There were other discoveries, like Gero Blaster for iOS. Gero Blaster, which is a run-and-gun game that stars a frog, features some of the best, and smartest, iPhone controls I've ever used was created by Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya, who toiled away for five years on Cave Story, a freeware, independent PC game released in 2004. There was Yatagarasu 4, a truly enjoyable fighter gaming that game's programmer, who doesn't even work in the game industry, knocked out in his free time after his day job.


This was what a game show should be, I thought. There was zero pretension whatsoever. There weren't even hard sells and PR bullshit that you become accustomed to—and sick of—the longer you cover gaming. Instead, it was a room full of people who made games, who only wanted the chance to meet other game creators and have people check out their games. I didn't feel grand delusions of fame or fortune. There was a purity that often feels lost in video games.

At he front of the room, two guys from Valve sat at a table. To be honest, they didn't have to be there. Plenty of game creators in the West are dying to get their games on Valve's Steam platform. But, yet, here was Valve, meeting with whoever approached their table. As I said, they didn't have to be there, but there were there for a reason: Japan has tons of independent games that never leave the country. "I think there's a bunch of good stuff in the room that deserves a wider audience," Valve's Dan Berger told Kotaku.


Moments earlier, two Japanese indie game creators—one male and one female—both had made their way to Valve's table. It was only after a developer at 8-4 had heard them worrying about whether they should even approach Valve. The attitude felt very humble, slightly shy, and incredibly Japanese. For many of the country's independent game creators, it feels like they are making video games because they want to—not as some sort of get rich quick scheme. So things like self promotion and putting oneself out there might seem more difficult for many creators, thus, making it harder to discover new and interesting game experiences.


There is an interest in getting these games out there. There is a world of Japanese games we don't know about yet. And there are indie game creators in Japan who are keen to bring their work to a larger audience. "It's amazing that we were able to get all these people out to Kyoto," said Q-Games boss Dylan Cuthbert. Amazing, sure. Wonderful, yes. About time, definitely.

(Top photo: Dylan Cuthbert | Facebook)

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