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"Anybody here going to GDC?" , posted Tue 31 Jan 01:29post reply

Hey there Cafe patrons! I wanted to do my annual check-in with you all to see if anyone is planning on going to GDC in San Francisco, which is coming up at the end of February. I know there are quite a few folks here who are game-industry-connected (or adjacent) so it never hurts to ask. I'll be there showing the early prototype of a game that may possibly be Cafe-relevant.

Anyway, let me know here if you'll be around and maybe we can meet up! Two years ago now there was a Great Cafe Meetup at GDC with me, Nobi, Spoon, and Maese where much booze was consumed and much interesting lore was discussed!





You have to carefully reproduce the world of "Castlevania" in the solemn atmosphere.

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"Re(1):Anybody here going to GDC?" , posted Fri 3 Feb 00:07post reply

quote:
Hey there Cafe patrons! I wanted to do my annual check-in with you all to see if anyone is planning on going to GDC in San Francisco, which is coming up at the end of February. I know there are quite a few folks here who are game-industry-connected (or adjacent) so it never hurts to ask. I'll be there showing the early prototype of a game that may possibly be Cafe-relevant.

Anyway, let me know here if you'll be around and maybe we can meet up! Two years ago now there was a Great Cafe Meetup at GDC with me, Nobi, Spoon, and Maese where much booze was consumed and much interesting lore was discussed!



GDC has always interested me but unfortunately I'm not a dev! Always happy to help out here and there though.







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"Re(2):Anybody here going to GDC?" , posted Fri 3 Feb 01:28post reply

quote:

GDC has always interested me but unfortunately I'm not a dev! Always happy to help out here and there though.



I don't think you have to be a developer to attend, Professor, since all kinds of industry-adjacent folks like journalists and recruiters attend every year! You could always register as a journalist since you represent one of the oldest still-operating game news sites out there! You could even submit a talk for next year's conference since I know that you have a ton of insight to share with the gamedev community in general. There are talks every year that I know you'd be interested in-- two years ago Spoon and I saw the Yu Suzuki Classic Game Postmortem about Shenmue, and this year Yutaka Saito will be giving a talk about Seaman! I think you'd really have a blast! You should consider it sometime!





You have to carefully reproduce the world of "Castlevania" in the solemn atmosphere.


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"Re(3):Anybody here going to GDC?" , posted Sat 4 Feb 11:50:post reply

quote:

You could always register as a journalist since you represent one of the oldest still-operating game news sites out there! You could even submit a talk for next year's conference since I know that you have a ton of insight to share with the gamedev community in general.



Honestly, Professor, our look for doujin games in Akiba and your explanation of what happened to the whole scene was one of the saddest and most informative things I have had about a gaming scene in awhile. Due to the proliferation of the western indie game scene in Steam and PC, I don't think those circumstances will befall us in the West, but the notion that an entire Dev scene could come and go in the internet age in spite of having created multiple seminal properties is remarkable and noteworthy.





[this message was edited by Spoon on Sat 4 Feb 13:39]

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"Re(4):Anybody here going to GDC?" , posted Sat 4 Feb 14:17:post reply

quote:

You could always register as a journalist since you represent one of the oldest still-operating game news sites out there! You could even submit a talk for next year's conference since I know that you have a ton of insight to share with the gamedev community in general.


Honestly, Professor, our look for doujin games in Akiba and your explanation of what happened to the whole scene was one of the saddest and most informative things I have had about a gaming scene in awhile. Due to the proliferation of the western indie game scene in Steam and PC, I don't think those circumstances will befall us in the West, but the notion that an entire Dev scene could come and go in the internet age in spite of having created multiple seminal properties is remarkable and noteworthy.



Yeah it's a tad sad about what's happened with the doujin game scene... but I hope you enjoyed your trip in Japan!

That does remind me of one thing I forgot to mention-- I don't think there's even a next generation of doujin game developers to begin with. Those left in the scene seem to be mostly old folks and the newer gen of programmers simply go right to the app stores.



I took a quick look back at the history of the doujin market and it went like this (at least from my own perspective)--

1990s- The years when the internet wasn't around and later went into its infancy. There used to be doujin-soft only events called the Pasoket (Pasocon Market). People still used floppies and everything looked home-made.

