Bokeh Game Studio, the new development studio founded by Silent Hill co-creator Keiichiro Toyama, is teasing its first-ever project through a nine-minute video log called Focus (via Gematsu). In this debut video, Toyama talked about his reason for forging his own path with Bokeh and making a really “dark” horror concept where regular people are driven into “irrational situations.”
Toyama is known for his work on the original 1999’s Silent Hill before joining Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Studio. There, he worked on another disturbing horror series, Siren. He eventually left SCEJ back in December last year. Two long-time partners of his, Kazunobu Sato (The Last Guardian) and Junya Okura (Gravity Rush), also joined the new studio as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer, respectively. In an interview with Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, Toyama confirmed that he and his team are already working on their debut: an original action-adventure game for multiple platforms that will take two or three years to finish. Watch the complete Focus video below or simply read on for the summary.
Opening the first episode of Focus, Toyama mentioned that he decided to leave SCEJ and founded Bokeh to make games in his own style rather than attempting to please the “widest audience possible.” He feels like his ideas for video games have odd concepts, and is confident that by going against the grain, his game will “leave a trace “amongst people who played it.
I aspire to make IPs that fans can enjoy even ten, twenty years after they’re released. As I want to keep achieving this under the right conditions, I thought that it was a necessity to have my own studio.”
Then the Silent Hill creator talked about his new game concept, which he claimed will be far darker than his recent works. However, even though he’s focusing on making a horror game, he still wants to keep it entertaining and exhilarating.
Regarding our first game, I have multiple directions for my works. The one I took is quite dark, far from my more recent titles. It’s like I’m coming back to my roots, for example towards horror. My ideas were starting to go that direction. This is where I’m taking my first title. However, rather than something deeply rooted into horror, I want to keep an entertainment note. While keeping elements from horror, I want the player to feel exhilarated when playing the game.
The view I have of horror is the everyday life being shaken. Rather than showing scary things, it should question our position, make us challenge the fact that we’re living peacefully. I like bringing this type of thoughts in my concepts. I would like that to be the theme of my next game.”
Toyama then admits that he gets influenced by popular entertainment as well. For example, the “death game” genre, something akin to Battle Royale, is currently a huge hit in Japan. He thought that the idea where normal people are forced to adapt to and trying to survive in an outlandish situation is pretty interesting.
I often read comics as a form of entertainment, recently you see a trend for “death game” type of content. These works tend to add entertainment to somewhat brutal worlds. I enjoy these works and often read them. I naturally took that approach. You have these regular people driven into irrational situations. They’re on the edge emotionally, while dealing with action or drama. This influenced me and I think it will show in my next game.
One trait of my games is the setting, what city or village do we evolve in, how did these people get there, what’s their emotional state. This is how I approach games. I’ve been inspired by locations this time as well and started with that. I’m roaming through maps, trying various methods to build up the setting.”
Considering their past work on Silent Hill and Siren, I think Toyama and his team might be able to contest Resident Evil again with their new game. Do you think the Silent Hill creator and his team will be able to do it and reinvent the horror genre? Tell me what you think by dropping your thoughts in the comments below.