You should follow Hideki Kamiya on Twitter, even when he's not talking about Resident Evil 2. The Japanese developer and Platinum Games founder responsible for titles like Bayonetta, Devil May Cry, and Okami is a formidable presence in the social media sphere, tweeting at and with his followers using blunt force honesty and a no-nonsense attitude to harassment.
A quick scroll through Kamiya’s Twitter feed reveals him effortlessly one-upping his trolls with pithy one-liners and equally harsh put downs. He’s a notorious grump, then, but Kamiya’s fans wouldn’t have it any other way.
More than you paid for your school. RT @c0t432 How much is Nintendo paying you to be a jackass?August 5, 2012
But enjoying my life, not like you. RT @SageNovak: you're making games for a failed platform that no one has.June 6, 2013
To all idiots: If you want to insult me, achieve great success first so that I can at least remember your name after I block you. Good luck.January 14, 2015
But today was different. Inspired by the goodwill messages he’d received following the 20th anniversary of Resident Evil 2 over the weekend, Kamiya decided to tweet about his experience working on the game all those years ago, which was his first big break as a creative director.
Over a series of 20 tweets, Kamiya reveals that creating Capcom’s horror masterpiece was hardly smooth sailing; as he tells the story of starting over from scratch (after a botched project that eventually would go on to become Resident Evil 1.5), moving to a new studio in Canada, and being forced to put the game on two discs as the result of its “zapping system”.
It sounds like all the hallmarks of development hell, but Kamiya fondly looks back on the memories as “irreplaceable treasures” that helped to make him who he is today.
For the Resident Evil fans, Kamiya’s thread reveals some really interesting nuggets of behind-the-scenes info about RE2 that make the whole thing worth reading, including his working relationship with Shinji Mikami himself. I’ve put the whole thing down below, so do have a look for yourself.
Thanks for the messages celebrating RE2's 20th anniversary, everyone! (1/16)January 24, 2018
RE2 was the first game I got to direct, so it holds a special place in my memories. I was only 25 at the time and had very little experience, so I was so preoccupied with being a director I didn't really get to enjoy the job. (2/16)January 24, 2018
I also made many wrong decisions, and I'm sure you all know we even had to start from scratch at one point (the canned version later became known as Resident Evil 1.5). (3/16)January 24, 2018
Fortunately, Mikami and the scenario writer Noboru Sugimura, as well as many other staff members, came to my rescue, so we were able to wrap up the project safely before unleashing it on the world. (4/16)January 24, 2018
Sugimura was old enough to be my dad, and when he looked at RE 1.5 in the early stages of development, he was the one who advised me to start over, and he gave us all the courage to actually do so. (5/16)January 24, 2018
After that, he and I were pretty much cooped up in a meeting room for several weeks straight, yelling at each other from time to time (all the time?), and going out for drinks after work (and yelling some more) before finally wrapping up the script. (6/16)January 24, 2018
I had no sense or knowledge of script writing whatsoever, so I just used my youthful vigor to push through, and Sugimura was never afraid to come at me head-first, which was a huge help. (7/16)January 24, 2018
I learned a great many things from him, and I would go on to utilize his teachings when writing the scripts for DMC, Viewtiful Joe, and Okami as well. (8/16)January 24, 2018
Unfortunately, Sugimura passed away just as I was working on Okami. To this day, I still wonder what he would've told me if he'd had a chance to play that game. (9/16)January 24, 2018
I have so many memories about RE2... It also marked the first time at Capcom for recording English VO overseas, so we were figuring stuff out as we went along. It was my first time going abroad for work. (10/16)January 24, 2018
I vividly remember on the first day we arrived at the studio in Canada, our interpreter suddenly said "I've got a stomachache so I'm going back to the hotel," so I basically had to direct the voice recording session with gestures and broken English... (11/16)January 24, 2018
During the session, I added Claire's line "Chris, I have to find you" without getting Sugimura's approval, and since he was already writing the story for Code: Veronica, he yelled at me because he had to change the script just because of that line. (12/16)January 24, 2018
I think it was also the first time Capcom worked with an external CG production company, and I remember having many meetings with Mr. Sasaki from Imagica, creating the in-game cutscenes using motion capture technology, which was still pretty unusual at the time. (13/16)January 24, 2018
Because I was so young, I wasn't afraid to do anything, so I set some big goals for myself, recklessly introducing the "zapping system," which suddenly forced us to put the game on two discs instead of one in the final stage of development. (14/16)January 24, 2018
To escape from the stress of work, I started drinking brandy on the rocks every night, arriving at the office with a hangover the next day, and sleeping in an empty meeting room during lunch break. Ah, how young I was! (15/16)January 24, 2018
All of these memories are irreplaceable treasures to me. There is no greater honor for me than seeing how much all of you still love RE2 to this day. I'll keep working hard so I can bring you many more games of the same caliber! (16/16)January 24, 2018
With tweets like these, it’s easy to wonder if Kamiya will ever reveal more about what happened to his canned Xbox One project with Microsoft, Scalebound, though I’d imagine that battle scar is probably still too sore to be reopened right now. Or the NDA too legally binding.
The good news is that Scalebound’s cancellation has allowed Kamiya to begin work on Bayonetta 3 for the Nintendo Switch, and he’s just as happy confronting his doubters on Twitter about that project as he is about everything else.