Last Friday, Japanese game developer Hidetaka “SWERY” Suehiro announced on his blog that he would be taking temporary leave from game development in order to focus on recovering from reactive hypoglycemia. Though he has not announced when he plans to return, Suehiro mentioned that he will stay in constant touch with his fans on social media, and that he plans to return in full force to make games better than before once he has recovered.
Suehiro is one of the founding members of Japanese studio Access Games, which has produced, among other titles, the cult classic Deadly Premonition under Suehiro’s directorship. His recent project is the episodic, surreal, time-traveling detective noir video game D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die, whose first season was released on Xbox One last September and on the Steam Marketplace for PC earlier this June. D4 employs a method of storytelling Suehiro calls “sensory replication,” which combines tactile and psychological immersive technologies like motion controls and virtual reality to recreate senses for the player. Ultimately, sensory replication aims to enhance a player’s empathy toward the gestalt of a video game, from its plot to its characters and the worlds they inhabit.
Suehiro’s games are renowned for their bizarre set pieces, absurd dialogue, and convoluted plot structures. D4 takes all of these traits and amplifies them to the point of insanity, often confusing fans as to whether the game takes itself seriously or whether it winks at the player, letting them know that D4’s antics are all in the name of pure enjoyment.
Before his unexpected leave, Suehiro was apparently busy developing D4’s second season, a screenshot of which he had teased earlier this July. We won’t know whether the second season will be finished or not until Suehiro returns to developing games, but for now, you can follow him on his twitter and keep up with his daily life here.