For those of you unfamiliar with Atarashi Games, they’re an independent publisher of tabletop role-playing games, best known for a psychic schoolgirl adventure game called “Panty Explosion.” PE can be kind of dark, but despite the title it’s not particularly pervy or anything. It’s earned them all kinds of extra attention, though the objections have been mainly from men (including a guy who punched one of the designers in the head) rather than women. They also put out Classroom Deathmatch, which is basically Battle Royale with the serial numbers filed off. In short, not unlike myself Jake Richmond and his associates are fans of various kinds of Japanese media and generally like messing with people.
That’s why Atarashi Games is probably the only RPG publisher that would hold a contest to design a Japanese-style school uniform for them to use with their games. I urge those of you who have some artistic inclination to consider entering, but the focus of this blog post is on school uniforms as a cultural phenomenon.
Jake Richmond is an artist, teacher, game designer, and generally has a number of pursuits that take priority over being an anime fan. Anime and related media can be surprisingly subtle in terms of the visual elements they use. For Panty Explosion, Jake mostly did a bunch of relatively generic pictures of Japanese high school girls, with an emphasis on sailor fuku style school uniforms and in a realistic style. It works, though it gives the impression that the art is based off of stills of old Japanese horror films.
Western RPGs in general seem to have a hard time really getting the “anime” look down. Steve Jackson Games got one of their staff artists to fake it for GURPS Mecha, while Guardians of Order hired a variety of fan artists, sometimes with mixed results. More recently, Green Ronin did a Mutants & Masterminds supplement called “Mecha & Manga.” Some art was very good, and some of it was kind of iffy, but even the really talented artists produced a lot of pieces that were highly derivative.
This will be a short post on Computer/console-Role-Playing Games (RPGs), which are why I’m so scarce this week; as opposed to last week, when it was due to me attending a convention.
The Last Remnant, Square Enix‘s less than stellar last game, is the one I’m currently spending too much time on, which is exactly the point: These games work their magic on me in such a manner that even when they are less than stellar, my days are lost to them.
Panty Explosion is a role-playing game about psychic girls and school drama. Classroom Deathmatch, the next RPG Jake had worked on is based on Battle Royale, to a degree. A game where a class of students must fight to the death.
This part of the interview will deal mostly with Classroom Deathmatch, but also with The Magical Land of Yeld, a fusion of Zelda, the secret worlds of Narnia, and Final Fantasy Tactics’ job-system, a game about children in a magical world of adventure.
The previous part of the interview can be read here, dealing mostly with Panty Explosion, and the work-process Jake and his co-creators engage in.
I will have my comments (in italics and parenthesis), and most links had been added by myself. Hope you’ll enjoy it
1. How did you decide on Classroom Deathmatch after Panty Explosion?
Matt and I had been selling Panty Explosion at GenCon (The biggest role-playing convention in the world, AFAIK), and the booth across from us was am import DVD seller called Cine-East. The couple running the booth were really enthusiastic about the game and helped us promote it at the show, and Matt and I ended up buying a whole mess of DVDs from them. Survive Style 5+, Saikano and a whole bunch of other stuff. One of those was Battle Royale 2, and Nick came over to the house and watched it with me a few weeks after the con. We were about half way through the movie and one of us was like “we could totally play this with Panty Explosion”. And then at the same time we both blurted out something about a Battle Royale/Panty Explosion game. We wrote the entire thing that night.
Originally we had planned to release a yaoi-flavored version of Panty Explosion, but it never really happened. Maybe someday.
Panty Explosion is a light Role-playing game which draws inspiration from Japanese school life, anime, and Korean and Japanese horror films. Jake Richmond is an indie RPG designer, the co-creator of Panty Explosion and other games, and a talented artist. And I have him here for an interview. The second part will air in a week’s time.
Indie RPGs are like doujinshi, in a way. The creator does more or less everything on their own, but since it’s their own IP, it is official. Most sell for about $20, for interested parties. Story-Games are usually lighter on mechanics than most RPGs.
