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http://www.***.net
Transforming Fields of
Game Development in Japan
-a Comparative Study between Doujin
Game and Indie Gam...
Background 1: Doujin Culture and Market
 “Doujin” is a Japanese word which means a
group or an individual who creates con...
Background 2: Doujin Game
Doujin also creates and distributes video
games, which are called as “Doujin Game”
or “Doujin S...
Doujin Shop
STG
Fighting
Action, RPG, SLG
ADV, Visual Novel
Tsukihime
Touhou Project
Outline of this paper 1
This paper explains three characteristics
of Doujin Game developers, by analyzing
interviews with...
Outline of this paper 2
Secondly, I will mention that a certain
number of developers have made games
for fun, but they al...
Previous Studies
Parker (2013) reviews indie game studies
written in English for 11 years. It points out
that games made ...
Significance of this paper
These researches have focused on Doujin
games, but not on Doujin game
development.
So, little...
This paper’s Flamework
Toynbee(2000) “Proto-Markets”
 These are the music production fields where we
can’t explain by lo...
This paper’s Flamework:
Three Game Production Field
Purpose of developer
Fun,
Interaction,
Expression of
individual
intere...
Data Source (Interview Survey)
Later, I discuss whether Doujin game
developers could be best described as
hobbyist or Ind...
The differences between Doujin
and Commercial Development
Doujin
Development
Commercial
Development
Purpose, Interest
Deve...
Similarities between Doujin and Indie
Doujin game development is similar to Indie
game development.
 Diversity of develo...
Differences between Doujin and Indie
But they are different in the respect of
interest and purpose.
The interest of most...
Making living as “Intended Consequences”
But a certain number of Doujin game
developers can earn living by selling severa...
Doujin Contents Distribution Platforms
“Doujin Contents distribution platforms”
have been developed since the last half o...
Doujin games distribution
Doujin games also have been distributed
and sold in the “Doujin” platform.
 Shops like “Tora n...
Doujin Shop (Sangatsu-Usagi)
Doujin Store (DLsite.com)
ICT also effects Doujin Game Development
It, however, should be noted that these
production practice and distribution rou...
Negative effects on doujin games
Doujin games for PC look expensive
compared with social and mobile games
that can be pla...
Positive effects on doujin games
Online sales sites such as “Steam”, one of
a global game distribution platform,
provide ...
Positive effects on doujin games
And Doujin game developer’s social
relationships with users and other
developers are als...
Changes of Doujin developers’
consciousness and action
In around 2009
 Most of them were interested only in
distributing...
Changes of Doujin developers’
consciousness and action
 The words of an interviewee indicate the change
of their mind: “T...
Asterbreed(Steam)
Touhou @ Anime Weekend Atlanta 2013
出所: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIkNU2Em7p8
Conclusion
Doujin game developers could be best
described as “Hobbyist” in view of their
production practice and consciou...
Bibliography
 Anthropy, Anna, 2012, Rise of the Videogame Zinesters, Seven
Stories Press.
 Ito, Kenji, 2007, Possibiliti...
Thank You
The full paper of this presentation will be
included as one chapter of a book titled
Video Games in East Asia (...
Transforming Fields of Game Development in Japan -a Comparative Study between Doujin Game and Indie Game Development-
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Transforming Fields of Game Development in Japan -a Comparative Study between Doujin Game and Indie Game Development-

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These slides presented at "Replaying Japan 2015" on 22th May explains the characteristics of Doujin Game developers in Japan, by analyzing interviews with 76 Doujin game developers.

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Transforming Fields of Game Development in Japan -a Comparative Study between Doujin Game and Indie Game Development-

  1. 1. http://www.***.net Transforming Fields of Game Development in Japan -a Comparative Study between Doujin Game and Indie Game Development- Nobushige HICHIBE Ema TANAKA
  2. 2. Background 1: Doujin Culture and Market  “Doujin” is a Japanese word which means a group or an individual who creates contents.  comic books, music pieces, animation videos etc.  Doujin groups can distribute their works at Doujin events or participatory exhibitions such as “Comic Market”.  Doujin members, some are amateur and some are semi-professional creators, circulate their self-made content and have fun while interacting at Comic Market and other similar events.  Doujin shops also distribute some works of Doujin on consignment basis to meet a demand of those who couldn’t participate in Doujin events.
