It takes a lot to motivate me to update this blog these days and it makes me especially sad that it takes something like a death to spur me into action. Tonight, I learned that Kenji Eno – best known as the designer of horror games D, D2 and Enemy Zero – died yesterday at the age of just 42. The news has been widely reported across the internet and is confirmed on the homepage of Eno’s development studio From Yellow To Orange.
Eno is only tangentially related to the Lovedelic school, having co-developed Newtonica with Kenichi Nishi, primarily creating the iPhone game’s soundtrack. He also went on to co-write a blog with Nishi over at one42.tumblr.com. But he’s a designer that fits right in with the likes of Skip, Vanpool et al. Existing on the fringes of the games industry, he always maintained an independent spirit that saw him move from esoteric horror games to quirky puzzlers like the recent WiiWare title You, Me And The Cubes.
I always felt as though Eno was a designer that defied expectation. You never knew what kind of game he would make next or if he would even return to game development at all – having left it a few times to pursue other art forms and disciplines. We have a definite answer, rather sadly.
Though Kenji Eno is perhaps best remembered for his brash and outspoken demeanor during the Sega Saturn era, I prefer to remember him as he was in recent years; a quietly creative designer who clearly had so much more to contribute to the medium. I honestly believe that You, Me And The Cubes was Eno’s best game yet and I was so looking forward to seeing what his unusual mind would think up next…
If you have the time, why not honour Eno’s life by playing one of his games?