It's been awhile since I posted here. This is SkyeWelse / Clive Van Houten. I used to be an active member of this community many years back. : ) Today I wanted to showcase a kickstarter project that is a bit connected to the Suikoden series as well as many other fantastic game developers from the last 35 years.
John Szczepaniak, an editor from Hardcore Gaming 101, Retrogamer, and GamesTM, is going to be writing a new book that focuses on getting a great deal of new information and material from various Japanese developers working in the gaming industry for the last 35 years. His goal is to get as much new material that we never knew about in the most accurate way possible, hiring a professional team of interpreters and translators and going over there to meet and interview many of our favorite Japanese developers face-to-face.
I wanted to pass this along in case there would be any interest in backing this project here, and specifically I've asked to see if he would be able to possibly secure an Interview with Yoshitaka Murayama. He said that he's actively trying to contact Murayama-san because someone has requested a Suikoden chapter chapter for the book. He has sent 3 emails to his Blue Moon Studios address, (http://www.bm.ai/) but so far has not had any replies. It may be that this email is not active anymore so if anyone here may have been following Murayama-san's current progress or perhaps knows of other avenues in which he can possibly be contacted, that would be very helpful and thank you!
Anyhow, it's a very interesting project and a noble cause very related to my interests and I'm sure it is related to many of your own interests as well, but he's going to need support if he is to pull it off. I can vouch for this John's work and have been friends with him for a few years now. He's is extremely skilled at researching all kinds of details, so if this thing succeeds it's sure to be a hell of a read and he already has about 40+ developers on board that are interesting in being interviewed and putting him in contact with other game developers for the last 35 years.
The Untold Story of Japanese Game Developers
Here is some additional information that can be found at the Kickstarter page as well.
A book with more Japanese developer interviews than any other; a wealth of untold anecdotes from Japan's video game history in English.
"There have been many books on video games, alongside an ocean of interview material. There are, however, few which are in English and focus on Japan. Given the global impact of Japanese video games, and the country's rich history which is seldom documented in English, I feel this needs remedying. While there are plenty of books produced in Japan, seldom are they made available in English.
There are so many Japanese developers from over the decades who have fascinating stories, but they don't have the opportunity to communicate with English speaking audiences. Even sadder, renowned developers continue to pass away, preventing further discussion.
My proposal: enact a solution akin to an ocean-bound icebreaker. I'll fly to Japan in September, hire the best Japanese/English interpreters money can find, and then - using my extensive list of contacts - make stuff happen. Interview as many developers as possible in less than three months, with a focus on undocumented information and developers who have never been interviewed before. Transcribe the English interpretation, then edit, design and create the most extensive, most comprehensive, most ambitious book about video games ever envisioned. This epic tome will contain trivia and stories of Japanese video game history never documented anywhere else in English.
I've interviewed over 100 people in the last 9 years. The list of publications I've written for is extensive, my work extremely popular - one of my articles on The Escapist was Slashdotted. Those who frequently read Retro Gamer or Hardcore Gaming 101 will know my work, and the passion that goes into it. I also have the determination and - most importantly - the industry contacts.
This year marks the 30th Anniversary of Nintendo's Famicom and the MSX home computer - now is the time to create such a book. If you like the idea, please share it. We just need to get the word out there, and make history. The more backers, the bigger this project can be!
Let's make this happen - let's spread the word."
For a Digital Download pledge £12 or more. A printed copy of the book including international postage requires a pledge of just £25.
Limited edition printed copies, signature editions and DVDs containing photos, audio interview recordings and special video footage can be obtained for pledges ranging from £35 upwards.
Clive Van Houten