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Red Steel Interview
Published by James Hobbs

Can you please tell us more about this style then?

The game happen in Japan, but Japan was not our only source of inspiration. In contrary, we wanted to focus on the experience of a US man in a foreign country and on the cultural choc of all the differences that can jump to his eyes. It was key for us to keep an occidental look. When a westerner goes to Japan, the most striking element is that there are tons of colours everywhere. A typical street of Japan is full of advertisings, flags, neons. It is the same thing, if you look at a magazine or inside a shop.

For us, it was not interesting to render this heavy coloured style as it would have been difficult for the player to identify rapidly enemies in a multicoloured background. Therefore, we took inspiration into a completely different style where flashy colours are there but not everywhere: 70’s “films noirs” such as Straw dogs.

It was interesting for us as it is a very edgy dark atmosphere with tons of attitudes and colours: a perfect inspiration for us. Moreover such references work perfectly with gangsters and mafia. We just adapted it to Japan and yakuzas. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to implement it into the E3 version.

In concrete terms, how will it look like?

To give the darker ambiance we use a lot a “desaturation” treatment above this look. By desaturation, I mean we low down all the colours and have more coloured grey in the end than real colours. In parallel, we also push the lighting system. We implement tons of flashy colourful neons, lights and objects. Sometimes, they even are blurred sources of lights, which shine with bloom within the grey atmosphere. In addition, we contrast a lot the graphics: lights are more powerful, shadows are darker.

In the end, the goal is to look old but not black & white, and flashy colours vehicle a touch of modernism. We support a lot the “films noirs” side of the game but we adapt it our way.

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