Make the Magic Bloom
Wizcorp celebrated its 15th anniversary on July 11th of this year. And what a journey it has been so far!
I joined Wizcorp on November 2nd, 2009 - about a year and a half after the company was established. I've seen the company, the team, and the culture go through several iterations, as we went from providing web development services to game development services and art productions, from being a small three-people startup to the 33-strong we are today.
And we're growing fast!
But growth isn't everything. Growth doesn't matter unless the organization has a strong sense of purpose and deep-rooted values.
The Power of Positive Influence
For many years, the perception about Wizcorp was that we made the impossible possible through exceptional skills and abilities. From creating multiplayer games for LINE Quick Games, to porting C++ emulators to Webassembly, to providing network optimizations and capacity testing infrastructures for Babylon's Fall, we've enabled our clients and partners to expand their creative vision further than they could have imagined.
But in hindsight, our greatest successes were not primarily driven by our technical abilities.
The greatest moments at Wizcorp were always defined by how we connected with creators and counterparts. When we reached a heightened level of understanding of what they were trying to do, and why they were trying to do it. When we engaged with them in earnest, suggested alternative approaches to what they were requesting.
When a magical spark lit up in their eyes. When they realized we cared that much about what they wanted to bring to life.
Our proficiency in various fields was certainly a prerequisite, giving us the ability to help. But most importantly, our ability to listen, visualize, understand, and communicate is what led to the greatest outcomes. Solely with skills, we could certainly have done what was requested without issue. It's our drive to go beyond, and to positively influence processes and ideas, that was the key element in the creation of genuinely magical outcomes, unleashing the full creative potential of our clients and partners.
Values create Value
It is from this realization that our core values have been distilled. have come together. They are vital to our ability as a team to do our job. In other words, they are not just for show; they are defined by what we need to do. Without our deeds, they would be mere words.
Values are often defined in an operational vacuum, detached from practical concerns, and instead based on some abstract, idealized perception of the world. We'vemadethat mistake. The results from incorrectly defined value sets are generally poor to outright counter-productive; they require wasteful investment and rarely take anchor. And most importantly, they often fail to address the true requirements of the service being provided, which in turn translates into a marginal impact on the quality of those services.
Pragmatic ideals create concrete value for everyone - for our team, and for our clients and partners. They crystallize focus. They help sustain passion and morale over time. And most of all, they help avoid contradictions and discrepancies with business objectives. In short, they create clear, reasonable expectations.
The Two Sides of the Coin
But there is always a bit of a gap to be filled between the values and how they should translate in real life. One good way is to frame this through the concept of uraomote (裏表), or two sides of the same coin - the seen and the unseen.
We define our values as follows: be true, be brave, be kind, be wise. But what do they mean, practically?
Let's take a moment to elaborate.
Stay true to your beliefs. Share and spread your ideals. Be who you want to become. Remain authentic and consistent in what you profess, and let the process propel you toward the best version of yourself.
Speak your mind politely, but honestly. Share your frustrations. Candidly ask questions, no matter how silly they might seem. Be comfortable with risks; illuminate them, evaluate them, and mitigate them. Accept your weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and work with others to palliate to them.
Listen. Empathize. Think, project, and extrapolate. Share humble suggestions, and pay close attention to the feedback you get. Strive to connect more deeply with those you engage with. Be the helping hand that makes the greatness of others flourish.
Learn to learn. Learn to teach. Know the difference between knowledge and experience. Dig deeper. Stay curious. Plan and organize. Ask your peers for help; help them in return when they have challenges. Collaborate and share.
The Magic Was There All Along
Once our values are put into context, it's quite easy to understand our mission statement: to bring back magic to game development. Unfortunately, it’s also a statement that might be a bit easy to misunderstand. While we want to bring magic back, we are not the custodians of that magic; our clients and partners are.
Making games became harder over the years, due to the ever-increasing complexity of the craft. New engines to learn, legacy tools to maintain, and new consoles to target for release year after year. We believe we can help simplify things, making the process enjoyable again.
But why is it enjoyable in the first place?
Because game-making is a creative endeavor, and all creative endeavors are a work of love, of passion, of magic. It's when creators can put back creativity at the center of their process that they can flourish. And it is contagious; games made with passion draw passionate players, make the joy spread even further.
But none of it is possible without the true magic: creativity. We at Wizcorp are mere gardeners making the magic bloom.
The Road Ahead
Wizcorp's self-realization and current ideals would never have been able to concretize without the last 15 years of trials, errors, and introspection that lead to our incremental evolution. We wouldn't be where we are today without people like Guillaume, who spearheaded the studio for most of those 15 years. And we certainly wouldn't be where we are today without all our staff members, past and present, who have participated in this great experiment so far.
To all of you: thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
What can we expect from the next 15 years? In some ways, more of the same; learning, evolution, and growth. In other ways, many big changes will help us further expand and spread our vision of what game-making ought to be, and more collaborations with the great creative minds of this world.
But for now, we're hoping to focus primarily on helping Japanese game-makers. As we are Tokyo-based, it's of course natural for us to focus on working with people we are quite often already connected with. But there's a deeper reason for this focus: we see Japanese game-makers increasingly looking to have their games released overseas, and we believe we can help. Some of the most creative games, historically, came from Japan. And we hope to humbly contribute to the next wave of brilliant, exciting, deep games being worked on from this beautiful, culturally rich island we've all proud to call our home.
Come and Join Us
Do you believe what we believe? Are you looking to work with like-minded, passionate peers, on the best creative projects out there? We currently have numerous job openings, so don't hesitate to apply now!