Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers: Volume 1” as Want to Read:
The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers: Volume 1
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers: Volume 1

(Untold History of Japanese Game Developers #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  152 ratings  ·  13 reviews
This book reveals more secrets about the history of Japanese games than ever before, with 36 interviewees and exclusive archive photos.

Konami's secret games console, the origin of Game Arts and Quintet, unusual events at Telenet, stories on Falcom, politics behind Enix's game programming contests, a tour of the Love-de-Lic and WARP offices (with layout sketches). Every int
Paperback, 526 pages
Published August 11th 2014 by SMG Szczepaniak (first published August 4th 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  152 ratings  ·  13 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers: Volume 1
Robert Fenner
Apr 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
The Untold History... is a fat 500 page volume that suffers from terrible presentation, boasting a sparse low-res cover that looks like it was put together in a paint program. One shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but one will find the book's contents are also rather ramshackle: The book consists almost exclusively of interviews presented with minimal context. This was not a problem for somebody like me, who was already acquainted with most of the people and works referenced within the book, ...more
Literally not one developer I backed this for is in the book. Arai, Nishizawa, Oka, I guess the idea is I should be a sheep and pay 50 bucks for the next book. And the next book after that. The author can claim that he only promised to interview them, not promised to put the interviews in the kickstarter volume, but I think we know that's a fallacious argument.

Truly, there's a lot of good interviews with historic developers here. It's just a shame the writer clearly doesn't respect them enough t
Jeremiah Wood
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
A rare and in-depth look into the early Japanese video game industry, straight from the developers themselves. This book is the end result of a Kickstarter pioneered by the author, John Szczepaniak. As a donator to the Kickstarter, I had high hopes for this project to uncover a side of the video game world that has little documentation, and the book did not disappoint.

That said, it is not free from criticism. The book certainly shows signs of being from an amateur author and publisher, being rid
Max Z
Sep 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book offers a plethora of interesting information about Japanese game development in the 80s and 90s in the form of interviews. If you notice yourself losing interest, just skip around to the next one, they're all wildly different. I especially liked the one about the Game Arts. These people had no money, so they not only rented an apartment to work in, but they also had to work in trains since this was the cheapest way to sit somewhere and do work. Anything that wasn't code-related, they j ...more
David Ashley
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very specialised and exhausting in it's subject matters and history explored but important for sure. It is an absolute tome to get through with no space left without words or (sadly) black and white images. Their has been a lot of controversy over time that has overshadowed Szczepaniak's undertaking which is real shame, but at the end of the day the books speak for themselves. Exhausting and brilliantly cult. ...more
Aug 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Most of the stuff discussed here isn't well known outside of Japan, so don't expect info on your favorite NES/SNES game. The interviews are not well run and the editing is not great, but you do at least get the feeling that everything discussed has been transcribed and presented here. That's the issue with this book: you have to weed through a lot of meandering discussions to find something interesting. For example, the drawings of the office layouts are pointless, but hey, they're there in case ...more
Jul 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mostly-read, games
While this compilation of interviews will be best enjoyed by aficionados of Japanese games from the 1980s and 1990s, it contains an overview of visual novels that I haven't found anywhere else, and captures the voices of two prominent VN makers: Ryukishi07 (Higurashi, Umineko, Rose Guns Days) and Kotaro Uchikoshi (Never 7: The End of Infinity, Ever 17: The Out of Infinity, Remember 11: The Age of Infinity, 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, etc.). I'm looking for more like these. ...more
Dec 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tricky. Some of the information here is incredible, like the pre-console history of computing in Japan which is something I never really knew about. However, because if that it is a bit niche and sometime where there needs to be a bit more context there isn't any. Still, it's a fascinating read despite the author's ongoing obsession in getting people to sketch layouts of old offices. ...more
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Son entrevistas traducidas (con errores) del japonés al inglés, la edición no me ha gustado mucho.

El contenido ... habla mucho sobre ordenadores japoneses de los que no son muy fan (PC-88, etc...) pero si que cuenta alguna cosa curiosa.

Me leeré la segunda parte que también la tengo en algún futuro....
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lots of interesting stories and behind the scenes information on some things few people outside of Japan know about. But what is with the author's fascination with getting people to draw the floorplans of the offices in which they worked? ...more
Victoria Zagar
Paused at 37%.

Interesting information, but not edited or pared down in any way. Leads to a very long dump of information without much context.
Brendan Creecy
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. So many fascinating people with amazing, inspiring stories. I am glad they are preserved somewhere as without this book they would have probably gone untold.
Dec 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sakprosa
At times interesting, but often longwinded, irrelevant and samey. Imagine finding a book about Japanese game development that was too niche for me.
melissa keir
rated it it was amazing
Mar 28, 2019
Doug Gil
rated it liked it
Jan 21, 2020
Marcos Nakagawa
rated it really liked it
Apr 20, 2016
Marcelo Inhaquites
rated it it was ok
Jun 13, 2017
rated it liked it
Jun 05, 2016
Aaron Rinearson
rated it it was amazing
Jun 21, 2016
Humberto López C
rated it it was amazing
Jul 08, 2018
Michael T Moreno
rated it it was amazing
Sep 18, 2017
rated it liked it
Apr 05, 2016
Max Mallory
rated it liked it
May 02, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jun 08, 2018
rated it liked it
Jun 05, 2015
Zephyr Mang
rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2021
Edward Coronado
rated it really liked it
Jun 10, 2015
rated it really liked it
May 27, 2017
rated it really liked it
Apr 09, 2019
rated it liked it
Jul 20, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Mike's Corner
  • Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings
  • The Zen of Living and Dying: A Practical and Spiritual Guide
  • Dril Official "Mr. Ten Years" Anniversary Collection
  • The Three Pillars of Zen
  • What the Buddha Taught
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Haruhi Suzumiya, #1)
  • Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
  • Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriots
  • Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon, Vol. 1 (Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon Light Novels, #1)
  • I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level, Vol. 1 (I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level Light Novels, #1)
  • From Paw to Print: Essays About Writing in the Furry Fandom
  • Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made
  • The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
  • Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love
  • Showa, 1926-1939: A History of Japan
  • Bushido: Legacies of Japanese Tattoos
  • Ego State Therapy
See similar books…

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »
See top shelves…

Other books in the series

Untold History of Japanese Game Developers (3 books)
  • The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers: Volume 2
  • The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers Volume 3: Monochrome

News & Interviews

Believe it or not, we're halfway through 2021! As is our tradition, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial team burrows into our data to...
10 likes · 5 comments
“JS: You started with a PC-98, but in 1996 it was on the way out, being replaced by Windows computers in Japan. Why start on PC-98? ZUN: The simple fact is that I didn’t think games would run on Windows. I honestly didn’t really consider Windows computers when I made the first Touhou games. Windows didn’t have things like DirectX back then.152 I just didn’t see it as a platform for game development. Certainly the games that I knew, and the games that I was interested in, had all been done on different systems. Some people owned a computer, like a PC-98 or an X68000, exclusively for games. So the concept of using Windows for games was one that I never really considered.” 0 likes
More quotes…