Grasshopper Manufacture, the studio behind games like No More Heroes and Lollipop Chainsaw, has a new docuseries debuting on YouTube. CEO and game designer Goichi Suda (Suda51) kicks off the first episode, chronicling his early days in the video games industry and how the studio came to be.
The video series, Creator’s File, will follow “various members of the Grasshopper Manufacture development staff.” To celebrate the reopening of its official YouTube channel, the studio uploaded its first episode with Suda51, simply titled “Quickening.” It’s a short, ten-minute reflection on the game designer’s path to where he is now and the “quickening” of Grasshopper. From Suda51’s explanation, it sounds like it all came together faster than expected, perhaps overwhelmingly so.
It’s a neat, personal look at a creator who I’ve always admired for his style, even when not always fond of the game. Whether just enthusiast or industry professional, his early recollections of how video games affected him in their infancy may resonate.
There’s a moment a little around three minutes in when Suda speaks to seeing video games as more of a “foreign thing, rather than a Japanese thing” as a child, before their creative boon in Japan. “These amazing things that came from America,” Suda51 continues. “That’s how they’ve felt ever since, and that’s how I feel about them to this day.”
He speaks about his love for pro wrestling and his first projects with the Fire Pro Wrestling series. From there, he felt the desire to create his own original titles, and that’s where ideas for Grasshopper began. Suda describes the journey with laughs and smiles, “feelings of both happiness and anxiety,” but those tales are certainly stressful.
Even if they’re stories I’m already a bit familiar with, I dig these little peeks into industry creatives. Especially these moments with someone who likely influenced myself and others in many of the same ways they reflect on their earliest inspirations. In a similar vein, Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka shared stories like these late last year in preparation for Slitterhead. And while not so much a documentary, Super Smash Bros. lead Masahiro Sakurai just started his own YouTube channel to provide a window into game development.