One last charge over the hill, comrades
Since my last update I've continued to contact and be contacted by various developers, or those who know developers. Notably one of my backers in Japan has been helping me, and is trying to put me in touch Yoshio Kiya, who developed one of Japan's earliest RPGs. Alongside about 10 other really, really cool people.
I did a count, and I've now had replies from over 40 developers, expressing interest in being interviewed, and several promising to put me in touch with colleagues (some have already done so).
Here's a few:
Takashi Kogure - artist on multiple games, including Metal Storm, Little Samson, and Cannon Dancer.
Hiromasa Iwasaki - lots of work at Hudson. Already on my list of contacts, but contacted me again to express a strong interest and putting me in touch with colleagues.
Takuya Iwasaki - designer on Klonoa, and producer at Cavia
Professor Yoshhiro Kishimoto - I was contacted by one of his students, who will introduce me. He developed the Famista series, Baraduke, and - I believe - that unusual Star Wars game for the Famicom, which never reached the West.
Fumio Kurokawa - formerly at Sega, Konami and Digicube, now working on his own crowd-funded project in Japan.
Akinori Nakamura - Famicom researcher and book author.
Kiyohiro Sada - early Konami musician, now runs a production production company.
Manabu Yamana - early Japanese computer games (MSX, PC-88, FM7), Chunsoft, Dragon Quest, Pokemon.
Hidenori Shibao - I mentioned him on the front page, but I want to say it again. He started as a manga writer, before moving into games journalism during the Famicom era. He has seen the industry change, documenting it himself. He wrote strategy guides (including the only one for the infamous Super Monkey Daibouken - which is almost impossible to complete), moved into design, including Paladin's Quest and its sequel Lennus II, and was a scenario writer for Enix. As he said to me: "There have been so many untold stories since the dawn of video games."
Acquire - the company that made Tenchu and Way of the Samurai. I've been given the contact details for two people, but haven't contacted them yet.
I've also been investigating avenues for contacting key figures at ZOOM, Climax Entertainment, Telenet / Wolfteam, GameArts, Red Entertainment, Taito, SNK, and a whole bunch of others. I've also gotten fairly close to tracking down two of the four surviving gentlemen in that Enix poster from a previous update (my idea: let's recreate that photo). Plus I've been promised introductions to a few known figures who I can't name yet (think RPG developers who are not related to Konami, Falcom, Square or Enix).
Given the volume that I've already contacted, and the fact the Kickstarter has stopped moving, I am going to put all further contacting on hold. As it is, if the KS fails, I will need to apologise to over 40 people. Each time I make an update regarding the interviewees, it doesn't bring in any more backers. I've shown my ability to track down those with interesting stories - beyond this, I'm not sure what else I can promise.
If this Kickstarter is to succeed, I will need all of your help.
There are about 16 days left, and about £24,000 still to go.
I have contacted every news website I can think of, from the big to the small. Two of the biggest, Polygon and Kotaku, both ran stories on it. If these two websites, which get millions of hits, can't spread the word far enough, I don't know what can. Some sites, such as SiliconEra I have emailed and tweeted about 8 times. Given the displeasure localisation company 8-4 has with me (I turned them down regarding interpreters), and the fact that SiliconEra is staffed by an 8-4 intern, I can only assume that's why they won't cover it.
As for other news websites? I guess it doesn't interest them. About 8 months ago I publicly called out unethical behaviour among certain publications and websites, regarding withholding writer names in articles. I suppose a few of them are still bitter and would rather see the last of me.
Well, this is not a popularity contest. I'm not here to make friends with my peers. I'm here to correct a problem - the lack of English documentation regarding the last 35 years of Japanese gaming history. And I'm doing it without any help from the big publishers.
If this project is to succeed, I need you, my faithful backers, to spread the word. Keep posting on Facebook and Twitter, these two avenues have generated a lot of backers. Post on personal blogs and websites. Send "News Tip" emails to all the big news websites that haven't yet covered this story. I believe that there are enough of us, who want this information, to make this possible.
If this is to succeed, we need to go guerrilla. Or gorilla... depending on which obscure PC-88 computer game you've been playing. This little known gem by Xtalsoft is a personal favourite.
Over the hill, my comrades!