2017/12/24

2017/11/16

Dear Diary: Trip to Budapest 10 "Best of Budapest"


I stayed in Budapest for 2 days. It was obviously not long enough to explore the city, but at least I could stand on their land, smell the air, witness their morning to night, taste their food, see what and who I wanted to see. It was fulfilling trip, and it certainly expanded my horizon.

This is the view which struck me the most in Budapest. Too bad it looks really flat on the photo, but actual view had indescribable depth. It was so beautiful that I could gaze this for hours… Among many others, I must say this was my best of Budapest.


Köszönöm Szilárd and Gargaj for helping and making my trip more fun. And thank YOU for reading my travelogue till the end. Hope your trip to Budapest will be wonderful too.


> Read All of “Trip to Budapest” #1-10


2017/11/15

Dear Diary: Trip to Budapest 9 "Cake"



Krémes.

Ever since I read an article about this cake, I'd been looking for an occasion to try. The article says something like "there are so many great cakes in Hungary, yet Hungarians in fact love this very simple cake the most."

After carefully examined several guidebooks and websites, I decided to try at Ruszwurm near the Matthias Church.

Smooth vanilla creams are sandwiched by crispy puffs. Timeless combination. And.. mmmm… can't go wrong with it.

> Read All of “Trip to Budapest


2017/11/14

Dear Diary: Trip to Budapest 8 "The Pub"



This is Szimpla Kert, Budapest's well-known ruin pub.

Instead of renovating old abandoned building, they use the building as is for bar and cafe, etc. All the sections were decorated with lots of junks, and created very unique atmosphere. Cool and kitsch, felt like sneaking in streetboys' hidden hangout spot.


If you watched "Moleman 2" (documentary about demoscene culture) you might recognize this view. This place was used to film its interview and Szilárd, a director of this film mentioned in my interview as a recommended spot in Budapest. 

Szilárd kindly took some time to see me while I was in Budapest, and we could talk over a cup of tea in this place. It was one of those “Life is funny” moments for me, and I was very happy to finally meet him and say thanks to him in person. (My interview with demosceners started because of this film.)

2017/11/09

Dear Diary: Trip to Budapest 7 "Postcard"




Dark streets and a very bright building.

1. Seems like they don't have a master lights-on switch. (it lighted up gradually)
2. This contrast reminded me of the history of this country.
3. It looked like a giant hologram.
4. People gazing this scenery looked like cinderellas who dream about a ball, and that was lovely view.

On my way back to the hotel room, I saw the world most beautiful McDonald from a tram.


> Read All of “Trip to Budapest

2017/11/08

Dear Diary: Trip to Budapest 6 "One Bedroom"




I stayed in an apartment hotel in downtown (district 6). They had a full kitchen and there was a supermarket nearby, so I could just stock up and heat the soup and make toast or sandwich when I woke up in the middle of the night. I love the time like this. Travelling without a need to quickly recover from jetlag is luxury.

It seems like this type of apartment hotel is quite common in Budapest. When you look up in booking.com, you will see plenty of them and they offer more spacious room and better location with cheaper rate than hotels. Now that Airbnb is getting popular, people are rushing to renovate the room to make some profits in foreign currencies, I heard. Indeed, buildings near the hotel were almost all under repair.

From my balcony, I could see a little patio and Mexican ladies playing poker all day long.

> Read All of “Trip to Budapest

2017/11/03

Dear Diary: Trip to Budapest 5 "The Door"




When you travel abroad, there’s always a moment you realize or re-realize that you’re in a foreign country.

In Hong Kong, it was when I lined up for a taxi. In England, it was when I saw their very simple signage (because they don’t need to put anything other than English) And in Hungary, it was this door.



I had such a tough time unlocking the door of my hotel room. Never seen this type of lock before (turn 3 times, turn a bit more to unlock then turn back to remove) and I spent good 10 minutes trying to turn the key right and left, push and pull the door. Eventually and luckily other guests passing by helped me opening. It took 2 days to master unlocking/locking this door..

Never imagined myself feeling “Oh, I’m so foreigner!!” by a difference of door lock.

> Read All of “Trip to Budapest

2017/10/26

Dear Diary: Trip to Budapest 3 "Street"

Paul Erdős, John von Neumann, John Kemeny... Because there are many geniuses from this country, Hungary was rumoured to be a place where Martians live.

Not sure if this is true, but I spotted some suspected descendants while I was doing subtitle for two Hungarian documentaries which revolve around tech/science.


