What Does It Take To Be Part Of Xenoblade Developer Monolith Soft?

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Up until now, Monolith Soft have mainly worked with freelance staff, which was an arrangement better suited for the company, which was smaller during their days as part of Namco Bandai. Now that they’re under Nintendo’s wing, they’re looking to take a big step forward, they shared in an interview series published last year.


Monolith Soft plan on developing games for the Wii U, while working closely with Nintendo, but say they want to do it the right way. In order to do that, they’ll need the right people. Since this is their first time working on HD software, they’ve been ramping up their staff.


Monolith been on a heavy recruiting stage since opening their new studio in Kyoto, Japan. Their openings include programmers, designers, managers, planners and more, and they’re welcoming any people with knowledge and experience with Havok software to apply. However, they do have their criteria regarding what kind of people they’d like to have as part of the team. Monolith Soft President, Tetsuya Takahashi, provides some insight on this front.


“Opinions may vary on this, but currently there is a mood in the game industry to think game designers who are not very interested in games are a kind of cool,” Takahashi feels. “Of course professional game designers should have much knowledge other than games, but, first and foremost, they must have a deep love of games.”


He continues: “In our case, applicants who’re dying to work on Xenoblade would be most welcome to join us. That’s because if you don’t know games well enough, you’d have no clue either objectively or relatively, where you are, what to compare, how much effort you need to complete your project.”


“Above all else, without knowledge of games, you’d lose sight of the most important thing—what customers are looking for in your game. That situation would look like a unfunny comedy, rather than a tragedy.”


Takahashi also goes on to talk about how having an experienced assistant script editor would be nice, since it would take a load off his back.


Meanwhile, Planner, Koh Kojima, adds that a younger person would be nice to have. In Kojima’s opinion, it would be okay if one didn’t have any experience developing games, as long as they could come up with something interesting. Experience can easily come along the way, but creativity is different, Kojima says. He adds: “Another big thing is being a skilled communicator. It’s an important skill to be able to express your ideas in a better manner.”


An example of a position they’re looking to fill is the Planner role. Kojima explains that, in the past, there were incidents where designs had to be deemed impossible due to realistic limitations, or had to be modified in order to convey the desired effect. However, with the current generation of hardware, thinking of these limitations is no longer the first and foremost factor the development staff need to keep in mind.


“What we’re looking for is whether you can truly think up something interesting,” says Kojima, emphasizing the need to be able to come up with systems that are fun for players, more so than being able to design plans for limitations that no longer exist.


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Gamer, avid hockey fan, and firm believer in the heart of the cards.