I will have my comments (in italics and parenthesis), and most links had been added by myself. Hope you’ll enjoy it
1. Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Jake Richmond. I live with friends in Portland, Oregon. I’ve been a full time freelance illustrator for about 5 years and a part-time art teacher for about 3. I make comics and games, and I publish my games under the label Atarashi Games. I rarely wake up before 1pm, and I never go to sleep before 4am. My blood type is A. I like Indian and Mexican food, collect video game art books and have a glasses fetish.
So, time to speak of what I purchased, pre-ordered and/or received during August, eh?
- Bloodstained Stars Limited edition pre-order plus patch arrive in mail.
- Formula P3 Basic painting techniques DVD arrives in mail.
- No Quarter magazine #25 arrives.
- No Quarter magazine #26 ordered at 15% discount.
- Dingy plastic colour-mixing palette purchased.
- Odor-less turpentine for varnish removal purchased.
- Flesh and Armor washes from P3 ordered. Badab Black and Devlun Mud washes from Citadel ordered. 15% discount.
- Eisenhorn omnibus arrives.
- Wheel of Time book 8: The Path of Daggers, purchased (not like I could finish book 7 and continue onward otherwise, y’know?).
- Dengeki Hime magazine with Komaki Aika figure arrives (not really a book, but..)
- About $80′s worth of Philosophy books and articles (Kant, Hobbes, Rousseau, etc.) purchased.
- Neliel tu Oderschvanck figure by Banpresto arrives.
- Evangelion XXnano figures of Sachiel and Lilith (mini-Rei!) , arrive from Bluedrakon.
- Ymir from Queen’s Blade 1/7 by Griffon arrive from Bluedrakon.
- Shuraki Trinity Box 5 - Rize (1/8) by Good Smile Company arrives, along with Drama CD and art booklet. Spectacular (technically I only got it away from the hands of the customs on September 1st).
- Gave the comic store old comics for $95 in credit.
- Hyuga Hinata enamel key-chain, for the cute factor.
Conclusion: Month ended with me having some money in the bank. Submitted a resume today somewhere.
So, some of you may know, I’m a university student, I’m one (1,800+ pages of material) test away from finishing my second year, studying Philosophy and Sociology/Anthropology. And one of the bennies when you get a too-open assignment, is to write about shit you care about. I wrote an assignment on Holism in analyzing RPGs.
This is actually not the first time I’ve done something like this. The first time we were asked to write a major assignment (around 20-30 pages) was in the fifth grade, and I wrote about Dungeons and Dragons. I hunted down the articles in Hebrew written about it, publications translated on satanism, psychology, how the game was brought into Israel, etc. This was back when “Mitzuv” the company that brought D&D to Israel existed, and TSR too, so I just had my mom go to their offices and photocopy that stuff for me.
I might actually still have this assignment somewhere, perhaps even on a computer (though if I do, it’s in Hebrew).
Now, I had a course in Philosophy about Holism, we’ve discussed the topic mainly through the lens of the Philosophy of Science and the Philosophy of Language, and a broad-picture was painted. We were told (we were told on the first lesson, so it didn’t come as a surprise) to write an assignment regarding Holism, anything we wanted.
And then came the time to write the assignment, and I wasn’t sure what to write about, so I turned to my interests, things I didn’t need to do major reading about in order to crank out a roughly 7 page assignment, because being the procrastinator that I am, there was no time.
I recalled the arrow diagram of The Big Model in RPGs, and how all the levels had to be taken into account, especially in light of “The Lumpley Principle” (“System (including but not limited to ‘the rules’) is defined as the means by which the group agrees to imagined events during play.”) and I set down to right.
Note, this assignment is obviously not without flaws, but I had constraints of time and space to begin with, and the paper had to be tailored to a specific audience. Roleplaying games may have needed a better explanation and breakdown, The Big Model deserves its own section, and of course, describing the roleplaying theory scene while giving everyone it credit too. But that was unfeasible. So things were simplified, and I’m sure some things were butchered.
