Shuhei Yoshida chats with Yugo Nakamura, creative director, art director, designer, and narrative designer for Humanity, and Tetsuya Mizuguchi, executive producer for Humanity, on how the title delivers a new puzzle game experience. They discuss the thought process behind the creation of Humanity as a new form of interactive experience and how they came up with the game’s main theme.
Humanity is available starting today as a Day 1 PlayStation Plus Game Catalog title.*
Inspired by the “flocking behavior of birds”
Shuhei Yoshida (SY): I heard that Nakamura-san likes to observe flocks of birds, and that’s where you found inspiration for Humanity. Can you tell us more about that?
Yugo Nakamura(YN): I specialize in Interactive Design, and I like to spend my time programming, sharing my work, and creating visual experiences; I enjoy these things and that’s why I do them for a living. I think a lot of people like me have used a simulation program called “Boids,” which essentially simulates the flocking behavior of birds. If you focus on just a single creature, you’re able to create very organic movements just by programming three simple rules and connecting them. But in the case of birds, the simulation looked so alive, and it was fascinating to see how organically the flock of birds moved, even though it was based on such a simple mechanism.
From there, I spent some time making a bite-size mobile game that used simple bird movements as motifs. It was like a racing game where you control a flock of birds.
SY: It’s the one where you try to progress further into the game, right?
YN: Yes. In a regular racing game, you’re only responsible for controlling one car, but in this game, you basically had to control 300 different cars. If you made a small mistake, you lost 100 birds, but then eventually gained back 200!
SY: Game developers like us are always looking to surprise people by creating something that goes above and beyond what you’d expect from a hardware’s capabilities. So when I saw your game, I felt something similar.
YN: I had similar thoughts as a consumer myself. I was shocked at how smoothly games ran back on the original PlayStation, and I thought that was such a great achievement. From there, I decided that since I already made a game with birds on a smartphone, next I wanted to create a system that controlled large groups of humans. That’s how the idea for Humanity was born.