Indie Tsushin 2023 June-July issueThis article was featured in our 2023 June-July issue. Check out more articles and interviews in the full issue.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Studio Shimazu about working as an online Unity instructor, holding regular game jams and workshops, and making the digital and analog title, BATTING CARDGAME!

English (Translated)

Translated by Renkon



Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

As Studio Shimazu, I am a Unity instructor who publishes YouTube videos on making games, and run a game development salon and community.

Can you tell us about your work as an instructor? And can you tell us about the game jams that you organize?

Under the principle that "anyone in the world can create games," I release instructional videos on YouTube and Udemy, and created the online salon Studio Shimazu to interact with students over Zoom, chat, and Discord.

We also hold game jams almost every month:

  • One-week jam with a theme
  • One-day jam with a theme

And so on. For each jam, we divide our salon into teams and jointly develop the games. BATTING CARDGAME was one such game that was a collaborative work made during a one-week jam.

How did you get started making games?

When I quit my job and was unemployed, I was thinking of what I should study and found out about Unity through a site called Dot Install. When I saw this I thought, "Is it that easy to make a game?" And that was how I got started.

ツンドク title screen

(2022) ツンドク (Piling Books)

What does your general game-making process look like?

I just do what I feel like. (laughs)

Basically, I decide on a theme, think about the system, look for similar games, and implement additional features in accordance with the theme. However, I'm not good at coming up with interesting ideas on my own. For that reason, I recently created an online salon for board games, and invited board game makers to give lectures so that we can share our knowledge.

What do you think is the most difficult part of making games?

Coming up with an interesting game idea is the most difficult part. I've learned lately that if you don't have any ideas to draw from, there's nothing you can do.

How many games can you say that you really know? I've come to realize that it's not only important to play games, but to dig deep into their mechanics.

Character from Tsundoku trying to catch falling books with one enormous outstretched hand.

Can you tell us about some of your favorite games and genres?

Right now I'm really into fighting games (Street Fight VI), but I still like single-player RPGs like Pokemon. I also like 2D games that don't strain my eyes.

I know that you are quite busy as a video game instructor, but could you tell us why you decided to create this analog game?

I thought that if I made an analog game, I could gain experience making games more easily.

The philosophy of Studio Shimazu is that "anyone in the world can create games." I hold this belief because of the way games saved me when I quit my job and my self-esteem was crushed. I believe that making games creates connections with others, gives you something to live for, and enriches your life. However, you need to learn a lot to make digital games, and the hurdles are high. Because of that, I wanted to try an analog game.

Player striking out in BATTING CARDGAME

Please tell us about BATTING CARDGAME!

It's a two-player card game that plays out like rock-paper-scissors with a baseball theme. It's a simple game where players take turns as the pitcher and batter, and you score points for striking out the other player. This game's special point is that the pitcher and batter change places after each pitch.

What was your greatest influence when making BATTING CARDGAME?

I used the card game R Rivals (ed note: released in English as BraveRats) as a reference. I referenced the E-Card game from Kaiji, and other two-player games with simple rules that required you to read your opponent.

Looking at opponent's discarded cards in BATTING CARDGAME

BATTING CARDGAME is a lot of fun to play in person to try and size up what the other player is going to do. Is there a difference between how you make analog games and how you make video games?

I am currently studying how to make (and how to plan out) analog games. I don't think there is really much of a difference with digital games, but analog games allow for more playtesting and making adjustments. And it is necessary to discuss the budget, especially by reducing the number of physical parts that we need to order. These are the main differentiating points.

With digital games, it usually takes a while before we are able to playtest between builds, so I don't get to make too many adjustments. On the other hand, analog games can be changed on the fly and played immediately, so there are a lot more opportunities to adjust and playtest.

And the more physical parts an analog game has, the more expensive it is to manufacture. It's interesting to come up with ways of fully expressing the game in analog form with as few pieces as possible.

What was the most challenging part of making BATTING CARDGAME?

Turning it from a digital to an analog game. The digital version was made during a one-week game jam. I thought of the game idea, and three other members focused on making it, so it wasn't a lot of work for me. However, when it came time to making the analog version, we had to consider things like the orientation and design of the cards. We also had limitations like only having sixteen cards per set. It was fun to think of how to solve these problems that we didn't encounter when making the digital version.

Main character in Sheep Stray wandering a dungeon and encountering a tapir.

(2021) Stray Sheep

Can you tell us about some other games you worked on in the past?

All of the games we made for our one-week game jams are on Unity Room. In particular, I am quite proud of Stray Sheep, a roguelike in the same vein as the Mysterious Dungeon series and that we made in only one week.

Can you tell us about anything you are currently working on?

Currently, I'm thinking of making analog games. I want to release a new game at the fall Game Market, which is coming up soon.

For digital games, we are collaborating on game development at our online salon. Right now, I'm working on the programming for a 2D mystery adventure game.

Character from Tsundoku with books piled up on the floor and some books on the shelves on either side of the screen.

Do you have any advice for someone who has never made a game before but would like to try?

You already have all the information you need, so it's just a matter of getting started. If you need to make your game dev environment, a Lenovo laptop with a Core i5 or higher is about 60,000 yen. There are indie game events around Tokyo, so it'd be a good idea to check them out.

If I may plug myself, there are many people who started game development as a hobby at my online salon, so I recommend it.

This is also an advertisement, but I recommend this Udemy course because you can make and complete a game quickly. (It's usually pretty expensive, but it goes on sale every month for 1,600 yen, so please buy it when it's on sale.)

Do you have any messages for your players?

I would be happy if you simply have fun while playing with your friends!

Sheep running away from a tapir through the dungeons of Stray Sheep.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!








  • 1週間でテーマに沿ったゲームを作る
  • 1日でテーマに沿ったゲームを作る

などを企画しています。サロン内でチーム分けを行なって共同開発を毎回実施しています。今回の「BATTING CARDGAME」も1weekゲームジャムで共同開発したゲームです。



ツンドク title screen

(2022) ツンドク







Character from Tsundoku trying to catch falling books with one enormous outstretched hand.






Player striking out in BATTING CARDGAME

この度の「BATTING CARDGAME」という作品についてご紹介お願いします。


「BATTING CARDGAME」を作成するにあたり、最も影響を受けたものは何ですか?(例えば、ほかのゲームや映画など何でも構いません)


Looking at opponent's discarded cards in BATTING CARDGAME

「BATTING CARDGAME」は、相手の顔色をうかがいながら競い合う絶妙なバランスが楽しかったです。アナログゲームとビデオゲームの作り方の違いはありますか。


デジタルゲームは、ゲームをテストプレイするまで時間がかかるので、仕様変更はあまりやりたいとは思いせん。一方アナログだとすぐに変えてすぐにプレイができるので、テストプレイも仕様変更もとても多いです。 また、アナログゲームは「もの」が増えるほど、製造にお金がかかります。そのためできるだけすくな枚数/個数で表現できないかという工夫があって面白いです。

「BATTING CARDGAME」を作成するにあたり最も挑戦したことなどはありますか。


Main character in Sheep Stray wandering a dungeon and encountering a tapir.

(2021) Stray Sheep


1weekゲームジャムで作ったゲームは基本的にここにあります。特に「Stray Sheep」という不思議のダンジョンのようなローグライクゲームは自分でも1週間頑張ったなと思えるゲームになったと思います。




Character from Tsundoku with books piled up on the floor and some books on the shelves on either side of the screen.






Sheep running away from a tapir through the dungeons of Stray Sheep.


Studio Shimazu You can follow Studio Shimazu on Twitter @simanezumi1989. Find more of their work on their homepage and YouTube channel.