Do you like or dislike the term "doujin game"? Because in the US we refer to your games and your games as doujin games. Is it a good word or a bad word? [Ed. note: doujin is a word that refers to fan-made content in Japanese; it has something of a "fanboy" connotation.]
KC: Ahh, I understand. I don't think it's a bad word and I know it's very difficult to explain the difference between freeware games and indie games. I don't have a bad impression about calling my games doujin. Yeah, I don't particularly mind. Do you have resistance against your games being called doujin games?
O: Because I think what we're doing (compared to the mainstream) is essentially the same, I don't think much of it. The only thing is if you say "doujin" people usually think it's a anime character-based game, so it's a little it's a little bit different in that respect.
It's not like that in America. So I've started using that term in English, example when talking about Kenta Cho's games. Before that, the term was almost never used in the U.S., so in America doujin games refers to all indie games.
KC: Perhaps doujin is used in the context of independent games in Japan.
Yes, independent games in Japan. So anyway, also do many of you in this independent game industry in Japan know each other? Do you talk to each other and share ideas and stuff?
JM: Share like a community.
KC: Community. Umm...
JM: I saw an indie game shop, a doujin shop in [Tokyo electronics district] Akihabara.
Messe Sanoh? That place is like the only place you can get doujin games, but also it's like a total porn shop.
KC: (laughs) But this community is different. Our community is creating games and distributing these games on the web, but many people who create doujin games use distributors like Messe Sanoh or comic markets, and I think there is no connection between these communities. I don't know about doujin game communities.
JM: Did you meet Omega before?
But what about like, someone like, do you know Murasame?
KC: Yes, I do.
Murasame is kind of in between, because he's got anime characters, but also releases demos on the web is very shooting game focused. It seems like there's some crossover.
KC: Yeah. I first met Murasame in a WonderWitch contest (laughs).
Oh really? He made Dicing Knight. So with the web-based creators, is there a community?
KC: Our community is for the people who create 2D shooters on the web. I don't know about communities of any other kind of games.
You go to [amateur-created comics convention] Comiket?
O: Yes, I go.
I see. So doujin game is probably an okay term to you (laugh).
So Comic Market is like the biggest place to buy doujin games for like everyone I can see.
And I think everyone sells all the doujin games there, so it seems like a good opportunity to meet each other.
BS: I guess most people do that to meet each other, it sounds like. So what do you think about the possibility of an independent game web portal in Japan?
KC: In Japan there is no culture to sell games on the web... so many people use Comiket or Messe Sanoh to sell their own games. I don't know why there isn't such a kind of culture in the indie game community. There are probably more independent game companies in Japan, but now I think it's very difficult to sell my games on the web.
KC: Yeah, it's for shareware.
Well, I think if someone made a web portal where you could sell your game, your games and his all in one place, I think it would be pretty good, but in Japan you don't often use credit cards to buy things on the web.
JM: How do you buy things on the web?
You have to pay at a convenience store like 7-Eleven, or buy a prepaid card.
JM: Oh weird. It's like those Microsoft points.
You can sort of now on Amazon Japan and stuff, but it's not so easy. So like if I want to buy Murasame's game, I have to go to Messe Sanoh. I can't buy it online, which is weird.
So like, people like us in the west can't buy it.
KC: Yes. It's a big problem for doujin games. People overseas can't play that many good doujin games. Some shooters are very good, with very nice gameplay, very nice music, but...