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By: Matthew Doucette
Touhou is a shoot 'em up game series and Doujin means indie, both with Japanese origin.
Most shmup fans have heard of them, and I wanted to explain them in detail. Here's a breakdown:
The Touhou Project (東方Project Tōhō Purojekuto, lit. Eastern Project), also known as Toho Project or Project Shrine Maiden, is a Japanese dōjin game series focused on bullet hell shooters made by the one-man developer Team Shanghai Alice, whose sole member, known as ZUN, is responsible for all the graphics, music, and programming for the most part.
Doujin basically means "indie" in Japan. A Doujin game is an indie game, of any genre. A Doujin shmup is an indie shmup, which means it is likely a Japanese indie shmup. Doujin has tended to be associated with homebrew games, sometimes free. This is similar to indie games in the past. Doujin actually means self-published, essentially what we now call indie.
Dōjin (同人 dōjin), often romanized as doujin, is a general Japanese term for a group of people or friends who share an interest, activity, hobbies, or achievement. The word is sometimes translated into English as clique, fanfiction, coterie, society, or circle (e.g., a "sewing circle").
Dōjinshi (同人誌, often transliterated as doujinshi) is the Japanese term for self-published works, usually magazines, manga or novels. Dōjinshi are often the work of amateurs, though some professional artists participate as a way to publish material outside the regular industry. The term dōjinshi is derived from dōjin (同人, literally "same person", used to refer to a person or persons with whom one shares a common goal or interest) and shi (誌, a suffix generally meaning "periodical publication"). Dōjinshi are part of a wider category of dōjin including, but not limited to, art collections, anime, hentai and games.
Here's an example of 20 Doujin shmups, the seventh in the list is a Touhou game:
Doujin is often related to shmups, because shmups are big in Japan, however a Doujin game is an indie game of any genre.
That is all!
About the Author: I am Matthew Doucette of Xona Games, an award-winning indie game studio that I founded with my twin brother. We make intensified arcade-style retro games. Our business, our games, our technology, and we as competitive gamers have won prestigious awards and received worldwide press. Our business has won $180,000 in contests. Our games have ranked from #1 in Canada to #1 in Japan, have become #1 best sellers in multiple countries, have won game contests, and have held 3 of the top 5 rated spots in Japan of all Xbox LIVE indie games. Our game engines have been awarded for technical excellence. And we, the developers, have placed #1 in competitive gaming competitions -- relating to the games we make. Read about our story, our awards, our games, and view our blog.
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