Game Girls Go! - Japanese Idols vs Retro Video Games
Game Girls Go! - Japanese Idols vs Retro Video Games
Japanese Idols vs Retro Video Games, resulting in either fantastic prizes or crazy (and sometimes messy) challenges.
Japanese Idols vs Retro Video Games, resulting in either fantastic prizes or crazy (and sometimes messy) challenges. Read more
About this project
***BIG NEWS: WE NOW HAVE THE SUPPORT OF MAJOR GAME COMPANIES IN JAPAN***
The formula is simple:
Take a Japanese Idol... you know, the kind you've seen on YouTube videos freaking out over having to put their head in a box with a lizard, or eat something completely gross. Put her in a room with three classic games on three different systems. Give her a list of challenges and a set amount of time to complete them. If she succeeds, she wins a prize. If she doesn’t, she gets penalized and must complete a go-for-broke challenge ala the classic game show Double Dare.
That’s Game Girls Go! in a nutshell.
In today’s world, games are big... bigger than big. If you told me 30 years ago when I was in an arcade as a kid playing games like Donkey Kong and Dragon’s Lair that by the time I was an adult that a game machine of some sort would be in just about every household in every developed nation in the world... well, I would have believed you, because kids believe anything; but my point is, those games that could only be found in the back corners of pizza joints and at specialty game centers are now part of almost everyone's common experience. Not only do people enjoy playing games, a great amount of time is spent by game enthusiasts watching people play games. This isn’t just an online phenomenon, either. In Japan, television shows like Game Center CX (known as Retro Game Master in the West), where one person does nothing other than play through a game, or a series of games, have a massive following.
Now there’s Game Girls Go!
Game Girls Go! combines the fun of watching great, and not so great, games with the insanity of a wacky Japanese game show and gives a point to it all: prizes and craziness.
There are three major components to Game Girls Go!, the first being the contestants, the girls. Each contestant is carefully selected from a Japanese idol agency. She may be well known... she may be a rising star; but she’ll bring the looks and attitude it takes to make every second of Game Girls Go! an enjoyable, exciting experience. Game sessions could result in laughter or tears, every episode, every girl will be different. And viewers will quickly find their favorites among these Japanese Game Girls and find themselves rooting for their success or utter failure. Contestants enter the competition not knowing what games they will play or what their eventual fate may be. That just ads to the drama and excitement of watching.
The second component to Game Girls Go! is the most important: the games. While other shows feature only a narrow spectrum of available games, Game Girls Go! will feature games and systems from the MSX (1983) to the Playstation 2 (2000) from the Super Famicom (1990) to the Dreamcast (1998). There’s a whole history of great gaming waiting to be discovered by modern game fans, and Game Girls Go! will do its best to dig into the past, bringing classics, little-known gems, rarities, and absolute stinkers into the studio for a varied and entertaining challenge. Still not convinced? Here are just some of systems that Studio Happy Chicken is ready to present to our gaming girls:
- Famicom Disk System
- Sega Mark III
- PC Engine
- Super Famicom
- Mega Drive
- Mega CD
- FM Towns
- Neo Geo
- Neo Geo CD
- Playstation 2
Sharp-eyed fans might have noticed that these systems are all the Japanese versions of each game console. That’s because at its heart Game Girls Go! is a Japanese show; but we’ll talk more about that later. More importantly, every game played will be an original copy of that title played on the system it was designed for. No emulation.
Each game will be presented in glorious high definition, even if they’ve never been available in that format before. This is done though a combination of pure RGB output and hardware upscaling, allowing us to present the best possible picture. Every high definition image is then compared to its standard definition counterpart to make sure that the games are presented in their own individual pixel perfect aspect ratio. We care about games.
The final component to Game Girls Go! is the system. It’s not going to be very fun if each girl is doomed for failure from the get-go, so we’ve developed a set of standards to level the playing field and give each girl a fighting chance at success. As we said above, each girl is given three games to play. These games have been balanced against one another so that each game increases in difficulty from the last. So, starting out, the first game is the easiest and the last the hardest. Think of it as a sort of easy, normal, and hard gameplay modes. Each game also has four challenges to be met. Three of these challenges are normal achievements, things like “collect 100 coins”, “beat level 3”, or “don’t use more than 3 continues”. One challenge, though, is special. This challenge is a hidden challenge and allows our Game Girl an automatic win on that game. If, by the end of the 3 game challenge, she’s racked up more completed challenges than not, she wins a great prize. If not, then she gets a final shot at glory by completing a penalty challenge.
A fair and balanced system of game difficulty and achievements is what really makes Game Girls Go! a blast to watch: a contestant will almost always have the ability to pull a win out of the jaws of failure. While a game is being played, viewers will be able to see not only gameplay footage, but watch our Game Girl play the game in real time. This adds to the excitement and fun of the gameplay segments, and also allows folks at home to live all the joy and frustration of the experience as if they were right there next to the idol as it’s all unfolding.
