📝 Friturday

2023 July 28

I got really swamped with stuff today and only just now got a chance to sit down and write this post! I started at 11:30PM, let's see if I can get it up before the clock strikes midnight!!

Stuff we worked on

Striker of the Dead

Title screen of Striker of the Dead

Daikon made a game for the SCREAM DUNK game jam! It's a 1v1 game where you try to break your team's tombstones to release zombies that break down your opponent's fence and invade their towns. I basically didn't do anything for this, but I did help playtest and write the English descriptions. We'll be playing more of the other entries over the next week or so. I'll try to write up some of my thoughts on them later!

The Hunter and the Mikoshi Nyudo

River snaking through a rocky gorge with trees on either side.

I wrote a short story! I actually wrote this way back in 2020 as part of that year's NaNoWriMo. I'm thinking of harvesting more of the short stories from that project since I never finished the overarching story.

Girls' Day

A Japanese doll of a woman wearing a beautiful red kimono.

While Daikon was making a scary action game, I was learning how to use Narrat! I made a short text adventure game for the Single Choice Jam, Narrat Jam 2, and O2A2 Visual Novel Jam! I was quite nervous submitting my piece because judging by the entries and by social media, it sure looks like everyone went all-out with their visuals and writing. But I'm still pleased with what I made since it finally got me to make something in Narrat, simple though it may be! In future, I want to make a little RPG adventure to take better advantage of Narrat's features...

Stuff I read

Unfortunately, I didn't have much of a chance to sit down and read any books this week. But I did catch up on reading some of the news and articles I had saved up in Pocket!

I Can't Offer Up My Culture For Consumption

Amazing piece by Christine Kandic Torres about the difference between diversity as exposure therapy, versus diversity as participating in community:

The Queens of consumption, of Food Network specials and the New York Times Real Estate section, is not the Queens in my novel. Brisma and Kelly, the girls of The Girls in Queens, sneak Funyuns into Shea Stadium, split a package of Devil Dogs while cutting school, shoplift Sour Patch Kids and toss green Chiffles platanitos bags at leering men. As so many under-resourced families and neighborhoods are forced to, they made do with what they had. We made do with what we had. Sometimes that meant rice dishes from our homelands; sometimes that meant 25-cent bags of popcorn. Nowhere in that spectrum is a tour stop I’d want to curate for a quick bite on the way to Arthur Ashe stadium. The struggles of our families are not for voyeuristic entertainment—and neither is our sacred joy.

When we talk about diversity as a need to “be exposed to” other cultures, what we are doing is centering whiteness. In Queens, diversity is not exposure therapy, but participation. We participate in the rich diversity of immigrant cultures in Queens by eating in each other’s family homes, sharing food in the school cafeteria, at cookouts at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, at Rye Playland. To be clear, this was and is a privilege and an intimacy. One cannot buy your way into community by simply eating a torta off a Roosevelt Avenue taco truck.

There are more Japanese games than you will ever know or play

I complained on cohost about this incredibly condescending article in the Verge about Japanese indie games finally "growing up." GSK wrote about it more succinctly than I ever could:

so much intl JP indie coverage—broadly, but also with specific reference to this one event—is framed around expats "dragging the doujin scene out of the primordial ooze" (a quote from a conversation I had, not from the article) by people whose only interest is cultivating product, and whose concerns about independent game development are strictly financial, and even well-meaning coverage is framed in terms of The Games That Matter (because they're associated with an established name and/or are tied up with people from or connected to intl games media) vs. The Quirky Japanese Games That Aren't Quite There Yet (because nobody can quite figure out how to sell them)

this wouldn't even continue to bother me so much if I thought mainstream games media was at least abreast of which JP indies are actually seeing success (as defined by sales numbers) but even phenomenally-popular games like Needy Girl Overdose are completely outside of their radar... not only is the coverage so blinkered, and so reliant on the same small handful of ex-[blank] devs from decades past to shape their opinions, but it's not even in tune with the reality they want to present, so why bother?

It is 11:59PM right as I type this, so I gotta get this up for it to count as a Friday check-in! See you next time!!