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Yoji Shinkawa and the Art of Left Alive

Yoji Shinkawa sat down with the PlayStation Blog to talk about how he creates his characters, and, specifically, how he worked on Left Alive. In a lot of ways, he is a legend. He has worked on character designs and art for all the Metal Gear games, Zone of the Enders games, and he is the art director for Death Stranding. He has no trouble completing a resume.

He normally starts a project by making doodles of characters. For Square Enix’s Left Alive, he had well-defined characters. He worked to create ideas based on those details, and each design usually goes back and forth about three to four times, before it is finalized. Even though the art is normally done, he admitted that gameplay decisions can sometimes force a design change here and there.

The most interesting part of the interview is that talks about his tools. For a guy who could have anything, they are really modest. He uses, “A4 copy paper, pencil, eraser, brush pen, correction pen, and Photoshop”. Even though his art doesn’t normally start as a digital image, he has started to create on a new iPad recently.

You can check out the whole interview here, but I will post the two trailers that show him creating some art for Left Alive. The trailer at the top speeds up the process significantly, but the trailer at the bottom will show you more detail. It’s all the same, so pick your poison.

If you like what you see, you could win some art from Yoji Shinkawa by pre-ordering any version of the game from the Square Enix North American store. You have to make the pre-order by March 4th for it to apply, but you could win a PS4 as well. Here is a link to the fancy Mech Edition, but just know that it’s not necessary to win. The link to the contest rules is at the top of the same page.

Left Alive will release on March 5th.

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