‘My drawings have been dark since I was a child’
Inch by inch, the fog surrounding the new horror game from Keiichiro Toyama’s Bokeh Game Studio continues to recede. In today’s behind-the-scenes developer interview with concept artist Miki Takahashi, the spotlight shifts to the game’s enemy design.
Having previously worked on the memorable Shibito and Yamibito designs in the Siren series, Takahashi is no stranger to this line of ghastly yet beautiful art.
“My drawings have been dark since I was a child,” Takahashi said in the latest “Focus” developer spotlight video. “This is simply the style that brings me peace, that I am comfortable with. This is why I feel lucky that I got to work on the Siren series.”
“After the Siren series ended, I wanted to get to work again on a Keiichiro Toyama game. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance. As time went by, I was starting to give up. This is when Toyama told me that he was founding Bokeh, which motivated me to join. He actually welcomed me in his team, so I felt that I had to join, which leads us to this day.”
In her artwork, Takahashi draws inspiration from the natural world by taking a “broad view” of living creatures, but not a “specific species”; “I look for a life force that we wouldn’t find in regular human beings, which I try to apply to the designs.”
For Bokeh Game Studio’s as-yet-publicly-unnamed first game, which is expected to release for PC in 2023 at the earliest, Takahashi is back in the “enemy design” headspace.
“The enemies have this part of them that used to be human. However, they’re not simply terrifying, strong, or disgusting. They have a part of sorrow linked to them, a more laughable part too. I find it good that people who see my work ultimately experience fear. However, there are also emotions of humor, beauty, or sadness, that I hope people can grasp as well. In my case, the way I express those ends up taking that darker tone.”
Apart from the finished personal pieces shown above (I adore that moth), Takahashi also shared some beastly and long-limbed creature sketches for Bokeh’s horror game.
As curious as I am to see the new game, I’m loving this more intimate, slow-burn approach to (re)introducing the staff at Bokeh to the world of horror game fans. With these videos, I feel like I’m getting into the right state of mind in a natural way rather than taking it all in with a Marketing Blitz. Slow and steady can absolutely work. I’m intrigued!
“Horror is an advanced, complex entertainment form,” said Takahashi.
“In life, we would normally try to avoid experiencing fear. However, I find the fact that we make the effort to experience it to be interesting.”
It’s true. Some of us can’t help ourselves. This month of all months.