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A day in the life of a Japanese Producer: Part 2Vote Now!

Ben Judd, Tuesday 24-06-2008, 10:25:32

So here we are in another fun-filled blog post starring your favorite sexy localizing Producer Ben Judd.

1.00PM - 5:30PM  -- There will invariably be 3 things that happen during this time frame:

A) I will answer another 30 - 50 E-mails which is hastening me down the "carpal-tunnel" to arthritis land.

B) I will have a meeting* about an event (E3, Leipzig, TGS, etc), a team meeting with the Japanese design guys who are helping me out on the games, or I will have a company meeting in which most of the heads of each division and producers give status updates on what they are working on.

C) I will write a blog post (if there is time). What makes matters worse is that I am blogging on our community site, on the Capcom-unity site, and writing a Japanese blog on the Capcom Japan Bionic Commando site.

The other day John D over at our US office asked if I wanted to start blogging on the Sony PlayStation blog. I told him that I unfortunately didn't have the bandwidth so he will be doing that in my stead.

*POWER TIP: For anyone who has worked in Japan you will know that meetings are a curse that you cannot escape. I attend about 2-3 hours of meetings each day and it really cuts into productivity. It wouldn't be so bad, if there was a lot to learn but unfortunately most of these meetings boil down to having one person read through a Powerpoint document that you received 3 days earlier via e-mail. I've already read though it and know it so why am I spending an hour to have another grown man read it back to me? Ah, this place teaches you some real patience!

4.00PM  -- At 4PM, Grin has begun their day so the e-mails start pouring in. Now the game is afoot. I begin to tell myself that the only way to get home at a decent hour is if I am able to nail all early issues from Grin by about 7PM. However, around this time I go back to the toilet if I can find one open*. I forgot to mention that all the toilets here have a blower and a bidet function. If you haven't tried shooting a jet-stream of cold water up your *bass* then you don't know what you are missing. This is one area the French got it right!

*POWER TIP: Did you know that Capcom's luxurious bathroom has no air conditioning? During the incredibly hot and humid summer, sitting on the pot feels like you are imprisoned in some kind of torture sweat-box designed to make you divulge company secrets. I swear, your average man could not survive 24 hours in a Capcom toilet!

5:30PM  -- On days when we are recording a podcast, Gearoid goes downstairs to set up the equipment. I usually have left-over work or help him out. On days that we are not recording a podcast, I go back upstairs to the 16th floor to play more Street Fighter Alpha 3 with my Localization brethren. Unfortunately that involves taking the elevator. If I were going to complain about one thing other than the bathroom, it would be the elevator. We have 4 main elevators for the entire building which houses 800 or so R&D people. Right before work, lunch, and after work getting one of these puppies is near impossible. I have waited for about 10 minutes for an elevator once. It was insane. Additionally, there is no air conditioning in the elevator and since everyone doesn't want to wait for the next one, they are packed with people! Hot, smelly, and never there when you need them.

6.00PM  -- After I get my fill of SF3A, I go back to work. Sometimes this involves a phone call to GRIN for about an hour but usually if I am lucky and not in crunch I can get out of the building by 8PM.

8.00PM  -- If we are crunching or have recorded a podcast, Gearoid and I will usually go out and grab something to eat. Usually there is really only one option:

Tori kizoku (Royal Family of Chicken)  -- Everything on the menu is fairly tasty, costs only 280 yen (roughly 2 dollars and 60 cents) and the service is good. If you ever find yourself in Osaka, look for one of these. We recommend: the beer, cheese and mochi potato cakes, the world-famous chicken breast pot-stickers, and of course the tandoori chicken ceasar salad.

8.00PM - 10PM  -- If we have grabbed some dinner together, then I usually stumble home around 10 or 11. If I have continued to work until 10 or 11 due to a big crunch, I usually stumble home (from exhaustion not alcohol) around the same time. On days where neither of these happens I try to go to the gym. It's called the Konami Sports Club* and it is actually run by the video company of the same name. Surprisingly enough, it's quite nice and I usually spend about 2 hours there doing a combination of weights, jogging, and biking.

*POWER TIP: Did you know that Ben Judd always wears Capcom-logoed shirts when he is working out at Konami and secretly feels like he is "winning points" in the Capcom/Konami rivalry? (Although he does love Konami games as well)

11.00PM - 2AM  -- I usually get home around this time after a hard day's work and watch some US TV that I have downloaded (I miss my US culture). Sometimes I will throw down some Warcraft 3 if the mood grabs me. But one other thing that I usually find myself doing is checking more e-mail from home. Grin is usually wrapping up their day so if there are any last minute discussions that I need to have, this is my only chance to do so. After midnight e-mails from the US begin to flow in and I try to get through as many of those as I can in a short amount of time.

After it's all said and done, I have usually been able to throw down a TV show or 2 and play 2 or so games of Warcraft 3. Not a lot of free time really but I can't complain because I'm making my dream game, right?

So, that's all it takes to be a big-shot producer at a Japanese company. Hope it was a refreshing look at a company you have probably only seen from a far. We will try to get you other "diaries" from other people on the team as time goes on.




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