Life After Deadly Premonition: Interview With SWERY
With Deadly Premonition now available on Xbox Live Marketplace, we talk to the game’s director Hidetaka Suehiro, better known as SWERY, to find out how his cult game continues to draw in new fans, and what the most unusual game designer in the business is planning to do next.
Deadly Premonition is now on Xbox Live Marketplace, giving gamers another chance to buy and play the game. If they haven’t already, why would you say they should give it a chance?
While it has been a while since the European release date of the game, I still get a ton of messages and comments from fans to this day. This really makes me feel like Deadly Premonition is still well-loved by a lot of people. For those who haven’t yet played the game, it would be my honour for you to experience the uniqueness and character of this game. It’s like that perfect cup of coffee, with that unique fragrance you’ll never forget.
It’s well over a year since Deadly Premonition was first released. How do you feel about the game now, after the passage of time?
Even now I still get messages from fans about this game. Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of really nice fan letters from all over Europe, but particularly Germany and Sweden. For a studio as small as this, to have people so far away enjoy its game is truly something I am thankful for each day. I’m proud to have put my heart and soul into this game, to have never given up, and have had it enjoyed by so many.
How would you compare the way Japanese, European and American fans have reacted to he game? Have you noticed differences in the reviews?
While I want to say that there’s definitely a difference in the way people have reacted to this game, I’m not sure it’s something I could easily divide up by country or area. For instance, there are huge fans of the game in Japan, though in quite small numbers, but of course there are plenty of people who think of it as an absolute waste. These sorts of reactions probably aren’t that different in North America or Europe.
All in all, this is a game that really relies on the player becoming immersed in the game, to take it in as a true experience. I think whether players really take it in is the deciding point as to whether they’ll like the game or not. So, to me, it’s not really something that would be divvied up by political borders, but more along the lines of what each person values in a game. Maybe some countries have more of one type or another, but I think that’s just up to coincidence.
You recently announced on your blog that you’re preparing a new game. Can you give us some idea what sort of game that will be? Something similar to Deadly Premonition or totally different?
Actually, right now I’m working on a few different projects. Some of these are for people who might have wanted to play Deadly Premonition, but haven’t been able to yet. I’m also playing around with the idea of a prequel or sequel to Deadly Premonition, if I can nail down the story and connection just right. Then of course there are some new and original projects that have absolutely no connection to Deadly Premonition at all. As far as I’m able to tell you, whichever of these projects comes to light, I’m fully confident it’s going to surprise and entertain you just as much as Deadly Premonition did. I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am!
How do you actually go about finding a publisher for your games? What are the difficulties involved?
It’s really just a matter of coming up with an interesting idea, and at the same time finding a partner who really feels your vision. So, if you’re a publisher who has passion, loves developing new ideas, and will work hard together to the very end, then let’s talk! Of course there are plenty of business details that I’ve left out, but since I really feel it’s most important to hold onto my vision when making games, this is the way that I go about it. It’s a long and rough road, but that’s exactly what gives things meaning. Don’t you think so, Zach?
With the changing gaming landscape, which platforms do you prefer to develop for right now? Are PS Vita and Wii U appealing to you, or would you prefer to stick with 360/PS3?
Please, please, please don’t take this as an official stance, or something to mean that I wouldn’t work on any other platform, okay? Right now, the number one platform that gets me really excited is the Kinect, followed shortly by the iPad 2. It’s not necessarily because there’s a specific game or type that’s available on those platforms; it’s just that when I think of the platforms that most get my creative juices flowing, it’s those. If there’s ever a chance for me to put something out on these, I’d definitely love to, so please keep up your fantastic support!