No. 51

The act of creating video games.

It’s a process of converting such feelings
as ‘interesting,’ ‘fun,’ and ‘cozy’ into
digital information and then recording
(programming) them.

When such digitally recorded feelings are
played back by players (users), a game emerges
itself as a game and a feeling emerges itself
as a feeling.

The job of a game designer is to digitalize
our feelings. Thus, you need to study about both
sensibility and digital technologies.
You also need to analyze your feelings so that
you can tell your feelings to other people.
What’s more, you also need to think about
how players will play the game.

This might sound difficult, but actually it’s
fun to create games.
More than anything, it’s a process where you
start from scratch and entertain other people.

See ya.

No. 50

Don’t you think material things are overwhelming?

This world is filled with them.

Why do people buy things?
Why are we so obsessed with them?

It’s strange.

Our appetite for possession is complex.
Some people might want to brag about it,
and others just like to own it.

You don’t feel much desire for possession
if it’s a refrigerator or a washing machine.
But when it attains some (in a broad sense)
individual character, you recognize a new value
and want to possess it.

The size and function of a product first attract us.
If its design is cool, we want it more.
It becomes even more attractive if it has some
sense of character (or should I say, a brand-image).

With a special something, a product becomes
more attractive and many people begin to
lust after it.
In other cases, by adding something extra to
an existing category of products, only a specific
group of people begin to feel like owning them.

Find something you had no particular interest in,
and ask yourself what something extra would make
it attractive for you?

When you ask yourself such a question,
you may come up with many new and fun ideas.


No. 49

There is a little trick I’ve been doing
with a digital camera or a cell phone.
Take 2 or 3 pictures of the same subject,
making it pose differently or from different
angles, and then by pushing the button to
display them in order, you come up with a
small animation.

I’m having a little fun like that, but…

When we think of video games, maybe because
we all are well familiar with how to make animation,
we tend to think of it like…
why not include a function to play the photos in
sequence in a matter of seconds.

But, if asked it’s a nice feature to put into a game,
it may well not be so.

Truth of the matter is, during this process
you discover the function yourself.
You might like the way how the button feels when you
press it, or enjoy showing your photos to others,
or feel some sense of pride.
And other people might imitate what you do and
it might become widespread…
I think we should not forget that this process itself
is fun and brings pleasure.

If we include this function in a game, it becomes
available to everyone in an instant, but this
means it can become ordinary (boring) in an instant too.

Things that are hidden beneath various elements.
By disassembling carefully, you can reach
the things that have been hidden away one by one.
Sometimes game designers need to make such efforts.

The power to bring out what’s been hidden.
I need to keep on brushing it up.

See ya.

No. 48

When I think about the old days, I can’t help
feeling how dramatically changing this world is.
It’s easy to see why people begin to say
‘It used to be this and that’ when you get old…

In the old days…
There were no convenience stores, no video rental
shops, no large supermarkets, no Starbucks…

No CDs, no MDs, of course no DVDs,
No air conditioners,
Televisions used the Cathode ray tube and were
black and white,
it was just recently that color TV was introduced.
No TV programs after 1 am…
(TV remotes weren’t as abundant in the home
as they are now…)
※「TV remotes」としておきましょう。

At game centers, we didn’t have such machines
as Print Club sticker machines or UFO catchers.
Without barcodes, the cashier at the register
had to punch in the price of every item…

The US was opposing Soviet Union in the Cold War,
and Germany was divided into East and West Germany…

You had to hand your railway ticket to a
station staff so that they could punch it…

How nostalgic…

And, while being nostalgic,
it also makes me want to think about what is
making a progress and in what way.

Things that have became obsolete, and things
that were newly created.
The speed of development for some is increasing,
and for others it isn’t.

There are things that have changed their central
element, or their thought, and there are those
that haven’t.

When I think about these questions,
‘Well, it used to be…’ becomes interesting.

Why not you too will think about ‘it used to be’?

See ya.