I had the privilege of watching Tetsuya Mizuguchi play entire stages of Rez and Child of Eden on a stage at ACMI during Melbourne’s Freeplay festival. It was fascinating to watch a developer engage with his own game. Seeing the specific way Mizuguchi played his own work felt like an insight into the creative process that made these games; he played the way he envisioned they would be played.
Most interesting was how Mizuguchi clearly did not care at all for his score. When I play Rez, I rarely ever send off my volley of shots until I have locked onto the maximum 8 targets possible for the best multiplier and loudest noise. But this didn’t bother Mizuguchi. He would lock just one or two enemies. Sometimes he would lock onto none, and just tap away at nothing to create empty hand claps. Mizuguchi wasn’t interested in playing the game well; he was interested in composing it well. He only cared about how he was able to make a good sound with his actions – a fleeting, temporary song that only existed for the moment he played before disappearing into oblivion, never to be perfectly recreated again.