🎤 Interview with Komitsu

2024年 6月 16日
Indie Tsushin 2024 May-June issueThis article was featured in our 2024 May-June issue. Check out more articles and interviews in the full issue.

We were delighted to be able to speak with Komitsu about developing hand-made personal experiences that draw from real life stories and memories, as well as digital picture books like the '90s Macintosh CD-ROM games that she streams on YouTube. And we of course talked about making Five Years Old Memories!


English (translated)

Translated by Renkon

Screenshot from walk with me by Komitsu. Player is looking down while walking over a pile of autumn leaves

(2020) walk with me

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Komitsu. I make games using animation and casual illustrations. I also run an event where I play Macintosh CD-ROM software from the '90s.

How did you get started making games?

Tokyo University of the Arts has a special graduate program called the Graduate School of Film and New Media, and while I was enrolled in the animation department, I started making games for the first time. At the time, the school was starting a new project to create a game using animation, and that's how I got involved. I can hardly program at all, so nowadays I make games with my friends.

Screenshot from you understand kawaii by komitsu. Player is walking around an autumn park where people are walking their dogs, with the instruction to 'get close to dogs'

(2021) you understand kawaii

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

I like point-and-click and puzzle games, games that let you just relax and explore. I get really happy when I find games that are independent of any languages.

If I get started, I'll never stop...! Ahh!

What animation has had the biggest influence on you?

I don't know if I can call this an animation, but the work that has had the most influence on my production is a digital picture book from 1992 called Living Books: Just Grandma and Me. There are many animations, and when you click around the screen, the pictures start moving. That's all there is to it, but kids and adults alike can enjoy playing around with it like a toy. (ed. note: You can watch Komitsu-san play through the Japanese version of the game on YouTube.)

Title art for Five Years Old Memories by komitsu

(in development) Five Years Old Memories

Please tell us about Five Years Old Memories!

I participated in a game jam in 2020 with the theme of "childhood memories" to make walk with me, which led me to ask people I knew about their memories from when they were five years old, and record them in text. At the time, I collected the memories of over fifty people, and from that, I selected seven episodes. I thought, "Wouldn't it be fun to create an interactive work with different ctions depending on the story matter...!"

I understand that Five Years Old Memories was created for the event, Artists-in-Residence Online. Can you tell us about the event and your experience doing that?

I was participating in an art exhibition in Hatsudai, Tokyo at a place called ICC (NTT Intercommunication Center), and at that time, the curator suggested that I create a new work. The ICC was putting together its Artists-in-Residence Online Program, and this work would be part of that. Since it was an online project, the curator was able to check on my progress from time to time, but basically I spent by time working completely alone and at home... that's how I spent my development days. Because we had many deadlines, such as during the exhibition and the ending of the fiscal year, we were able to make progress on the game.

Screenshot from Five Years Old Memories of the red watering pot morphing into shape

Can you tell us about the process of making Five Years Old Memories? Was it different from the way you approached making your other games?

  • Selected episodes that I thought would be interesting from the notes I took of interviewing people about their memories from when they were five years old
  • Interviewed the person again and recorded them on audio
  • Edited the audio
  • Thought about the timing and designs of the interactions for that episode
  • Created and improved/revised the prototype
  • Completed the pictures and animations, then did debugging

This ↑ flow was created together with Hayakawa-kun, an engineer. The big difference this time around was that we had to think about the game design according to the speed of the interview audio and the order of what was being said, which was difficult because the experience of the game could change dramatically depending on how the audio was edited.

What was your greatest influence when making Five Years Old Memories?

Screenshot from Five Years Old Memories of three children looking down the road at an approaching blue truck

Image courtesy of Komitsu

What was the most challenging part of making Five Years Old Memories?

Since the motifs were not from my own memories, it was difficult to express them as images. It was difficult to imagine these things just from audio interview recordings, such as the children's faces and their period-appropriate attire, and which memories were too vague to draw... things like that.

I read that you interviewed many people for this game. How did you feel after listening to the stories of so many people?

I conducted rough interviews in a variety of environments, and thought it was very interesting that rather than speaking one-on-one, I heard more episodes from conversations with small groups of three or four people. The sense of listening to other people drew out even more memories that they normally would not think about.

