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Video: Creating unforgettable characters the Deadly Premonition way Exclusive
[Note: To access chapter selection, click the fullscreen button or check out the video on the GDC Vault website]
October 24, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi

"If you can't remember any of the names of the characters, then you have a crappy game."
- Deadly Premonition director Hidetaka "SWERY" Sueherio lays down the law at his design talk at last year's GDC (free video above).

Deadly Premonition was a divisive game for sure, with major game sites rating the game between 20 and 100 on the Metacritic scale. On the surface, it was a zombie game with bad controls that, frankly, wasn't a whole lot of fun to play.

But underneath that B-game exterior was a rich world full of unique characters that wore gas masks in public, burned the dinner they invited you over for, harbored crushes on their supervisors, had unrealistic rockstar dreams, and spit on the ground as they filled your gas tank.

Perhaps the most interesting Deadly Premonition character of all was SWERY himself, a film school dropout who got into game design simply because he wanted to know what it was like to make his characters move on screen at will, working his way up from AI design on SNK's fighting games to the head of design at Access Games.

We went in-depth with SWERY, one of the most fascinating designers working in games today, in a rich interview spanning his life, his career, and his ultimate goal of making games that people are still playing in their heads, even after the controller is put down.

It's good reading for those of us who enjoy sitting by the proverbial campfire and dreaming of where storytelling in video games is ultimately going.

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