The game comes from a small but successful developer in Tokyo called Cold Breath. Kentaro Ishizaka, Cold Breath’s CEO, leads this company in ways that can only be done in a company Cold Breath’s size.
In June 2003, Ishizaka, a student of Information Technology as an undergraduate, formed Cold Breath with college buddy, Shingo Inoue, who is now the company’s Director. They focused on developing Flash Games, including Livly Island which was a massive hit in Japan and continues to be successful. You can find it in on Sony’s Japanese portal, So-net. It has become one Sony’s most stalwart generators of revenue for its online business. Livly island was designed by Monster Soup (a 3 person enterprise, includng Ishizaka’s younger brother). Cold Breath did the technical development.
The quality which makes Ishizaka unique is his ability to act as artist, technical developer, and game designer. He famously sketches his visual ideas for games constantly. And his love of games (table top and video) has fed his unique vision for Cold Breath’s style of game-play. It was Ishizaka that devised Puppet Guardian’s game-play, with its one-of-a-kind board game/MMORPG combination, as well as the innovative and robust Cold Gate technical platform upon which it is deployed.
The game’s feeling of reality combined with its marvelous animation are a credit to the entire team, but are born of Ishizaka’s vision and ability to technically create a real screen experience that comes very close to matching his orignal imagination of that experience. This is, of course, the quality that set Walt Disney apart: the ability to technically execute, in an original and effective way, a richly-imagined world.
During the course of Puppet Guardian’s development, Ishizaka lead a team of six Cold Breath employees: three designers, one person focused on building the server and another focued on deploying the tools needed to manage the site. It was Ishizaka himself who coded the entire site. And the game is an incarnation of his striking vision.