Posts Tagged ‘Online Board Games’

pg_logo_blog1The 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 livlydesigned 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.


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pg_logo_blogRemember, you need items to be successful (and have fun) so pick them up as you go.  I try not to leave anything behind.  When I find an item my Guardian doesn’t really need, I grab it and use it to synthesize more advanced items to sell.  So, at least in my opinion, it’s good to get all the items as you travel.   Selling stuff is good because Gold Coins allow you to buy things from other players and get services like pets and storage space in the warehouse, which is really really nice to have.  The ability to store items provides a key advantage over time.

Even things that don’t seem valuable at the moment will help you later in the game.  Take Salt Peter. At first its hard to see the value of the stuff until you get enough Flax to synthesize a scroll.  Then you realize that you need Salt Peter to make Gunpowder, which you need for a “Blazing Scroll”.  That particular scroll gives your Guardian power enough to combat some of the game’s gnarlier varmints.  I also like fireworks, for which Salt Peter is ingredient number one.

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