2000s- The years between narrowband and broadband. Pasokets disappeared but we started to see the rise of big-name doujin dev teams. Things were in CDs during the narrowband years and later DVDs during the broadband era. The bigger circles released them in commercial-standard packaging. The doujin soft market inflated in the early to mid 2000s and Akiba had tons of shops dedicated to them.

2010s- The rise of the smartphone killed pretty much all need for people to buy a new PC and by the time we reached the year 2011 most of the doujnin soft shops in Akiba were gone. If people wanted a bigger screen they'd go for tablets instead of laptops; less heavy, longer battery life, no internal drive, no market for physical discs.

I think the doujin game market started seeing its slow death somewhere around 2008-2010. That's back when Bing Bang Beat was about the only fresh new fighting game title, and novel games died off after the Umineko series concluded. PC game makers also started disappearing by then-- Aquaplus is a prime example as they made their smart move into the console market.

The year 2014--which was when this game came out, was probably the last year that doujin shops still had something akin to a recognizable doujin game corner.





[this message was edited by Professor on Sat 4 Feb 14:56]



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"Re(5):Anybody here going to GDC?" , posted Sun 5 Feb 00:47post reply

quote:

I don't think there's even a next generation of doujin game developers to begin with. Those left in the scene seem to be mostly old folks and the newer gen of programmers simply go right to the app stores.



This is, without a doubt, the worst of all timelines. Surely there's a way to go back to the past and fix it...







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"Re(6):Anybody here going to GDC?" , posted Sun 5 Feb 01:25post reply

quote:

I don't think there's even a next generation of doujin game developers to begin with. Those left in the scene seem to be mostly old folks and the newer gen of programmers simply go right to the app stores.


This is, without a doubt, the worst of all timelines. Surely there's a way to go back to the past and fix it...

You must use the CHRONO TRIGGER





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"Re(5):Anybody here going to GDC?" , posted Sun 5 Feb 02:02post reply

quote:
That's back when Bing Bang Beat was about the only fresh new fighting game title, and novel games died off after the Umineko series concluded.

Umineko's ending was so bad that we didn't want to see doujin novel games ever again!

2010 was around the time when the web novel sites Narou and Arcadia were gaining speed (which also signaled the decline in Yaruo storytelling in 2ch). Novel games just wasn't a choice for aspiring writers anymore, it was much more low risk and less time consuming to write on Narou or Arcadia.

Over the past 5 years there were a swarm of people on Narou and Arcadia that got picked up and published into physical books, publishers didn't want to get left behind in this possible gold rush, they just shot book offers to EVERYONE.

For a time maybe 60 of the titles on the top 100 rankings had a publishing deal ongoing. And a bunch of others that haven't even written enough for 1/4 of a book but were already getting a book offer, because publishers didn't want to lose promising authors to other publishers. Instead they would choose to publish one book and cut the story off if sales are bad (because of this we have a bunch of books that have no ending)

Some writers would get offers from multiple big publishers like Enterbrain and Dengeki at the same time, stuff like this just never really happened on a large scale like this before.

So we'll never have a superstar like Type-moon or 07th Expansion ever again, or even any big hit novel games ever again, because writers have much better alternatives now.

Also there's a long ongoing shortage of artists now because every mobile game needs 100 artists or something.

The real world just tore all the small communities apart in different directions.

There was also the discussion about how the male doujin market was collapsing as well. It's a terrible time everywhere.







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"Re(6):Anybody here going to GDC?" , posted Sun 5 Feb 07:20post reply

quote:
I took a quick look back at the history of the doujin market and it went like this (at least from my own perspective)--

1990s- The years when the internet wasn't around and later went into its infancy. There used to be doujin-soft only events called the Pasoket (Pasocon Market). People still used floppies and everything looked home-made.

2000s- The years between narrowband and broadband. Pasokets disappeared but we started to see the rise of big-name doujin dev teams. Things were in CDs during the narrowband years and later DVDs during the broadband era. The bigger circles released them in commercial-standard packaging. The doujin soft market inflated in the early to mid 2000s and Akiba had tons of shops dedicated to them.