Screenshot from Five Years Old Memories of five rectangles filled in clockwise with a flower, a car, the sun, and a fish, with the final block left empty

Image courtesy of Komitsu

Is there any particular reason why you made Five Years Old Memories as a game, and why you chose the age of five years?

I've always wanted to create something that was between animation and a game. When I was gathering so many memories of my friends from when they were five years old, I thought it would be interesting to make a game prototype, and that's how I got started.

Because children live in their own cloistered societies such as elementary school before going out into the real world, I believe that they each live in their own unique worlds. So it is around this age that they believe magic is real, or their neighborhood street is the biggest in the world, and many other incredible episodes...!

Screenshot from Five Years Old Memories of a parent on a bicycle with a child in the backseat, seen riding along a grassy ridge from a distance. There are hills and houses in the background

Image courtesy of Komitsu

What kind of player reactions did you receive when you exhibited Five Years Old Memories at game events? Were there any differences between adult and child players?

Adult players seemed to play slowly and intently. Many children who played were completely absorbed in playing the game. Even a five-year-old child played the game, and I was amazed that he was able to immediately understand what the game was about and start playing. It made me wonder at what age people start to remember their past selves and feel nostalgic.

Do you have any memories from when you were five years old that you would like to share?

The year when I was five years old was when I was living in Germany. When I went to the supermarket with my parents, the person at the cashier would give me a piece of candy (it was super delicious and there was so much variety) but instead of eating them on the spot, I liked to collect a bunch of them in my pocket and then eat them all at once.

Screenshot from SUN SHOWER. A photograph of a potted plant with two cartoon snails next to the flowers.

(2020) SUN SHOWER

Do you have any indie games that you'd like to shout out? What do you like about them?

I want to hear that again (2022) by Hao Liao: I love all the games this person makes, and this is one of them. In order to hear the music that can only be heard by diving deep into the water, you have to aim towards a high place. It's a wonderful execution of the idea.

ODGŁOS (2020) by Holy Pangolin: A casual and amazing time-lapse animation using real-life objects, and starring a stuffed owl. It features many unusual landscapes, and is fun to look at!

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

here AND there (2018): When I was talking about the animation that inspired me the most and answered with the digital picture book, this iPad app is the first thing I made under its influence. This is a work that makes use of a lot of loose, hand-drawn animation.

suitcase adventure (2021): This is a small game I made with my friend Usuha-san. It is an adventure game where the player alternates between controlling a suitcase and the luggage within in order to reach their owner.

Screenshot from suitcase adventure by komitsu. The player controls a suitcase and approaches a person standing under the awning of a train station looking out at the pouring rain

(2021) suitcase adventure

In all of your works, I feel a genuine sense of warmth and comfort. How do you manage to convey that feeling through your games?

I try to notice the small moments of joy in my everyday life and incorporate them into my games.

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

Together with Hayakawa-kun, I am working with a game-making team called Cobbles to make a small game about stones! We are also still working on collecting memories from when people were five years old, so we might make another game using the same theme.

Final screen of walk with me. Player is standing over a scattering of children's drawings and toys, with the message 'Thank you for walking'

Do you have any messages for your players?

I would be happy if you can play my games! 😀 I would be even happier if you could play my favorite games, the games I recommended, and games made by my friends! 😆

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!


日本語 Screenshot from walk with me by Komitsu. Player is looking down while walking over a pile of autumn leaves

(2020) walk with me

自己紹介してください。

小光(Komitsu)です。アニメーションや、ゆるいイラストを使ってゲームを作っています。1990年代CD-ROMソフトをMacintoshで遊ぶイベントも開催しています。

ゲーム作りを始めたきっかけはなんですか。

東京藝術大学の中に映像研究科という特殊な大学院があるのですが、その中のアニメーション専攻に在籍している時に初めてゲームを作り始めました。当時アニメーションを活かしてゲームを作ってみようというプロジェクトが映像研究科の中で始まっており、それに参加する形でした。私はプログラミングがほとんどできないので、最近は友達と一緒に作っています。

Screenshot from you understand kawaii by komitsu. Player is walking around an autumn park where people are walking their dogs, with the instruction to 'get close to dogs'

(2021) you understand kawaii

もしよろしければ、ご本人にとって一番好きなゲームや好きなジャンルをご紹介お願いします。

ポイントアンドクリック、パズル、ひたすらのんびりと探索できるゲームが好きです。言語に依存しない作品に出会えるとうれしくなります。

挙げだしたらきりがない…!わー!

