Japanese Indies FTW !!

Hey All,

Hope you’re well. I came across this today and it struck a chord with the video gaming part of my being. I’ve always know that a lot of cool and strange games made in Japan never make it to the shores of the west. Not sure the exact reasons though the people have batted the idea around that issues such as:

Localisation, differing cultural norms, demand or even cost have something to do with it. Whatever the reasons its a shame to no have more access to these. I feel in this day and age, digital should serve as a path for people to explore something new. It’s already the case with many other forms of entertainment and goods so why not more with gaming?

Looking forward to seeing the whole documentary Jan 2016. The idea of more Japanese Indie titles making the way West is a lovely thought. With resurgence of retro themed gaming and more challenging titles, I feel that Japan probably has a wealth of talent that needs to be introduced to the rest of the world. Obviously sharing from East to West is the idea here but that’s not to say that it shouldn’t be a ever flowing stream that spans multiple places and channels around the world. Speaking as a gamer this means it’s an exciting thought but for those of you aren’t just imagine if more independent literature, movies, clothing, technology were to be shared more freely and willingly between nations. Idealistically thinking it would lead to something good I hope, enhance our everyday lives, help people grow their dreams etc. Please share if this picks your interest!!

http://branchingpaths.jp/

Gurgs

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Live,sleep,eat,breath Gaming

Hi, How are you ?

This week I have taken a step in another direction and want to talk about what it means to be a Games Designer/Developer. The idea for this post came from an article I read couple of weeks back titled: ‘To Play Or Not to Play’ for those who are curious hit the link to follow up the article (http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/6496/to_play_or_not_to_play.php?page=2 ) For those who would can’t be bothered to read it, it is essentially about the industry professionals and the view should you be a immersed serial gamer who knows there ‘Game’ inside out back to front. Or is it better to take a step back from gaming and the influences outside of your design studio ?

Confusion

Now I am in not position to deduce either way which is better however it did get me thinking about myself and the influences I subject myself to. Thinking from a common sense perspective if I want to be creating games, participating in there processes that lead up to a games creation I need some inspiration, understanding and feel for what is out there at the current moment, evening delving back into the past.

Currently if I am honest my inspirations if any would most likely come from : Manga, Anime , PS3, Nintendo Ds and art I follow on deviant art ! Putting it that way I don’t really have many channels of inspiration I wouldn’t say my horizons are quite broad as I need them to be. Besides that being said as of late I haven’t really immersed myself much into these channels. I hardly read manga as much as I used to weekly releases from Shonen Jump keep me occupied for a few minutes a week. As for the Anime My scope isn’t quite that diverse as there is so much to choose from. You can probably see where this is going….. I think the aspect of it all that is daunting is that I feel that I am some what out of the loop when it comes to gaming in the last three years. Let me give you an example. I can’t actually remember the last time I purchased a game after it had just made it’s way to store. Shocking as it sounds my reasoning being I have a whole pile of older games some of which have not been touched, that I need to finish (some of which are from previous gaming generations PS2….)

The cast of Shonen Jump Manga

You may be thinking well you might not have the time to spending hours on end playing games as the older you get the responsibilities to hand increase too which I won’t argue for the most part is true. At the same time I believe if you enjoy something enough you will make the time to do it regardless of external constraints. It boils down to me not showing enough love of the things I like to read, to watch, to play and to admire.

Bringing back to the main point of this post. Do I believe that I need to have gaming running through my veins in order to break into the industry ? In short hell yes, have I been doing myself any favours recently? Hardly… Enjoyment and passion are a given but looking at it from a career perspective knowing what you do, understanding the product and understanding the competition etc these aspects and many more are what I am going to have to always take into consideration when and if I make it into the industry. I need to be good at what I do, lets not forget I have to make a living off this too.

