Yoji Shinkawa, Art Director of Metal Gear Solid and Death Stranding, wants to design a real car.
Speaking to Edge magazine (spotted by VGC), Shinkawa was asked about future ambitions.
“One day I want to design a car – a real car,” he replied. “It was a long-cherished wish of mine.”
He continued, “Aaron Beck is a concept artist who creates and customizes cars that he has designed. Looking at models of cars or planes and thinking, ‘Isn’t that something you ride on?’ and then building one in real life is such a big project. I admire that.”
Shinkawa is responsible for Metal Gear Solid’s iconic artwork and character designs, but designing a real car is certainly a left-wing, albeit solid, goal.
He cites Final Fantasy’s Yoshitaka Amano as a key inspiration for his style, whose “influence played a big part”.
“In terms of the style of working with 2D and modeling in the design process, I think I’m heavily influenced by Kow Yokoyama and Makoto Kobayashi, who I’ve admired since middle school. I’m sure everyone uses CG these days, but I haven’t quite jumped on that ship yet,” he says.
Shinkawa also discusses his working process with Kojima, explaining its similarity to costume design due to the importance of clothing or tools.
“I think about the plot and do some rough sketches, which I then go through to find the ones I like,” he says. “I might come across something I made by accident and also find a possible use in it.
“Sometimes Hideo gives me very specific, detailed instructions, but mostly he lets me work freely. Sometimes I give him ideas too, and when we come up with something cool, we find ways to incorporate that into the game. Game design is gradually built that way.”
However, this process was different with Death Stranding because it worked with a specific actor: Norman Reedus. Shinkawa worked on character design before Reedus was chosen and struggled to get the design right.
“Originally we had him in a more futuristic suit, like a powered exoskeleton or full armor,” he says. “It was more manga-like. We actually modeled for it, but halfway through the process we decided it didn’t feel right.
“What ultimately happened with Sam’s design is that we landed on the idea of a worker delivery service. So the process was to sketch it, model it, and then eliminate all the negatives.”
Death Stranding was recently released on PC, you can check it out