PixelJunk Eden: Welcome to our Garden – An Interview with Baiyon and Q-Games’ Tomi

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It’s Dylan Cuthbert here again with more info about PixelJunk Eden, which released July 31, 2008 on the PLAYSTATION Store. If you’ve played the game, you’ll no doubt notice that the music and visual style are crucial elements to the feel of Eden. If you haven’t yet played the game, we really hope that you’ll check it out.

We’ve received tons of great feedback about how much people really like the music. We love it, too. So, we’re happy to announce that the PixelJunk Eden Soundtrack will be available on the PS Store this Thursday, Oct. 2 for $2.99.

[audio:/files/2008/10/flat-frog.mp3]

We thought you’d like to learn a little bit more about the artist/musician behind the game’s unique style. I will let the game’s director “Tomi” (Tominaga Shouichi) and Baiyon, the multimedia artist with whom we collaborated, answer some questions that were rustled up by Deborah Mars and Matt Morton at Sony’s Santa Monica Studio.

Yes, I have been lumbered with the translations! Ok, here we go:

PixelJunk Eden creators

Let’s just get this one out of the way, since we know everyone has been asking: What was the inspiration behind the art and music for PixelJunk Eden?

    Tomi: Baiyon’s creations were the biggest inspirations. I wanted to bring across the “liveliness” of his live performances.

    Baiyon: My main interests are multimedia, and everything I have been touched by in the medium until now is reflected in the work I did for Eden. Artworks, Music, Videogames that I have played, memories, experience and my past self, and also RGB and CMYK.

How old were you when you attended your first concert, and who played?

    Tomi: It wasn’t a concert, but when I was about 18 I visited an audio-visual exhibit created by Brian Eno and it left a lasting impression on me.

If you could play Eden co-op with 2 other people, who would it be and why?

    Tomi: I’d like to play Eden co-op with children and adults who normally don’t play videogames. I want to see how they would play the game.

    Baiyon: I’d like to play Eden co-op with my past self.

If you could have any famous piece of art hanging in your home, what would it be and why?

    Tomi: The smallest Paul Klee illustration I can find perhaps. But I try to keep my house as neutral as possible so rather than place famous pieces of art, I try to live modestly.

    Baiyon: I have never really thought about it before because I have too much of my own art, music and works by friends of mine, and favorite records. If I was forced to choose though I would have Marcel Duchamp’s “The Large Glass” (joke).

What is your favorite garden in Eden and why?

    Tomi: Garden 10. The imagery and music along with the overall atmosphere of that stage feels very impressive.

    Baiyon: Garden 9. Because it has a deep feeling like a club dance floor. The background’s motion and colors, mixed with the sound is an especially feel-good combination.

Short answer: Top 5 songs in your playlist right now?

    Tomi: My top 5 albums are:

    • Bcd-2 / Basic Channel
    • Unusual Signals / Quantec
    • The Modern Sound of Harry Beckett / Harry Beckett
    • Asa Breed / Matthew Dear
    • GAME / Perfume (Japanese music)

    Baiyon: I really like:

    • Enfants (Chants) / Ricardo Villalobos / Sei Es Drum
    • Riddim Mood / Johnny D / Oslo
    • Diboneg / Fausto Messina / WIR
    • Albertino / Guido Schneider, Andre Galluzzi / Cadenza
    • the middle / Baiyion / D1 Recordings

    …Also, if you want something good to listen to at home I recommend: Colleen, Francoise Hardy, Stephan Mathieu, Rhythm&Sound. If you want to know more about my playlist, check out my web page.

Who were your biggest influences in art and music?

    Tomi: The media artist Katsuhiro Yamaguchi who was also one of my professors at University. He taught me that “Art is constantly new.” In other words, art can get old. If you want to create art you always have to search for something new.

    Baiyon: I have been influenced by too many people in both art and music to answer this properly. However, Shigesato Itoi taught me how to communicate via creating and selling my work, and also the beauty of drawing further even after you have finished the journey.

Will there be Eden merchandise available for sale and where can we get it?

    Tomi: The PixelJunk Eden Soundtrack will be on sale October 2 on the PSN Store, and we also recently released the soundtrack on CD in Japan. We are also planning to make Eden t-Shirts but there is no plan to sell them just yet. Perhaps we’ll give some away in a future Blog entry!

Who at Q-Games most closely resembles a little Grimp?

    Tomi: 1P “Phona” is a crazy adventurer, 2P “Pana” is a vigorous girl, and 3P “Okali” is a studious type. So perhaps Phona resembles Baiyon a little? (joke!)

How did this collaboration between Q-Games and Baiyon start?

    Tomi: I first met Baiyon at a party held by a common acquaintance [Dylan: friends at a local company called Eniac that made the Starfox Command homepage for Japan]. I found Baiyon to be a very interesting person and we started talking about how it might be interesting for him to take part in the PixelJunk series we were just beginning to think about back then. Eden was different than other games in the series because it didn’t start out with a solid idea for the actual gameplay.

I’d like to thank Tomi and Baiyon for taking the time out to answer these questions from Deb and Matt. If you want to find out more about Baiyon, visit http://wetside.jp (media design) and http://baiyon.com (music).

Enjoy Eden and the soundtrack!

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