Some time ago, I read a lovely story about "Gömböc" which was proven by Hungarian scientist, and there was a remark that their complex language might have something to do with their intelligence.

I don't know. I couldn't find any lead on this trip anyway. 
Here are the photos I took while I was walking around the city.

> Read All of “Trip to Budapest


2017/10/25

Dear Diary: Trip to Budapest 2 "Fast"




There’s no direct flight to Budapest from Japan, so I flew in via Helsinki.

When a Mexican boy sitting next to me found out that I was heading to Budapest, he kindly gave me some advice. “Since you’re used to the safety level in Japan, you’d better avoid all public transportation, taxi and night walking in Budapest.” This makes me scared and I followed them for a while, but eventually broke them all. (But I didn’t take or walk alone after 9pm, as a basic rule for girl’s solo trip.)



Tram was nice and bus was easy. Metro was tricky though. Or I should say “a way to get to the metro platform” was tricky. Their escalator moves so fast (at least 3 times faster than Japan’s) and is very steep (felt like 70 degrees) and so long (felt like forever). Basically this freaked me out and I decided to avoid them if I could.

And their ferris wheel moves quite fast too.



> Read All of “Trip to Budapest



2017/10/24

Dear Diary: Trip to Budapest 1 "Night View"




A few weeks ago, I visited Budapest, Hungary for the first time.

I arrived in the evening and Budapest looked very dark to my eyes; Smoky sky, glimmer street lights, tired looking walls, thin bright light coming from the gap of huge doors…


Watching its night from the taxi, I felt like watching a really heavy and closed love story movie. 30 minutes ride was not long enough. Fascinating view.


> Read All of “Trip to Budapest






2017/10/17

[Good evening Tuesday] Mind if I say yes?


Do you mind if I…?

When I’m asked a question starting from this sentence in person, I always get nervous a bit. Because even when I do want to tell that I don’t mind, I often ended up telling them “YES!” with a big smile and make them puzzled. 

2017/10/15

ブダペストに行ってきました

先日、2.5日間という短期間ではありますが、ハンガリーのブダペストに行ってきました。

ハンガリーって名前はよく聞くけど、実際どこにあるの?どんな国なの?と思っていた私ですが、かつてハンガリー出身のルームメイトがいたことをきっかけに、何となく耳馴染みのある国になっていきました。

そして、このブログでも何度か紹介していますが、コンピュータプログラミングを使ったアート作品デモシーンやゲーム開発など、ハンガリーのサブカルチャーシーンを紹介したドキュメンタリーシリーズ「Moleman」の日本語字幕をつけさせていただいたことで、さらにハンガリーについて知る機会があり、映像や資料だけでなく、一度はこの地の雰囲気を体験してみないとなぁ、、と思っていたのでした。

そんなわけで、以前よりハイピッチで重くなる腰をよっこら上げて、いざブダペストへ!


2017/08/24

最近のうちの文鳥 ~包まれたい~


溶けるかと思った猛暑が8月になって落ち着き、雨続きで肌寒いなぁ、、このまま秋に突入なのかなぁ、、と思った矢先の猛暑復活!体がついていけてません…。お風呂場にはあったまるタイプの入浴剤と夏用のクールタイプの入浴剤をスタンバイしているのですが、こんな頻度で切り替えていいのか少々不安になる今日この頃です。皆さまもどうぞご自愛ください。

さて、時候の挨拶が済んだところで、本日は久しぶりに最近のうちの文鳥の様子をお届けします。

最近のごまちゃん

2017/07/15

"Moleman 4" Documentary about Game Development in Hungary


Documentary film “Moleman 4 - Longplay” was released on Vimeo the other day. And I joined their project as a Japanese translator :) 

You know what this is if you’d watched Moleman episode before, but Moleman is a series of documentary which features subcultures in Hungary. And this time they featured game development history in Hungary.


[UPDATE!] "Moleman 4 - Longplay" is now available on YouTube!! You can watch the entire film for free with subtitles (EN, ES, DE, FR, PT-BR, JA).




Hungary was in socialism era when they started developing games, and this means they had tons of restrictions. It started from smuggling computers and figuring out how to use them, but they gradually yet steadily progressed and took over the European market. Their achievement includes “The Last Ninja” and “Ecco the Dolphin” and in this film their developers and producers are explaining how it was like to make these games.


