Takashi Oda (小田 隆志, Oda Takashi) is a Japanese video game director, planner, and producer. He is the current planning manager for Sega AM1 and the director of the House of the Dead video game series.
Childhood and employment at Sega
Takashi Oda was born in Fukuoka, Japan in 1967. An avid arcade player, he initially went to college for architecture and interior design.
In 1992, Oda joined Sega to follow a friend who had been hired a year earlier. His first project was Astronomicon, a fortune-telling attraction for the Sega Joypolis theme park. Under arcade development division Sega AM1, he served as a planner for Puzzle & Action: Treasure Hunt and Motor Raid.
The House of the Dead series
In December 1995, Oda directed AM1's first light gun project. The team chose a zombie theme; Oda said that they "[knew] they didn't want children playing this game". He wanted an atmosphere inspired by the film Seven and the manga Black Jack, and wanted to subvert zombie tropes with the game's scientifically-made creatures.
The game, titled The House of the Dead, was released in 1996 to success. Oda directed its sequels The House of the Dead 2 in 1998, The House of the Dead III in 2002, and The House of the Dead 4 in 2005. He also worked on The House of the Dead 4 Special, a ride that expands on 4's story.
Oda was involved in plans for a fifth House of the Dead game in 2012, which was scrapped. Rather than revisit the project, he decided to focus on future games. He later directed a new fifth game, House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn, which was released in 2018.
Oda said that he would like to make three more House of the Dead games, and possibly a first-person shooter if there is enough demand.
Oda is not directly involved with the production of House of the Dead spin-off games. However, he lets their developers create their own stories. Oda was credited as a "creative supervisor" for The House of the Dead: Overkill, making story suggestions and sharing some "rules" of The House of the Dead series with developer Headstrong Games.
Oda believes that The House of the Dead series should be approachable to all players. He has also maintained that the difficulty be balanced, so players can improve through practice to earn high scores and "no continue" playthroughs.
When devising a game's story, rather than keeping notes, Oda keeps its skeletal framework in his head.
- "セガ第一研究開発本部 〜 セガの考えるゲームプランナーとは？ R&D1運営室 企画統括マネージャー 小田隆志氏の場合 [SEGA First Research and Development Headquarters-What is SEGA's idea of a game planner? In the case of Takashi Oda, Planning Manager, R&D1 Administration Office] (Japanese). Career Laboratory (April 16, 2014). Archived from the original on April 11, 2020. Retrieved on September 7, 2020.
- "代表作：『ザ・ハウス・オブ・ザ・デッド』シリーズ ディレクター" (Japanese) pp. 1-2. SEGA Interactive Inc.. Archived from the original on October 10th, 2019.
- Kori (September 7, 2012). "Website of the Dead’s Exclusive Interview with Takashi Oda". The Website of the Dead. Archived from the original on April 19, 2020.
- "Interview: The House of the Dead", Sega Saturn Magazine, issue 23, September 1997, page 58.
- "The House of the Dead-1997 Developer Interview". shmupulations.com. “"Oda: "I did that because our target audience was adults and up. From the start of the project we knew we didn’t want children playing this game."”
- "ゾンビがいっぱい『HOD4』" (Japanese). Sega Voice. Archived from the original on March 20, 2020.