Stefanie Joosten är kanske mest känd som den tysta krypskytten Quiet i Hideo Kojimas Metal Gear Solid 5. Vad många inte vet är att hon även sysslar med fler saker än att bara vara motion capture-skådis. Hon är bland annat spelproducent och i nuläget producerar Joosten hela tre spelprojekt. FZ har som första svenska spelsite fått chansen att göra en intervju med henne och Johan Lorentzon är den som fått Ms. Joosten att bryta tystnaden.

You have been working for a while now in the gaming industry. What is the difference you see in the western ways and the Japanese ways of approaching games?

With Japanese games, I feel that there is more room for playfulness

Japanese games practically shaped my childhood, so my opinion might be a little biased. To me, when I look at it in a generalizing way, I feel that western games tend to focus on realism. With Japanese games, I feel that there is more room for playfulness. ]This has always drawn me towards Japanese games, they give you more of an escape from reality. I also love how Japanese developers often add in a lot of humor, while they still approach the creative process with a very serious dedication.

After your work with MGS5 you kind of disappeared for awhile and now you show up with two games. Not only in front of the camera and behind the mic, you also have producer roles. What made you decide to go deeper into the industry?

A lot of the projects I work on are long-term commitments. Most of them involve non-disclosure contracts, so I have been keeping quiet for years about them. Naturally, I’m incredibly excited to finally share some of these projects with the public. Ever since I started working as a motion capture and voice-over actress, I grew more and more fascinated with the behind-the-scenes aspects of game development. I am very serious about my commitment to the projects I work on, and I think the people I’ve worked with have sensed that as well. So when the opportunity came up, becoming more creatively involved felt like a very logical step to me.

Lets talk more about your games, Soulstice and Wanted: Dead. Tell the readers on FZ why they should pick up these games on release day. What are your favourite features in the games?

Soulstice is a game that pays homage to Japanese manga and anime series like Berserk and Claymore, and I think fans of dark fantasy will feel right at home in the game’s setting. My favorite part about the game is that you get to play as two characters; sisters Briar and Lute. The story is incredibly emotional and captivating, as you find out more about the sister's past as the story progresses.

Wanted: Dead has a very different setting, taking place in a futuristic and dystopian world. In a way, the game is a love letter to Japanese games from the PS2 and Xbox era. The action is solid and fast-paced, there’s fun to be had with wacky mini-games, and the game has a very lovable and diverse cast of characters that you follow along the ride.

Wanted: Dead has a brilliant marketing to introduce the character Vivienne with the cooking show. As the lead cutscene director, did you have anything to do with this idea? If not, whose idea was it to make a whole cooking show with you actually cooking and all?

The idea for the cooking show came up as I was discussing the character backstories with Wanted: Dead’s writer Sergei Kolobashkin. Vivienne as a character, is a little bit of everything. She is socially awkward, a cat lover, but also an incredibly talented marksman and engineer. She tried many things in her life and career, and the cooking show videos are a look into her past. Actually, a lot of scenes and story beats in Wanted: Dead revolve around eating, so adding a cooking show into the mix felt just right!

In my opinion voice actors get a little bit of the short end of the stick compared to normal acting. Just acting with your voice is not an easy task. You do two voices in Soulstice. How hard is it to switch between voices and roles like that?

In my approach, I commit to and prepare myself for each character I get to portray individually. Even when I’m playing two characters in the same game, it’s more than just coming up with two different voices. For Briar and Lute in Soulstice, I studied the background and emotional journey they each went through individually, and found that they have very different interpretations of events that shaped them. As long as I feel one with the character, the difference in voice and tone will come quite naturally.

What is the most important things you learned from work with Hideo Kojima, MGS5 and you playing the character Quiet. What did you bring with you into your new projects?

I think I actually carry all the experiences I had while working on MGS5 with me throughout my career since then, so it’s too hard to mention something specific. It was my first time working on a video game, which of course left a deep impression on me. Getting to work on a project of such a large scale was immensely valuable and gave me a lot of insight into the motion-capture process, and the process of game development in general.

Foto: Otto van den Toorn

You are kind of a renaissance woman. You act, voice act, sing, do modelling and mo-cap. Is there anything you haven’t done yet that you would like to do? Or maybe something out of the stuff you done that you like to do even more?

Indeed, the work I have done so far has been very diverse, and I’m incredibly grateful to have such diverse opportunities. Being able to act, wether it’s in the form of voice-over, motion capture or on-screen is already a dream job to me. If I could wish for anything, it’s to expand even further on the variety and types of characters I get to portray. Singing is also a major passion for me, and you’ll definitely hear me singing a lot more in the future.

If I could wish for anything, it’s to expand even further on the variety and types of characters I get to portray

Do you have any persons that inspire you whether it is from the gaming industry, acting or any other professions?

To be honest, I’m currently most inspired by the development teams at Reply Game Studios in Italy, and Soleil Games in Japan, who I’ve been working with closely in the past few years. Taking a video game from concept to production, and then to completion, is a journey that takes years of patience, determination, and continuous effort. I don’t think most people realize what an accomplishment it really is, especially for newer studios. Seeing this kind of dedication inspires me to keep pushing forward as well.

You work on Soulstice and Wanted: Dead (obviously). But there was a third game mentioned for a few years ago. Vengence is Mine, are there any updates there you can talk about?

Vengeance is Mine is currently in pre-production, and I’m indeed involved as both a creative director and cast member. There will be an update somewhere in the near future once we’re ready to tell you more.

I did an interview with Nilla Hansson who does the stunt-mo-cap for Aloy in the Horizon-games. Do you do any stunt work or action work yourself, or do you leave that to actors like Nilla who are used to falling down stairs?

A lot of actors, including myself, are pretty welcoming to the idea of doing some stunt work. But in reality, on film sets and during mo-cap sessions, there are actually rules and laws that restrict actors from performing their own stunts. This mostly has to do with lowering risks of people getting injured as much a possible. Stunt performers like Nilla Hansson are just more qualified at doing this work. They’re experts at what they do, and their performances make the action sequences look that much more awesome!

Representing a gaming site it would be a crime to not ask about your gaming hobby. I know you have done some streaming before. But what is your favourite game right now and what is your all time favourite game?

My all time favorite game is Final Fantasy VII.

My all time favorite game is Final Fantasy VII. Unfortunately, I find myself having less time to play games recently. But to be honest, I’m mostly looking forward to playing Soulstice and Wanted: Dead, and I’ll make sure to squeeze some playtime into my schedule for them.

As a last question, do you have anything you want to say to your Swedish fans before I let you go?

It was a pleasure to have my first interview with a Swedish platform. I have never visited Sweden, but would love to go some day. Maybe I’ll try the infamous surströmming someday if I’m feeling courageous. Thank you for the interview, and please look forward to the release of Soulstice on September 20, as well as Wanted: Dead on February 14!

Med detta tackar vi Ms. Joosten för intervjun och hoppas att hon i framtiden kan besöka Sverige så FZ kan bjuda henne på surströmming.