Category Archives: Work

Blurry Photos from Tokyo Game Show 2013

Tokyo Game Show 2013

This year, I had the chance to attend Tokyo Game Show for the first time. It’s a four-day game convention, quite similar to E3although smaller in scale. The first two days are industry-only Business Days, while the last two days are open to the public. I originally wasn’t planning to go, as Business Day passes normally cost ¥5000 a piece, but Miyazaki-san came through in the nick of time with four pre-paid tickets, which meant that Edu, Bob, Kairi and I were able to indulge in a field trip to TGS this past Friday. The great thing about attending on Business Day was the lack of crowds! I hate line-ups that last more than an hour, so if I’m lucky, I’ll try out maybe one game at E3, but at TGS I was able to spend a considerable amount of time playing the RYSE multiplayer demo, the Knack demo (which actually had quite a long line), and check out a few on-stage demos as well. I won’t review any of these, because hey, why read reviews when you can look at blurry pictures I took with my phone instead!

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Texture Reference from Around the World

Fair warning — unless you’re particularly fascinated by different types of tree bark found in Tokyo, Frankfurt, and Vancouver, this smattering of photos is most likely going to be very boring for most of you.

I make video game environments for a living, so like a good professional nerd, I’m always on the look out for good reference. Anyway, the other day, I decided to organize a couple years’ worth of vacation photos, and ended up spending an afternoon sorting through several GB of flat close-ups of bark, stains, moss, rocks, and the like.

You know you’re a texture artist if literally every vacation photo album is inevitably filled with pictures such as these:


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A Warm Okonomiyaki Welcome

Yesterday, Reiko-san organized a welcome party for Edu and me at Gottsui Sasazuka, a nearby okonomiyaki joint. It was a fun night. The food was great (then again, all the food I’ve eaten so far has been great). We even got our own personalized okonomiyaki! The environment at work is definitely the most reserved that I’ve ever experienced, so it was great getting a chance to chat with our new coworkers in a social setting. Dinner conversation ranged from game development to Chicago deep-dish pizza, anime to samurai assassins. Despite the language barrier, we managed surprisingly well, combining our broken Japanese and their slightly better English.

サラダ to kick off the evening

"Welcome あでる (Aderu)"

“Welcome あでる (Aderu)”

Edo-san's okonomiyaki (complete with a Japanese flag!)

Edo-san’s okonomiyaki (complete with a Japanese flag)

The From art team :)

The fine folks at From 🙂

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Getting a Japanese Work Visa

So, with all of this scuttling around between Brazil and Los Angeles and Vancouver and back, you’re probably wondering whether Tokyo is still on the table. Rest assured, it still very much is.

We’ve pushed our move to mid-July, which, at a month away, still does not seem like enough time to settle our affairs here. I’ve looked up advice online, and while there’s plenty of information out there about how to move to Japan, there’s practically nothing that tells you about how to move out of the U.S. That is, selling your car, what to do with your 401k, and a slew of other things that I’m probably not thinking of.

Thankfully, we’ve been able to take care of at least one necessity — we’ve just picked up our work visas from the Japanese consulate.

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TLoU in Brazil

I took a quick break from my vacation to do press in São Paulo. Sony Brasil had organized a sales event, and The Last of Us was to be the focus of the Playstation booth with several kiosks set up with demos of the game. Because I have family and friends in Brazil — a lot of whom are gamers — I was pretty eager to work at the event. It was also my first time doing press, so it was great having Jacob, our Lead Game Designer, at the event as well, since he’s had plenty of experience speaking with journalists.

The three-day event was pretty long and exhausting, and there were a lot of unexpected bumps along the way. For instance, there weren’t any interpreters on hand, so I ended up having to use my Portuguese a lot more than I expected those three days, playing translator a lot of the time and, at Jacob’s encouragement, even doing an on-camera interview entirely in Portuguese. (I’m pretty proud of this actually, considering the fact that two years ago, the only things I could manage to spit out in the language were a few key obscenities, of which Brazilian Portuguese has a lot. You could probably fill an entire dictionary with rude words and expressions commonly used in Brazil, but this is a topic for another day.)

It was an interesting experience, to say the least. My favourite part was actually talking to game journalists. It’s so easy to forget that there are people who actually enjoy what you’re creating when you’re so deep in production and spending practically every waking hour at work, so it was really great to watch gamers try their hand at the Lincoln/Pittsburgh demo and enjoy it, and it was humbling to get the chance to talk to gamers who were actually really looking forward to playing the game (Thankfully, they let me do these interviews in English.)

I could only track down one of the interviews that I took part in, but I’ll post more if I come across them.

Kotaku BrasilTwo Quick Interviews with The Last of Us Team [in Portuguese]

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