Maybe it all makes me a bad academic, perhaps it even makes me a bad student, but the point is another: Use what you already know and care for when you can. Beat dealing with stuff you are either not passionate about (I quite like Philosophy, thank you), or need to read up on when you can avoid it (yes, I guess I am a bad proto-academic).
Here’s a direct link to the assignment, note, it’s a .doc (Word document, office 2000, ~2,000 words).
Also, this is the last day of the month, so expect some summary posts to follow this week, including my media breakdown, my purchases, a review of the Figures of the Month (I will see about that), and break-down traffic and posts made this month.
P.S. I know this is greek to most of you, “The Big Model”, “The Lumpley Principle”, etc. I touch on it in the paper you can read, and well, this is a blog about what I care for. And this is something I care for. So there you go.
P.P.S. The “About” page had been updated. The Links page still awaits completion.
These are the things I’ve purchased over July, ok, the Wave Rei pre-order was today. This is why I am currently poor. The pre-orders are what will keep me poor. There are really nice signed copies of most of Roger Zelazny‘s books on eBay right now, but I’m not bidding. He’s my favourite author.
- Yoko Rittona/Littner’s Nendoroid, which had been reviewed.
- Otaku Yuki, which came with Haruhi-chan 3′s limited edition, which had been reviewed.
- Banpresto’s Neliel tu Oderschvanck, not yet received (When I write a review, I’ll tell you what I was thinking…)
- GURPS: Transhuman Space corebook, second hand.
- Messiah Ashcan, second hand.
- Sign in Stranger preview edition, second hand.
- Best Friends, second hand.
- Bloodstained Stars limited ed sourcebook for Burning Empires (technically a pre-order).
- Epic Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight.
- Epic Supreme Archdomina Makeda.
- Legion of Everblight Blighted Archers, full unit (60% off).
- Blighted Archers’ Unit Attachment (60% off).
- Tony Taka’s Shining World artbook. Magnificent. Since I dawdled when J-List had it, I ended up paying a pretty penny for it. But it was worth every penny.
- Eisenhorn omnibus.
- Formula P3 Basic miniature painting techniques DVD.
- No Quarter #25 (For the Mk. 1 rules for the Retribution of Scyrah).
- The manga of Haruhi-Chan 3, in Japanese.
- Regular comic haul: New Fullmetal Alchemist manga (volume 19, was great), new Knights of the Dinner Table and Hellblazer (which I finally cut off).
- Rei Ayanami Plugsuit version by Wave (via HLJ) – Late November release.
- Aegis Figma, Persona 3, by Max Factory (via Hobby Search) – October release.
- Saber Lily Nendoroid, by Good Smile Company (via Hobby Search) – October release.
- Dengeki Hime with Komaki Aika figure – July release, not yet shipped for some reason (via HLJ).
This blog will be about my thoughts on various things.
Every so often there'll be an in-depth analysis of something using a specific book/movie/etc. as a basis, but mostly, what I think of various media products.
- Shin Sekai Yori – A (Masterpiece Science-Fiction) Thought Provoking Anime
- Anime Season Midterms – First Impressions – Spring 2013
- Evangelion 3.33 – You Can (Not) Redo – Oh, How I Wish You Could!
- Fairy Tail – Overall Most Well Rounded Endless Shonen Show
- Student’s Council Discretion – A Visual Novel That Isn’t Going Anywhere
- "Real" review (5)
- anime (38)
- Blog (13)
- Blogroll (1)
- board games (3)
- Book (8)
- comic book (2)
- Editorial (27)
- Ewen's Corner (5)
- Figure (28)
- Games (2)
- Geek Fashion (2)
- Geekography (1)
- Geekorner (11)
- Geekulture (17)
- General Musing (7)
- Guy's Life (16)
- Humor (3)
- Interview (2)
- Jason's Corner (1)
- Literature (12)
- magazine (1)
- manga (9)
- Month in Review (11)
- movie (11)
- Music (6)
- Purchases (9)
- review (17)
- Roleplaying Games (5)
- Room (1)
- Story (1)
- Things I Like (45)
- TV (11)
- Video Games (3)