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Kamitani interview translation p.1
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No time to actually do a line-by-line translation, but here's a quick summary of most paragraphs that caught my attention for the first page. Anyone else feel like doing pages 2 or 3? Interesting stuff. -------- George Kamitani 4gamer Interview Outline page 1 Got his start in the gaming sector in high school during the Famicom heyday when a friend at a software company gave him a part-time job doing pixel art. He tricked his parents into saying okay by saying it would improve his mathematics grades. Later entrusted with doing porting work to different consoles. Did the graphics graphics for Famicom port of AD&D Hillstar. Moved to Osaka from Hiroshima after college and applied to Nintendo, Capcom, etc. Went with Capcom which was really thriving then under Executive VP Yoshiki Okamoto (Time Pilot, Sonson director) At Capcom, entered as a planner in order to see how games were built from ground up, around 1992-1993 when SF II was a huge hit. When he entered the company, his department was mostly working on side-scrolling action games. Worked on Muscle Bomber, heavy on the throwing techniques, making for complicated graphics--[b]putting different graphical parts together and animating. This experience was important in developing Vanillaware's 2D tools later on.[/b] Worked on D&D Tower of Doom after Muscle Bomber, on red dragon and stage layouts. Lots of fun, and wished he'd been on project at start rather than mid-way through. This shows in Dragon's Crown, too. Left Capcom after feeling he could never direct there--too many talented people. Invited by an old upperclassman from school to join a small game company in Kansai that formerly did adult games but that was diversifying. Started building the foundation of what would become Princess Crown there. Princess Crown originally from idea of making a Princess Maker 2 type of "raise your character" game with many endings. Character training/raising sections would be replaced by fighting action sections instead. Strong RPG elements in Princess Crown because when shopping the game to Sega, it was assumed that it was an RPG, and he answered yes, of course, it will have 40 hours of playtime!---Sega really needed RPG's for the battle with Sony (Saturn vs. PS) then. Talked with his two main programmers on the train back and said that they'd really need to make it an RPG now that they'd said it was one. Entered development at the end of 1995 but problems a year later because the development company went bankrupt. A friend at Sega introduced him to Atlus, which totally saved him and the project. Deep appreciation for them still. At the end of project, rather than Vanillaware becoming a smaller unit of Atlus, all of the development members scattered, so later Vanillaware games with entirely new staff. 10 years later, still hard to make games now! After being saved by Atlus, he became a staff member there at "Atlus Kansai" (Atlus Osaka Development Office, from which some members later broke off to form Noise Factory). Was very attached to his Princess Crown team and always wanted to make another work and thought of Dragon's Crown at that time. However, Atlus Kansai dissolved soon after. Though Princess Crown was highly praised, it came at the end of the Saturn's life and sales weren't huge---bankruptcy of the development company was a big loss, too. [b]Princess Crown was branded as a "red ink project"/money-loser and people who worked on it weren't looked upon favorably.[/b] He really wanted to keep his team together and make even better things with them, but he didn't have the grit or the guts to start his own company at that time. An Osaka development company called Racjin took on his team members. So, after Princess Crown, there was no sort of "Team Kamitani" around to make games. Later invited to Tokyo by Shigeo Komori, who helped with Princess Crown development, and went to work at Sony Computer Entertainment in Tokyo (Kamitani's work at Sony is not well-known and much of it is confidential). Wanted to do game planning there but the team he assembled ended up in pieces. In the end, he and Ohnishi (current Vanillaware programmer) were the only ones left, in dire straits with no money, living on 200 yen a day and eating bread ends. This was 2001 and he was 32 then. Couldn't just go back to Osaka with no job so stayed in Tokyo, got introduced to a job that would become involved in development of Fantasy Earth~The Ring of Dominion (MMO). His involvement shifted the world theme from a humans vs. vampires thing into a more princess/fantasy thing. [b]His team that was contracted for this work was an early version of Vanillaware.[/b] This was his most harrowing project. He owes a lot to Shigatake (now a Vanillaware illustrator), who at the time told Kamitami he was in love with Princess Crown---Kamitani says he "tricked" poor Shigatake into joining the project based on this!
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