Swery65, The Future, and Being More than Weird for Weirdness’ Sake
The Swery65 style cannot be ignored. From Spy Fiction to Deadly Premonition, Hidetaka Suehiro, better known as Swery65, has turned game development into an art form with quirky style and lovable weirdness. We recently had the chance to talk to Swery about his approach to game development, including on his latest title D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die, and what may be in store for the future.
Arcade Sushi: A lot of gamers have a certain definition of a "Swery65" game, citing Deadly Premonition as a great example. What is Swery65's definition of a "Swery65 game?"
Swery65: A game that no other game creator can create. It can't just be weird for weirdness' sake. It has to be a robust game experience.
When you're planning a new game, what's your first main goal? Do you want a strong story that gameplay will compliment, or do you focus on original gameplay first?
First, I focus on completing a game design that incorporates the player's play style. With Deadly, I imagined people playing it while talking to themselves, drinking coffee, or smoking. With D4, the act of controlling the game itself is incorporated into the design, so I imagined a play style where people would be laughing, sighing, or finding themselves talking to the game while playing it.
What challenges come from developing for the Kinect as opposed to a standard game? Have you enjoyed working with Kinect, and would you continue to work with it in the future?
The biggest problem was sharing my vision of Kinect with the development staff. People who don't think it's fun won't be able to create anything fun, so I spent time detailing the sensations I wanted people to experience, and the good characteristics of the device itself. There were some times when I almost got discouraged, but I always thought that it was really a job worth doing. Would I continue to work with it in the future? As far is D4 is concerned, YES!! I will always select what I feel is the best device for each separate title.
You've made it a point to say that the motion controls in D4 are minor, and that we won't be up and waving our arms around while playing. Did you always approach motion control that way, or did that type of control just fit into how D4 works?
D4 is a game we completed after creating many prototypes and lots of trial and error. After three years of this, we decided that for this game, it would be best to control it by using small movements.
What made you decide to choose the episodic format for D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die?
Because I want it to become a big franchise that continues for a while. Also, since it's a mystery, I wanted to make it proceed at a digestible pace. I didn't think it'd be a good idea if the secrets and identities of certain characters were uploaded on the day the game got released.
There's a time travel element present in the game that will help with our investigations. How does it work, and how does it fit into the overall story?
'Time traveling' is the game's system, and part of the story. They're deeply intertwined. The player uses David's ability to travel to and from the past and the present. I think the confusion and surprises that result from that will draw people deeper into the story. That's the kind of game D4 is.
You recently mentioned that a sequel to Deadly Premonition is in the works. What if anything can you tell us about it? If there's nothing to talk about yet, do you have a timetable on when you want to release the first information?
The idea is always in my mind, and it matures with each day. But I'm simply the developer of that game, and I don't own the rights. I don't have the development funds either, so there really isn't anything I can say.
This time, with D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die, I wanted to make the design of the play style clearer. If you have an Xbox One and Kinect, you have the chance to experience it. If you don't have it, then find a friend or someone in your family who does. A unique, lovable story and experience await you. Please give it a try.
I Love You All!!
The prologue and first two episodes of D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die are available now for free as part of Xbox Live's Games with Gold program.