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I’m editing Japansoft: An Oral History

January 09, 2019 ・ Blog

A picture of the book Japansoft: An Oral History against a soft pink background

I’ve been rather remiss in noting this, but I’m currently working on a new book! Called Japansoft: An Oral History, it’s a spiritual follow-up to Britsoft: An Oral History, which means it’s a set of intimate reminiscences by members of the early Japanese game industry.

It’s based on interviews made by John Szczepaniak for his series, The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers, but I’m editing them into the same tight form that made Britsoft such a success, and it’s also being designed by Hugo Timm of Julia, and published by Darren Wall’s Read-Only Memory. It’s the old team back together! Except with the addition of lovely illustrations by Yu Nagaba.

We successfully crowdfunded it at the end of 2018 on Vol.co, Thames & Hudson’s publishing platform, and so now it’s all go!

Honestly, for me it’s a huge and scary project, because I don’t know the Japanese industry like I do the British one, but John really does know it well, and his interviews feature some fantastic insights. And the whole thing is starting to find some form - rather than purely chronological, it’s going to be arranged by company, from Enix to Capcom, T&E Soft to Hudson, because the Japanese scene tended to comprise of such tight circles of people and ideas.

More as it continues to come together, but you can check some sample spreads from the chapter on Enix below.

An image of pages in Japansoft about the PC-98

An image of pages in Japansoft that cover speakers’ biographies

An image of pages in Japansoft about the publisher Enix