Industrial Designer

2006 Graduate Hire

Cabinet design maximizes the appeal and value of content.

I’m an industrial designer. I design the game machines for amusement arcades. The game content comes first, but the key thing for me is how much design is able to increase the appeal of this content, whether it be by 150% or 200%. This is similar to the packaging for candy: it doesn’t matter how good the candy inside tastes—customers won’t buy it unless the packaging is appealing. The challenge and thrill is in using design to convey, at a glance, the type of game, as well as the nature of the content in order to make potential players feel interested in trying out the game and inserting their coins. In addition, amusement machines are mainly played by touching the machine or moving your body, so it is also necessary to consider operability and comfort as well as durability. There are also diverse design variations, such as those aimed at males and those aimed at females. It definitely takes experience to get all of these elements right and come up with an appealing design that you’re pleased with.

A breakthrough masterpiece that ended months of hardship, 3 years after joining the company.

I majored in graphics at a university of arts. Industrial design is different from graphics, and even after being in the company for a couple of years I was still at a loss for how to get any better. I would draw my designs but I just couldn’t get any of them approved. I think my boss was beginning to worry about me. It was while I was working on Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 4 that I finally made a breakthrough. I was given the chance to handle the new design for the completely updated look being given to the series. Based on the “traditional evolution” concept, I thought about which design would not only make people want to play the game, but also strike a balance between the traditional look and the new look of the series. To capture the imagery of the brand new cars I decided to use LEDs on the cabinet, and disassembled actual car lights and studied their structure to determine how the LEDs could be placed. These efforts proved to be worthwhile and I came up with a cool design that I was pleased with. Then came the day of delivering them to amusement arcades. I couldn’t believe my eyes. People were lining up to play the game. Almost in tears, a strong sense of responsibility rushed through my body. There it was: people were waiting for the fruits of our labor.

The company notices people who put everything they have into their work.

The most amazing thing about my job is being able to go to arcades to see people playing the machines that I made. I, the designer, can see for myself how players react. I don’t think this is possible in many of the world’s various other design fields. I really hope that other people studying graphics at university, as I did, give it a try. The process by which my design becomes a finished product that I can touch is great fun. BANDAI NAMCO Studios notices people who put everything they have into their work, even people like me who originally didn’t have much to offer. You will be given a chance. I consistently insisted that I wanted to handle everything from design and layout to direction all by myself, and was eventually entrusted with a major project of considerable heritage: Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 4. When you join our company, make your intentions clear; your chance will surely come.

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