Storytelling Wisdom of NieR:Automata director Yoko Taro

Storytelling Wisdom of NieR:Automata director Yoko Taro

A game designer Isao Negishi from PlatinumGames published an article about a storytelling seminar designers at the company received from NieR:Automata director Yoko Taro.

A game designer Isao Negishi from PlatinumGames published an article about a storytelling seminar designers at the company received from NieR:Automata director Yoko Taro. Throughout the seminar Yoko-san discussed the essentials of storytelling through deep dives into specific examples. He shared an understanding of the principles that can be a creator’s asset for life.

The developer states that the seminar was mainly focused on three points:


To write a story is to design an emotional experience.
To do this effectively, you must start with an understanding of your own feelings. What is it that moves you? You have to identify and analyze the things that stir your own emotions. Then you can harvest those emotional elements and shape them into the parts of your story.


Each person is moved by different things.
When you write, you can’t assume that everything that tugs on your personal heartstrings will give the same emotional experience to everyone else. You have to keep all sorts of people, each with different sensibilities, in mind and present your themes from different angles to strike a chord with as many of them as you can.


Define the “emotional core” of your story: the feelings you want your audience to experience. As you flesh out your story, do so in a way that strengthens and accentuates this core. The emotional core is your absolute, top priority! Whenever you add something to your story, ask yourself how it reinforces the core.

This whole idea looks like a zen introduction to game development. A true visionary should collect emotions. While watching movies at home, Yoko-san takes notes about what he feels, at the moment he feels it. He takes time to collect thoughts and emotional experiences after spending some time with a game or film.

On top of that, the “emotional core” that YOKO-san describes at the center of a story is so similar to the role that a game’s “core concept” plays in game design that I’d venture to say they’re essentially two ways of describing one thing. At first I was surprised that there were so many points in common between these disciplines, but considering that YOKO-san has a great deal of experience as a game director himself, perhaps it only makes sense that his theory casts them in a similar light.

So really, YOKO-san’s seminar wasn’t just applicable to writing game stories. He offered a lot of meaningful advice for anyone involved in any creative work. We’re really grateful to him for sharing so much knowledge with us!

Isao Negishi

Make sure to read the full story here. You don’t want to miss that inspirational journey.  

Join discussion

Comments 0

    You might also like

    We need your consent

    We use cookies on this website to make your browsing experience better. By using the site you agree to our use of cookies.Learn more