Title art for Five Years Old Memories by komitsu

(開発中) Five Years Old Memories

小光さんが最も影響を受けたアニメーション作品を教えてください。

アニメーション作品と言ってよいのかわかりませんが、自分の制作に一番影響を与えているのは「Living Books シリーズ おばあちゃんとぼくと」という1992年のデジタル絵本です。アニメーションが沢山用意されていて、画面じゅうをクリックすると絵が動き出す。ただそれだけですが、子どもも大人も楽しめるおもちゃのような作品です。

この度の「Five Years Old Memories」という作品についてご紹介お願いします。

2020年に参加したゲームジャムのテーマが子供の頃の記憶だったことがきっかけで、身の回りの人などに5歳ごろの記憶を聞き、テキストで記録していたのが始まりでした。当時の時点で50人分以上の記憶が集まっており、そこから7人のエピソードを厳選。内容に合わせてそれぞれのインタラクションが異なるインタラクティブ作品を作れたら楽しそう…!と思い、制作しました。

Screenshot from Five Years Old Memories of the red watering pot morphing into shape

この度の「Five Years Old Memories」は Artists-in-Residence Onlineというイベント向けに作成されたと伺っております。そのイベントについてとその時の経験について教えてください。

東京の初台にあるICC(NTTインターコミュニケーション・センター)という場所で作品展示に参加しており、その際にキュレーターの方から新作を作りませんかと提案がありました。ICCはオンライン活動のひとつとしてアーティスト・イン・レジデンスを設けており、この作品はその取り組みの一部となっています。オンラインなので、たまに進捗をキュレーターに見てもらいながら、基本的には家でもくもくと制作…といった開発の日々でした。展示している間や年度末まで、という締切が何度かあったおかげで制作が進みました。

「Five Years Old Memories」を作るときに、どのようなプロセスで作成しましたか。他のゲームを作るときと何か違いがありますか。

  • 5歳ごろの記憶をインタビューしたテキストの記録から、ゲームにしたら面白そうなエピソードを厳選
  • 改めて本人にインタビューして音声収録
  • 音声編集
  • インタラクションのタイミングやデザインを考える
  • プロトタイプ作成、改良/修正
  • 絵とアニメーションを完成、デバッグ

↑といった流れで、エンジニアの早川くんと一緒に制作しました。今回大きく違うのは、インタビュー音声のスピードと話している内容の順番に合わせてゲームデザインを考えなくてはならず、音声の編集次第でゲーム体験が大きく変わってしまうことがあり、難しかったです。

Screenshot from Five Years Old Memories of three children looking down the road at an approaching blue truck

画像提供:小光

「Five Years Old Memories」を作成するにあたり、最も影響を受けたものは何ですか。

「Five Years Old Memories」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。

モチーフが自分の記憶ではないので、とにかく絵にしていくことが難しかったです。インタビュー音声の内容だけでは想像がしにくい、子どもの顔や時代に合った洋服、曖昧な記憶の部分をどれくらい描かないようにするか…などといった所です。

Screenshot from Five Years Old Memories of five rectangles filled in clockwise with a flower, a car, the sun, and a fish, with the final block left empty

画像提供:小光

「Five Years Old Memories」の作成にあたり、ゲームに収録された以上のたくさんの方へインタビューをされたと伺っております。たくさんの方のお話を聞いて小光さんはどのようなことを感じましたか。

いろんな環境で人にラフインタビューをしてきたのですが、1対1の会話より、3~4人などの複数人の会話の方がたくさんのエピソードが出てきたことが興味深かったです。他の人の記憶を聞いて、それぞれが普段思い出すことのない記憶を引き出す感覚がありました。

「Five Years Old Memories」を、ゲームという形にまとめた理由について教えてください。また、5歳をターゲットにした理由を教えてください。

そもそもアニメーションとゲームの間のようなものをずっと作りたいと思っていました。友人たちの5歳頃の記憶が沢山集まってきていたタイミングで、ゲームという形にしたら面白いのではと試作してみたのが始まりです。

小学校という社会に出る前の子どもたちには、狭い範囲内で生活するゆえの独自なマイワールドがある、と思っているからです。魔法が本当にあると思っていた、近所の道がこの世界の中で一番大きな道だと思っていた、などといった最高のエピソードが多くあるのはこれくらいの歳なのでは…!