2010s- The rise of the smartphone killed pretty much all need for people to buy a new PC and by the time we reached the year 2011 most of the doujnin soft shops in Akiba were gone. If people wanted a bigger screen they'd go for tablets instead of laptops; less heavy, longer battery life, no internal drive, no market for physical discs.

I think the doujin game market started seeing its slow death somewhere around 2008-2010. That's back when Bing Bang Beat was about the only fresh new fighting game title, and novel games died off after the Umineko series concluded. PC game makers also started disappearing by then-- Aquaplus is a prime example as they made their smart move into the console market.

The year 2014--which was when this game came out, was probably the last year that doujin shops still had something akin to a recognizable doujin game corner.



And this is fully to the point I made up above, Professor: prepare a talk about this subject (or just about any part of the wealth of knowledge you have about Japan's gaming culture) and you would have a room fully of fascinated gamedevs hanging on your every word. This is information that's just not available elsewhere in the English speaking world! Seeing Akiba with you and hearing your thoughts on its culture is one of the high points of my first trip to Japan!

Wow though, it's amazing that I had a chance to see anything of the doujin world when I was there in 2013!





You have to carefully reproduce the world of "Castlevania" in the solemn atmosphere.


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"Re(6):Anybody here going to GDC?" , posted Sun 5 Feb 09:51post reply

quote:
That's back when Bing Bang Beat was about the only fresh new fighting game title, and novel games died off after the Umineko series concluded.
Umineko's ending was so bad that we didn't want to see doujin novel games ever again!

2010 was around the time when the web novel sites Narou and Arcadia were gaining speed (which also signaled the decline in Yaruo storytelling in 2ch). Novel games just wasn't a choice for aspiring writers anymore, it was much more low risk and less time consuming to write on Narou or Arcadia.

Over the past 5 years there were a swarm of people on Narou and Arcadia that got picked up and published into physical books, publishers didn't want to get left behind in this possible gold rush, they just shot book offers to EVERYONE.

For a time maybe 60 of the titles on the top 100 rankings had a publishing deal ongoing. And a bunch of others that haven't even written enough for 1/4 of a book but were already getting a book offer, because publishers didn't want to lose promising authors to other publishers. Instead they would choose to publish one book and cut the story off if sales are bad (because of this we have a bunch of books that have no ending)

Some writers would get offers from multiple big publishers like Enterbrain and Dengeki at the same time, stuff like this just never really happened on a large scale like this before.

So we'll never have a superstar like Type-moon or 07th Expansion ever again, or even any big

-- Message too long, Autoquote has been Snipped --


Can you two seriously assemble an article about this, because as depressing as it is to hear, it's incredibly interesting! It certainly isn't something reported in the western games media, and is especially interesting in light of the surge of visual novel and doujin games being released on Steam. On Steam, visual novels seem like a rising niche!







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"Re(7):Anybody here going to GDC?" , posted Sun 5 Feb 19:29post reply

I actually do want to go to GDC this year but the timing is terrible since I have a project that I have to get finished this month. I really want to hang out with more of the other developers here sometime. I'm bad at networking and haven't updated my LinkedIn since 2010.

quote:
Can you two seriously assemble an article about this, because as depressing as it is to hear, it's incredibly interesting! It certainly isn't something reported in the western games media, and is especially interesting in light of the surge of visual novel and doujin games being released on Steam. On Steam, visual novels seem like a rising niche!


I have little to add here except total agreement. It's true that VNs are surging in popularity (never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined a legit Western release for Clannad), enough to inform some current trends in indie development, and I'm sure a lot of people would find a lot to learn from the rise and fall of doujin games. In fact I'm pretty sure many people aren't even aware of the current state, let alone its history.





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"Re(7):Anybody here going to GDC?" , posted Tue 7 Feb 11:35post reply

quote:
Can you two seriously assemble an article about this, because as depressing as it is to hear, it's incredibly interesting! It certainly isn't something reported in the western games media, and is especially interesting in light of the surge of visual novel and doujin games being released on Steam. On Steam, visual novels seem like a rising niche!


There's certainly more that I can elaborate on this --at least about the stuff from the past, so yeah I'll think about doing it! Maybe Zepy can throw in a few tidbits too. Will probably write it after the 20th anniv mark of the site.