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John Szczepaniak's Blog


I am the author of The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers trilogy of books. The first book contains 36 interviews over 526 pages, with never before documented information and images. Excerpts from the books, and other articles I've written, can be found below.

Volume 2 is now complete. If the history of Japanese games interests you, please take a look at the books and tell friends about it. All sales will go towards funding completion of Volumes 3.

Volume 1 is available on Amazon US, and Amazon UK, and probably all the other Amazons too. Available in print and Kindle.


John Szczepaniak has been a journalist for over 10 years and has interviewed over 150 people. He is also a 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

Posted by John Szczepaniak on Tue, 10 Nov 2015 02:42:00 EST in Design, Art, Console/PC
Around 1992 work began on an arcade fighting game at Konami, comparable to Mortal Kombat. Ultimately it went unfinished and unreleased - but the preliminary artwork remains.

Posted by John Szczepaniak on Wed, 10 Jun 2015 02:22:00 EDT in Design, Production, Art, Console/PC
As creator of Bombjack, Solomon's Key, Fire & Ice, plus numerous other games, Michitaka Tsuruta helped define some of Tehkan/Tecmo's best loved classics

Posted by John Szczepaniak on Wed, 06 May 2015 02:43:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Production, Console/PC
KONAMI - everyone is talking about it. But did you know the company once tried to launch its own console, to rival Nintendo and Sega?

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.

John Szczepaniak's Comments

Comment In: [News - 09/09/2015 - 05:20]

Sadly I think a lot ...

Sadly I think a lot of customers don 't realise XBLIG titles require being online to start. If you lose the connection afterwards that 's fine, they keep running, but it needs to be connected to boot. Would MS patch it I hope they would. And yet I can 't ...

Comment In: [Blog - 07/14/2015 - 04:25]

I want all of these ...

I want all of these but do not own a Vita yet. You say it 's only accessible via the Vita store, meaning I 'm SOL It 's not like there 's a special trick where you can buy them on PSN via yours PS3 and then just like hang ...

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 ...