Patrick: This might be a question for everyone. Skip makes unusual games. Skip published Archime-DS, which is a small, low-budget game. Also, recently, there were the bit Generations games, which, again, were small, simple...
[Fumihiro emits a noise]
Patrick: Hang on, Fumihiro has something to say.
Fumihiro: Ah, it’s... difficult to say that about the bit Generations games.
Patrick: Oh, really? You programmed all of them, right?
Fumihiro: I didn’t program all of the bit Generations games. I only made Coloris and Orbital.
Patrick: Coloris is very popular.
Fumihiro: Yes. Coloris’ music was made by Keigo Oyamada – he’s called Cornelius, a major Japanese musician. Ah... what was your question?
Patrick: I was saying that the bit Generations games are very simple, and you said, “Ho-ho! One moment!” So... you don’t think they were so... I mean, they’re simple games...
Patrick: ...But they were difficult to make?
Fumihiro: No. The bit Generations games were made easily, but thinking of the concepts was not so easy.
Patrick: The concepts are... complicated, right? They’re simple to play, but... beautiful.
Kenichi: The concepts are very complicated and very deep, but they’re easy to play. I think they’re... elegant. It’s an elegant project. Elegant.
Patrick: Elegant! That’s a word I love. I like elegant games. I remember playing the bit Generations games, and some of them were fun, but some of them... I didn’t find so fun, but they were very interesting. I still enjoyed them.
Fumihiro: Thank you.
Patrick: The concepts for bit Generations... I know you were a programmer...
Fumihiro: Yes, I am a programmer.
Patrick: But who was responsible for the ideas?
Miki: It depends on the game. There were three designers. But the concept...
Fumihiro: The bit Generations concept was thought up by a Skip staff member. He is working downstairs, now.
Patrick: What’s his name?
Fumihiro: Keita Eto.
Kenichi: He is my old friend. He and I used to belong to Squaresoft.
Patrick: You worked on Chrono Trigger and Super Mario RPG. So, he’s from Square as well.
Kenichi: He worked on Final Fantasy Five or Six...? Six.
Patrick: What did he do?
Kenichi: I don’t know. But he is a planner. He made... event source code.
Patrick: Oh, okay... the event tree...
Kenichi: Yes, yes – flag on, flag down...
Patrick: What was I talking about?
Patrick: Oh yes. I said the bit Generations games were simple. I mean, they had a short development time...
[Fumihiro does his noise again]
Patrick: I mean, short programming time. But did the ideas take longer?
Fumihiro: Yes. We had a short programming time, but we spent a long time thinking of the concepts.
Patrick: Yeah? How long?
Fumihiro: I don’t know.
Fumihiro: About one year.
Patrick: Really? Wow. So did Nintendo ask for the bit Generations games, or did you make them and then say, “Hey, Nintendo...”
Fumihiro: Ahhh... we can’t answer.
Miki: bit Generations belongs to Nintendo, so, it’s so hard to answer questions like that.
Patrick: Oh, sure. No problem. Miki, I did want to ask about Skip. You’ve been publishing some smaller games: Archime-DS...
Miki: We only published Archime-DS.
Patrick: Oh, yes, Nintendo published bit Generations.
Kenichi: bit Generations, Giftpia, Chibi-Robo – published by Nintendo. Copyrighted by Nintendo. All rights belong to Nintendo.
Patrick: Oh, yeah? No royalties? Oh, no, I shouldn’t...
Patrick: I’m sorry, I forget the camera’s there.
Kenichi: No problem.
Patrick: So, you haven’t published, but you’ve developed these smaller games, more recently. Is this something Skip is very interested in – making these smaller games?
Miki: Depends on the project; depends on the teams.
Patrick: You have three teams at Skip, right?
Miki: Yes. But I don’t know the answer to your question, because I do accounting and management. I haven’t asked the teams.
Patrick: So you’re the accounts manager?
Miki: I’m the chief manager. There are two more managers – one for each office. And I’m also in charge of Skip’s money. So, I know about Skip as a company, but I don’t know about the projects.
Patrick: Okay. Maybe I should be talking to Kanaya. What division do you work in? What section?
Miki: This section.
Kenichi: This section.
Fumihiro: ...mmmmm, this section, yeah.
Patrick: What does this section do? They did bit Generations...
Kenichi: This is the bit Generations division. Another office at Ebisu...
Miki: We call this office First Division. Another office at Ebisu, we call Nishi Division, because Nishi was there. And another office, we call Hiro-o Division, because it’s in Hiro-o. So this office is ‘one’ , Ni-shi is ‘two four’ , and Hiro-o is ‘one six zero’ .
Patrick: So they’re all puns. What do you say... ‘oyaji gyagu’?
[laughter; it’s a disparaging term, literally ‘old man’s gag’]
Miki: Yes, yes, yes.
Fumihiro: It’s oyaji gyagu.
Miki: So, at any time, each division is making one game. Here, they make bit Generations, Nishi Division made Giftpia and Chibi-Robo, and Hiro-o made Chibi-Robo DS.
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