BitSummit, the Japanese independent video game development festival that debuted in 2013, returns to Kyoto as “BitSummit MMXIV” at the beautiful Miyako Messe convention facility, March 7-March 9. BitSummit, which began life as a single-day event, expands to a full three days, with a media-only day (Friday) with guest speakers and keynote presentations. However, in a first for the event, BitSummit is opening its doors to the public on Saturday and Sunday, for a modest 500 yen daily entrance fee. BitSummit MMXIV features numerous guest presentations from industry veterans, including a special keynote by Tetsuya Mizuguchi (SEGA, Q Entertainment) titled “Independent DNA.” Additionally, special guests John Baez (The Behemoth), Hiroki Omae (Unity 3D Japan), Taka Kawasaki (Epic Games Japan), Yoshiro Kimura (Onion Games), indie legend ZUN (Team Shanghai Alice), Brian Davis (Next Level Games), Theodore Reiker (Prior Games), Mohammed Taher (BraveWave Productions) and more surprise speakers will liven up the event with their own, unique insights into the world of independent game development.
Finally, BitSummit welcomes Kickstarter’s Luke Crane to Kyoto to host a special presentation on understanding the mechanics of a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Throughout the weekend, some of music’s most celebrated composers will take the stage to fill the convention center with sound, including NanaOn-Sha’s Masaya Matsuura (PaRappa, Vib Ribbon), who will perform a pair of BitSummit-related performances before and during the event. Returning to BitSummit is 8-bit maestro Professor Sakamoto. First-time performers include Pixeljunk audio-visual collaborator Baiyon; Mega Man and Mighty No. 9 composer Manami Matsumae; Saori Kobayashi (Crimson Dragon composer and the Panzer Dragoon series); Takayuki Nakamura (ex-SEGA and Dream Factory, composer of Lumines soundtracks); and the U.K.’s Chipzel (Super Hexagon). BitSummit will announce more special guests leading up to the event. The expansion of BitSummit for 2014 would not have been possible if it weren’t for two key contributors who helped us early on from the outset, BitSummit director James Mielke explains. “The first BitSummit came together quickly thanks to the invaluable support of major partners like Epic and Unity 3D. While they have graciously returned, this year a few more benefactors have supported us,” he says. “In particular the Kyoto Prefecture government, who saw value in how BitSummit promotes Kyoto’s culture to the masses; and California-based independent developer The Behemoth, whose own philosophies dovetailed beautifully with BitSummit’s mission.”
The Behemoth, best known for its games Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers and BattleBlock Theater, is unique in that it has shown a longtime interest in Japan, exhibiting at both the Tokyo Game Show and the Tokyo Anime Fair. It has now continued this legacy with its support of BitSummit. The Behemoth’s president, John Baez, said “For several years we have been thinking about creating a small independent developer show in Tokyo; however, this past spring, mutual friends of ours put us in contact with James [Mielke], who had just finished BitSummit. We realized our dream of a great independent developer show would be 10 times better if we were to join forces with BitSummit instead of doing our own thing. BitSummit MMXIV will be the most exciting game development show in Japan for developers and gamers in 2014.”
For more information, please visit http://www.bitsummit.org or e-mail us at contact[at]bitsummit.org.
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