"Simply put, it is me that is your hurdle. If I say something is good, than it gets OK'd. If I say it is bad, then it is not OK'd. Do not worry about what the company or anyone else around us say. "
- The guiding philosophy from Resident Evil 7 general producer Jun Takeuchi that would govern how the team operated during development.
The line above is was taken from the Biohazard 7: Resident Evil Inside Report book, which was released only in Japan and documented the development of the recently released seventh entry in the classic Resident Evil series. A fan translation of the book posted online, however, offers a behind-the-scenes look at the small core development team that used the above philosophy to turn Takeuchi’s vision for Resident Evil 7 into a reality.
The author, Toru Shiwasu, notes that Takeuchi’s statement may seem a little crude, but his harshness was necessary to create the game he envisioned without the concept becoming muddled by product planning and outside opinions.
“When people attempt to make something big, they have a tendency to seek the advice of many others. However, that does not necessarily always lead to good results,” explained Shiwasu. “The vision of [Resident Evil 7's] ‘heart’ already existed in Takeuchi's head. It would be ideal if everyone else on the team could grasp what that was.”
His vision for Resident Evil 7 required creating something that was focused and packed a lot of content into the experience, rather than a game that offered an expansive open world. Resident Evil 7’s “narrow and deep” approach worried and confused management teams that saw the early concept movie for the game, but were ultimately swayed by Takeuchi’s own confidence in his vision.
“[Takeuchi] wanted to make a Resident Evil that was scarier than any other game in the series. To express those elements of horror, there was no need to have a large number of action elements,” explained Shiwasu in the second chapter of the series.
“There was no need to have vast stages, and there only needed to be a small number of enemies. And there would be no need for online multiplayer elements, which is something that large game publishers believed to be a given.”
The full series, translated and posted online by Alex Aniel, is brimming with interesting information about the game’s development and well worth a moment of your time. The first chapter starts with the initial announcement of the game at E3, then rewinds back to the earlier days of the series before focusing on the closely knit team that eventually made the horror revival possible.