Screenshot from Five Years Old Memories of a parent on a bicycle with a child in the backseat, seen riding along a grassy ridge from a distance. There are hills and houses in the background

画像提供:小光

「Five Years Old Memories」を各展示会へ出展されたときのプレイヤーのリアクションについて教えてください。大人のプレイヤーと子供のプレイヤーに違いとかありましたか。

大人のプレイヤーはじっくり、しみじみとプレイしている様子でした。子どものプレイヤーは、夢中になって遊んでいる子が多かったです。まさしく5歳の子も遊んでくれましたが、何をやるゲームなのかすぐわかって遊んでくれるのも驚きでしたし、人は何歳ごろから昔の自分を思い出して懐かしむんだろうか、と思いを馳せました。

小光さん自身の5歳の時の思い出などがあれば教えてください。

私はちょうど5歳のときに、1年間だけドイツに住んでいました。親のスーパーの買い物についていくと、レジの人が飴を1つくれるのですが(すごく美味しい&沢山種類がある)それをその時に食べずに、何個もポケットの中に集めておいてから一気に食べるのが好きでした。

Screenshot from SUN SHOWER. A photograph of a potted plant with two cartoon snails next to the flowers.

(2020) SUN SHOWER

おすすめのインディーゲームはありますか。おすすめのポイントも教えてください。

「I want to hear that again」(2022)、Hao Liao:この方の作るゲームがどれも大好きで、その1つ。水の中に潜ることでしか聴けない音楽を聴くために高い場所を目指す、という構造のアイデアがすばらしい。

「ODGŁOS」(2020)、Holy Pangolin:ふくろうのぬいぐるみが主人公の、ゆるい&すごい物量の立体コマ撮りアニメーションゲーム。知らない景色がたくさん出てきて目が楽しい!

もしよろしければ、これ以外に作成したゲームについてご紹介お願いします。

「here AND there」(2018):最も影響を受けたアニメーション作品、の質問で答えていたデジタル絵本に影響を受けて初めて制作したiPadアプリ。ゆる〜い手描きのアニメーションをふんだんに使った1作です。

「suitcase adventure」(2021):こちらは友達の薄羽さんと一緒に作った小さな作品。スーツケースと中の荷物を交互に操作しながら、持ち主の元を目指すアドベンチャーゲーム。

Screenshot from suitcase adventure by komitsu. The player controls a suitcase and approaches a person standing under the awning of a train station looking out at the pouring rain

(2021) suitcase adventure

小光さんのいずれの作品からも、こころが踊るような感じと暖かさを感じます。

日々の生活の中から気づいた小さな幸せをゲームという形にしていけたらいいな、と思っています。

今はどのようなプロジェクトを進めていますか。今作っているゲームなどをもしよろしければご紹介お願いします。

早川くんとのゲーム制作チーム**「Cobbles」**で、石にまつわる小さなゲームを作っています!5歳ごろの記憶を集める活動は引き続きやっているので、もしかしたらまた同じテーマで続きの作品を作るかも。

Final screen of walk with me. Player is standing over a scattering of children's drawings and toys, with the message 'Thank you for walking'

プレイヤーの皆さんへ何かメッセージがあれば一言お願いします。

私の作品を遊んでもらえたらうれしいです:) 私の好きなゲーム、おすすめゲーム、友達が作ったゲームも遊んでもらえたら、もっとうれしいです!:)))

この度はインタビューにご協力いただき誠にありがとうございます。

KomitsuVisit Komitsu's itch profile for more of her games. You can also follow her on YouTube and watch her stream '90s Macintosh CD-ROM software.