Tag Archives: Japanese

Inti Creates: On Being a Truly International Game Developer

As gaming has evolved, the medium of “video games” has broadened considerably. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that a wide variety of disparate markets have started to overlap and mingle.

One of the most interesting things about gaming today is the wide variety of experiences we can enjoy from creators all over the world. Here in the West, for example, we can enjoy more quality games that hail from Asia than ever before thanks to the sterling efforts of localisation companies — despite the occasional controversy, of course!

But then there’s the odd company out there who does things a little differently; the odd company that “thinks global” right from the beginning rather than making sharply delineated distinctions between “East” and “West”. And one of those companies is Inti Creates.

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Memrise: Another Daily Way to Practice Your Japanese

A while back, we took a look at Duolingo’s iOS and Android-based solution for training your Japanese skills on a daily basis.

Duolingo has since launched the Web-based version of its Japanese course and it is still a worthwhile use of your time, particularly if you’re starting out. But I’ve been exploring an alternative recently after my friend “Firion Hope” on Twitter made me aware of it… and I think I prefer it slightly after spending a couple of weeks with it.

That alternative is Memrise, and if you’re looking for a way to get into the habit of daily study as well as challenging yourself a bit, it’s well worth a look.

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Duolingo: A Daily Way to Practice Your Japanese

Many Japanese video game, anime and manga enthusiasts have probably considered learning the native language of their favourite entertainment at some point… but it’s a daunting prospect.

The fact you have to learn two new phonetic alphabets (hiragana and katakana) plus a whole swathe of pictograms (kanji) that represent various concepts or parts of speech means that it’s not a simple case of just jumping in and learning new words for things. You have to learn a completely new way of reading and writing, too.

The potential rewards are great, though, since learning Japanese allows you to access a whole host of entertainment that doesn’t get localised. And with the region-free nature of most modern computer and gaming systems coupled with international Internet shopping, importing games, DVDs, Blu-Rays and manga is trivially easy today.

So where do you start? Well, there are all sorts of ways you can tackle this challenge, but the new iOS and Android-based Japanese course from free language learning organisation Duolingo is as good a place as any to get your studies underway.

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From the Archives: A Fine Romance

The terms “visual novel” and “dating sim” are used somewhat interchangeably in the West — even by those who publish them — but in actuality, this isn’t particularly accurate.

Visual novels often involve romantic and/or sexual relationships as a key part of their narrative, sure, and dating sims involve a lot of reading text and making choices — but it’s in terms of overall structure that they differ quite significantly from one another.

Specifically, in a dating sim, you’re often given a lot more freedom in terms of how to pursue the your dream partner — and a consequent greater potential to mess things up entirely — whereas in a visual novel, you’re typically following a more clearly-defined, linear narrative.

This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2012 as part of the site’s regular READ.ME column on visual novels. It has been republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.

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The MoeGamer GameCast: Episode 4

In this episode of the GameCast, Midori, Yumi, Penelope and I discuss the use of language in characterisation and localisation, Gabriel Dropout and much more.

No quiz this week as that JRPG monstrosity took a whole lot of time to put together! Expect more in the near future though. If you didn’t get a perfect 20 last week, you might want to go back and try again for Midori’s grand prize, by the way… I won’t tell anyone if you looked the answers up. Why should you try again? Well, I’ll leave that for you to discover.

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The original music, as before, is by watson of MusMus, and the font is the work of Style64. Other music used in this episode remains the copyright of its respective owners.

If you’re having trouble running the browser version, take a look at the TyranoBuilder FAQ, which explains how to run browser games locally — though be aware there can be some security risks involved, so only follow its recommendations when you want to run a browser-based episode of the GameCast.

Download for Windows (111MB)
Download for Mac (114MB)
Download for Browser (83MB)

As I said last week, if/when I have a bit more money floating around, I’ll sort out some proper hosting for browser versions so you don’t have to go through this process. If you’d like to help out with that — or if you just want to show your support for what I’m doing on the site in general — please consider making a pledge to my Patreon.

If you’re new to the GameCast, start from the beginning to find out more about the characters and what this is all about!