Is it Better to Design a Game Around a Gorgeous World or Great Characters?

UM writes: I had an interesting conversation with a grad student at Johns Hopkins yesterday. He called to interview me about the differences between Japanese and American video game culture, and I did my best to relay my limited knowledge to him for use in an upcoming paper.

We talked about many aspects of the dynamic, whether Japan was on the decline while western games are on the rise and such, but one moment at the end stood out to me.

He talked about how Japanese games tend to be designed around the characters, an “in-out” philosophy, while western games are designed around the world they live in, “out-in.”

It’s something I hadn’t really thought about before, but he’s right, and it’s rather fascinating to analyze the disparity.

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