What's this Challenge about?
Hi, I’m Yasunori Tonooka, game creator based in Kyoto. I have created many mobile games with a vision to deliver a unique, world-wide service from Japan. “Made in Kyoto to the World” has been my biggest goal. And this Challenge is my chance to make it happen!
We will release our mobile game, GPS Entertainment, in the gorgeous, historic country of Luxembourg! (Hopefully!)
Our team has created GPS Entertainment, a scavenger-hunt style RPG game that turns a regular day of sightseeing into a sheer new form of entertainment.
So far we have developed 6 GPS Entertainments for Japanese cities including Kyoto and Tokyo. The one we made for Kyoto in 2012 has become a huge hit.
Our success has been recognized both domestically and internationally, and we were selected as the only speakers from the Asia region in the mobile and tablet section of Game Developers Conference 2012, “the Academy Awards for game developers,” held in San Francisco.
And now we’re moving on to our first international debut, GPS Entertainment for Luxembourg!
GPS Entertainment Will Change Tourism
GPS Entertainment is a completely new form of mobile entertainment that overlaps the virtual with the real in the most fun and exciting way. In the scavenger-hunt style RPG game, the players walk around an actual city using their phone’s GPS, seeking “clues” hidden in various locations in the city. As they discover more of the story, they will also discover more of the city by learning about each location’s history and cultural backgrounds, which is integrated in the game.
This is also a great tool for tourism promotion and local revitalization for cities and countries, for it’ll bring more visitors to desired destinations.
But It’s No Easy to Create a Good Game...
To create a GPS Entertainment system, we need to work closely with the location’s transportation authorities, schools, and tourist boards to gather historic and cultural backgrounds of the place and decide on what will be valuable information to offer to travelers. For that, we need to actually visit the location.
In addition, we need to pay for the professionals of different fields who will be taking part in the project and cover the cost of creating a demo. I cannot provide enough funding on my own, but I could never miss this chance. Please help me create this game and bring a new trend of traveling and tourism into the world.
Why Luxembourg? Why Now?
Luxembourg is the perfect location for the game, with all its appeals such as the beautiful streetscapes, rich history, and magnificent old castles and fortresses neatly packed in the surprisingly small stretch of land, but that’s not the only reason we chose this country as the first international location for GPS Entertainment. We chose Luxembourg because it’s a country that is determinedly open to accepting foreign entrepreneurs.
Luxembourg has approximately half a million population, 40% of which are originally from outside the country. Plus, over half of the start-up businesses there are by foreigners. The country has systems to support any outstanding start-up businesses no matter what the owner’s nationality is.
And why now? Because the Luxembourg City Tourist Office has already agreed to support our project with location scouting and storyboard making. What more assistance could we hope for?
Originally born in the old Japanese city, Kyoto, GPS Entertainment is now stepping into the bigger world. We’re truly excited to be introducing this innovative RPG mobile game and starting a new trend of traveling and learning through a mobile game in historic cities of Europe.
Meet Our Team!
Below are some of the wonderful, talented people who will be part of this project.
KEIICHIRO HIRANO for Original Story
The quality of an RPG game is largely determined by the story. That’s why we’re thrilled to have Keiichiro Hirano, one of the most popular novelists of Japan, as the writer of the original story for our GPS Entertainment for Luxembourg. Hirano made his debut as a writer, receiving the Akutagawa Prize, the most acclaimed Japanese literary prize, while studying at the Kyoto University. He has received many other literary prizes since then, and spent a year in France as a cultural ambassador in 2005. He happily agreed to take part in this project by creating an exciting story that makes the most of the app’s features and the charm of Luxembourg.
SASCHA BOECKLE for Voice-Over
A cycling enthusiast, Sascha appears as a commentator on the remote broadcast of Le Tour de France every year. He’s also a DJ who’s known for his connection with his fans through Twitter and other social media. Trilingual in German, English, and Japanese, Sascha will provide the voice-over for the game’s opening.
HIROSHI NISHIO for Direction
Hiroshi Nishio began working for video-directed-films and period dramas in his teens, and studied film taking night classes at Visual Arts College Osaka. His first feature film, “National Anthem,” became widely popular, and his next work, “Little Ochon’s Love, Adventure, and Revolution,” won the first award at the Cineastes Organization Osaka. All his other works have been released abroad. He’s currently the managing director of Cineastes Organization Osaka, film director, and lecturer at Kyoto University of Art & Design and Visual Arts College Osaka. He has been kind enough to agree to take up on another directing task for our game.
His new film, “Soul Flower Train,” is coming soon.
ROBIN KURITA for Artwork
Robin Kurita, whom we call Prof. Robin, is an associate professor at Kyoto University of Art & Design. His thesis work from the Visual Design program of Kyoto Seika University, a cutout animation piece called “Robo Robo” (1997), received awards in and out of Japan and appeared in international film festivals in Vancouver and Rotterdam. He then proceeded into the field of puppet animation. His original film, “Monsieur Greenpeas,” came out in theaters in 2005. Prof. Robin will be assisting us with the game’s artwork.
KYOTO UNIVERSITY OF FOREIGN STUDIES for Localization
When we release the demo of our app in Luxembourg, we’ll need it localized in different languages. We’re currently considering tourists from Japan and other various countries and Luxembourgian people as the main players of the game and planning to release the app in English, Japanese, French, German, and Chinese. Students of Kyoto University of Foreign Studies will be in charge of the translation and localization as a part of their internship program.
How Will the Money Be Used?
1. Travel expenses to Luxembourg
We’ll fly to Luxembourg for location hunting, checking for GPS signals, and starting the actual programming process. The raised money will help us pay for the flights, accommodations, and transportation expenses during our stay.
2. Production and development of “GPS Entertainment for Luxembourg”
We will also use the funding to pay for the labor cost and other expenses related to production and development of the game including labor cost for the engineers, design and artwork production, server fees, and testing and monitoring.
We’re providing fun and interesting rewards for all our supporters. Please take part in our project and help start a new trend of traveling in the world!
Thank you so much for your support!