WHO WORKS HERE
People Staff Interview
Mobile Application Engineer
Joined Polyphony Digital after graduating from the Advanced Science and Engineering Department of Waseda University. Responsible for the European GT Academy Facebook app and in-game camera control algorithm.
Discovery of Programming
It all began when I found Delphi installed in the PC at home when I was in the 4th grade, and I thought to myself, 'I might be able to make games with this!' I remember making a rock paper scissors game. I kept making a bunch of applications, which I burned onto a CD-ROM and took them to my teacher at school. Come to think of it, I think I was actually the most enthusiastic about programming when I was in elementary school.
My father is a programmer, but I never learned anything directly from him. I learned most everything completely on my own. At the time, I remember I found my father's diary entry saying: 'My son has learned how to use the Japanese kana input converter out of nowhere.'
As a Student
In junior high school, I was addicted to internet games, playing something like 12 hours a day. After entering high school, my friend invited me to join his band, and that made me become more sociable. Then, out of the blue, I thought, 'I should go to college in Tokyo.' I had an online friend who I came to know during my internet game days, and when I told him that I was going to Tokyo, he said, 'Come work part time at my company when you get here.'
During college I developed smartphone games for a few companies including my friend's. It was fun and a great learning experience, but a lot of the new smartphone games tended to be copies of hit products, and because the industry was so strict in terms of voicing your opinions, I became uncomfortable with that atmosphere.
I was talking with a friend who happened to be a Gran Tursimo fan about deciding on a career in my third year of college. He told me that I should apply to Polyphony. I had heard rumors about Polyphony, and their academic development style.
So I went to the company's hiring page, and it said that they basically only took experienced people, but there was a chance for new graduates if they expressed confidence. I applied, and I was called in for an interview. In the interview I used a smartphone to present a visual effect for rare (digital) cards I developed based on simulated 3D tech, and told them that I had created this before anyone, that it was the first in the industry, and I landed the position.
Career after joining
After being told I got the job, they asked me to join the team as a part timer during my senior year in college. So, before I knew it, I was on the front lines. The first project I was assigned to was a system that shared the points in the online drifting of Gran Turismo 6, and also the synchronization of the quick matches. I didn't know much about the coding for this at the time so I just got by asking a lot of questions. I had plenty of experience in the mobile industry so I was ready to contribute my skills in that field, but I also asked to learn about other fields as well. As a result, I was allowed to work with the camera control algorithm in the game, and since cameras were already one of my favorite hobbies, I had a lot of fun with it. Before the start of quick match, there's a camera looking down on the grid from the top, and that's a view that I proposed and got implemented.
Characteristics of Polyphony Digital
The atmosphere here at Polyphony is nothing like that of my part time jobs during college. You're encouraged to share your opinions. If necessary, I can even go talk directly to Yamauchi-san. And you have the opportunity to grow. In my case, even though mobile apps were my specialty, I was allowed to work in other fields. If you express a desire to work outside your specialty, they will let you do it, and that, I think, is fantastic.
There are a lot of people here with passionate tendencies, all in a good way. Not only great engineers, these people who joined before me are filled with deep scholarly knowledge in science and math, which motivates me and makes me strive to be more like them.
Regarding the recruiting for mobile application engineers