A Declaration of Resolve

Feb 16, 2011 // Eguchi

We planners have a weekly sync-up meeting each Friday. At one such meeting, I was recently told the following by one of my seniors: “Staff blogs notwithstanding, there’s still a lot of distance between the Dev team and the Devroom users, and frankly, it’s boring.”

. . . Fair enough. To be sure, some of the recent staff blogs have been coming off more like advertisements—always making sure not to offend the site’s visitors, always enshrouded with an inexorable tone of “safeness”.

I had noticed it too, this feeling that people just couldn’t quite get both feet inside. This will not do. For a team trying to put together an unprecedented project, we’re being far too soft-spoken. If we don’t have an edge, if we don’t have guts, if we don’t have any thrill, then we’ve got no chance of reaching our target number of members.

My resolve hasn’t been where it needs to be. Not by a long shot. When you want to do something new, you’ve got to do it with power. If you want to pierce people’s hearts with an idea, you’ve got to have a sharp edge. When you do something half-heartedly or without confidence, the first thing you start thinking about is whether you might make people mad, or be rejected, or fail. As soon as that anxiety enters your mind, you start losing your edge, little by little, so as not to make people mad, so as not to be rejected or fail. In the end, you become like a soft, round ball.

What do we need to avoid becoming soft? First and foremost is the resolve to stay sharp. Even if we make people angry, even if it means being rejected or failing, we must have the resolve to push forth without fear. Once we’ve solidified our resolve, all we have to do is keep dashing forward, full throttle. There’s power in that.

Currently, we’re creating a sample build for Legends 3. When I confided in the aforementioned senior about it, he told me that I wasn’t ready for this. He told me straight up, no sugar coating. Harsh as it may sound, his remarks are far more dear to me than the masked words of someone too polite to put me down.

Indeed, I can’t go on like this without affirming my resolve. It’s almost embarrassing making this declaration so late in the game, but consider this a renewal of perspective. I’m sure we could get through this and have a decently fun time if I went on thinking of our Devroom users as “customers”, tip-toeing around so as not to be disliked; but as this is a project in which all of us are developing the game together, that’s not going to be enough. Certainly you are “customers” in one manner of speaking, but you’re also part of our crew—and you share in our goal of making this game a success. I want to make this a project where we share in each other’s joy, and even each other’s grief. That is my heartfelt intention, and consider this post my declaration of it. No more formal facades. From this day forth, I’m not calling myself “Boku” anymore—I’m “Ore”! [note: “Boku” is humble, “Ore” is self-asserting, both mean “I”.]

I’ve been having these secret strategy meetings with web man Kurosawa-san, under the legendary tree that stands in front of the Capcom office. “Time to get sharp,” I say. “We want people to have faith in the Devroom, so let’s make it happen!”

And also, I’ve got some notes about regular business! Sorry to break the tension, but don’t think I’m nuts, please.

On February 22nd, we’ve got a company meeting where we will submit Legends 3 to undergo the greenlighting (approval) process. At Capcom, you have to spend the first few months of a project creating a sample build, then show it to various people and await their approval. We’ve been working away, trying to get that sample as good as we can, and now is a crucial time for us. You’ve all cooperated with us in getting this far, so we’ve got to get this project approved. If we don’t, we’ll have missed the boat and won’t be able to proceed with the next phase. That’s why right now, we’re on fire. There’s simply no way we can let that happen. There’s no way.

I’m gonna make sure there’s a rocket to get Mega Man back home. I’m gonna make sure he makes it back to Earth. This is our one chance to launch, and we’re his only hope!!

Now’s the time to make this Devroom grow!! Getting the word out about this place and spreading its use across the globe is the best way to get our rocket off the ground!! Our greatest weapon right now is the Development Staff supporting this project! This game is going to be incredible! Why? Because we’ve got people working with us all over the world! That means you. So let’s put our all into launching this rocket. Lend me your strength!!