Referring back to the article I read before. There are pro’s and con’s associated to being a die hard gamer or casual sort. Though it is said that a balance within the teams or mix is better in it’s own right. Where I will fit into the future team. Who knows really. For the moment though I definitely need to broaden my mindset and really push to build better foundations within myself. I had an idea to help someone and that is to start using EverNote haven’t heard of it, well that’s what Google is for 😛 have a look at the youtube vid at the end of the post. My Phone first and foremost is to communicate but also it should be a tool used to capture and document all sorts for. Kinda like getting the ‘Smart’ out of smartphone. Best bit I can use the software to sync notes and such from my pc to phone and vice versa.

So in closing be honest with myself I have lost touch to some degree with the gaming world despite keeping up with the news and developments. I need to recapture my gaming spirit and design till the cows come home B-) . Till the next time t.c and have a good start to the new week.

Gurgs

The road ahead

Hi all sorry it’s been a long while since I started my blog, I would categorize this as the start of the wheels moving forward. Lately I’ve been thinking about what I want to put my efforts into, in the years to come and how could I class myself in terms of my title ? Would I think of myself as a Game Artist in the broadest sense, or would I be a programmer which to this day I feel I have very little aptitude in :s. This sort of question is good to keep in mind as I look forward to the years to come, being mindful that there are a multitude of titles I could have associated with my name.

Hideo Kojima

I guess the thing that has sparked off this curiosity is down to me becoming more acquainted with twitter (@gurgs_bhogal) The thing I love about twitter is being able to have pretty much upto date info on developments linked to my interests and with people who I know personally and people I am fan of. One person in particular who has caught my eye in the recent weeks is a chap called Hideo Kojima. The name probably won’t ring any bells if you aren’t into Gaming but if you have ever touched on a game called Metal Gear Solid and the infamous character Solid Snake, you have Mr.Kojima to thank for that.

Solid Snake

Currently Mr.Kojima is Japanese Games Director who used to be apart of Konami (Metal Gear solid, PES, Castlevania, Z.O.E) but currently heads up his own Games studio Kojima Productions. At his heart though I would say he was a games designer, that person who has the eureka moments and comes up with the brilliant idea’s and concepts and translates that to the production team.

Bringing it back to Twitter, I constantly see updates and tweets from Mr.Kojima ranging to snippets about his day at the office doing, scripting, designing and working on all sorts. It also worth mentioning his tweets on what he is eating, listening to and places he travels to :). All in all he is quite the vocal user of twitter. He could be seen as being a jack of all trades per say in the office. Obviously he is highly skilled in Conceptual thinking and design hence his position, which has taken years to reach, so it would be fair to say he has a wealth of experience.

It got me thinking could that be me sometimes down the line as a Games designer. On a personal level, career and passion aside, I would consider myself to be a moderate communicator in terms of verbal and written. I do love to talk about ideas and thoughts which are somewhat abstract at times, but when it boils down to it I can find it hard to translate my thoughts into cohesive words which make logical sense. When I write I find I can sometimes sound pretentious or even confused at what point I am getting at. (Those who know me well probably have first hand exp of this. Let me know what you think !?)

I know I need to try my hand at many different things and not limit myself to just one skill set i.e artist or designer etc… The industry is uber competitive partly due to its huge success but also due to these tough times of cutting back costs and lower wages, less studios, publishers and players in the industry are taking far fewer risks. I know in my heart I want to be part of this entertainment Juggernaut in time in some shape of form. I wouldn’t deem my personal success as how much money is going in the bank initially I would first want some fulfillment of personal goals, one of which is to see my name in the credits section of a commercial game. Small but significant, though the sky is the limit from there onwards

So many streams to follow

To sum it all up if that’s possibly :s I know direction I want to go in though there are a variety of paths that lead to the video game universe, some are intertwined where as some branch off from others. Hard work, determination, motivation (Going to need some help with that one) and

cutting out the procrastination are just some of the elements to blazing a trail. I am looking to blog very soon, I have a little project lined up for myself. It’s something I have always wanted to do 😉 !! Thanks for reading and coming back, be patient as I know my writing style isn’t the best however I need your input to improve. T.c p.s take a look at the youtube vids to find out more about Hideo Kojima and some of the works he has been involved in !!