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First job, Things to think about

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  • First job, Things to think about

    Ok so I finally got my visa trough and I'm heading to fukuoka for my first game related work in japan.
    I have worked at many western studios, and I'm not new to Japan, but still want to check for pointers
    regarding working in Japan, as that is quite new to me.

    So anything that might surprise me? western studios vs japanese studios that is,
    and things to watch out for and be extra careful about.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Dio View Post
    Ok so I finally got my visa trough and I'm heading to fukuoka for my first game related work in japan.
    I have worked at many western studios, and I'm not new to Japan, but still want to check for pointers
    regarding working in Japan, as that is quite new to me.

    So anything that might surprise me? western studios vs japanese studios that is,
    and things to watch out for and be extra careful about.
    You'll probably be the boy who fetches tea for the first 2 or three years but after that you may get to polish the keyboards.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well they would have to reconsider that if thats the case :P I would be terrible at it.

      If that really was the case though I will be a very expensive coffee boy,
      and quite a waste of knowledge hehe.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Dio View Post
        Well they would have to reconsider that if thats the case :P I would be terrible at it.
        Two years of practice will change that!

        Originally posted by Dio View Post
        If that really was the case though I will be a very expensive coffee boy,
        and quite a waste of knowledge hehe.
        While twelvedown was (I assume) joking, the other side of that is that if it turned out to be true, I wouldn't be shocked. Japanese companies aren't always the most logical when it comes to cost/output calculations. After all - everyone needs tea.

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        • #5
          Well I do recognize this would be true for some work categories, but wouldn't that be for un experienced people? kids coming directly from college etc?

          Don't think it will be the case, as we have already gone trough what I'll be doing, and at the same time
          coming from working at productions like Battlefield 3 and Bioshock infinite, etc, to a much more small scale company and project,
          I would feel pretty bad If that's what they expect from me.

          Although It's not like I would throw it in their face, Would be kinda nice to switch the brain off and make some coffee for a while.

          Comment


          • #6
            It probably won't happen. I'd be surprised (just not shocked). It may very well be your job anyways as the new guy, but it's not like it takes all day to make tea.

            Don't place any assumptions on how you think business works in your country as to how things will be run in Japan. You may find the style is similar to what you are used to, but that would be a rare-case situation. Japanese companies do things a lot differently.

            The problem with trying to give you ideas on how it will be is that every company is different, and most of us haven't been working in the game industry to be able to tell you what gaming companies are like in Japan. I used to have a friend who worked for a few different gaming companies, and all I know is that he kept a futon at the office, because he ended up sleeping there lots.

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            • #7
              No your totally right, I wouldn't be shocked either, I have encountered many weird things in japan, I have worked in the gfx industry in japan before for a short period of time
              but at that time i was there because they didn't have people specialised for what they needed, So I was pretty much left alone to do my work, with no one to tell me what to do.

              As I plan to stay for the long haul I'll probably take anything they throw at me, might be useful experience.

              And yeah the sleeping bags and futons isn't really a japanese phenomenon, sadly it goes for the whole industry, Although it's nice to hear that he was allowed to bring a futon
              In most western companies we aren't really allowed or more we shouldn't stay over, so no bringing futon to work and people end up Fighting over the softest spot on what ever surface that might be.

              current personal record: a consistant 2 and a half week sleeping at the office.

              Seems like I'll be able to live quite close to the office in fukuoka, so don't think there will be a chance to beat it
              nor do I want to hehe.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dio View Post
                Seems like I'll be able to live quite close to the office in fukuoka, so don't think there will be a chance to beat it
                nor do I want to hehe.
                Read the book, a Blue-eyed Salariman, available on Amazon. Straitjacket society is also good too.

                Cant give you specific advice about working at Japanese companies (though I was full time at my university for a while).

                Meetings tend to be endless and it takes a long time to reach consensus, if they ever do.
                Sometimes you will wonder if there is any agenda.
                The guy sitting at the back of the room saying nothing is often the decision-maker.
                Japanese learn how to think with their eyes-closed.
                Foreigners are usually seen and not heard.
                Boss usually leaves last which is why everyone hangs around.
                Actual work finishes around 4pm.
                You will not really be expected to have an opinion and even if you do it will be ignored anyway.
                Speak when spoken to.
                The nail that sticks all always gets hammered down. They like team players and yes-men, not prima-donnas.



                Specific terms you should learn about.

                Honne and tatemae (what they want you to see and how things actually are)
                Nemawashi. Achieving consensus (pre-meeting) by cultivating contacts.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Blue Eyed Salaryman will not really hold any relevance for him, the type of company he will be in will be nothing like the huge conglomerate that is the subject of that book.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well although I know the differences and the weirdness there can be in a japanese company, game companies tend to be a bit different, with a new thinking,
                    at a western game studio, I could practically walk around in my bathrobe all day without people questioning me, "have actually seen that"

                    So even if the japanese counterpart isn't to that extreme, I think it's a bit more open than the ordinary black suit salary man company.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dio View Post
                      Ok so I finally got my visa trough and I'm heading to fukuoka for my first game related work in japan.
                      I have worked at many western studios, and I'm not new to Japan, but still want to check for pointers
                      regarding working in Japan, as that is quite new to me.

                      So anything that might surprise me? western studios vs japanese studios that is,
                      and things to watch out for and be extra careful about.
                      What western companies you worked for?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        About 1984 my dad went to work in East Asia. He worked these parts for many years. When I headed this way his advice was
                        "You only need 2 words...'yes' and 'sorry',,,, but then just do whatever you think is best."
                        That has worked out pretty well.

                        Your bosses will want to be acknowledged as your boss (always) and if you master that simple idea then they will like you and presume that you know what you are doing. In ten or less words... The boss is the boss, do your job.


                        I quite like the Japanese system. Most people learn on the job. Hire the ones that made the grade and train them.
                        Hell of a waste of time learning all those equations and whatnot but it separates the wheat from the chaff.

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                        • #13
                          Been freelancing alot, so not so many but I worked for Funcom, EA Dice, 2K

                          For the yes and sorry, kinda goes for everything, I went to highschool in japan, and those 2 words helped me out alot.
                          And I do understand the bosses want to be treated as bosses, It's a system I don't really like, but that's just something I'll have to take.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dio View Post
                            Been freelancing alot, so not so many but I worked for Funcom, EA Dice, 2K

                            For the yes and sorry, kinda goes for everything, I went to highschool in japan, and those 2 words helped me out alot.
                            And I do understand the bosses want to be treated as bosses, It's a system I don't really like, but that's just something I'll have to take.
                            Yup, well I think you will go fine. Please come and enjoy. Funnily enough, the more you play the Japanese game the more power you get and the more changes you can make. It's the people who are all "This is ridiculous, it will not stand." that get quietly shuttled to the side..

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