Game Girls Go! is also about the history of the games and system it features. We here at Studio Happy Chicken are absolute huge retro game fans and it shows in the meticulous detail and care we put into every Game Girls release. Each “episode” does more than just allow a beautiful and charming girl to play a great game. Game Girls Go! also introduces and presents each featured game and system, going into the history and impact of the game, as well as sharing facts and figures of the system that it’s being played on. Here’s an example: Let’s say we've got four different Sega Saturn games. Each game would be played on a variant of the Sega Saturn console. Maybe the first game would be played on a grey console that was available at launch. The next game might be played on a white Saturn. The next on a clear Skeleton Saturn, and the final game on a Hitachi Hi-Saturn. Each system variant will get its day in the sun, and we’ll explain what makes every game machine special and different. As for the game, we’ll show different levels and what it looks like when played “correctly”, as well as talk about the game’s individual history, releases, and whether or not it’s available to download on current generation consoles. It’s a great way to learn gaming history while being entertained.
EAST vs. WEST
Game Girls Go! will come in two flavors, Japanese and English. The Japanese release will feature full voice and text in Japanese. The English release will feature an English announcer and English remarks during gameplay, but will feature subtitles for each idol, and for sections of games that include heavy Japanese text or voiceovers. Other than these cosmetic changes, the content of the two versions will be identical.
The physical copies, i.e. Blu-ray and DVD releases, do vary. In Japan, DVD is still king, so Japan will receive the DVD release of Game Girls Go! featuring one 60 minute episode per disk. In the west, Blu-ray and Digital Downloads rule the day, so the western release of Game Girls Go! will arrive on high definition Blu-ray Disk and feature 2 episodes per volume. That’s 120 minutes of gaming goodness per disk in the west, with individual episodes available for Digital Download.
As we pointed out previously, Game Girls Go! currently features Japanese systems and games. The reason for that is simple, Studio Happy Chicken is in Japan, so what we have access to is Japanese games. That’s not to say that future volumes might include Western releases; but you have to admit, it’s a lot easier for a Japanese idol to understand what’s going on in a Japanese game than in a game with tons of English.
COMMITMENT TO DECENCY
Because of the special relationship between the content of the show and Japanese game companies, Game Girls Go! is totally committed to decency. The end product will be something that could be on broadcast television. Let's face it: there's no way any game maker would associate their product with a show that is indecent or offensive, so Game Girls Go! will be neither. No one will get hurt in any of the challenges or be degraded or exploited in any way.
What it will be is a crazy fun way to enjoy and learn about classic gaming.
WHY HAPPY CHICKEN?
Studio Happy Chicken, operating under Happy Chicken Group, is the only independent Western studio operating in Japan. A pioneer in the gravure and pink film industry, Studio Happy Chicken has worked tirelessly over the last four years to engrain itself in a market where no other Western company has succeeded. During those four years, Happy Chicken has released 10 films in North America and 13 films in Japan. We’ve had releases that got people talking and we’ve had releases that people couldn't have cared less about. We know failure and we know success, but most importantly we know what it takes to succeed in Japan and abroad. We know games and we love games.
Series creator and director HCK has been import gaming since 1994 and has not only had articles featured on Kotaku but was also a staff writer for GameFan Magazine. When it comes to idols and games, Studio Happy Chicken brings the full monty. We have the connections, we have the equipment, we have the drive and the love.
Now all we need is you!
A detailed budget breakdown will be available upon request.
The funding amount for this project is designed to “kickstart” the first volume of Game Girls Go!, or two episodes. Our feeling is that when dealing with a commercial product, it needs to be self perpetuating and commercially viable. We would never ask our supporters to pay for any vanity project or dead end.
Any funds above and beyond our goal would be used toward future volumes of the series. None of the funding will end up in the pockets of Happy Chicken staff or be used in the acquisition of games or gaming systems.
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge this production faces comes from the game companies themselves. Of course the sounds and images that make up a game are the property of the companies that made and published them. We are currently actively working with both Japanese and American representatives of both popular and little known game companies to make sure we secure the necessary rights allowing Game Girls Go! to exist as a a commercial and broadcast product.
The worst case scenario being that absolutely NO game company signs off on allowing us to commercially use or license their works. In this case, it would be impossible for Game Girls Go! to see commercial release... BUT that does not mean that our backers would be out of luck and out of their hard earned cash. In the event that every single game company responded with a resounding "NO", we would consider the project a "specialty custom project" that would only be delivered to our backers, but not available through any retail outlet or via download.
Our feelings on the matter is that Game Girls Go! will most likely be comparable to another great idea from 36 years ago: The Muppet Show. Originally, when The Muppet Show launched, it was very difficult for Jim Henson to get people on board to come on the show as guest stars. It was only after the first season of the show aired that people started to see the genius of the format. By the third season, there was so much interest that they actually had to turn people away because there were too many stars that wanted to be involved. What this means is that in all likelihood, Game Girls Go! will start off slow, so you may not see some big name companies in the first series of releases; but we have full confidence that once the larger companies are able to properly grasp the concept and see positive fan reaction, they will eventually come on board if they aren't already.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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