SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Earlier this week, an update to the Game Developer’s Conference website announced that Touno Mamare, Japanese author of the Log Horizon light novel series, would be speaking at the conference.
The Log Horizon series revolves around characters that play Elder Tale, a fictional massively multiplayer role-playing game. The series has enjoyed significant success, resulting in a number of manga adaptations, as well as a 25 episode anime series.
In addition to popularity within the anime-watching community, the series’ depiction of Elder Tale has generated interest among notable game developers. “[Elder Tale] is remarkably well developed, even as a fictional video game,” says James Portnow, renowned video game designer and professor at DigiPen Institute of Technology. “The way Touno has seamlessly merged the presence of Adventurers into the game’s lore as well as the gameplay being perfectly intuitive is something all game designers should strive to do.”
Portnow continued, “Game developers throughout the industry should be raising the bar on the quality and depth of the games they make, so it’s thrilling to see this trend apparent in games depicted in anime as well. Especially after the travesty that was Sword Art: Online, both the fictional game and the anime itself.”
When other GDC speakers were asked if they thought it was strange that the creator of a fictional video game would be joining them, they said that he would be welcomed with open arms. “I would rather listen to this guy talk about a fake game than listen to David Cage talk about fucking polygons and emotions again.”
Managing Director of Valve Corporation Gabe Newell declined to comment on GDC, but voiced his interest in the Apocalypse event that occurs before the start of Log Horizon, when active players are transported into the game world, stating that it was surprisingly similar to Valve’s current project. Questions about whether or not the project was related to Half-Life 3 received ambiguous answers at best.