During an interview at Reboot Develop today, Guerrilla Games co-founder Hermen Hulst talked a little bit about how the collaboration with Kojima Productions on Death Stranding came to be.
Death Stranding, of course, uses Guerrilla Games’ proprietary Decima engine. After leaving Konami, Hideo Kojima took a big trip to many development studios to study how they work, and see the tech being used to make games.
Kojima’s work has obviously only been on internally-developed engines, including the Fox engine created for Metal Gear Solid 5. The last stop on his trip was to The Netherlands, visiting Guerrilla Games.
It was initially intended to be a quick visit, but Hulst says they ended up spending a couple of days together.
“I was talking to Michiel v.d. Leeuw, our technical director, and said, ‘You know what, let’s just give Kojima Productions our source code on a stick and offer it to them,'” recounted Hulst.
“They just couldn’t believe that a studio like us would just hand that to them. They wondered why. The honest reason was just for them to make a game. The idea that we can enable a studio of that calibre to make a great game, and we can play a part of that,” he added.
In fact, prior to offering the engine, Guerrilla Games didn’t even have a name for the tech. Hulst and Kojima came up with the word Decima, which is the name of an artificial island in the bay of Nagasaki.
Fittingly, the Decima island (also called Dejima) was built in 1634 as a home for Portuguese traders; Japan’s way of limiting their influence on the country. The Dutch later moved to the island in 1641, making it Japan’s only trade port with the rest of the world.
Hulst also revealed that a team from Guerrilla Games engineers would go on missions to Tokyo to help Kojima Productions with engine support, sometimes embedded in teams at the Japanese studio.
Through this partnership, Guerrilla was able to improve the engine based on regular conversations the Dutch team has with Kojima Productions.