Over the holiday break and now we have some shiny new offices I have managed to put some renewed focus on continuing the Japanmanship guide book to working in video game development in Japan (see previous blog posts here and here).
I'd say content-wise it's about 80% complete. The text though, however tedious it can be to research or write, isn't the biggest concern. Since I started laying out the iPad digital version of the book it has become clear I will need much more visual impact by adding graphics, charts, photographs and the like. Considering I have very little of those right now I suspect there will be quite some work left to do on those.
I decided to start off with the iPad digital version initially for several reasons. For one I know the format and we have the technology so it's easy enough to have something to show while I continue finalising the bulk of the text. Once the iPad version is done it should be fairly easy to export the book to various other digital formats for sale through Amazon or Apple, and even do the Lulu print-on-demand style dead-tree style book. Secondly, the main content and possibly selling point of the guide will be the extensive company database, which I compiled myself from publicly available resources. It's already well over 250 entries, listing development and publishing companies all over Japan, with the majority of them, unsurprisingly, based in and around Tokyo. While I work out the kinks in the iPad version of the book I can give myself more time keeping that database up to date. Also, it'll be easy to update the iPad version with free app updates to keep the database synced to the very latest version - something that would be much harder to do, I presume, with other book versions. Then there is also the fact that I plain like the format - digital publications on iPad look and read great, so there is certainly a bit of fanboy appeal for me there.
Work on the book has come (and gone) in waves, but I am definitely on a high now. If I can keep this up I should be able to finish it off sooner rather than later and release it into the wild. For your pleasure there is here the first draft of the iPad application and AppStore icon I created for this digital version of the book. Enjoy!