  3. 3. Background 2: Doujin Game Doujin also creates and distributes video games, which are called as “Doujin Game” or “Doujin Soft”. They are usually made for PC (Widows) and distributed at 0~30$.  Median of price is around 10$. “Tsukihime”, “Higrashi When They Cry” and “Touhou Project” are very popular Doujin Games.
  4. 4. Doujin Shop
  5. 5. STG
  6. 6. Fighting
  7. 7. Action, RPG, SLG
  8. 8. ADV, Visual Novel
  9. 9. Tsukihime
  10. 10. Touhou Project
  11. 11. Outline of this paper 1 This paper explains three characteristics of Doujin Game developers, by analyzing interviews with 76 Doujin game developers. Firstly, I will show that the majority of Doujin game developers could be best described as “Hobbyist” rather than “Indie” game developers, not to mention commercial game developers, because the majority of them create games not for making living but for having fun by making game itself.
  12. 12. Outline of this paper 2 Secondly, I will mention that a certain number of developers have made games for fun, but they also have been able to earn living since late 1990s due to Doujin works distribution platform in Japan. Thirdly, I conclude that Doujin game developers gradually have changed their consciousness and social relationship since around 2010s to adapt globalization one of the factors of which is ICT progress.
  13. 13. Previous Studies Parker (2013) reviews indie game studies written in English for 11 years. It points out that games made by amateur, hobbyist etc. before “indie games” are the least developed area of previous studies. About hobbyist game development in Japan,  Ito (2005) researches the characteristic of hobbyist games made with “RPG Maker.”  Picard (2013) briefly describes the history of Doujin Games since 1980s.
  14. 14. Significance of this paper These researches have focused on Doujin games, but not on Doujin game development. So, little is known about Doujin game development practice and developers’ consciousness.
  15. 15. This paper’s Flamework Toynbee(2000) “Proto-Markets”  These are the music production fields where we can’t explain by logics of economy and music is often produced from non-economic motivation. Anthropy(2012), Westecott(2013) “Craft”  They suggest the viewpoint classifying proto- markets into two types; craft culture and indie market.  Craft culture is the field where many developers enjoy creating games and don’t make them for making living.  Indie market is the field where many developers are interested in making living as well as developing what they want to make.
  16. 16. This paper’s Flamework: Three Game Production Field Purpose of developer Fun, Interaction, Expression of individual interest Reputation, Money Money Toynbee Proto-Markets Major Anthropy, Westecot Hobby Culture Indie Market Major
  17. 17. Data Source (Interview Survey) Later, I discuss whether Doujin game developers could be best described as hobbyist or Indie based on Interview Survey. I and other Researchers interviewed 76 Doujin game developers.  Among them, 68 people are male and 8 people are female.
  18. 18. The differences between Doujin and Commercial Development Doujin Development Commercial Development Purpose, Interest Develop what developers like Develop what players like Diversity of developers and works √ Autonomy of development √ Flexibility of production process √ Production period Short Long Closeness between developers and players √ Possibility of making living Low High
  19. 19. Similarities between Doujin and Indie Doujin game development is similar to Indie game development.  Diversity of developers and works  Autonomy of development  Flexibility of production process  Production period  Closeness between developers and players
  20. 20. Differences between Doujin and Indie But they are different in the respect of interest and purpose. The interest of most Doujin developers is for enjoying developing games itself and interacting with others, not for earning living. We can say that Doujin game developers in Japan could be best described as “Hobbyist” rather than “Indie” game developers, not to mention commercial developers.
  21. 21. Making living as “Intended Consequences” But a certain number of Doujin game developers can earn living by selling several thousand or ten thousand copies of their games regularly as “unintended consequences”, because Doujin events including Comic Market and Doujin shops provide significant opportunities to distribute their works nationwide.
