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Binary Domain: Life, robots and everything between

Feb 22 // Conrad Zimmerman    @ConradZimmerman

[This is the final entry in a series of exclusive guest blogs from the development team at Yakuza Studio on Binary Domain. General Director Toshihiro Nagoshi returns one last time to discuss Binary Domain, its robot designs, Consequence System, story and more.  Binary Domain will be out on February 28 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 of the exclusive guest blogs for more.]

I’m often asked what my inspirations were in making Binary Domain. It all started with the theme of “life”. Based on that theme, I worked with my scenario writer to seek a way to express that theme in the best way for both the drama and for the gameplay. The conclusion we came to was “robots”. I think we managed to create an unprecedented story, even though there are a lot of existing movies and games that involve robots. We also found a way to express that story with a highly advanced game system. I truly respect my team members for all their programming and design efforts, and I am very proud of my team. 

Although robots were the direction we took with this game, I’m actually not a major robot fan. In fact, because I wasn’t a robot freak, I feel we were able to create a deep drama instead of focusing too much on the robots themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I was still very particular about creating the robot designs and actions, especially as Japanese robot designs are often criticized for looking very typical. I wanted to challenge those critics with high-quality designs and a great story.

When you play the game, I’d like you to pay attention to the robot designs. With these kind of games, people are often tempted to point out how a particular part of a particular robot resembles that of a particular movie, game, etc., However, I’m a huge movie fan (and I’ve seen tons of them), so when you play Binary Domain, you may notice how we were inspired by many past masterpieces, not one or two particular ones.

I’d also like you to check out the Consequence System, the voice input system that’s one of the unique points of Binary Domain. The game is a third person shooter similar to what most of you are familiar with, but the Consequence System will give you something you can’t experience with any other game. With it, you can talk with your ally NPCs while fighting with them in real-time gun battles, which makes your trust and bond stronger as you go through the missions with them. This is a game with real characters that have emotional depth, and change over the course of the narrative. This makes the gameplay emotional and exciting all at the same time.

That’s quite a lot of features for one game, so trying to put them all into one game was a courageous judgement for me. While I wanted to take the third person shooter another step above, I did not want to make the button controls get any more complicated. I wanted to make it simpler and more emotional, and that’s how we came up with the game systems of Binary Domain. The new game systems created a brand new gameplay style, which also lead to advanced enemy and ally AI programs. In the end, Binary Domain had the most realistic and dramatic systems to illustrate our fundamental theme of “Life”.

I am confident that we’ve managed to create a story, design, and AI that are original. They all sum up to make Binary Domain a dramatic and exquisite masterpiece. Our wish is for all of you to experience something different from all the other games in the market.


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Conrad Zimmerman // Moustache
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An avid player of tabletop and video games throughout his life, Conrad has a passion for unique design mechanics and is a nut for gaming history. He can be heard on the comedy podcast () and str... full profile | More staff profiles

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