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BitSummit 10 Developer Q&A: Peek into the shadows of Kitsune: The Journey of Adashino

For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, Japan's longest-running independent game dev festival, BitSummit, reconvened this August in Kyoto. A special deputized deployment of VGG staff attended the weekend-long event and reported back with exclusive Q&As with developers in Japan's pioneering indie game dev scene. Check back in with us to explore an exciting batch of upcoming games in VGG's BitSummit 10 coverage.

Grab your frog sidekick and enter a fantasy modern-day Japan rendered in a beautiful PS1 visual style, because we were lucky enough to speak with the creator of the upcoming horror-ish adventure game, Kitsune: The Journey of Adashino.

The key art for Kitsune The Journey of Adashino. It depicts the main character, a fox girl named Kitsune, standing at the edge of a neon sign-lit dock.

Set in a fantastical present-day Japan, Kitsune: The Journey of Adashino is the story of a young fox girl and her frog friend. It is an adventure game where players will explore the titular Adashino Island in order to move toward a mysterious tower and escape from the oni and shadows that chase after her.

An animated gif for Kitsune The Journey of Adashino shows the main character, Kitsune, being chased by an oni in a town square.

The game seems to take after the PS1 era, with its fixed camera perspectives and beautifully pre-rendered backgrounds. While the game isn't exclusively a horror experience, being chased by oni looks to be a tense affair. And if you've seen the trailer, let's just say there are certainly some spooky happenings waiting for you on Adashino island.

Rias, the game’s creator, graciously took some time to talk with us about his Japanese folklore-filled game and some of the themes he wanted to explore through it.

The following interview has been translated from Japanese.

In a Japanese house, in front of a table full of food, a fox girl and frog stare at a traditional Japanese mask on the wall. Dialogue from Kitsune reads: "What's this now?"

VGG: “To start, please introduce yourself.”

Rias: “I am Rias. I am creating an indie game titled Kitsune: The Journey of Adashino.”

VGG: “Could you please describe your game?”

Rias: “Kitsune and her frog travel on a mysterious island. There, oni chase her, she unravels the mystery of the island, and follows some of her own goals as well.”

VGG: “The art style is very pretty. Usually, people tend toward rather realistic art styles; why did you choose this one?”

Rias: “Naturally, when making 3D games, it is hard to make something that looks like a picture. There probably aren’t other games that look like this one, even now. That said, 3D games are very good at realistic graphics. So people often think that realistic graphics are without equal. The games that I want to buy, though, would be where you can walk around in a painting. I thought, 'wouldn’t that be fun?' and worked from there.”

A fox girl runs from a demented Japanese demon, or oni, down a dense Japanese alleyway,. A minimap can be seen in the upper right corner.

VGG: “What’s your favorite part of your game?”

Rias: “That would be the Japanese culture.”

VGG: “Would that be the game’s inspiration?”

Rias: “I was born in Japan and raised in Japan. I think that people from other countries probably know a lot about Japan, but one knows the most about their own country. In Japan, there are lots of European fantasy games, but not so many Japanese fantasy games. Among those few are games about ninjas and Japan of the past. However, there aren’t many games about a fantasy Japan. Besides that, Japan has a lot of interesting parts besides fantasy, so I wanted to make this game. When playing, Japanese people will probably go, ‘Ah, yeah, there are places like that, aren’t there?’ while people from other countries will go ‘huh? Japan has places like that?’ Even then, if you come to Japan, it’s not just one place. There are a lot of different places, so I thought that adding these places to a game would be interesting.”

VGG: “What message do you have for people who would like to help you out?”

Rias: “Right now, the game’s Steam page is open, so if you are interested please follow the game and post. It would make me happy.”

Kitsune is currently slated for a 2023 or 2024 release date. Those interested should look into the game on Steam or on its website for more information. You can also follow Rias on Twitter to keep up with news. Wishlisting the game on Steam goes a long way toward supporting the developer!

An illustration of a traditional Japanese temple with a fox girl and a tiny frog looking at one another in the middle of the frame.
Bitsummit X-Roads logo, with a blue and pink X shape.


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