With BitSummit come and gone, and other events coming into the limelight, we wanted to look back and highlight many of the talented independent developers that showed up at the event, and what you all can look forward to as we bring more and more Japanese indie games to the West.
Hosted on March 9th for any and all Japanese indie developers to show their wares, BitSummit was a great success. This is just a taste of the talent that was on display.
This is going to be a long one, so hang on!
This team is currently working on a 3D character action game called Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae. This game looks simply fantastic!
This group of developers has been collaborating with Playism since its inception. I’m Gonna Be the God of the Forest is available on Playism EN right now, and on Playstation Mobile under the name Forevolution.
The team behind Ambi-ON for iOS, a new twist on the Arkanoid formula.
Maruchu was the recipient of the grand prize at Playism’s HSP Programming Contest in 2012. Their game, Colorful Mines, is available on Playism JP.
The developers behind RefRain are nothing short of experts in the indie shmup genre.
Established by Yamana Gaku (Dragon Quest), Genius Sonority has made a name for itself working on games like Pokemon Colosseum and Dragon Quest Swords, but came into its own when it independently developed Denpa Men for the 3DS eShop.
The developers of the amazing Gunhound. I really should stop playing Gunhound at work… Give the game a try if you can. It’s truly fantastic.
BitSummit was actually the first time we had a chance to learn about Visiontrick. Their art is simply staggering. This is an indie game?!
The developer behind Croixleur, the English version of which is now out!
The indie development group behind games like Mayonaka Mayoiga. Their attention to environmental detail is pretty fantastic.
For two years in a row now, Nanmo has revealed some fantastic games at TGS’ Sense of Wonder Night.
The team behind the fantastically crafted fighting game Yatagarasu 4.3, available on Playism JP right now.
The company responsible for Kamui, one of the best shmups in the genre.
Quad Arrow Co., Ltd.
The developers of ef-12, the game about making fighting games! Using the game’s MOD tools, players can edit everything from the character model, to move sets and idle animations. Members of Quad Arrow have worked on a variety of AAA fighting games in the past.
Headed by Daisuke Amaya, Pixel is the developer of the most famous Japanese indie game of all time: Cave Story.
Amaya revealed his new game, Gero Blaster, to much excitement at BitSummit. Gero Blaster is slated for release Spring 2013.
One of the premier developers in the Japanese indie scene, NIGORO has become famous for Flash games like Rose & Camellia, Death Village, but is most well-known for their magnum opus: La-Mulana. Takumi Naramura of NIGORO will be speaking at GDC on March 28th, and La-Mulana will be releasing on Steam on April 15th!
An independent company with an insane amount of talent and hailing from the Kansai region, HEXA DRIVE has been involved in quite a few high profile releases, including Capcom’s E.X. Troopers, and the HD re-release of Okami.
The company behind cult hits PaRappa the Rapper and Umjammer Lammy, NanOn-sha continues to create groundbreaking and unique titles even now.
Developers of the quirky wild life simulator Tokyo Jungle, Crispy’s Kataoka Yohei was a guest speaker at BitSummit.
The developer of the divisive but lovable cult hit Deadly Premonition, Access’ Suehiro Hidenaka (commonly known asSwery65) was at BitSummit as a guest speaker.
Brainstorm Co. Ltd.
Made up of both Brainstorm Co. and “Team Grand-Slam”, Brainstorm made quite a splash in the indie scene recently with the announcement of their new game, Monken.
Starting this summer, Brainstorm plans to start hiring staff for upcoming projects.
The development team responsible for games like ∀kashicverse. They apparently also release graphic novels. Who knew?
The developers of the upcoming Crimson Dragon for Xbox 360 and Kinect, and the team behind the insanely addictive Meteos.
One team we unfortunately didn’t get to chat with during BitSummit…
Established by Lumines, Rez and Child of Eden creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Monstars recently released Kotomon for iOS.
The developers of the thrilling underwater shooter Neo Aquarium, which is available on on Playism EN right now!
The developers of Tengami, which was revealed at Tokyo Game Show 2012’s Sense of Wonder Night. Nyamnyam is actually made up of a mix of both British and Japanese staff. Tengami is set to release this summer.
Otwo is versed both in console and web-based games. They recently launched their own game brand, peakvox.
The Petit Depot
This small development outfit of only four people has been greatly successful in Japan with their recent game, Maison de Maou, which has been released both on Xbox Live Indie Games and Playism JP! Localization of Maison de Maou for Playism EN is currently ongoing.
The company responsible for the PixelJunk series, and the home of Dylan Cuthbert and former Electronic Gaming Monthly EIC James Mielke. Q Games is currently hard at work on their new title, PixelJunk 1-6.
The team behind the flash-based Mega man homage, Rokko-chan. They recently began a Kickstarter campaign to release the soundtrack for the game.
Developers of the Wii game Earthseeker.
This development team is known for participating in Fukushima Game Jam, as well as designing the logo for the Tokyo Game Show.
A company headed up by Kujo-san, the developer famous for his work on the Disaster Report series. Their games are available to play via Playstation Home.
The developer known for the world’s first Second Person Shooter, Himo’s Second Person Shooting Zato series will be coming to Playism soon.
Headed up by Resident Evil and Vanquish creator Shinji Mikami, Tango’s first game is a survival horror game currently code-named “Zwei”.
A personal friend of the Playism EN staff, Eric’s first game is a devious mathematics-based puzzle game called Subaku, available now on iOS.
The developers of the Hatsune Miku – Project DIVA series, Rez, and more.
Bow Mobile Corporation
A publisher specializing in mobile content. Their most recent release was Double Dragon.
Live a Life Inc.
We don’t know much about this development group yet.
We don’t know much about this development group yet.
The following teams were unable to attend:
The developers of Helen’s Mysterious Castle. I’ve never met the team, and I’m a huge fan of Helen, was I was hoping I’d get the chance to meet them.
Creators of the Destroy Gunners series. While SHADE’s has recently been working with the VITA, their mobile content still quite impressive, and worth a look.
That should be everyone that attended BitSummit this year. If we missed anyone, be sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be sure to add it. Thanks to Komatsunu-ya for providing so much of the information for this immense blog post.
Stay tuned for more info from the world of Japanese indie games!