Katamari creator Keita Takahashi joins Glitch
July 9, 2011 7:52 AM   Subscribe

For fans of gaming and pure delight: Katmari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi has joined the team behind the upcoming Glitch, from the makers of Flickr (and Game Neverending!)

In a blog post titled "Working With Your Heroes," Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Flickr and old MetaFilter favorite Game Neverending (previously 1, 2), announced today that Keita Takahashi, creator of Katamari Damacy and Noby Noby Boy, has joined Tiny Speck, the start-up behind the innovative new online game Glitch (previously).

Glitch, currently in open beta, is an experiment in culture building: a web-based massively-multiplayer game that takes place in an enormous, ever-changing, persistent world inside the minds of eleven peculiarly imaginative Giants.

Keita Takahashi parted ways with publisher Namco Bandai in September 2010 after becoming disillusioned with the gaming industry and saying that he wanted "to try lots of different things." Indeed, his next venture, Uvula, has designed a playground in Nottingham that is due to open by 2012.

In a joint interview with Kotaku, Stewart Butterfield explained that he saw an opportunity to bring Keita Takahashi back to the gaming industry with his new project. "We are very excited to be collaborating with Keita. He is a hero for many of us on the team and it will be very exciting to see what happens.... It's a crazy mishmash of ideas. He will be bringing some cohesion to the big picture"
posted by KatlaDragon (23 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Shine on, you crazy ever-expanding ball of disparate matter.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:04 AM on July 9, 2011 [6 favorites]

This sounds really interesting. I really do like it when game designers play with game mechanics and experiences. I loved Katamari and was kind of puzzled by Noby Noby Boy, but I'm glad it got to be tried.
posted by inturnaround at 8:05 AM on July 9, 2011

Glitch + Alcoholic abusive father character = Hoard Hoard Revolution!
posted by zippy at 8:07 AM on July 9, 2011

I mean the father from Katamari.
posted by zippy at 8:08 AM on July 9, 2011

I've played with Glitch. It, uh, isn't that great so far.
posted by Ritchie at 8:12 AM on July 9, 2011

I really like Glitch. I've been playing with it for months and months now though I've missed the last few play sessions. I think that it has really amazing potential, but I'm not sure it's the game for me. I have an aversion to games that don't end, but if Glitch becomes expansive enough, there will be plenty of "games within the game" that could keep me entertained.
posted by d1rge at 8:15 AM on July 9, 2011

I've played with Glitch. It, uh, isn't that great so far.

I'm pretty sure I have an invite in one of my email accounts... is it worth trying, or should I steer completely clear?
posted by codacorolla at 8:22 AM on July 9, 2011

Takahashi’s next original IP for Namco, 2009’s quirky downloadable physics-based intergalactic eating sim Noby Noby Boy,was recieved by the critical community with friendly puzzlement

Friendly puzzlement is a good description of my response to Noby Noby Boy. But I love Katamari so much that I will continue to check out whatever this dude creates, playgrounds or games.
posted by theredpen at 8:41 AM on July 9, 2011

I've played a few sessions of Glitch. It looks beautiful, runs smooth and the gameplay is very clear, but it's a bit too grindish for me, so not my style of game (never liked WoW or the same reason).
posted by furtive at 9:50 AM on July 9, 2011

Whoa. I don't know how I feel about this. Glitch doesn't have the same appeal that GNE had for me, and I wonder if this addition will change anything at all for me...
posted by yeoz at 9:59 AM on July 9, 2011

Glitch started out rough but it's gotten better. It's certainly not for everyone, though. I have some friends who though Glitch sounded great, and I invited them in, and they played a couple times and then just...stopped due to it not catching their interest enough. For a while there it was easy to run out of things to do beyond grinding, but they keep adding new things, so they keep me interested. I'm excited by this, having loved Katmari. I do wish Glitch were more like the GNE, but then I think about how the GNE couldn't survive. Hopefully Glitch finds a wider audience and can actually stick.
posted by routergirl at 10:16 AM on July 9, 2011

My girlfriend, on watching the preview video for Glitch: "It sort of seems like a cross between Katamari, and a scary Disney ride like Splash Mountain, and... nightmares. All the nightmares in the world."
posted by moss at 11:16 AM on July 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

I hope I don't embarrass KatlaDragon by pointing this out, but this is too cute to pass up. The last comment in that Previously link is KatlaDragon saying how much they liked GNE and how they'd considered breaking their "No FPPs in seven years" run to post about Glitch.

Now, five months later, KatlaDragon has posted their first FPP...about Glitch!
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:55 AM on July 9, 2011

Friendly puzzlement is a good description of my response to Noby Noby Boy.

The mark of the highest class of game designers is initial puzzlement when exposed to their ideas. It shows that they actually are trying new things.

It is perhaps true that Noby Noby Boy needs more substance to be of interest to a consumer. But at least it's being tried. Ideally these attempts are made as internal prototypes, and I don't know if Noby Noby Boy got the benefit of that. All eyes were on it, and really what could hope to match up to Katamari Damacy? It could be that Namco was putting pressure on Takahashi to turn out another hit quickly. It doesn't work that way.

Takahashi could be a genius and still never turn out another game as good at Katamari Damacy. You can't force lightning to strike. The more you court them, the less likely the inspiration fairies will respond. That is why I think big-budget, large studio game development is, in the long term, a dead end. There is too much riding on it. It is only natural, if you're spending millions of dollars on a project, to take as few risks as possible.

No business can survive indefinitely by taking leaps of faith, but game design won't advance without them.
posted by JHarris at 12:08 PM on July 9, 2011 [4 favorites]

I tried Glitch but could not for the life of me work out what was supposed to be fun about it.
posted by unSane at 12:48 PM on July 9, 2011

I play very few computer games, and absolutely loved Glitch. In fact, one of the songs (Groddle Forest) is still the ringtone on my phone. I haven't played it in a few months, but it's really great, and I hope they do tremendously well with it.
posted by Alt F4 at 1:39 PM on July 9, 2011

Interesting. A sort of MMPORG Little Big Planet? Continuing the quirky earworm-friendly music tradition of Katamari Damacy, I see. Or hear, rather.
posted by smirkette at 1:43 PM on July 9, 2011

is it worth trying, or should I steer completely clear?

Probably leave it and give it time to mature for a few more months. It might actually end up being a cool game. I got into it a bit early and decided I was done with it a few weeks ago.
posted by Ritchie at 5:31 PM on July 9, 2011

I hope it's more Katamari than Noby.
posted by yellowcandy at 5:31 PM on July 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

ok. wow. This news kinda blows me away.
posted by dreamling at 8:36 PM on July 9, 2011

Holy crap, I just posted this to Gamefilter, but I had no idea Stewart was behind it! Remembering GNE, I should have known!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:48 PM on July 9, 2011

Also, congrats, man, if you see this. I've wondered what you guys were doing with that sweet Yahoo money...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:52 PM on July 9, 2011

Man, what is it with this recent trend of indie games with really interesting ideas and settings couched in incredibly boring grindy gameplay? (Echo Bazaar, I'm looking at you.)
posted by speicus at 2:05 PM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

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