Business Manager and 3D Designer of “Pokepia” talk with Kawaii Digital World! ~ “Pokepia” Business Manager and 3D Designer
※This article is machine translated.
Sejin Lee: ” Pokepia Business Manager ( hereafter: Se)
Chief Planning Officer (CPO), Cocone CorporationJoined Cocone as an engineer in 2010 and became a member of the Development Committee in 2020, leading the development of ” Pokepia.
Norihiro Matsuzawa: 3D Design Leader of ” Pokepia ( hereinafter: Matsu)
After working for several developers and as a freelancer, he worked as a 3D generalist at his previous company, NCJapan. He joined Cocone in 2020 as the first 3DCG designer. He is the design part leader of ” Pokepia.
Bringing the “kawaii ” world to the world! What is Cocone’s unique metaverse!
What kind of service is Pokepia?
This is the first 3D service that translates “” which is Cocone’s specialty, into 3D.
It is not just a 3D version of the world of ” Pokecolo but there is another world, and by connecting to it, you can create your own space, have connections with other residents who share that space, connect with the real world through voice chat, etc., become a star there, make friends, etc. …We created this service with an element of metaverse in mind, not just changing clothes, and I think it is a ” x “metaverse ” service that only Cocone can provide.
What were your thoughts when you launched this project?
Let’s use 3D to express the digital world we are trying to create in a richer way. What we could not express before, we could express with 3D. We had this idea for a long time, but at the beginning, we had no foundation, no experienced 3D modelers or 3D modelers in the company, and we were a little concerned that our customers might not be that interested in Cocone’s 3D.
Then, there was a major trend of progress in DX due to the Corona disaster and the increased attention to the “” and I naturally felt a sense of mission to do something about it, encouraged by this trend.
What do you hope to offer to customers Pokepia?
As the title ” Pokecolo ” suggests, we want to provide a new world, an ideal world, for each and every customer.
In order for people to enjoy the world view, we are “” feel” of the service, so we hope that customers will enjoy and be healed by looking at each avatar, item, and colony from various angles.
We, as residents in Pokepia, are directly involved with our customers, aiming to provide a service that is close to our customers and the management.
We are also thinking about opportunities to hear directly from customers and events that will be distributed in real time, so we can work together with customers to create a better service.
What were some of the challenges you faced in the development process?
The more you try to expand the range of items or make them better, the higher the polygon count, the heavier the operation, and the slower the performance.
The designers are challenged to make it look pretty even if the polygon count is reduced, and the engineers are trying to implement what the designers have expressed without sacrificing performance. The engineers are trying to find the best way to implement what the designers have expressed without sacrificing performance. We are always thinking of each other, and sometimes fighting (laughs).
These challenges were both the most difficult and the most enjoyable. In ordinary game development, the number of polygons and other regulations are often set in advance, and the challenge is to create a game within those regulations, but in our case, the premise is not that we are creating a game, but that we are creating a digital world, a world in which customers can express and communicate. In our case, however, the premise is that we are not making a game. If we put restrictions on expression from the beginning, we will not be able to provide the best for our customers. Therefore, we keep regulations to a minimum and constantly challenge ourselves without setting any limits on the range of expression.
We want to keep the polygon count low, but… I think the value of so-called game items is determined by the inclusion of parameters such as attack power and ability in addition to appearance, but in Cocone’s service, appearance is directly related to the value of the product itself, so we place a very In the Cocone service, the appearance is directly related to the value of the product itself, so we place a great deal of importance on the appearance.
Therefore, we are not currently choosing to reduce the polygon count at the expense of the shape in order to increase the product value.
In terms of appearance, as a designer, I had a lot of trouble just getting the first avatar’s body to look the way I wanted it to. It took me two to three months to achieve a balance that I was satisfied with. It took me two to three months to find a golden ratio of 0.01 units. I was very particular to find the golden ratio down to the nearest 0.01 unit.
From there, we also worried about the balance of the size of the avatar when it is placed on the colony. Of course, appearance is important, but we also consider the space itself important, so we imagined multiple residents gathered in that space, and the entire team discussed over and over how to maintain the cuteness of 2D and bring out the strengths of 3D while giving it a Cocone-like feel. We discussed and came up with the idea over and over again.
An organization that gives “” sensibilities
What kind of members are working on the project and the 3D team?
The project as a whole has 35 people. This may be an unusually large number for a new development project. We have designers, planners, implementers, client engineers, server-side engineers, UI/UX, motion designers, and many other types of people working on the project. Some of our members work remotely from our Seoul office.
Of these, 11 are 3D designers.
Many are in their 20s, but there are also a few veteran members in their 40s.
Many of them have experience in the game industry, and some have moved from in-house 2D projects to take on the challenge of 3D production. One of our employees has an interesting background: he used to be a figure prototype maker. He had only worked on high-poly figures, but now that he has come to Cocone, he is challenging himself daily to find the right balance of polygon count and how to make them look beautiful.
Matsuzawa-san, you are the first 3DCG designer at Cocone.
First of all, I was attracted to the challenge of creating something from scratch, and to taking on a challenge in an area that we as a company had never tried before.
The other factor was the corporate culture. I was convinced that not only Mr. Sejin but also all the people I met during the selection process were very nice and that I would be allowed to freely do what I wanted to do at this company, which was the deciding factor for me.
We had decided at that point to do 3D, but we didn’t even have a form yet, so we were very grateful that they believed in us.
The team atmosphere certainly seems to be very good!
We are now using Maya in ” Pokepia,” but we do not require any experience in using Maya. The reason we are able to do so is because the veteran members of the team are very generous in their follow-up. Rather than “, “If you have any questions, just ask, ” many of them are ” willing to “, which allows us to hold regular study sessions and actively share information.
The entire team is able to actively challenge new things and new expressions, which I think makes us a very attractive team in terms of skill development.
Some members call you “””” (laughs).
When I look at the daily reports that we have them write at the end of the day, I see quite a few people writing things like ” “I learned this “, thank you very much. I think there is a good relationship within the team where team members can discuss how to create new expressions with each other and grow together.
What kind of person do you think would make a good team player?
When it comes to designers, having a good sense of style is more important than experience with the tools.
Cocone is the best in the world when it comes to making cute things! I believe that Cocone is the best in the world at making cute things! I think that you will be especially suited for this job if you are a person who loves cute things.
If I may add, those who can actively search for new things every day, those who can visualize new values in their minds, and even more importantly, those who can generate them in three dimensions, and those who have a sense of this would be strong.
It is the same for all occupations. Of course, it does not mean that you have to like kawaii things.
The most important thing is for the designers to think about what the customer wants, and for the planning and development team to understand the sensitivity of the designers and give it shape, so I think it is important that they share this understanding.
We have engineers who can draw and designers who can code. Because of this, it is an environment where it is easy for us to understand each other.
Through discussions, various directions can change and be decided rapidly, so communication skills may also be important.
We have to create something that has never existed before, so we have to come up with ideas together. So, it is interesting that we are able to express ourselves in new ways and create new ideas of cuteness, and then work together to give shape to these ideas and deliver them to our customers.
Tools can be learned later. Skills can also be developed later, but I believe that the sense of creating a three-dimensional object in accordance with the world view is something that only that person can possess. If you are interested in working with us, we would like you to show us your sense of style in a tangible form.
We want to create the best “” digital world in the world. We expect you to be on the cutting edge of this project and lead our team.