Unfortunately, we weren’t able to attend, but thanks to some awesome folks on Twitter who live-tweeted the presentation, we were able to gain some insight into how Saito first came up with the idea for Seaman and some other really interesting information.
Before beginning on the project, SEGA gave Saito and his team at Vivarium three options of a game he could develop:
- An improved version of a Dungeons and Dragons style game with a “further-evolved game system;”
- An adventure game using famous licensed Hollywood characters; and
- A “rare beast” of a game like nothing that came before it.
Obviously, Saito would choose the third option, but the main reason was because Vivarium already had an aquarium simulator in development. He also showed some early concept sketches of the Seaman character, which shows some evolution of Seaman from a fish-like creature all the way to a tree-like creature with legs as branches.
Some of them looked quite horrifying, and apparently, Saito’s wife agreed and said she hated the way Seaman looked but she was still intrigued at the concept. Saito said the more people hate something, the more they become preoccupied with the idea.
He said his goal was to attract people beyond the core SEGA audience, and his goal was to make players feel needed and make the game about player’s lives.
Saito’s closed his presentation with some inspiring words of advice to his fellow developers. “Don’t be afraid to make something unconventional. Do not try to predict the future, but just make it.”
Afterward, Saito explained how he came up with the idea of the viral website he created to help market the game (read more about that here). He said his father took him to a museum as a kid, and he learned about the discovery of the coelacanth and how scientists thought it was long extinct.
Unfortunately, Saito didn’t mention whether he has future plans to develop Seaman 3, which could make for an incredible mobile game, but he did say he’s working on a new game with a Japanese publisher where players have to “mine their own money,” similar to Bitcoin.[Information and images via Brandon Sheffield]