The relationship between player and protagonist can be strengthened if games break through the fourth wall, according to Goichi Suda, the head of Tokyo-based indie studio Grasshopper Manufacture.
Grasshopper’s breakthrough title, No More Heroes, was known, loved and hated for its self-aware references.
Occasionally the game built up player expectations before consciously, and jovially, breaking them at the last minute. The whole game was peppered with such exposed nods to the player.
When asked if breaking the fourth wall was useful in providing player immersion, Suda stated that direct communication with the player is essential.
“Actually, I feel this style is often used in videogames in this generation” he said. “Personally, I really like it; the characters in games are also people, and having them interact with the gamer directly is something that is essential now in videogames.”
He added that he would like to explore direct player communication in the future games he is working on.
One of those future projects will be the sequel to No More Heroes, a Wii exclusive title ready to launch across North America in the first half of 2010.
There had been recent speculation linking Grasshopper with publisher Square Enix, though nothing between the two companies has been announced.
Suda also recently spoke of No More Heroes’ potential to be a multiplatform franchise, saying that the adventures of Travis Touchdown (pictured) could be “a big IP”.