It’s Hideo Minaba‘s first time in the Southeast Asia region, much less Malaysia. That name should be familiar to some of you; the man is the CEO of CyDesignation, and is a designer for Cygames. He talks about the atmosphere in Malaysia being very different from Japan, from Eastern Asia. Let’s see what he has to say.
As with most people working in the creative field, he must have some source of inspiration. Many different things inspire him, he answers. He pays a lot of attention to his surroundings, and this is reflected in his artwork which is often a combination of what he’s experienced in everyday life. He can’t reveal much about the work flow for, say, Granblue Fantasy, regarding providing concept art or other projects. He does talk about a rough process of creation, starting with a concept to the rough sketches and drafts, then to the inks before finally an actual character design piece.
Should you want to be a game artist, Minaba mentions there is an element of luck. The meeting between an artist and the right studio or agency is important. He too had to go through a similar challenge to find a “right match”. Other than talent, the right environment is also another thing. You’ve heard of the advice to “never give up”, which Minaba also expounds, and to have fun in the process. As you continue creating, finding the fun in it can help you shrug off the hardships.
Minaba doesn’t have any new illustration books that are officially published, but he does have collection works where he compiles pieces to sell at special events. It’s hard to answer regarding specific locations at where these works are sold, since it’s often published under a single entity – namely, CyDesignation. Should there be demand for a collection of works, then they will be open to the idea to print it.
He’d definitely would like to collaborate with artists, with so many of them out there. Minaba’s not exactly sure of who they are, but he mentions a Graffiti artist, popular in the United States, he’s interested to work with. With such a creative medium, there’s plenty of tough and fun times that can happen simultaneously. Creating and designing a game is hard, but when the product does get published and released, and users appreciating and enjoying the game, then that becomes the best part of the job.
Once, Minaba mentioned wanting to create “the ultimate fantasy game“. Revisiting that now, it’s quite a philosophical question. Back then, there weren’t as many variations in the market, but these days, there’s plenty of works to choose from. It changes the understanding of “fantasy”, he muses, with an ever-changing audience along with their interpretations. What is the “ultimate fantasy”? It only gets harder to answer.
To Malaysian fans, Minaba says there’s plenty of new things he’s seeing here and it’s very refreshing and stimulates his curiosity. He hopes to continue working with you in the future as well. Let’s hope for even more works later down the line!