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Dev job for 3DCG or related industry

This might be a peculiar topic but I hope I can explain it clearly!

My background is rather bizarre where I started dabbling with coding (specifically Python) when working as a FX Artist for 3DCG anime/pachislot based in Malaysia. After being laid off due to the parent company no longer continuing their presence at my country, I ended up getting a job as a software engineer for a startup fintech company that deals with eKYC and automated merchant onboarding for Malaysia and Singapore market where I mostly work with Django and the occasional React tasks.

As my passion is more on the creative industry side, I landed my current job as a Technical Director for a local animation studio that deals with outsource overseas AAA production which I revamp and also architect the internal pipeline and management tool. Suffice to say my daily job is more of Full Stack Engineer/Dev Ops despite the “Technical Director” title.

I’ve a few questions related to dev job for Japan 3DCG industry:

  1. I’m unsure if Japanese 3DCG or game studios have listings for dev related jobs which are ok with English only speakers? Currently I’m doing JLPT N5 for nearly half a year but my Japanese conversation is still not fluent.
  2. My tech stack is more of Python, Javascript/Typescript, SQL and whatever scripting language found in the 3DCG software. I do occasionally dabble with C++ but that is more of troubleshooting the client’s script for integration with the studio’s pipeline so I wonder if the tech stack is highly in demand.
  3. Currently I’m 34 years old and I wonder if this can be a barrier in applying for a dev job in Japan considering my professional programming years of experience is 4+ years (excluding my 2 years as FX Artist). I have both a Diploma in Illustration and a Degree in Animation… (go figure haha).

If the 3DCG/game industry job opportunities is very limited for English speakers only, I don’t mind venturing into a different industry but related to my skill sets so I can provide value to the employers.

Reason for me looking for job in Japan is more of exposing myself to a different environment and also had a taste of Japanese-style work management during my time as FX Artist which I find interesting.

Hope my topic is not confusing!

You got a reply about this on the TokyoDev Discord:

I’ve been in the gamedev industry and I’ve been looking since I came to Japan. I don’t think he’ll easily find a job as a game programmer but I’m sure he would be prized as a tech artist or a tool developer (many game company use Pytthon for tooling). I’ve had interviews with game centric headhunters and they didn’t have a problem with me only speaking English. I also have a French neighbors who works as a game designer and doesn’t have a high level of Japanese so it’s totally doable.

@pwim Hi Paul, thanks for sharing the reply from Discord. I’ll be dropping the Discord group soon and follow up on it. Thanks again!

This sounds like a perfect idea. It’ll get you into Japan, probably into a decent role that you can comfortably live on, give you time to improve your Japanese, and you can:

  • Get more work experience in Japan itself, which is helpful for future job hunting
  • Apply for roles in future from within Japan, which is super helpful
  • Network with people in the industry and build relationships (considering your atypical career path, you might want to lean more on atypical job-hunting pathways)

Good luck! Don’t forget to rework your resume if you’re going to be selling yourself as a Full-Stack/DevOps Engineer. You’ll probably want to make multiple versions of your resume.

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