  22. 22. Doujin Contents Distribution Platforms “Doujin Contents distribution platforms” have been developed since the last half of 1990s in Japan. The distribution platforms provide many self- made content creators of comics, music, animation etc. opportunity to make living by selling their self-made works in Japan.
  23. 23. Doujin games distribution Doujin games also have been distributed and sold in the “Doujin” platform.  Shops like “Tora no Ana” and others shops franchise nationally.  Addition to that, game download distribution site like “DLsite.com” also sell Doujin Games. In these platforms, Doujin game developers could sell their works as much as in commercial game distribution platforms.
  24. 24. Doujin Shop (Sangatsu-Usagi)
  25. 25. Doujin Store (DLsite.com)
  26. 26. ICT also effects Doujin Game Development It, however, should be noted that these production practice and distribution routes seem to be slowly changing because of ICT developments. The spread of fixed and mobile broadband network, cloud computing system and smart devices promote globalization at various points. And they also effect Doujin Game Development.
  27. 27. Negative effects on doujin games Doujin games for PC look expensive compared with social and mobile games that can be played free or at a low price. As PCs with CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive have been decreasing, so many players can’t play Doujin PC packaged games. Due to these factors, the sales of PC Doujin games are considered to decline.  Some Doujin developers said that the sales of their PC games have already declined in Japan.
  28. 28. Positive effects on doujin games Online sales sites such as “Steam”, one of a global game distribution platform, provide new opportunity to distribute Doujin games globally.  Besides Steam, AppStore, Google Play, PlayStation Store also increase the chance to distribute Doujin games.
  29. 29. Positive effects on doujin games And Doujin game developer’s social relationships with users and other developers are also changing due to ICT. Some developers who have built relationship only nationally so far regard this change as a new opportunity to build new relationship with oversea game developing communities and users.
  30. 30. Changes of Doujin developers’ consciousness and action In around 2009  Most of them were interested only in distributing to Japanese, and not interested in distributing to overseas players. Since around 2010, they have been interested in global platforms and gradually started to distribute their games to all over the world through these platforms.  They also participate in the events for foreigners and the foreign events like PAX East.
  31. 31. Changes of Doujin developers’ consciousness and action  The words of an interviewee indicate the change of their mind: “There is no future in Japan. So we go global.”
  32. 32. Asterbreed(Steam)
  33. 33. Touhou @ Anime Weekend Atlanta 2013 出所: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIkNU2Em7p8
  34. 34. Conclusion Doujin game developers could be best described as “Hobbyist” in view of their production practice and consciousness. The majority of Doujin developers make games as hobby and don’t earn living by selling their works. But a certain number of developers can do it almost unintendedly. Since around 2010, many developers have begun to be conscious of global distribution, and change their mind and production practice to adapt globalization.
  35. 35. Bibliography  Anthropy, Anna, 2012, Rise of the Videogame Zinesters, Seven Stories Press.  Ito, Kenji, 2007, Possibilities of Non-Commercial Games: The Case of Amateur Role-Playing Games Designers in Japan, Suzanne De Castell and Jennifer Jenson (eds): Worlds in Play: International Perspectives on Digital Games Research, Peter Lang Pub Inc, 129- 142.  Parker, Felan, 2013, Indie Game Studies Year Eleven, Proceedings of DiGRA 2013.  Picard, Martin, 2013, The Foundation of Geemu: A Brief History of Early Japanese video games, Game Studies, 13(2).  Toynbee, Jason, 2000, Making Popular Music: Musicians, Creativity and Institution, Arnold.  Westecott, Emma, 2013, Independent Game Development as Craft, Loading… The Journal of the Canadian Game Studies Association, Vol7, No 11, 78-91.
  36. 36. Thank You The full paper of this presentation will be included as one chapter of a book titled Video Games in East Asia (Palgrave Macmillan). Nobushige HICHIBE  Foundation for MultiMedia Communications  natsunokumo2008@gmail.com Ema TANAKA  Foundation for MultiMedia Communications  ema.tanaka@gmail.com

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