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BitSummit 2014 grants first awards, nearly triples last year's attendance

BitSummit 2014, the Japanese independent developer conference held March 7-9 in Kyoto, brought in nearly 130 developers from around the globe, nearly three times as many as last year's conference.

Developers in attendance included Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune, who debuted Azure Striker Gunvolt, an upcoming game for Nintendo 3DS. Hiroki Tomino and Eiji Seko revealed that a remake of Assault Suit Leynos is headed to PlayStation 4.

"In all, BitSummit 2014 was a resounding success," organizers wrote in a press release. "Every day brought new surprises, and a surprising diversity of visitors ranging from hardcore gamers to families and their kids. If anything, this indie event proved that even in Japan, where consumers usually prefer familiar franchises over new IPs, that the work of unknown, independent developers can generate significant interest. As the BitSummit Organization Committee refreshes andprepares to plan for the next iteration of this ever-changing, ever-evolving event, we are encouraged to know that if we build it, the people will come."

This year's event also brought BitSummit's first awards ceremony. Winners in categories that included commendations for design and innovation included:

Visual Design

  • 1st place: Team Poyhaymen for Graffiti Ninja
  • 2nd place: Visiontrick Media for Pavilion

Game Design

  • 1st place: Little Big MMO for Gangs of Space
  • 2nd place: Funktronic Labs for Nova-111

Audio Design

  • 1st place: Winning Blimp for Stratolith
  • 2nd place: Onion Games for Million Onion Hotel

Narrative Design

  • 1st place: Flying Carpets Games for The Girl and the Robot
  • 2nd place: Artifacts for Magic Potion Stories

Möbius Strip Prize for Innovation

  • 1st place: Riki for Kira Kira Star
  • 2nd place: Japanese Flash Game Developers & Mogera.jp for Google Shucocoooco

Media Choice

  • 1st place: Onion Games for Million Onion Hotel
  • 2nd place: Grounding, Inc. for Machi-Koro

Public Choice

  • 1st place: Onion Games for Million Onion Hotel
  • 2nd place: Silver Second for One Way Heroics

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • 1st place: Dracue Co., Ltd for Assault Suit Leynos
  • 2nd place: Nigoro for La-Mulana 2

Vermillion Gate Award for Grand Jury

  • 1st place: Vitei, Inc. for The Modern Zombie Taxi Driver
  • 2nd place for tie: Riki for Kira Kira Star, Funktronic Labs for Nova-111, Inti Creates for Azure Striker Gunvolt

For more on BitSummit, be sure to read our coverage of BitSummit founder James Mielke, who created the event to connect Japanese developers. For an in-depth look at the show and its organization, be sure to read and watch our Human Angle feature.