I remember back when I was 13 I thought i'd NEVER leave Deviantart, but I guess times change, trends change and quality changes so it's not the same place that made me want to visit Deviantart every day in the first place
But as you can guess by the title of this journal, next year I will be permanently moving to Tokyo, Japan as I got a full-time in-house concept artist job at a Japanese mobile game studio! I never expected my first real full-time job to be in Japan, let alone outside of Australia so personally for me this is already a step ahead of my expectations, and really happy with the progress I've made.
So anyway! Quite a lot of things happened during my last journal post (about SMASH Sydney) and now; during that time I won an internship placement at Gameloft New Zealand, and a scholarship tour provided by IGDA Japan (International Game Developer's Association). Well, Gameloft in NZ already shut down by the time I 'won' that internship so... yeah totally not fair. I did get a day's studio visit at Animal Logic in Sydney though which was pretty cool. Luckily I had also won the scholarship so I took that trip instead, which included a few Japanese game studio tours, chance to get my portfolio reviewed, free attendance to Tokyo Game Show 2016 (!!!) and attend networking parties.
It has always been a dream of mine to some day attend TGS; it was the very first video game conference I've discovered (yeah even before E3 LOL), I distinctly remember when I was 15 and sitting in geography class saying to myself "one day I hope I get to go to TGS" (I'm a big daydreamer in class haha). And this opportunity allowed me the chance to not JUST attend TGS but to possess the business day tickets as well! So much priority! XDD
This year was mainly focused on VR technology; I've personally never had the pleasure to work with VR yet (since I live in small Perth and the only access I had to VR is the Oculus Rift headset in some underground station gaming cafe (the ONLY gaming/arcade cafe in Perth where all the greasy nerds assemble haha)) but since I was wearing glasses at the time and had to take them off while trying out the oculus rift I got too dizzy from it >_< Wish I can try out other headsets in the future.
One in particular kinda drew my attention; it's called the FOVE and tracks your eye movement for the main part of the gameplay! So not controllers ^_^ I can imagine games such as Summer Lesson on the headset would be really cool and interactive, but shooting a gun just from the movement of your eyes does seem a little too passive...
I also got to have a meeting with CAPCOM's hiring manager at TGS which in turn, led me to a job interview with them which was sooo exciting because as you know from my past activity, I absolutely LOVE Capcom games so they are definitely one of my favourite developers! Was so stoked to even have that chance (even though I didn't end up at Capcom... yet) :'D
(Also hard to believe that Capcom was the first game studio that actually took interest in my works... never got called for an interview at a games studio prior to this lol)
All-in-all it was such a great experience and without taking that opportunity, I definitely wouldn't be where I am now in life! Despite the experience being 95% in Japanese which I'm still not very good at (but working on it!)
Networking was pretty tough since I only knew basic conversational Japanese. So many questions I wanted to ask but I didn't know how to haha.
At one party I was introduced to a game developer who was apparently pretty well-known within the industry. I only knew after meeting him and exchanging Facebook info (apparently Facebook in Japan is used more like Linkedin rather than personal use) that it registered in my brain I had met Suda51!! Never played any of his games personally but have definitely heard of them lol.
He told me he and Hideo Kojima visited Perth once! 10 years ago at some convention I was so surprised LOL. Perth out of all places... I was actually doubtful at that time.
One of the studios we got to visit was DeNA, their office is absolutely breathtaking! Situated in a high-rise building in central Shibuya, you can imagine the amazing cityscape view the employees get to take in every day they work in their office. Even their toilets had an amazing view of the city!
The other 2 studios we visited were Aiming and Tayutau, Tayutau being the studio who ended up recruiting me *_*
(I had to do my interviews in Japanese... considering how bad my skills are I expected not to get the job haha...)
I start working in April next year but I will have to arrive in Tokyo earlier to attend Japanese school and hopefully be up to scratch at the minimum level by the time I enter the company.
So I'm really looking forward to experiencing a working life in Tokyo! Will definitely post many photos if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram haha.
And apart from that main experience I got to watch Babymetal live, re-visit Capcom Bar, ate at Kirby Cafe, watch Kimi no Na Wa in Shinjuku (SO SURREAL!!!), DisneySea again, amongst other things, and now have just graduated from my advanced diploma course at CG Spectrum (Big thanks to them for providing me a great mentor who helped me mold my portfolio and my skills to become industry-standard), and celebrated that on a big cruise ship where i enjoyed 5 days without internet haha. 2016 was a blast!
I'm looking forward to 2017 starting with a completely brand new life!