....I couldn't resist that.
I grew up playing video games. All genres, really, but CRPGs held a special place because of their length and depth. Towards the tail end of the 1990s, that interest expanded to Japanese games as well, as game hackers and translators began to bring, courtesy of the nascent web, fan translations of games never released outside of Japan...and a few, improved, translations of games that were.
With that as a motivation, I tried my hand a making a few hacks and mods of my own. My rewrite of the story of Ninja Gaiden, where Ryu sought his lost kitten, was more an experiment than anything else, but it sparked my interested in working with engine-specific toolkits like SSI's Unlimited Adventures, Bioware's Aurora Toolkit, and Bethesda's TES Construction Kit to design epic projects that never really made it back to Ithaca.
Nowadays, the numerous resources out there to develop and distribute games further lower the barriers of entry to game creation. The increase in game development from indie devs and hobbyists at events like Comiket over the past five years stands as proof of that. As both a fan of games and researcher of them, I think this is a great time to play.
So, we come to the rationale for this project. I'm interested in documenting the types of games Japanese developers make, charting their contributions to the medium, and generally interested in hearing about the challenges they face developing games for international consumption.
The game designers I interview will range from semi-professional companies to students and hobbyists. The games they release will similarly vary in quality, from polished products intended for release to proof-of-concept experiments. I also intend to cover a wide range of games and genres, providing video reviews or gameplay prior to interviews so that readers can get a better idea of what types of things these developers are doing.
As these will be translations of interviews conducted in Japanese, as much as possible I will try to provide notes on my translations for those interested. In addition, I will provide links to online resources and explanations of concepts, events, and the like to aid readers who may be interested in exploring things further -- although I can't guarantee that these resources will always be in English.
In general, the interviews will be conducted online through email or other means. They will be briefly edited for formatting and grammar as well as length.