Count Up! / ギリギリ

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Table of Contents

DISCLAIMER: I am not the creator of this game, but it is one that I worked on extensively.

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  • Number of players: 2 to 6

  • Playtime: around 15 minutes

  • Game Designer/Director: Ryoya Ogishima

  • Graphic Designer/Art Director: Kohei Shimizu

  • Text: Akari Kaneko

  • Homepage:


I got a special thanks in the game booklet..!

One of the first games that I worked on is the smash hit Giri Giri (meaning: just in time) which is available to buy in 100 yen shops (Daiso) all over Japan.


The reason I have a close connection to this game is that it actually came into existence and was prototyped in a class at my previous university. Ryoya was my student, and he worked with a group of three others during the class to develop the game. It started life as a deck of UNO cards as they also feature numbers that can be added sequentially. We repurposed the special UNO cards to be different spells/abilities such as those that appear in the final version of Giri Giri.

I also initially introduced Ryoya to a graphic artist friend of mine to help them generate art for the product, but for whatever reason, that did not pan out, and Ryoya met up with Kohei, working as a formidable team.

How I helped

Some things from memory that I did to help:

  • Playtested the game extensively on Tabletop Simulator.
  • Helped design some of the special ability cards.
  • Asked them to include the tracker to know exactly which number we were on.
  • I even think the name “Giri Giri” was something I came up with during test play, but I could be wrong…!

Why this project started me on the journey I’m on now

Ryoya was a great student, this is true, but compared to the hundreds of other students that I have taught and interacted with over my 15 years of university teaching, he is the only student that I know who actually developed a product and sold it during his time as a student.


In my class up until that point (and still mostly now), we make games up to the prototype level, but no further. We’ve never actually printed and published a game the way Ryoya and his team did.

As a result of his efforts, his academic achievements shone during job interviews, and he received multiple job offers. Thus, and from that point on, I endeavored to help students get the best resume they can for job interviews through the process of making games, putting on game projects, and by participating in society. The York Game Lab is just beginning, but I hope to have more students achieve what Ryoya did as quickly as possible!