The Osaka-based game developer PlatinumGames may have created some of your favorite games: Sol Cresta, NieR:Automata, ASTRAL CHAIN, and the Bayonetta series. With the company growing, they decided to open a Tokyo office in 2020 — right as the pandemic was beginning.
The team was split, which posed major issues for a company requiring close communication to build games that players truly love.
But now PlatinumGames is installing tonari between the two offices, hoping to foster better collaboration. Each tonari is placed in a space specifically designed to encourage casual conversations as if people in Osaka and Tokyo are sitting next to each other.
PlatinumGames’ Chief Game Designer Hideki Kamiya told us:
“Someone from Tokyo will call out from tonari, asking if I'm around, and before you know it, we're having a brainstorming session together, as if we were right next to each other! It has already become a completely natural part of our work style.”
Developing games involves the participation of many specialized creators who need to be in constant contact. tonari is particularly helpful for doing motion capture. Animation at PlatinumGames is done with actual figures and props. Masumoto-san, an animator working in Osaka, told us:
“I always like to convey the nuanced details of each animation by physically acting out what I am looking for. But when talking with staff outside the office, this was difficult to do through basic web conferencing tools. With tonari, you can see other team members in real-time and real-size, which allows us to brainstorm with the Tokyo team.”
Selfishly as gamers, we’re just hoping the tonari means PlatinumGames will create more games even faster!
PlatinumGames is a renowned game development company that aims to provide gamers around the world with top-quality games. They have a proven track record of producing hit titles such as the Bayonetta series and NieR:Automata. To learn more about their latest projects and initiatives, please visit their official website.
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