Interview: The SWERY Files – Part Two

Following on from the first part of our chat with SWERY, as promised, here’s the final part. Whereas the first part of our interview was a simple Q&A, this part was done in person, so there will be a few translation issues. It’s interesting that it does appear that the Director’s Cut won’t be coming to 360 at present, and we’re keen to try this new version in 3D with PlayStation Move!

What aspects of the Director’s Cut take it above and beyond the original title?

There are three areas which we have improved on. The first area is the extra scenario, additional story to it; all the fans who played the original version, they can expect more scenario, more story: more from this new project, new game: the new fans who play this game for the first time can easily get into the world of Deadly Premonition.

The second area is that some major improvements has been made for this Director’s Cut. Such improvements include the graphics. Also there were negative reviews of the original version saying the control scheme was relatively difficult from time to time, and they have improved on those areas, so the game is easier for new players to get into, and graphically much improved.

The third and last area is the downloadable content has much a large difference in this Director’s Cut. For example, you are allowed to buy a villa in the city, you are allowed to purchase a car, and you are allowed to change your costume and buy new outfits. So downloadable content is much improved in this new version of the game.  So those, you can expect from this Director’s Cut.

What measures are taken to preserve your unique voice in the video game industry?

As a team, we [SWERY and Tomio] are always looking for some new areas to create games on, and they think that makes a difference in this fast-moving game industry.

Swery, in cartoon form

Are there any limitations or artistic conflicts inherent with working with a larger team?

We didn’t have any particular technical challenges for this game. The main mission for the team was to pass on the original feelings, original creativity, and original fun parts of the Deadly Premonition to new gamers, and we didn’t have any technical issues with that. They made this particular game in 3D and PS-Move compatible. That was a challenge, and we had to spend some time to make those things possible for this project. Not a 3D game itself, but you can wear glasses and enjoy this game.

Why do you suppose the game has garnered such a cult following and receivedsuch a divided public opinion?

We didn’t originally make this game addressed to the cult fans, but the one thing we kept trying is to make games that differentiate from others. We believe that policy and effort made this project quite accepted by cult fans. We just kept doing things we really wanted, and that happened to be quite different from other games in the industry.

Can we expect an Xbox version of the director’s cut?

We thought about it but finally decided not to destroy the current 360 market, because the 360 version is currently selling well with the different price, so we decided to go only with the PS3 platform.

What if there was sufficient enthusiasm?

If we receive so much demand from the 360 fans, of course we would have that to consider. So that depends on what they want, really. We have to feel the need. But at the same time, instead of spending time to make the director’s cut compatible for 360, we would rather spend the time to make something new.

Rural environments, like the ones in Deadly Premonition, seem to be a popular ingredient in thrillers. Do you believe a small town evironment makes for a more compelling horror title?

We want to make the game set in a small community, in a small city. We believed that created this particular feeling that you can have from this particular game.

This is just one of the images you’ll be met with, in Deadly Premonition

Deadly Premonition alludes to a lot of real world pop culture. Why was it important to implement the references in this title? Why do you think it’s such a rarity to see similar dialogue in other video games? Are there localization issues in regards to the relevence of the references?

I believes that many game creators want to use the real world pop culture in their games but it is normally denied by the producers. If the game has real life pop culture with certain 80s and 90s products, it will set the game’s age too much, if you know what I mean. If the game has, for example, 80′s pop culture, that makes it seem too 80s. If you include the new things, new pop culture, the following year, the game sounds too old then. So I thinks that many game creators want to use pop culture happening in the real world, but are mostly denied by the producers. But in Tomio’s case, he agreed to use pop culture in Deadly Premonition to make things seem quite realistic, and the team thinks that really worked well. Since we selected pop culture in this game quite carefully, we don’t think there will be any issues for localization.

Do you feel that this game has defined your career?

I feel very honoured to work on this project but at the same timeI has lots of willingness to work on something completely new.

What sort of design philosophy can we expect to continue seeing ?

Whatever I makes, the franchise will be games which allow players to have some new experience in the world. Something that a player feels that they have a completely new experience, for example you travel to some other countries, or you passed a very tough exam, creating that in my games will be a new experience for  you. So if I had the opportunity to try something completely new in the future, I would like to make that kind of experience.

Have you ever been approached to work on someone else’s project?

[Laughs] I wish!

So would you enjoy to work on any pre-established games or do you prefer to create your own games?

I’m not particularly good at working on a project that anybody else has worked on before. I want to work on my own projects.

What are your feelings on games that get a yearly release and still receive such high critical regard, despite showing very little innovation, whereas smaller, more original titles largely go unnoticed.

People who don’t play the game until the end still make comments, and I doesn’t like that. That’s something we all have to deal with, because there is that sort of person out there.

Read the first part of The SWERY Files here.


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