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Interview: Kaze NekoThe creator behind the story Grand Slayber, Kaze Neko.

Post: So, how does it feel being interviewed about you Kamishibai?
Neko: "I find it is quite interesting.. I have to say that I feel a bit happy, not just a bit, that other people would like to sit down and read what I have to say about the Kamishibai program. ^_^"

Post: What the hardest part (for you) about making a Kamishibai game?
Neko: "You might think that this is an odd answer to your question, but I think the hardest part of making a video game on the Kamishibai, is drawing up all the art work. Now, I'm sure you might have guessed that I'd say that doing all the code would be the hardest part, but instead, that's not the case at all. I really enjoy doing it... I personally think it's cool, that I can just type some letters and numbers, and later have a working video game. And it's even better, when you keep in mind that the kamishibai program wasn't really made for this kinda stuff... game making that is. ^_^"

Post: What do you think about when making a Kamishibai game?
Neko: "Hmm,... good question. I'd have to say that first I try to think up a bit of the story, and then think up the battle system. You see, all of my battle systems are based on logic, not luck. This is the main issue when I make games, and when I play others' games. While most people only know of Grand Slayber, as it is my only story which I have posted on Otaku World, I have many other Kamishibai game ideas. Each of them use a logic based battle system. And that's the key,... 'Logic'. In my games, you know why you win and lose, you would be able to see the reasons. It's not based on luck,guess and praying that you picked that right link.... Nor have to try to rembemer a set order of links in order to win. It's kind of hard to explain... Ok, it's like this... in luck based games, the maker of said game has set a path down for you to try to find. If you don't find this hidden path, you will lose. Game over. But in logic based games, the goal is not to find a hidden path, but to win by understanding the preset rules. Demon Hunter Giest: Cavern of Shades Level 1 and Grand Slayber are both logic based games. In Grand Slayber your Battle with char cards, with preset attack and def points, that won't change. So for ex, you KNOW Sylia will do 2 points of damage before the enemy hits her. That's a fact . You don't have to guess how much posible damage, if any, she would do. You also KNOW how the attack power, and hit points of all your foes, so you don't have to say something like "I wonder what attack I should use?" or"I wonder when this guy is going to die?"

"The first Level of Demon Hunter Giest:Cavern of Shades is also a logic based game. You are told before the game starts, witch weapon kills what monster. So when you see that monster... you know what weapon to use. Really,... it's a very good battle system.. without all the code I have to use in mine. But sadly,.. I have to say it WAS a good little battle system."

"For you to see, in the later levels of Demon Hunter Giest: Cavern of Shades, you have to first weaken a monster before you can kill it... And what does this mean? You have to GUESS what weapon to use, then use the weapon you KNOW that will kill it. Having to guess an answer making the game random... and that's bad. In a logic filled game, you KNOW the outcome of each link the FIRST time you play the game. [If you read the rules before you played, that is.] In a non-logic game you have to guess the answer to your problem. Do you understand the two types of games now..? I make only logic filled games.. that's why I take so much longer to finish then others... Just take a look at the gamefile.txt in the second act of Grand Slayber and you should understand."

Post: Have you ever consider doing a story Kamishibai?"
Neko: "Yes, many times.. but I don't feel that I can as I'm only good at drawing floating heads and small bit map chars... *sigh* =( ..maybe when I get better somewhere down the line,... I'll give it a shot.. ^_^"

Post: What were some of the things that influenced Grand Slayber?
Neko: "I'd have to say Final Fantasy 2 and 3 of the Super Nintendo. ^_^; That and Mario Paint, also for the SNES. So people think/thought that I was just stealing Final Fantasy art and using it in Grand Slayber, but that's really not the case. Just like you can look at a drawing of Spiderman, and then draw your own version of him, I did about the same thing. I slowly learned how to draw in the same style as those who make FF by look at very clear pictures of chars. It hasn't always been easy,.. and it has taken me a few years to get where I am now."

Post: So when planning a Kamishibai how do you get your imagination flowing?
Neko: "Well, like most otaku, getting ideas isn't too hard in it's self. It's the act of making an idea real that's the hard part. See, take a look at this... I'd love to make a Gundam/Macross Plus style mecha Kamishibai game... but personally speaking, I don't draw mecha satisfactorily, so that idea is out. So I work the other way around. First I see what I can draw better, then I try to get the idea on how I could use it productively. ^_^"

Post: What was the hardest part about making Grand Slayber?
Neko: "Finding the free time to work on it... that and the code. Grand Slayber was my first Kami and my Kami game, so it's rather uneasy to decipher the way to work on the code. Even though making up my first battle system was rather tricky, now... after I have understood the "rules of logical code" it's not difficult at all now. =)"

Post: How is making a game different from making a story?
Neko: "In Kami stories, the main things you have to worry about are the art and the plot. But for Kami games, you also have to be conerened about the code... -__-; In both logic based and luck based games, the gamefile.txt is the imporant key. In most story Kamis there are only two links, Continun and Back. But in games, there are many , many more links..."

Post: What's your favorite part of making a game Kamishibai?
Neko: "I really enjoy the code, making up a working battle system without any other programs.. =)"

Post: How do you start making a game?"
Neko: "First, have a basic idea of the story, that's really important. ^_^; Next, make up a battle system, whether it's logic based or luck based, you have to have a battle system of some kind for it to make a game. (Sorry, there was more I wanted to say, but this question would take some time to explain... Maybe I'll come back and answer it some time in the future, if people are still interested."

Post: What are your plains for your Grand Slayber in the future?
Neko: "Well... I kinda put Grand Slayber on hold. I know by doing this I might have pissed few people off. As I was told by some that GS was good and they'd like to see more. I'm not putting it on hold because I'm lazy or I ran out of ideas, unlike some might have thought. The fact is that I finally have a drawing style of my own. That's why the thing I draw now look nothing like Final Fantasy 2 or 3.

And I'm very delighted to share my hard working result. Now people can see how good/bad I am, without suspecting that I just ripped the drawings of hte others off from a web page or something that were not created by my own hands at all. Currently, I'm using this new drawing style in a new Kami game, and I can't do this and GS at the same time, because I'd like to ensure that the story that I put on board reach the standard. And that's concrete reason that I had to put it on hold."

Post: Other than yourself who are some of your favorite Kamishibai artist?
Neko: "Hmm,... if I could only pick one, I'd have to say Dave 13. ^_^; But really, anyone who makes a Kamishibai story is okay in my book. Moreover, anyone who draws all their own art and/or makes a game Kami is extra cool. =D"

Post: So what are some of the Kamishibai your considering for the future?
Neko: "I am working on a new Kami that was called Level Three, by I resently changed the name of the title to Seekers of Destructive Treasure. I'm working a a demo of this Kami game as I speak. =)"

Post: So do you have any additional comments, concerns, or thoughts for us?
Neko: "Yes... Frist of all, I'd like to thank for interviewing me.. it was a bit exciting to say the least. =) Second, I'm sorry that this interveiew arrives so late, and that I didn't really get to answer many of the later question which I should have long time ago..., hope to get your pardon as I'm in a bit of a hurry to finish... ^_^; gomen...

I think the Kamishibai program is a great one,.. and anyone who tries to make a story should get a pat on the back.. =)"

Thank you for your time Neko.

If you'd like to learn more about Kaze Neko's Grand Slayber please click on the link below.

Neko no Kaze's House

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