The One Academy’s School of Illustration recently invited alumni from local award-winning indie games studio, Kurechii, to share on the studio’s journey and provide insights into the game art market and industry, as well as the game art production to its students. Participants were treated to a two-hour eye-opening sharing session by P’ng Yiwei, the founder and director of Kurechii and Rachel Ho Fui Shin, a game artist.
Yiwei shared Kurechii’s journey of ups and downs to reach where it stands today as one of the most known indie games studio in Malaysia. Their latest game King’s League II was published on Apple Arcade, one of the most prestigious gaming platforms. Kurechii was the only Malaysian studio among 100 companies including game giants Square Enix and Sega that were selected by Apple to work with as the first batch of games to be featured.
Yiwei started making games back in 2009 after graduating from the Multimedia Design (now Digital Media Design) course at TOA. Having been exposed to programming, art, graphics and animation during his studies allowed him to make mini games and so on. Finding success with his first ever platform-jumping game Reachin’ Pichin that had over 500,000 players, gave him the confidence to pursue making games full-time.
On the topic of the games market and industry, Yiwei gave insight to the students on what are the things that they would encounter and should look into if they are keen on getting into the industry. Some of the points were AAA vs. indie games, realism vs. stylized art styles, 2D vs. 3D, and mobile vs. console vs. PC platform.
“If you really want to get into the games industry, don’t limit yourself to just being an artist. Incorporate your sense of storytelling, user interface and gameplay into your art as well. See yourself as a player and think in a way how the player would want to consume your game,” said Yiwei.
As an artist herself, Rachel shared her personal experience and gave valuable advice on how to choose between industries, the pros and cons of freelancing, working for a small studio or a big company, as well as how to manage criticism, art block and burnout.
“Sometimes it takes to be away from something for a period of time in order to miss it. Eventually, you’ll pick up from where you left off after sorting out your thoughts. You’ll have a different perspective and come back stronger,” said Rachel.
She started posting her art online (@rachelhofs on Instagram) as a journal to see her own growth, and encouraged rookie artists to do the same too. Yiwei added that he also checks out the Instagram of potential candidates when hiring because it shows their real side, working habits and art styles.
“If you’re a junior artist, I’d recommend to just show all the art styles that you have and everything you’ve produced. Sometimes they might think it’s not good or unsuitable but it might be the reason that they actually get hired,” advised Yiwei on how to present a good portfolio when interviewing for a job. The fruitful sharing session ended with the audience enlightened with a better understanding of the path they have chosen.