GDC Next 10: SWERY on the new Kinect and D4‘s inspiration

“I think my own life, the people around me, and my relationships with them have an influence on my creative process. “

In advance of GDC Next, which runs in Los Angeles next week, GDC director of online community Patrick Miller talked to D4 creator Hidetaka “SWERY” Suehiro about working with the new Kinect, and the creative influences behind his work.
Suehiro will be speaking about D4 in his GDC Next 10 talk in LA on Wednesday, Nov. 6th titled ” D4: Dawn of the Dreaming Director’s Drama”.

Patrick Miller: What was it like working with the new Kinect? Was there a significant gap between the kind of gestures you wanted to design, and what the new Kinect could handle?
Hidetaka “SWERY” Suehiro: The new Kinect worked very well in replicating “realistic senses and feelings”, one of the core concepts of D4. It works more precise and responsive, and it allows you to play in a more relaxed state. And regarding your question about gestures… Gestures? D4 isn’t a game that revolves around the use of gestures, but rather is a game with a new, simpler design. If I had to summarize it in one word, I might call it “symbolization.” I plan on talking about this in more detail at GDC Next along with an actual demo.
PM: Were there any motions or poses you saw in other games (or movies, TV shows, etc.) that inspired parts of D4?
HS: D4 was not designed mainly around gestures. [Laughs] The main character David Young does, however, have a signature pose. Just as York would touch two fingers to his forehead in Deadly Premonition, Young will make this pose at crucial points in the game as well. I’d be delighted to see players imitate this gesture.
PM: From Deadly Premonition and early impressions of D4, you’ve developed a reputation for making “weird” games. What inspires your design direction? What games, books, movies, etc. have changed the way you make games?
HS: Thanks, I’ll take that as a compliment. (It is a compliment, isn’t it?) I think my own life, the people around me and my relationships with them have an influence on my creative process. Of course all sorts of creative works stimulate the process as well, but they’re not nearly as influential as actual interpersonal relationships (be they good ones, bad ones, happy ones or sad ones).
Things like the conversations with the staff members I’m around every day, people watching around town or interacting with everyone on Twitter or Facebook. Not to mention actually travelling around various countries. I think you could say that all of these things are influences.
PM: If you could ask anyone in the world to make a game using motion controls, who would it be?
HS: It would be myself. Because I still want to make many more games. I hope you’re all looking forward to D4 being completed. That’s all, I love you all!
Onsite registration for GDC Next and the co-located ADC begins November 5th, with pricing information now available. For all the latest news on GDC Next, subscribe for updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.
For more on the GDC Next 10 session series, read the GDC Next 10 listings, and previous interviews with Daniel Benmergui, Greg Johnson (HumaNature Studios), Soren Hannibal (Microsoft Studios), Nathan Vella (Capy Games), and David Nottingham (Dynamighty).