Sumioni grabbed headlines after its Tokyo Game Show premiere due in part to its unique and eye catching art style. The PlayStation Vita game brings Japanese sumi-e brushwork to life in a 2D platformer. How did Acquire, the studio behind Akiba’s Trip and Shinobido: Tales of the Ninja, come up with the concept?
"We were kicking around a bunch of ideas for another unique art style that we could do and we wanted to do something that we thought would be difficult for Western developers to do," said Richie Casper, Creative Director, in an interview with Siliconera. "We wanted to do something that would be unique to a Japanese studio and thought what about sumi-e brush?"
"We did some concepts and said this looks pretty freaking cool," Casper continued. "We started putting the game idea together, roughly, and started working from there. We thought the Vita has touch capabilities and how can we utilize this for brushes. That’s where the game idea started." Players can use the touch screen to draw platforms, summon creatures and harness elements. If you missed it check out a trailer for the PlayStation Vita title here.
Since Sumioni has only been announced for Japan, I asked Acquire if they think we’ll see the game released in North America or Europe.
"I would say the chances are better than average of that," Casper answered. While Acquire does not have a North American branch, many of their quirky games make it overseas. The Badman series, Gladiator Begins, Clan of Champions (aka Gladiator Vs. in Japan), and most of the Way of the Samurai titles were published in North America. We’re still waiting on Way of the Samurai 4, though.
Sumioni is slated for release next year on PlayStation Vita.