich, entertaining experience to the gamers.

  • What do you honestly think about the “trance vibrator”?

The thought behind the trance vibrator was to provide vibration/stimulation to the player in addition to the visual and sounds effects that were seen and heard while playing the game. We believe that the peripheral enhanced the overall gameplay experience, leading to a form a synaesthesia, or the stimulation of the senses.

  • Has it been hard to persuade Sega for the Rez HD license?

It wasn’t as difficult as one may think – the management at Sega understood my desire to recreate Rez in its ‘new’ and ‘complete’ form. I am very thankful for this opportunity and hope that both fans and newcomers to Rez will enjoy the game.

  • What is your view on other music-based games that have performed very well in Europe and North America like Guitar Hero and Rock Band?

I think those games are exciting and it’s great to see them succeed. We’ve always had music/rhythm-based games here and there, but these two have taken interactive entertainment to a whole new level by offering co-op play, downloadable content and the opportunity for everyone to become a rock star!

  • Are you planning downloadable content for Rez, like new music or visuals?

We do not have any plans for additional downloadable content for Rez HD. This, to me, is the ‘complete’ version of Rez and I hope that gamers will enjoy the game as much as I do. Although Rez is a simple game, I believe it offers high replay value and you’ll most likely discover something new every time you play it.

Thanks for your time!

About The Author

Anthony is the designer, developer and owner of Console Monster. In his spare time, Anthony is a keen gamer who enjoys playing mostly First-Person Shooters and Racing games. When he is not developing games or tweaking this site, Anthony likes to be on the slopes snowboarding or hurtling down off-road tracks on his mountain bike.