Happy 2023! I haven't blogged in a while because I have been spending too much time on cohost, whoops. I am going to try and do one big catch-up of all the things that happened in the past month or so!
Lots of stuff happened! I released the 2022 December issue a few weeks ago, and I am currently working on putting together the next issue that should go up on January 27! The website has a new mascot: Adele, the super cute nonbinary penguin who stars in Daikon's Unity1Week: Re game, Nice Catching Up With You.
We also had a booth at Tokyo Game Dungeon 2 this past weekend! Daikon and I took turns running Nice Disc and also checking out the other games. It was a ton of fun, though I am still pretty wiped out from the sheer volume of STUFF there. You can see my thread of live-toots (YES I SAID LIVE-TOOTS) on the shiny new Indie Tsushin Mastodon account.
I feel like I have a lot of things to say about Indie Tsushin simply because it takes up so much of my life these days, but also not a whole lot that I haven't already talked about on the site itself. But in a nutshell: I am mighty pleased at how things have been turning out. I already have a ton of things I need to get started on for the February issue, so I need to go go go.
Dealing with some shit
I previously wrote about 同ZINE, the work Daikon and I put into it, the awful conditions that led to our quitting, and our former collaborator deleting our credits from the project. I talked about how I had to reached out privately twice to have those credits restored, and how even after that they were still telling outlets that they were the sole curator of Issue #0. (Thankfully, the blog owners edited in the credit to Nice Gear Games after I pointed it out.) I wrote that blog entry pleading for us to be credited without my having to continue chasing them down over this because I do not want to have anything to do with npckc anymore.
Instead of crediting us, npckc instead gave a presentation at Tokyo Indies. In it, they again said that 同ZINE was something they made all own their own, being careful not to name the developers within Issue #0 and never once mentioning that Nice Gear Games was a co-creator. 同ZINE still uses a lot of assets that I created, Daikon and I worked our asses off promoting and recruiting it to all the devs we could reach, I spent most of my waking hours working on or at least thinking about 同ZINE every single day for the months leading up to release... only for us to get completely discarded, to have our names stripped out, because I said I wanted to be treated like an equal, not an underling. And here they were, telling a crowd of my peers that this was something they came up with all on their own, because they just want Japanese indies to get the recognition they deserve. It makes me actually sick to think about.
It was surreal to see this happening at around the same time hbomberguy released his excellent video on Tommy Tallarico, a self-proclaimed "veritable icon of the video game industry" who routinely claims all the credit for the work done by his employees. It was incredible that only a few weeks later, the games press would be up in arms over the Callisto Protocol studio vindictively removing credits of developers who had crunched on the game but left before release. (And in the case of 同ZINE, Nice Gear Games was still part of the project past Issue 0's release.) Like, we understand that when this kind of shit happens in the games industry, it sucks. And here is npckc cheerfully doing the exact same thing to us while soaking in all the praise and goodwill of ""supporting indies.""
I did not say anything to any of my developer friends who watched that presentation. I did not say one word to our mutuals about how Daikon and I were not credited, nor did I breathe a single word about how npckc treated me. It was frustrating, but I gritted my teeth and tried to take the high road. Who would believe that people who can make thoughtful and kind indie games could be emotionally abusive?
But it turns out taking the high road is just an invitation for abusers to continue violating boundaries and deliberately retraumatizing you. npckc told me themself that they would not know how much I am suffering unless I say something, so here I am saying something! Content note for the rest of this section: Stalking and emotional abuse
npckc and Nice Gear Games are both in the Japanese indie game development scene, which means a lot of overlap (see: Tokyo Indies). We were both going to be at Tokyo Game Dungeon 2 and knew it since we had talked about it before our falling out. The event itself was fine since we avoided each other the entire time. I was relieved, and thought this was a sign that even though npckc was not professional enough to credit us for work we had done, that they at least would respect my wishes for boundaries and would keep their distance.
But I was wrong.
After the event, I was talking with some people just outside the venue. npckc came rushing up to us, pushing past me, hitting me with their bag in the process, and interrupting our conversation to say their goodbyes to everyone there. They then turned to me, thrust their finger into my face, and loudly announced to the group that they were not speaking to me because I am "being weird online" (i.e. talking on my personal blog about how they were emotionally abusive and then removed all of my and Daikon's credits from 同ZINE). Then they flounced out again, whipping me in the face with their bag once more like an actual goddamn cartoon movie villain.
My writing about 同ZINE has been confined to my cohost, where I've had them blocked since before I got activated, and this personal blog, which is... well, my personal blog. It's where my personal thoughts go, y'know? So if I tell a person to not have anything to do with me anymore, it should go without saying that they should not be monitoring what I say in my personal spaces. So to reiterate:
- They've been reading my posts despite my block, violating an explicit boundary I set for them
- They felt perfectly comfortable coming up to me in public and belittling me in front of my peers despite my repeated requests to not contact me
- They refuse to allow me to have my own life that does not revolve around them, as evidenced by the way I was doing my own thing at this event but they sought me out to dump a load of shit on my lap
- They did this in front of game developers at a gaming event, specifically to isolate and alienate me from my own community
- They dismiss my requests to be credited for our work and to be treated like a human being as "being weird online"
- They feel so comfortable treating me like garbage that they can hit me with their bags and not even pretend to try and prevent it or be sorry after the fact. Even if it was just on accident (it was not, but let's pretend), to not utter even a quick apology after hitting me full in the face with their bag (twice!) should tell you a lot about what they feel OK doing to me
I think it is fair to say at this point that npckc is emotionally abusive, yes? That this is classic abuser 101 shit? That I'm not just being too sensitive, I'm not just imagining all this, right? Are we still doing that fucked up thing of politely looking away when you see someone popular behave HORRIBLY to another human being? Because I mean, I dunno! After all that happened and nobody besides Daikon reacted or said anything, I thought I was losing my mind! I kinda feel like that's not the kind of thing that I should just be able to let slide!
I sure would like for this grown-ass adult to stop treating me this way!
npckc, if you are reading this (and I know you are reading this, because you are a stalker who does not understand boundaries): leave me the fuck alone. Leave me the fuck alone. Do not approach me in public or private. Credit Nice Gear Games for our work in creating 同ZINE and Issue 0. Stop your petty cruelty of trying to discredit Nice Gear Games of the work we did. I know that you think I am "being weird" for talking in my personal spaces about how you mistreated me, how you were emotionally abusive and manipulative and controlling towards me, and how you refuse to credit us. But you thinking that is not my fucking problem. I find your behavior abhorrent and want nothing to do with you, as I told you when I handed over all the files and passwords for 同ZINE. Instead of lashing out at me for not wanting to deal with your bullshit, stop with your bullshit already. If you don't want me saying you're a manipulative and dishonest abuser, stop acting like one. Leave me the fuck alone.
Turning a new page for 2023
Okay, now that we've got THAT all out of the way, let's talk about literally anything else!!
Goals for the new year:
- Remember to add alt text to my images everywhere!
- Work on making Choju Yokai Giga: Guided Tour mobile-friendly and finish translating/making the rest of the pages. And then maybe turn this into a PDF zine as bonus content for people who pay for the game?? Still thinking about it
- Read more, write more, do more. All the generic New Year's resolutions.
- Go camping. Hoping to go to an auto-camping site next month, if possible.
- Learn Unity so I can make the stamp-book-thing that I've had on the backburner for MONTHS now
- Get a better bead on Affinity Publisher so that my zines can look even spiffier
Let's do it, team!! Let's get that bread!!