Nami Takasaki is a seasoned veteran of the industry, with over 20 years of experience as an artist. Using her project management and team building skills, she continues to develop games in Japan as the director of a mobile game development company. She is a strong supporter of female developers, and takes on an active role in the community.
THIS PROFILE WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED JULY 2014
Name: Nami Takasaki
Vocation: Director (former Artist)
Years of experience: 21 years
Shipped Game Titles:
Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings (Nintendo DS) – Square Enix – 2007
The Con (PSP, 2005 E3 Best Fighting Game) – SCEA – 2005
Metal Slug 4 (Arcade, Other) – SNK Playmore – 2002
Tamagotchi (Gameboy) – Bandai – 1997
Platforms with Development Experience:
Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Virtual Boy, Super Famicon, Pippin Atmark, Wonder Swan, PC, Arcade, Playstation, Playstation 2, Xbox 360, PSP, Nintendo DS, Mobile
1. What are you currently reading and/or playing?
I am currently reading books on project management and human resources, especially those that are related to other industries. It’s because I want to know more about the various aspects of business, which may not necessarily be related to game development alone.
I’ve been mostly playing mobile games. It’s great to be able to play them anywhere, regardless of how casual or deep the game is.
2. First time you knew you wanted to work in games was…?
Back when I was in school, I began my career as a manga artist. When I had my first child, I started working at a company nearby, which occasionally made games. While working in games wasn’t something I had in mind, drawing manga is a fairly solitary process. So when I experienced making games as a team, I was hooked, and have stuck with the industry for over two decades now.
3. What was your favorite mistake?
While I was working as a freelance artist at home, I was told that my illustrations were “cursed.” I was talked into receiving a purification ceremony, but till now I still do not know the reasons behind why they were considered “cursed” in the first place.
4. What was your favorite success?
> Seeing a game that I drew for being loved by players of different ages
> Pushing the limits of the Nintendo DS’s hardware, and successfully creating something beautiful with it
> Having a PSP game I worked on receive the “Best Fighting Game” award at E3
> Constructing a game production style suitable for development in Unity
All these successes were impossible without everyone working together as a team. You could even say that my greatest success is having worked with so many amazing teams throughout my career.
5. What’s the best advice you ever got?
It’s a Japanese proverb: 「出る杭は打たれるが、出過ぎたら打たれない」It literally translates to: “The picket that sticks out unevenly gets hit, but the picket that sticks out too much won’t.” One interpretation is that it means to go big or go home, Do not do things half-heartedly.
6. Share one thing few know about you.
I have a 20 year old son, and 19 year old daughter. Since my divorce we’ve been living apart. What has kept me going is the thought that I will be able to meet them again if I continued developing games. And now both of them seem to be considering doing something related to game development, which makes me very happy.
7. What’s one thing or trend you’re most excited about in the industry?
The growing enthusiasm and support for indie games.
8. Anything else you want to add?
For me, making games is a truly enjoyable and passionate career. Sometimes you will face incredible hardships, other times you might even feel like crying, but at the end of the day, what you gain from that experience is invaluable. It’s like being in a love that never ends.
I do hope that everyone would be able to continue working in the industry for a long time to come.
Feel free to reblog with a link back to this post. If you are a lady dev who’d like to be profiled or would like to nominate one, please contact tisamely [at] yahoo [dot] com
Special thanks to David Sim Wei Lun for translating this interview from Japanese and Kenji Ono of IGDA Japan.