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  • My Artist Residency Experience At Villa Kujoyama

    - Christophe Galati

  • Out of the meetup, I was able to meet many people from the game industry, for example during the Taco Tuesday, weekly event where employees from the 3 main expat companies of Kyoto go eat mexican food (Q-Games, Vitei and 17bits). I was able to get an appointment at Nintendo on February 20, where I met with the team in charge of indie games, talk to them about Tako and my new game, to set up an exchange and regular follow-up with them. During my week in Tokyo, I also met with local indies, and visit Unity's office.

    The culmination of all its events and the people I met there, was the organization of a Game Jam at the Villa Kujoyama, which I co-organized with the help of Kyoto Indie Meetup's staff (Marie-Aurore Morfoisse, Thomas Olsson, Shawn Wylie) and Zack Wood (Monster Garden's developer). Our jam was sponsored by Unity Japan, who send us beers, merch and asset store's coupon for the attendees. A game jam is an event where you create a game during a limited time, here during 8h. We were able to welcome about thirty people at the residency, coming from the meetup, the different game companies of the Kansai area but also from Kyoto artistic scene (thanks to Villa Kujoyama's network), ¾ of the attendees had never done a game jam before. This event allowed those scenes to meet up, form groups and create together, celebrate video game in this magical place. I'm proud to have been able to make this happen, and to show to the artistic scene the creativity of games as an artform. I hope it's only the first edition of many upcoming Kujoyama Game Jam !

    Picture from Villa Kujoyama, May 18 2019

    To finish this residency on a high note, I spent my last two days at BitSummit, indie game festival of Kyoto where I showcased Tako in 2017. I could see the evolution, how big indie games are becoming in Japan, and meet again with game creators from all over the world, discuss with them about what I want to do. This made me desire one thing, work even harder on Himitsu Project to come show it at BitSummit next year!

    Pictures from BitSummit twitter account

    VI) Conclusion

    To conclude, I would say that I'm honored to have been able to enjoy those 5 months of residency at Villa Kujoyama. I was able to get in a better shape, grow up and evolve on the land of my inspirations. Take the time to think and lay the foundation of my new game. Experience the life in Kyoto surrounded by people from very different background, who taught me a lot, opened my eyes on the parallel we can draw between our medias, and provided me confidence on the messages I want to defend in my creation. I am happy that I was able to show the creativity of game through my work and the game jam. As the first game creator they ever had, I tried my best to represent the various aspects of game creation to the visitors of the Villa, I want to continue to try to organize things with the French Institute and press to talk about this experience, to show other game creators that there is a room for them in the artist residencies and that we have to continue to help games to be recognized as an artform. All this gives me one wish, return to Japan as soon as possible to continue my adventures and my creation! Hope this article inspired you, I can't wait to tell you more about my upcomming game.

    Christophe Galati



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