SCEJ's Tatsuya Suzuki and JSPS' Jun Fujiki, the two leads of Echochrome, spoke at length about the origins and development of the title - and announced that a two-dimensional version of the perspective-bending M.C. Escher-esque puzzler developed for PlayStation Home.
The idea of a game based on Escher-like environments came from Fujiki, a member of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and researcher at Kyushu University, who had been exploring user-interface design particularly when applied to 2D and 3D painting. Suzuki saw Fujiki's work at an exhibition put on by the Japanese government's Department of Culture, and immediately saw the potential of such an idea when applied to games.
"The concept reminded me of two games in particular - the rubik's cube, and sudoku. Both of those have several things in common - it's all about getting people to play with rules and laws. We wanted the same with echochrome. Only rules and challenges - nothing else," said Suzuki.
As such, they attempted to pare down the concept as much as possible. "It was an elimination process, really. We specifically didn't lock the stage menu, we didn't add gimmicks to stages, and we didn't add multiple types of characters. It was actually a pretty brave decision."
"But without this decision, I thought it would be impossible to deliver the users something simple and straightforward but that's boiled down to what I just said - rules, challenges, nothing else. We couldn't build classic gamey game."