Suda51 and Swery65 Are Teaming Up to Create a New Horror Game
When it comes to more niche, off-the-wall games from Japanese developers, you'll most often hear the talk surrounding both Goichi "Suda51" Suda and Hidetaka "Swery65" Suehiro. While both have maintained separate paths in the industry, working at different companies and making their own titles, they also share a surprising amount of similarities and influences. This shows in just about all of their games, which break standard storytelling and gameplay conventions in favor of concepts that are a little more daring and out there. It seems only fitting, then, that the two should team up to make something special. As it turns out, that's exactly what's happening. Announced during a 2 and a half hour-long livestream on IGN Japan, the two creators revealed their plans to create a horror game together. In true form, they spent most of the stream coming up with a lot of the ideas on the spot.
You see, it didn't take long for Suda and Swery to realize that they wanted to create a game together. Way back when, the two tossed around the idea of a PlayStation VR game about food; this game has since been cancelled. Fortunately, that didn't stop the two from brainstorming up new ideas. The duo would frequently meet up for drinks and discussions, oftentimes getting so drunk that they would forget the very concepts they discussed. The livestream served as a way for them to solidify their ideas more. For now, this horror game is at the VERY early stages; ideas are shifting around, Suda's recruiting various people, and a publisher is still being chosen. Even so, there are some big takeaways from the stream. First and foremost, the game is going by the working title of "Hotel Barcelona". This is because the two would like to visit the city itself for research on the setting, though Suda mentioned it could take place in a different city.
Hotel Barcelona will, naturally, take place in a hotel, following a magazine writer who visits it before veering off wildly into other perspectives, each one representing different rooms of the hotel. Along this line of thinking, Suda and Swery also tossed around the idea of a villainous player character, one that would provide a unique perspective rather than playing as someone heroic or innocent. This idea of different perspectives was inspired by the PS2's very own Siren, a game that inspired Suda. Since Suda prefers "splatter horror", and Swery is keen on David Lynch-esque suspense, the two plan to combine these types of thrills into a unique horror blend. They're even getting the help of Siren's director: Keiichiro Toyama. In an amusing turn of events, Suda texted Toyama later in the stream to ask if they'd get his help on the project; Toyama responded with a yes. Overall, the game will be designed with an indie budget. The current plan is to have Devolver Digital publish the game, with the publisher already offering them a 100 million yen budget (one million USD). Considering Suda's recent collaborations with them, especially in regards to Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, this partnership makes sense.
While Hotel Barcelona is far too early in the conceptual stages to be given a release window, Suda and Swery both agreed that they want to make it something "light and easy to play", suggesting mobile platforms such as the Switch, Stadia, or phones/tablets. Swery also mentioned wanting to make the game a side-scroller, in order to give it a more indie feel. Considering Swery's most recent game, The Missing, was also a horror-inspired indie side-scroller, this sounds right up his alley. The two creators have had a lot of experience in the horror genre, with many of their games brushing through it in one way or another. According to them, an event will take place in Japan next week where Suda will create the game's logo while Swery comes up with concepts and ideas. There will likely be more details on Hotel Barcelona by that point, so stay tuned for more. You can check out the full livestream down below, but keep in mind that it's all in Japanese. With these two creative forces driving an indie horror game, Hotel Barcelona is likely going to be one very weird, very special title.