I usually try to avoid singling out specific blogs or websites for praise and recommendation, as it's a little like choosing your favourite from a litter of bastard step-children who each have their own charms and harvestable organs, but as I have been asked on occasion to write more about Japanese indie and amateur games, of which I confess I know too little, I thought Engrish Games deserved some extra attention.

Written by a guy calling himself Dong (don't laugh) and possibly some translation software, this site lists various indie developers and their games, which of them have English sites and releases and, if they don't, instructions on how to play them. Needless to say, I am not the first website to point out this blog, but I thought it was such a worthwhile service that at least I could try and send more enthusiasts his way.

If you want to see what is happening in one section of the indie/amateur game development niche I think you'll find some excellent or at least interesting projects being worked on my some enthusiast somewhere. Specifically the schmup seems to live on in these circles, which is, if you ask me, a godsend. Do yourself a favour and check it out!

Secondly, Andrea Rubenstein of the Iris blog has finally started her game design course at HAL and has begun writing about her experiences. My first impression is that it seems very old-fashioned and traditional, in the way they start and end classes, which may prepare her for working life in the bigger, more traditional gaming corporations. I hope she can, and is allowed to, write a little bit about the syllabus, as I'm very curious about that. Having worked with a handful of game school graduates here in Japan, and looking at my own experiences, I still believe the only real way to learn the skills you need is on the job, but game development education has come a long way in just a short time, so this might not be the case these days. Also, having just hired a small smattering of (regular) graduates, I'd be interested to know if she is planning to go through those Hellish graduate recruitment drives that Japan enjoys every March/April, though this is still years in the future. This is definitely a blog worth keeping an eye on if you're inexperienced and have the urge to work in the Japanese industry.

Lastly, I have to point out to a charming new feature started in the Thwomp Factory blog, where one of its contributors tries to cook recipes featured in games in the same way they are made in those particular titles. The first comes from one of my favourite games, Harvest Moon: Magical Melodies, so it caught my attention. With so many industry pundits writing about the same old issues, it's great to see these fun and novel ways of enjoying games and writing about them cropping up on blogs like these; they remind me that games are fun, to be enjoyed.

These sites have been added to the sidebar for future reference.


  1. Thanks for the link to "Engrish Games." I hadn't heard of it before, so I'm glad you put me on to it. Lots of good stuff there.

    Long live the schmup!

  2. Long live the schmup! I'm so glad there are still amateurs and small development houses in Japan making these kinds of games, though it'd be nice to see some good old-fashioned big budget bullet hell games from bigger publishers, but that probably will never happen again. :(

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