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Metal Gear and Death Stranding art director wants to design a car

Metal Gear Solid and Death Stranding art director Yoji Shinkawa wants to design a real life car.

Speaking to Edge magazine (spotted by VGC), Shinkawa was asked about any future ambitions.

“One day I would like to design a car – a real car,” he replied. “This has been a long-held ambition for me.”

He continued: “Aaron Beck is a concept artist who makes and customises cars that he designed. To look at models of cars or planes and think, ‘Isn’t that something you ride on?’ and then to build one in real life is such a big-scale project. I admire that.”

Shinkawa is responsible for the iconic Metal Gear Solid artwork and character designs, but designing a real car is certainly a leftfield, if solid, ambition.

He references Final Fantasy’s Yoshitaka Amano as a key inspiration for his style, whose “influence played a big role”.

“As for the style of working with 2D and modelling in the design process, I think I’m heavily influenced by Kow Yokoyama and Makoto Kobayashi, who I’ve admired since my middle-school days. I’m sure everyone these days mainly uses CG, but I haven’t jumped on that ship quite yet,” he says.

Shinkawa also discusses his working process with Kojima, stating its similarity to costume design due to the importance of clothing or tools.

“I consider the plot and make a number of rough sketches, and go through them to find the ones that I like,” he says. “I may come across something that I randomly made and find some potential use in it as well.

“Sometimes Hideo gives me very specific, detailed instructions, but he mostly lets me work freely. There are times when I give him ideas, too, and when we land on something cool, we find ways to put that into the game. Game design is built up little by little like that.”

That process differed with Death Stranding though, owing to working with a specific actor: Norman Reedus. Shinkawa was working on character design before Reedus was chosen and struggled to get the design right.

“We originally had him in a more futuristic suit, like a powered exoskeleton or full armour,” he says. “It was more manga-like. We actually did modelling for that, but halfway through the process we decided it didn’t feel right.

“What ended up happening for Sam’s design is that we landed on the idea of a blue-collar delivery service. So the process was sketching it out, modelling it, and then eliminating all the negatives.”

Death Stranding was recently released on PC, you can check out the Digital Foundry verdict here.

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