At this year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Yutaka "Yoot" Saito presented one of the event's popular classic postmortem sessions, speaking at length about his work creating Seaman, arguably one of the weirdest games of the past 20 years.
At the start of his talk, Saito explains that when given the choice between making an "improved version" of a dungeons and dragons style games, an adventure game with famous licensed characters, or a "rare beast" of a game unlike anything released before, he jumped at the chance to try the third option. "For a creator, it's better to choose the option that seems to fit the best, rather than the one you think is correct," he says. "Option three differs from one and two because putting it into practice requires inventiveness and courage."
If you have fond memories of the strange virtual pet game (which was one of the few Dreamcast games to take advantage of the system's microphone attachment) the hour-long session is a fascinating watch. Over the course of his presentation Saito explains many of the decisions made during the course of development, including the reason why the fish-like creatures ended up with human faces, how Leonard Nimoy was chosen as the narrator, and how the game design factored in the daily lives of players themselves. He also discusses why the game was so popular with female players, how it broke sales records and ended up being an iconic game for Sega's beloved Dreamcast.