Can you introduce yourself and your company to those who don’t know it?
Hi, I’m Takashi Hamada, a game designer living in Japan. I create mixed games with both analog and digital elements, such as VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality). Also, games which the blind can play with their sense of hearing and touch.
My career started as a pottery artist, and then I joined a team developing video games and became a game designer. In 2014, I started my company named Gift 10 Industry to create analog games.
At Gift 10 our mission is producing innovative toys for minorities such as early adopters and handicapped people. We try to produce new products from only 10 copies with small lot production. The mission may never be adopted to big companies.
You worked in video games before you started your own company. Why the change to analog gaming?
I was thinking of games that the blind can play. However, the expression of video games was limited at the time. Almost all information came from displays.
Analog games have many possibilities for expressions – touch sense, weight, smell… So I left the team and made a unique pot game for the blind (The Arabian Pots). That game uses many pots which make different sounds.
Your games seem to often using new concepts or unique mechanisms. How do you develop the ideas for your games?
Because my career was mixed with analog and digital, art and programming, I can come up with many mixed ideas. That was natural to me.
I always think about 3-5 projects at the same time. The total time for each project is long, however each projects affects each other and solves multiple issues.
Your last two games use virtual reality masks. What interests you about VR?
I developed video games for Nintendo Wii U. Wii U has a controller with a touch pad that displays different information to players. I designed many game plans using this “asymmetry situation”.
When I experienced VR, I felt an issue was that only one player sees the display – the others could not. So VR would be difficult to advertise to many customers. I found that game plans of “asymmetry” could be adopted to VR.
What would be your advice for people starting their own board game company?
I think making boardgames could be a small risk because there is a shorter time for developing analog games than video games. The production cost might be 5,000€ but is it cooler to deploy your game to the world than to get a car (which everyone buys)?
Any new games or projects on the horizon?
I’m developing 2 games using AR technology next to the VR games.
One of these games will be very mysterious and funny. Our faces change to an oil-paint portraits in an old museum where ghosts trick us. This game uses face tracking tech and deformation method like Snapchat.
Below is a photo of the prototype. The game will be published this November – get it at NiceGameShop!