The “gacha” mechanic — a staple of popular mobile games in Japan — is getting more attention in the West these days, in part because of the release of Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Heroes, and here’s another blog post on Gamasutra to help you wrap your head around how it all works.
I’ve recently been enjoying posts by Motoi Okamoto that take a look at the mobile gaming scene in Japan, offering up analysis on how these games are successful — he’s been sharing them on Gamasutra, but you can follow him directly through his blog as well. His latest post offers up a look at Fire Emblem Heroes. Okamoto spent many years working at Nintendo, and currently runs his own development studio, with a focus on social/mobile games.
There’s a fascinating short documentary streaming on NHK World right now covering the work of Japan’s Game Preservation Society. Called “Game Preservation – The Quest,” it goes through all aspects of their work, from collecting, restoring, and also sharing — and it also has great animated pixelated sequences between sections, produced by Daisuke “Pixel” Amaya (Cave Story, Kero Blaster). Part of NHK World’s Inside Lens series, it will only be available online until December 11, so watch it while you can (the web stream didn’t work for me, but I watched it through the NHK World app on Apple TV). Found via Gamasutra.