… We just don’t yet have a name.
Onion Games is one of the heroes of the Japanese games industry, responsible the eclectic and fascinating titles like Moon and Chulip. Its latest game, as yet untitled, has been in development since 2020, and now, via the company’s regular newsletter, we know that it is finally on its way in 2023.
As some of you may already know, Onion Games is led by Yoshiro Kimura, the self-proclaimed Japanese ‘indie-videogame-making uncle’ and this new project will be a sandbox RPG, simultaneously being Onion Games’ first effort in that genre, and, based on what he’s said, possibly Kimura’s last ever RPG.
Onion Games’ releases have followed a sort of conceptual trend in which, for the most part, each released game had explored and manufactured experiences specific to and orbiting around a very specific, and particularly philosophical theme. And this is exactly what sets Onion Games apart from so many other video game developers. Each of its games provides an actively unique and esoteric journey, rather than a cut-and-paste monologue that we’ve seen done a hundred times over.
So, while not too much is known about this one, we do know that the keyword/philosophical concept is ‘children’, and more specifically being described as the disparity between the minds of children and adults in a world filled with the confusion of irrational events.
A painter may stare at their canvas for months or years, intermittently adding new strokes of colour to older strokes. An author may spend the same amount of time going over countless permutations of the same sentence or phrase, with a few words switched around, added, or omitted to finish a book that takes a lot less time to read than it took to write. In the newsletter “interview”, Kimura relates these observations to indie game development, naming all of the neat little gameplay gimmicks, slick dialogue, and expressive character designs as being built on a foundation of soul-crushing frustration and impossible dedication.
Despite the arduous task – with an unflatteringly unlikely chance of success – indie video game development for many is the perfect definition of a labour of love, making the personal risks to finance and well-being manageable, and the willingness to sacrifice most or all of their time into a single, expanding project. That’s why we love that space at DDNet, we love what Onion Games does, and we can’t wait to see this new one land, at some point, in 2023.