Goichi “Suda51” Suda and Hidetaka “Swery65” Suehiro have announced they will be teaming up to create a horror game, during a livestreamed brainstorming session.
During an IGN Japan stream, the developers discussed how the project came to be (with a translator summarizing every so often). The pair revealed they had been working together on a food-based PlayStation VR game, but it was cancelled. They also revealed they had been meeting together since 2018 to discuss ideas, however they would get drunk and forget what they talked about.
The livestream was seemingly planned to help solidify ideas, as the discussion of ideas happened around half an hour before the livestream, and during the stream itself. While many ideas were floated around, the plan seems to be a downloadable horror game that is “light and easy to play” for smartphones, Nintendo Switch of Google Stadia.
Suda proposed the game’s title before the Stream, suggesting Hotel Barcelona. While the game could take place in Barcelona, the pair also showed interest in locations such as Tokyo, South Africa or Venezuela. The game’s plot was eventually settled on a magazine writer visiting a new hotel, where horror ensues. However, the translator emphasized “Don’t take this for the final word on anything, please.”
Suda also cited inspiration from PlayStation 2 game Siren, where the game’s story is unveiled from the perspective of ten characters. Suda proposed the idea of each room in the hotel having differences, “each one which represents a different person, or a different dimension, or a different look at what happens in this period of time.”
Both developers also expressed they would like Siren‘s director Keiichiro Toyama to help them on the project- and due to how they like drinking with him. Both texted him to ask, and at the very end of the stream, Toyoma had texted back to say he would.
Swery explained how “timelines” were key to the project, so players could follow different timelines and piece them together. He also discussed his preferences in horror, prefering something akin to David Lynch films over “pure horror,” preferring “suspense, about uncertainty and nervousness.” Though he did state he also likes splatter horror, and that the game’s second half could become gory.
Discussion have already begun with publisher Devolver Digital, who Suda and Sweary stated gave them an estimated budget of ¥100 million (around $1 million).
Other ideas included the player being forced to control a purely evil character to do things they do not wish to do, characters being various visitors and employees of the hotel, and characters even being sourced from pictures sent in by fans. Suda also expressed in interest in making the game a side-scroller, so as to feel more like an indie game. During an event next week, Swery will come up with concepts for the game, and Suda the logo.
Suffice to say, it seems even development of this game will be as wild as the end result of the developer’s past projects.
We will keep you informed as we learn more.