Dear Diary: The year +1

Most intriguing video in 2012
Though I didn't have much time to go to the theater last year, I fortunately run into some interesting/inspiring videos online.. Among obvious ones and many others, here is what haunted me for a while…

I found this on Daily Mail’s article in last July, this video shows how Time Traveler’s Party hosted by Stephen Hawking went. Somehow this got me thinking “what is the best way to promote this party for future people?” It's probably for several thousand years later, so forget about TV or internet. Then, what? Keep it in the library? Put it in a bottle and bury it? Send it to space…??

But no one showed up. So, this means either time travel is impossible, or preserving this invitation is impossible. No matter how we try in the future, it’s impossible. The proof is there. I don’t know about you, but this just stunned me. Just one simple party, and this could prove 2 things!? Wow. No wonder Stephen Hawking is called genius..
(But hey, what if there’s Time Patrol in the future like an anime? You know, those people who stop you if you try to change something in the past??)

Gunma-chan (Orange Pony)
If you happened to check my Japanese blog post, you may see orangy horse-looking mascot. That’s Gunma-chan, a mascot pony of Gunma-ken. It’s getting really popular to have local mascot in Japan: prefectures, city, town or organization now have their own mascot like soccer or baseball team.

Gunma-chan cake
A few months ago, Gunma-chan got 3rd prize at Japanese local mascot contest. Total 865 characters participated. I know this is crazy, but as a least known prefecture, it’s a big deal. Now Gunma is overusing Gunma-chan for anything. Booklet, website, events, merchandise, cakes… anything you can think of. Being Gunma native, I've known this guy like forever and I didn’t even care about it. But the recent surge is tough to ignore… I started to feel sorry for this pony. They really made him work like a horse… not just sending him to events, lately they make him clean the room too... I don’t know… I really don’t know what they want to do anymore… Poor Gunma-chan, his work blog is here. (Why pony? "Gunma" in Kanji character can be read as "a herd of horses", that's why.)

New Year
Traditional way of celebrating new year’s eve in Japan is to be with family and watching year-end music show together while eating soba noodle. So I did that, and while doing that I could play “The Room”. It was fun and it was good new year’s eve (family, tradition, cutting-edge game at the same time, a lifehack right?).

So, 2013 is here. New year, new calendar, new resolution.
…well “resolution” is intimidating word, so I’m gonna write down some casual wish lists such as where to go and what to do.. that way it’ll be more fun (and it’ll be long list). 
Hope this new year will be filled with happy surprises for us.


Interview with Japanese demoscener - q (coder from nonoil, gorakubu)

After translating the demoscene documentary (Moleman2) last year, I could get to know Japanese demosceners on Twitter. (Thank you. And you should join, too..) Life is funny. Now that I know they are there … why not using this opportunity and pitching some questions? So here you go, this is an interview with Japanese demo coder “q” from nonoil. His 64k invitation demo “Candy” was lately ranked 1st at “2012 Best invitation demo” of 4Sceners.de.

In this mail interview, he explains why he chose demo over creating game, how he makes demo, some inside story around his demo and his workspace…with photo (Yes!) It’s a full of practical tips for non-demosceners too. 

First of all, could you please introduce yourself briefly?

Photo: gorakubu.jp
Hello, I’m q. I used to be in one-man group called nonoil, and now I’m a coder in gorakubu.

How did you find demoscene? What motivated you to create your own demo?

The first demo I saw knowing that ‘this is demo’ was elevated.

I’ve made some casual games before but it didn’t go well for 2 reasons;
1. I simply wasn’t good at collaborating with other people.
2. I didn’t have much interest in games.
Demo can resolve these 2 issues. I mean, you can create demo by yourself if you have ideas, and even just a one-liner joke can be appreciated if it’s sophisticated or original.
# Of course, some evaluates the total level of performance.
# There are some games with such nature (like GGJbut I don’t think these are the mainstream.

I like graphics programming but it accounts for only a small percentage of game development. Creating game is very difficult since it requires programming in different fields, planning to make it fun and creating resources (pictures and music). But when it comes to demo making, as long as you are able to do graphics programming you can create procedural graphics demo. And if you are challenging small size category, seems like it’s ok to have not-so-dynamic sound.
# Of course not everyone is ok about it, some people really care about sound.

I assume the impact” is the very first demo that you created.. How long did it take to make this? And how long do you usually need to make one demo?


昨年、デモシーンのドキュメンタリーを翻訳させていただいた縁で、日本で活動するデモシーナーの方々とTwitter上で出会うことができました。(ありがとうございます) …これは質問をぶつける絶好のチャーンス!!ということで、先日ドイツのデモシーンポータル「4Sceners.de」が選ぶ2012年の”Best Invitation Demo”1位にも選ばれたCandyのコーダー、qさん(nonoil)にメールインタビューさせていただきました。

デモを選んだ理由、デモ作りのメソッド、Candyに込めた思い、自作デモツール、、、そして作業現場も公開していただきました!やったね デモシーンに詳しくない方でも、明日からの仕事に活かせそうなヒントがたくさん入っています。どうぞお楽しみください!


Photo: gorakubu.jp


# もちろん最終的な完成度を評価するという面もあると思いますが。
# ゲームでもそのような方向のモノがあるとは思う(GGJみたいなのとか)のですが、本流ではないように見えます。

私は、グラフィックスプログラミングが好きなのですが、それがゲームの中に占める割合はそれほど高くありません。他分野のプログラミングや、ゲームとしての面白さを考える事、リソースの作成(絵、音楽)などもどうにかしないといけないため非常に壁が高いです。一方デモであれば、グラフィックスプログラミングさえできればprocedural graphicsのデモを出す事ができます。サイズの小さなジャンルであれば、音がしょぼくてもそれなりに許容される雰囲気もあります。
# もちろん、音にこだわる人もいるので、全部が全部ではないですが。

ご自身で初めて作ったデモはthe impactになるのでしょうか。この製作期間はどのくらいでしたか?1つのデモ作品を作るのに、だいたいどのくらいの期間がかかるのでしょう?

procedural gfxは比較的労力がかからないジャンルなので、これは数日だったと思います。
ちゃんとしたものを作ろうとすると、ツールづくり、検証作業などが入るので、数か月はかかります。プロジェクト開始直後の絵が出ない/音が出ない状態では、作業するのはコーダーだけなので、スキルによって関わる時間はだいぶ変わります。時間をかけているところはかなりかけていて、"Gaia Machina"2年位かかってるらしいです。




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