New Game! is a series which shows the games industry as it is, for better and for worse
In recent years, several series such as Shirobako and Bakuman have looked behind the scenes into what goes into creating popular media. While these series address the production of anime and manga, respectively, New Game! depicts the creation and development of a video game. Around Akiba is revisiting the New Game! in preparation for the second season airing on July 11th.
New Game! follows a recent high school graduate named Aoba as she works at the Eagle Jump games studio. Although she doesn’t have any experience in games development, Aoba is a long-time fan of Eagle Jump’s Fairy Story series and eager to impress her co-worker, Rin, who created the character designs used in the previous game.
The writers of New Game! have clearly done a lot of research
Aoba’s lack of experience makes her the perfect audience surrogate. The development team explains that creating a game is a lengthy process, involving art almost as much as it does technology. Aoba is put to work animating character models, and the show does an excellent job of detailing the finer intricacies of her task in easily understandable terms.
The writers of New Game! have clearly done a lot of research and portray incredibly realistically about the game design process. Rather than trying to idealize the job, they show late nights, tight deadlines, and mind-numbingly testing. As in real life, the team’s passion for the project motivates the characters rather than the money.
That said, there are some areas which are less true to life in this show. This is understandable – it’s highly unlikely that a major game studio would hire an inexperienced animator straight out of high school. But it’s a necessity to make the show accessible to people with little understanding of the game industry. Nonetheless, New Game! manages to capture the feel of working in a development environment. Everything from the quirky attitudes of the team is spot on, as anyone who has worked in a similar role can attest.
Each character is instantly recognizable, and each has a particular style, goals, and feelings. The development of the characters makes them not only realistic, but also relatable. As the game’s release draws closer, the audience is almost as invested in the game as the studio’s staff are.
New Game! is a series which shows the games industry as it is, for better and for worse. It provides an unflinching look at the hard work which goes into creating a successful end product, and you don’t have to know much about computers or games to enjoy it. This is a series which is genuine, insightful, and more than deserving of your time.
Be sure to check out Around Akiba’s weekly reviews of New Game!!