Don’t forget to watch the deleted scenes! This one is sneaky brilliant. Others includes “Lara Croft” (Mr. Ian Livingstone explains how they came up with her name) and “Tetris” (The origin of that ugly drama)...



I felt the same thing when I translated "Moleman2", but I felt “finding a solution in the most complicated case, and turning disadvantages into advantages” is one of the strength of Hungarian people…


And after the success in Europe and US, they came to Japan and challenged Nintendo who kept saying No to them.

I happened to have an occasion to be involved in the conversation between Japanese avid gamer (0x4015 aka Yossin-san) and the director of this film (Szilárd Matusik). I thought it would be interesting to share this with other people, and since I got the permission from both I’m posting it here… (Thank you Yossin-san and Szilárd!)


0x4015/yossin to Szilárd
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I didn’t know “The Last Ninja” was originally made in Hungary. The film explains that the original developers were uncredited in the final version, and the great thing about this documentary series is that it explains by showing interviews with the people who were actually involved in that matter.

In the scene where developers contacted Japanese makers, I wondered when they contacted exactly. Because the situation of Japanese makers back then was changing every few years.

It shows that they contacted Sony, but I wonder if this Sony meant “Epic Sony”. If it was Epic Sony, I think it would had been easier to get in touch because back then this company was selling Western games in NES format. For example Solstice” (this is known to be the “first contact with Western game” in Japanese Chiptunes scene) and “Dragon's Lair” which is known to be Instant death game. I wish they’d released “The Last Ninja” in NES.

Regarding the situation around Nintendo, there were many Japanese companies which had to give up creating NES software because Nintendo didn’t allow to. And one of them created software by reverse-engineering, just like in the movie. One of the well-known one is called “Quinty” and creators of this game later produced Pokemon. This game was released in 1989, so I guess it’s about the same time as Hungarian team was making NES games.
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Szilárd to 0x4015/yossin
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Thanks for your thoughts.

"Traffic" was the first Hungarian game that was released in Japan in 1986 on the MSX platform by Sony Corporation. I found this on Mobygames.

And I think the info there is right as I found also a picture of the cartridge and it contains all the same information.

And the head of studio (Donát Kiss) who speak about business in Japan left Novotrade in '86 or '87 so it had to happen before that. Also he was who found out to reverse-engineer the NES so it also had to happen around '86-'87.

Also they made some conversions that were released by the Japanese SystemSoft.
Acrojet (MSX)

And games for Konami on NES but I can't find which was the first.
They made some conversions as well:
Tiny Toon Adventures: Cartoon Workshop (NES)

Other things on NES by Novotrade/Appaloosa:

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0x4015/yossin to Szilárd
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Thanks for providing me the complementary information.
It’s amazing that they expand their business that much only in 3-4 years.

It was too bad that Konami didn’t release Novotrade (Appaloosa)’s NES games in Japan. I’ve never heard about these games. I checked on YouTube and found their background graphics are meticulously created within the limitations. Just like The Last Ninja, they made their background by combining small blocks and I find this very interesting since it’s really different from Japanese way of making games.
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You can rent this film, but you get bonus clips (total 16min long!) and a chance to get their prize if you buy it (Details). The Bonus clips cover 90s Independent game dev situation (the dark side) and super creative world of text adventure games (I wanna try it)... 


Watch the film here:
YouTube
Vimeo   Steam (You can watch long special and bonus features if you purchase the film)

Moleman4 Official page (So much info!)




「Moleman4」について:0x4015 (よっしん)さん x シラード監督の往復書簡


先日こちらで紹介させていただいたドキュメンタリー映画『Moleman 4 – Longplay』はもうご覧いただけたでしょうか? 見た見た!という方は(ありがとうございます!)、ぜひ何度でも見ていただいて、これから見たいと思う、なんとなく興味はある、という方は、これからの暑すぎて外に出たくない季節のお供にぜひご活用ください!(視聴はこちらからどうぞ


Update!)ハンガリー国内でのDVD化実現を記念して、こちらの映画が全編YouTubeで無料公開されました!特典映像はVimeoまたはSteamで映画のデラックスバージョンを購入すると視聴できます。


