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John Szczepaniak's Blog


Author of The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers. A book of 36 interviews over 526 pages, containing never before documented information. Available on Amazon US, and Amazon UK, and probably all the other Amazons too.

John Szczepaniak is a freelance journalist, novelist, and copy editor. He's written for Gamasutra, Game Developer Magazine, Retro Gamer, GamesTM, Official PlayStation Magazine, The Escapist, plus over a dozen other publications. He frequently contributes to Hardcore Gaming 101, where he helped put together The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures book and was managing editor on the Sega Arcade Classics Vol. 1 book.

Licensed by Great Britain's Royal Yachting Association as a naval skipper, John also holds a Marine Radio Operator's license. MENSA certified, speaks Japanese, programs indie games, brews wine.



Member Blogs

A collection of interview excerpts with Japanese developers who worked on the PC Engine.

Posted by John Szczepaniak on Mon, 28 Apr 2014 09:18:00 EDT in Programming, Console/PC, Indie
With the 50th anniversary of the BASIC language only days away, here's a look at 11 dialects and 11 creations of note.

Posted by John Szczepaniak on Thu, 20 Mar 2014 11:42:00 EDT in Design, Production, Art, Console/PC, Indie, Smartphone/Tablet
The creativity of Kenji Eno lives on as friends and colleagues prepare to develop his game design ideas posthumously. Read more in this exclusive interview.

Posted by John Szczepaniak on Tue, 04 Mar 2014 04:51:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Design, Programming, Production, Console/PC
History of Olion and the AX computer game series in Japan, which eventually led to the forming of Game Arts. Plus lots of other interesting facts about Japanese computer history.

Posted by John Szczepaniak on Wed, 05 Jun 2013 05:42:00 EDT in Design, Indie
Could a quirky N64 game about robotic animals have laid the genetic foundation for one of the industry's biggest series - Grand Theft Auto?

Posted by John Szczepaniak on Fri, 17 May 2013 02:06:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
A brief chat about the team's unusual cyberpunk FPS

John Szczepaniak's Comments

Comment In: [News - 05/02/2014 - 05:48]

This is a significant point ...

This is a significant point regarding Japan trying to appeal to the West . Markets outsides of Japan are very different from each other. This also reminds me of the fact that during the 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit eras, Japanese games released in Europe were usually but not always those ...

Comment In: [News - 12/09/2013 - 09:49]

To be honest, I 'm ...

To be honest, I 'm so grateful that they don 't implement DRM like Steam, that even if a game didn 't work, I 'd probably just let them keep the small amount I paid. As yet, of 20 purchases, none have given me any trouble.

Comment In: [Blog - 08/05/2013 - 05:05]

The thing that killed The ...

The thing that killed The Last of Us for me was that for several hours the game was all about resource conservation: Don 't waste bullets. Then suddenly the game puts you in an upside down shoot-out with infinite ammo. No explanation, just a contrived deus ex machina so that ...

Comment In: [News - 07/08/2013 - 01:16]

I read the Valve handbook ...

I read the Valve handbook that circulated a while back or at least excerpts . It sounded like the worst place in the world to work. I would run screaming from such a work environment. The book painted it like some kind of lawless chaotic void, where your pay would ...

Comment In: [Blog - 06/05/2013 - 08:53]

As someone involved in a ...

As someone involved in a Kickstarter, this is both fascinating and bloody terrifying. r n r nHowever, as an Englishman, I 'm curious to know the specifics related to British tax laws. Is there anyone on Gamasutra with an expertise knowledge in British tax laws who wants to write an ...

Comment In: [Feature - 05/31/2013 - 04:00]

A fantastic article. One of ...

A fantastic article. One of the best I 've read online recently. It strongly resonates with a lot of my thoughts. For example the Panzer Dragoon series, which has a strong sense of sekaikan, in terms of world, environment, indigenous fauna, language and so on. All of these elements are ...