This Is October

This is this, and that’s that.

A bit of an update on the various things I’m involved with, starting with the very happy announcement that was made a week ago that PressPause is coming back for a second season, starting on Thursday, November 6 (at 20:00). We – me and my fellow organizers, Daryl Cole and Ryan Ruel – wanted to take some time to reconfigure things, in order to produce something that would work better in light of what we experienced with season 1. I explain it more in detail in this post on the PressPause site, but in short, we want it to feel more inclusive to people who can’t really commit to spending a lot of time on producing an actual finished game, but who still want to get a taste of what it takes to make one. We’ll still have lessons – and homework for those who want to put into practice what they learned – but we’ll also have a speaker each time, and we have a nice ending in mind that we’ll talk about more next year.

So if you’re interested in the making of games, and more specifically using Unity as a tool to make that happen, then please join us. You’ll find updates on the PressPause site, and you can now follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to a newsletter.

As for PauseTalk, I apologize again for cancelling this month’s edition due to the typhoon. The typhoon business was actually all done fairly early in the day, and so there wouldn’t have been a problem, but I had to make the decision the day before, and didn’t want to take a chance – especially that we tend to get a lower turnout even when it’s just a rainy day. 

PauseTalk Vol. 82 will instead happen on Monday, November 10 – yes, it’s on the second Monday of the month instead of the first, to avoid clashing with the holiday and the end of Tokyo Designers Week. Hope to see a nice turnout then.

Although I’m not involved in producing PauseDraw, I’m really happy to see what’s happening with the series under the leadership of Luis Mendo, Adrian Hogan, and Eiko Nagase. After a summer hiatus, they were planning on restarting last week, which was also cancelled because of the typhoon, and so instead it’s happening today (Sunday, October 12). Follow them on Facebook or Twitter to stay updated on upcoming editions.

Lastly – but certainly not leastly – is our big Tokyo Designers Week edition of PechaKucha Night at the end of the month. As with the past couple of years, we’re having a big event under the dome on the TDW grounds, in a space that can hold up to 1000 attendees. I think we have a great lineup planned – with a possible surprise or two – and I’m especially happy that we got the creative director and lead dancer at the Robot Restaurant to present – should make for a fun presentation. It happens on Wednesday, October 29, and you’ll find the rest of the details here.

Oh, and I don’t mention it much here, but I do still write my monthly “On: Design” column for The Japan Times, which now gets published on the first Saturday of the month. The latest edition was published last week, and can be read online here.

So yeah, a big October (and start of November) with lots happening. Add to that much cooler weather and you have the makings of some nice times here in Tokyo.

Drawing for Life

Adrian Hogan breathes drawing.

Adrian is yet another person I’ve met through PauseTalk – yes, I tend to meet the most interesting people through my PauseTalk series, which is the main reason I started doing it all these years ago.

And he draws. A lot.

Adrian is a freelance illustrator based here in Tokyo, and as you’ll see from his online portfolio, he has a wonderful style that really is adaptable. But the most amazing thing is that Adrian is always drawing. And I mean always. He and Luis Mendo – the other obsessive drawer – are always sketching wherever they are, and following them on Instagram (Adrian/Luis) ensures constant updates on where they are and what they are seeing, by way of pen.

I’m quite happy that the both of them – along with AQ’s Eiko Nagase – run PauseDraw, a PauseTalk spinoff series where instead of talking you, ahem, draw. They’ve been doing it for well over a year now, and it’s really great to see how the event has grown. The regular sessions take place at AQ’s conference room in Nishi-Azabu, but they also have special editions in which they collaborate with Loftwork, that attract quite the crowd.

If you’re interested in taking part, you’ll always find new events listed on the series’ Facebook page (and you can follow them on Twitter). And it’s important to note that you don’t have to have any drawing ability to take part, it’s all about having fun with a pen or pencil and a piece of paper.

Thank you Adrian, Luis, and Eiko, for what you’ve accomplished with PauseDraw. It’s a joy for me to see something like this happen.