Eurogamer: Can you explain the thinking behind the design of the Torico character?
Fumito Ueda: When we came up with this animal, we wanted to make an attractive and cute kind of character. We also created this design to match up with and comply with the game design itself. So that's how we decided on the size, the quality of the character and its physical capabilities - it was about fitting with the game design.
Eurogamer: Did you consider using any other animals?
Fumito Ueda: We ended up having this animal which was much closer in style to the cat, but we also had some other options - a dog-type of cat and also a camel-type character.
Eurogamer: I understand you can't control Torico directly, but you take advantage of the animal's characteristics to interact with the environment. Can you give us an example of how this works?
Fumito Ueda: For example, if you have access to one of Torico's favourite foods or objects, you can throw it to a place where you wouldn't be able to go in normal circumstances.
Eurogamer: So let's say I throw the food to a ledge across a big gap - I can then jump onto Torico and the animal will take me across?
Fumito Ueda: Exactly.
Eurogamer: People often try to describe the visual style of your games, but how would you describe it?
Fumito Ueda: It's basically based on my senses. I haven't really analysed what my visual style is like. As I go through the process I decide - I like it this way, or I don't like it this way - and that's how I develop my style.
Eurogamer: What lessons did you learn from developing ICO and Shadow of the Colossus? Is there anything you want to change or improve upon in The Last Guardian?
Fumito Ueda: Basically, my theory is to complete what I intended to do. It's the same theory I always employ. And because the development cycle was so long for this product, I threw in a lot of trials and errors and faced a lot of problems along the way. I tried to remember what I wanted to do originally for this game through the whole process and to try to complete that. Whatever I achieved in the past was evaluated and appreciated by the market, so that's what I focused on throughout.
Eurogamer: I've been looking at the list of games in the Tokyo Game Show brochure and next to each one, there's a little box with a figure denoting what percentage of the game is complete - 30 or 50 or 80 per cent... But in the box for The Last Guardian, there's just a question mark. Is that your choice?
Fumito Ueda: Yes, that's right, because I don't want to say much about it yet.
Eurogamer: I guess in that case, you won't tell me when the game is being released either...
Fumito Ueda: Exactly [laughs]. We want to avoid releasing an incomplete version.
Eurogamer: Are you hoping for a simultaneous release in Europe and Japan?
Fumito Ueda: I hope to see that, yes.