予告編




今回は、この映画をすでに視聴された方の感想(っていうか、情報)をご紹介したいと思います。


私のブログでは、『Moleman2』のテーマでもあったコンピュータのサブカルチャー「デモシーン」に関わる人たちにインタビューをさせていただいているのですが、直近のゲスト0x4015さんは、記事を読んでの通りゲーム事情にも非常に精通した方。ゲーム界隈では「ファミべのよっしんさん」という名称で有名らしく、そちらのファンの方から「なぜ“よっしん”であるとインタビューに書かない?」とご指摘を受けるほどでした。(すみません、、)

そんなよっしんさんが、この映画をご覧になっていただけたようで、ひょんなことから監督のシラードさんとよっしんさんの会話を目にすることになった私。2人のメールを訳しながら、「この2人と私だけで読むにはもったいない気がするなぁ、、」と思ったので、双方に許可を取り、こちらで2人のやり取りを紹介します。

映画では、日本でファミコンのゲームを出そうと奮闘するハンガリー勢の様子が紹介されているのですが、そちらに関してのコメントが中心になっています。(特にネタバレとかもないので、映画を見てない方でも大丈夫です)


よっしんさん → シラード監督へのメッセージ
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The Last Ninja」が元々ハンガリー製であるとは知りませんでした。
彼らの名前は、完成バージョンのクレジットに含まれなかったそうですが、
ちゃんと当時の関係者にコンタクトを取って直接インタビューするところが、
このドキュメンタリシリーズの凄いとろですね。

日本のメーカーとコンタクトを取るくだりですが、
この時期は、数年ごとに取り巻く事情が変化していましたので、
日本の時系列のどのあたりに繋がるのかが気になるところでした。

彼らがコンタクトを取った「ソニー」が「エピックソニー」だとすると、
当時この会社では、チップチューン方面で「黒船来襲」に例えられる「ソルスティス」や、
すぐ死ぬゲーで知られる「ドラゴンズ・レア」など、
ファミコン向けに洋ゲーの販売をやっていましたので、
コンタクトが取りやすかったんだろうなと、観ていて思いました。
逆輸入忍者モノとして、The Last Ninjaも移植してほしかったですね。

任天堂は、日本でもなかなかソフトメーカーとして参加できない人たちが多く居て、
同じように解析に頼って作られたソフトもありました。
この中で知られるのが「クインティ」というソフトで、
製作者たちはのちにポケモンの生みの親となります。
こちらが89年リリースとのことなので、ハンガリー勢と恐らく同じぐらいの時期だと思います。
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シラード監督 → よっしんさんにメッセージ
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コメントいただきありがとうございます!

日本で発売された初のハンガリー製ゲームは「Traffic」で、1986年に
Sony CorporationからMSX向けソフトとして制作されています。
この情報は、Mobygamesのサイトで確認しました。

同じ情報が含まれるカートリッジの写真もあるので、正しい情報なのではないかと思います。

映画内で日本でのビジネスについて語っていた当時のスタジオの
トップ(ドナート・キシュ氏)はノボトレード社を1986年か1987年に退社しているので、
(日本でのビジネスは)それ以前のことだと思います。
ファミコンをリバースエンジニアリングさせたのも彼なので、やはり86-87年あたりだと思います。

このチームは、日本のシステムソフト社から発売された移植版のゲームも手がけています。
Acrojet (MSX)

どれが最初の作品なのかは分かりませんでしたが、
コナミから発売されたファミコンソフトにも、彼らの移植版があります。
King's Quest V (ファミコン)

ノボトレード社/アパルーサ社によるファミコンソフトには、こちらもあります:
Impossible Mission II (ファミコン)

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よっしんさん → シラード監督へのメッセージ
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補足情報ありがとうございます。
83年から始めて、わずか34年でここまで開拓してしまうのはすごいですね。

ノボトレード(アパルーサ)製でコナミ発売のファミコンソフトが、
日本では販売されていなかったのは残念です。
私はこれらのゲームの存在をしらなかったのでYouTubeで初めて映像を観ました。
いずれも、制約の中で背景のグラフィクスが丁寧に作り込まれていると思いました。
The Last Ninja と同様に、背景が少数のブロックの組み合わせで作られていますが、
日本のゲームとはかなり方法が違っていて興味深かったです。
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よっしんさん、シラード監督、ありがとうございました!勉強になりました!

Moleman 4』を見てみたいと思った方は、こちらのページからどうぞ。
購入すると、特典映像だけでなく、豪華な賞品が当たる抽選にエントリーもできるようです。詳しい情報が記載された公式サイトはこちらです。
そのまえに、もうちょっと映画について知りたい!という方はこちらの記事をご覧ください!



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