And another BitSummit has come and gone in Kyoto. As with last year, I’m quite sad I couldn’t be there, and seeing so many of my friends (through social media) have a blast — during and after hours — was a pain. But I am happy to see that it looks like it’s been the biggest edition so far, and I am looking forward to catching up on what happened on the main stage through the Twitch archives (I think everything was streamed). Big ups to the gang for putting on what is one of the most exciting developments in indie gaming in Japan in recent years, and I’m sure we’re going to see them coming in strong again for the next edition. The photo above (tweeted by Jeremy Parish) is of the opening speech by James Mielke, the event’s founder and creative director.
I still don’t quite understand what “A 5th of BitSummit” means — other than the fact it’s the 5th edition of everyone’s favorite independent game festival — but I’m excited as always to see what is going to come out of this year’s edition (set for May 20-21 in Kyoto). They’ve just revealed the logo for 2017’s event, designed by James Mielke, Masaaki Enami (Editmode), and Masahiko Murakami (Vitei Backroom).
James is at it again with yet another great interview for Glixel with one of Japan’s top game creators, this time Vanillaware‘s George Kamitani. Reading it, I’m suddenly in the mood to play Dragon’s Crown and Muramasa on my Vita again.
I’m currently enjoying my time with The Last Guardian — I’m playing it slowly, about an hour every day — and so let me point you to another great interview by James Mielke for Glixel (he’s been racking them up of late), this time with the game’s director, Fumito Ueda.
Some very good news indeed, as we learn through Famitsu that a 5th edition of Japan’s premiere indie game event, the Kyoto-based BitSummit, is officially happening. Not only that, but instead of a sweaty July date, they’ve decided to move up the event a bit to May (it will be held on the 20th and 21st). So happy to see my buddies James Mielke (on one of the iPad screens) and Ben Judd in this photo, as I know they’re going to rock another awesome event. If you’d like to take part as an exhibitor, you’ll find the details on the official site.
James continues his cavalcade of interviews with notable Japanese game creators, this time with this long talk with Hironobu Sakaguchi (Final Fantasy et al.) for Glixel.
Even though I know he’s working hard on a new project that hasn’t been announced yet, it’s been great to see my buddy James Mielke get back to a bit of games writing (on Glixel and Polygon), and his latest piece is this feature interview with legendary game creator Tomonobu Itagaki (Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive) over at Polygon. It’s a super fun read, with Itagaki being his usual “straight” self, and it’s quite interesting to hear him talk about Devil’s Third, a game that you would think would be down and out, but isn’t.
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV isn’t a game, but rather a CG-animated movie that acts as an intro to the world that will be depicted in the upcoming Final Fantasy XV game. My buddy James Mielke just reviewed the film for Rolling Stone (as part of its Glixel initiative, which will culminate in a proper game coverage offshoot site sometime this fall), and as you’ll read, he didn’t much care for it.
So yeah, this happened to me on Tuesday (or take your pick).
In the past I’ve started the year with a post that looks optimistically at what the coming year may bring – last year I was already starting to set my sights on moving back to North America, which I of course did.
This year, well, 2016 has definitely kicked off with some big changes for me.
I should start by saying that the past year of work I’ve done as part of the Shinra Technologies team here in Montreal (as Production Coordinator) has been one of the most rewarding of my life. I was incredibly lucky to work with a team here in Montreal that was not only filled with some insanely talented people, but more importantly for me, it was a group of people that I truly enjoyed working with, every single one of them – and the same can be said for the interactions I had with our New York team (with an incredibly huge tip of the hat to my good friend, James Mielke, who helped me get my foot in the door, and then continued to support me throughout my year there).
We’ve been through a lot over the past year, and although it’s sad to see a project like this come to an end, one that was initiated back in 2010, I still feel proud and honoured to have been part of the history of this company, and to have been able to work under an industry luminary like Yoichi Wada.
I’m of course sad that we didn’t get to launch the service we were working hard on launching, to see how it would have fared in the marketplace, but that’s how it goes.
So what next? I’m of course currently looking for opportunities elsewhere, and so don’t be shy if anyone reading this might come across something they think could be interesting for me – or if you yourself like the cut of my jib and would like me to work with you – whether it’s in Montreal or elsewhere.
And yes, I’m on LinkedIn.