Sad news today that iconoclastic Japanese designer Kenji Eno died of heart failure at 42. His seminal horror game, D, marked a turning point in Japanese game development, but I was always most fascinated with Real Sound for Saturn (and later Dreamcast), a game designed to be played using audio only, with no reliance on video. Sadly it was never localized into English, but 1000 copies (along with Saturns) were donated to charities for the blind and directly to some of D’s blind fans.
My favorite personal memory of Eno happened after D shipped, when he was arguably the hottest game developer in Japan. His company, Warp, had no new project to show, so he took his booth at Tokyo Game Show and turned it into a mini Japanese festival, complete with paper laterns, women in traditional clothes and lots of sake. It wasn’t open to the public or anything: Just Eno and Warp having a party for 8 hours a day in the middle of TGS.
UPDATE: Shane Bettenhausen and James Mielke, both of whose names I just misspelled, did the definitive interview with Eno at 1up about a decade after he left the game industry. You can find it here.