Topic: Waypoint Article: "Touhou and the Quest to Discover an Audience Beyond Japan"  (Read 2371 times)

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cuc

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Waypoint, the recently launched video game site of VICE network, has published an article on Touhou. Unlike certain other low-quality articles in previous years, this one contains opinions from a wide range of interviewees, from ZUN to people involved in bringing Touhou to the West, as well as the fans we know as N-Forza Talka and Overcoat.
https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/touhou-and-the-quest-to-discover-an-audience-beyond-japan
« Last Edit: November 19, 2016, 11:19:34 am by cuc »
Touhou Fantasy News: twitter

cuc

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You see, unlike nearly every other video game website, Waypoint is actually well-funded, and can afford having the the writer interview multiple subjects for an article not about blockbuster games. Surprising how much difference that makes, huh? (The writer's inexperience still shown in things like linking to a pirate site, but that's another issue.)

Given current circumstances, this is one of the better introductory articles in English since DIYGamer's Touhou guide. It's unfortunate DIYGamer already died years ago, because the guide's more old-school hardcore gamer-oriented perspective should have been able to complement other articles.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2016, 02:07:19 am by cuc »
Touhou Fantasy News: twitter
I absolutely love how it makes it seems as if Touhou is a PS4 game. All these official Western releases that will likely never be released on the platform Touhou started on. Is it really that hard to do a localization for PC and sell CDs/DVDs in stores or digitally downloadable copies?

Also shame on them for linking to "that pirate site". We should probably contact them and get that sorted out before people start believing that Touhou is a "free" game.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2016, 05:29:46 pm by aUsernameIsFineToo »

cuc

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Someone we know already informed the writer before I made the post. It's the editor's job to update the published article.

Quote
I absolutely love how it makes it seems as if Touhou is a PS4 game.
The PS4 initiative IS the Touhou headline of the moment. Also, the article has offloaded some of the responsibility of explaining what Touhou is to the embedded video.

To be fair, it's simply hard for any writer to do Touhou justice in a short article, not to mention for a young journalist. The way I generalize it is the "three domains of Touhou": Touhou as ZUN's "life's work"; Touhou in its original doujin context; and Touhou the subcultural phenomenon. For each domain alone, the writer would need to introduce a considerable amount of knowledge for things to make sense, e.g. the concept of danmaku shooter, and Japanese myths and social zeitgeists for the first, the concept of doujinshi and doujin games for the second, and the cross-polination between doujinshi and the broader otaku/internet culture for the third.

We haven't even begun to properly gauge the under-credited infleunce of Touhou in the West, like how it provided the template for Undertale's combat, or how it inspired World of Warcraft's raid boss design.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2016, 11:13:51 am by cuc »
Touhou Fantasy News: twitter

N-Forza

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It's not actually me that was interviewed, but Talka, who ran the circle I used to be a part of. It was still pretty cool they reached out to people in the doujin scene regardless.

cuc

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Oops, forgot to fact-check on that. My bad. :blush:
Touhou Fantasy News: twitter

Firestorm29

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We haven't even begun to properly gauge the under-credited infleunce of Touhou in the West, like how it provided the template for Undertale's combat, or how it inspired World of Warcraft's raid boss design.
I know of lots of the influences in Undetale outside of simply being it's template, but how did it inspire WoW's raid bosses? I've never touched that game, so I'm not sure how it works and what Touhou did for it.

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Search for Narzim, the Tiny Clever Commander. You would be a bit surprise :)

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Doesn't the WoWz also the Curtainfire family out there somewhere?

cuc

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I know of lots of the influences in Undetale outside of simply being it's template, but how did it inspire WoW's raid bosses? I've never touched that game, so I'm not sure how it works and what Touhou did for it.
WoW turned boss battles into the centerpieces of dungeons. A boss battle consists of several highly distinct phases, and each phase is its own elaborate puzzle demanding the players to perform carefully choreographed actions (in WoW this takes the form of team coordination rather than twitch reflex. "Mages, switch your attack type!" "Healers, change your healing target!" "Tanks, block the summoned monsters!" That sort of thing). This is similar to the game design philosophy underpinning many of the best Japanese games, but Touhou was one of the pioneers in further pushing the boundaries of boss battles at the time.

I've seen several people make this observation, including the respected MMORPG designer and theorist Raph Koster in his "Ten Years of World of Warcraft":
Quote from: Raph Koster
In Blizzard’s hands, raids became intricate puzzles to be solved, almost like teaching a large group a complex series of dance steps; a design idea drawn, perhaps, from boss stages in 2D bullet hell shooters.

Outside of Japan, pirated copies of Touhou were simply the most easily available danmaku games for the majority of the 2000s. Nowadays, it may be easier for younger gamers to dig into the danmaku genre and immediately start bragging about "Touhou sucks", but when most veteran Western gamers who are not shmup experts say "bullet hell shooters", they are always picturing Touhou and its spell cards in their mind.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2016, 05:15:23 am by cuc »
Touhou Fantasy News: twitter
 

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