4 September 2016
????? (Atarashii bouken), which means “A new adventure”. Everyone was excited to have the opportunity to travel to Japan, the country that is on everyone’s wishlist. Most of us have not been to Japan before and didn’t know what to expect. We have experienced and learned many things throughout our trip to Japan.
On the afternoon of 4th September 2016, we arrived in Japan at Narita Airport where we were greeted by our tour guide who immediately brought us to Akihabara, one of Japan most famous shopping districts for their electronics and video games. We were exposed to the different cultures and lifestyles that the people in Japan has and this is only the beginning of what has to come.
Students and lecturer take a group photo infront of their accommodation at Akihabara
The main purpose of our trip was to learn about and immerse in the game development industry of Japan. We had a two weeks collaboration with Digital Hollywood University (DHU) who provided us which covered a wide range of topics. The DHU lecturers who conducted the lessons were actually game industry professionals.
Some of the topics covered varied from The Economics of Games, Game Design, Hit Game Planning, Character Design, Promotion of Characters (Hatsune Miku), Live 2D and Virtual Reality (VR) Experience. Each topic taught us so much from designing, developing to promoting and final publication of a game. During the two weeks, we were tasked to plan for a simple game that will be fun and considered a hit for everyone, within a short amount of time. The lecturers also shared their experience about their game journey of their own which was a mind-opening experience for us. Overall, it was an amazing learning experience.
Engaging class activities at DHU
Out of the lessons, we explored Tokyo visiting places such as Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, and Shibuya, Harajuku, Asakusa and Odaiba. We went to the Dragon Quest Museum in Shibuya and watched an animation film titled, “Looking for a Home”, at the Ghibli Museum. We also had fun trying out the Virtual Reality technology at the VR ZONE in Odaiba and visited Sensoji (Asakusa Kannon Temple), the oldest temple in Tokyo. Since Akihabara was close to our hotel, most of us went there frequently to do shopping in the huge variety of stores.
Skiing @ VR-Zone Experience
On our rest and recreation days, we visited Japan’s tallest structure, the Tokyo Skytree, which allowed us to set sights on the skyline of Tokyo. We visited the Pokémon center and enjoyed tasty Japanese cuisine. Some of us visited Nakano Broadway, a famous shopping district for selling anime and idol goods. Whereas, others went to visit Ginza, a famous shopping, dining and entertainment district in Tokyo and the Imperial Palace East Gardens which offers a magnificent view of what was once the Edo Castle. The amazing scenery, tasty food and learning experience were all enjoyable and it is something that you can never forget.
Tokyo Game Show 2016
Another highlight of the trip was the Tokyo Game Show 2016, a game exhibition show held at Makuhari Messe in Chiba. There were many big companies such as Capcom, Bandai Namco, SEGA, Sony and many more, advertising and promoting their game titles. What caught my group’s attention were the Indie games as well as some of the triple ‘A’ titles such as Final Fantasy XV. Mafia III was another one of those that was really entertaining as they showed off the mechanics, graphics and intriguing story of the game. We also met some Indie game developers that came from Singapore and were amazed at the quality of the game produced in a short amount of time for showcasing at the Tokyo Game Show. It was a tiring but fulfilling experience.
But all things come to an end. This Japan trip has made us learnt and experienced a ton of different cultures, knowledge and fun that we can never find in Singapore. I am sure most of us are looking forward to return to Japan. We would like to thank Mr Vincent Goh, our lecturer-in-charge for being with us throughout our journey in Japan, and School of Digital Media & Infocomm Technology at Singapore Polytechnic for providing us this opportunity to travel to Japan.
End of Digital Hollywood Group Photo
Mr Vincent trying out the HoloLens