Japanmanship Co. Ltd.

I'm just waiting for a business deal I've entered into with a fine Nigerian gentleman to come to fruition. He's been out of touch for a while, but he has my bank details and I've advanced the transfer fees, so any day now I expect to be enjoying a rather nice windfall. I plan to use this money to start up a combined Gravure Idol casting agency and game development studio, so I've spent some time thinking up how I'd run it. Having experienced several different work situations I've come up with the following list of rules by which Japanmanship Co. Ltd. will be run, hopefully to great success vastly growing my newly found yet strangely delayed fortune.

Working hours will NOT be flexible. Everyone is expected to start at 9 o'clock in the morning, though delays for personal reasons will be allowed they will be the exception. Similarly lunch is set at midday and will last an hour. The upside is that people will be kicked out of the office by 6 in the evening. Nobody is allowed to work late unless a very good reason can be provided to allow this, at which point some kind of overtime payment scheme will be initiated. This will force the leads to make realistic schedules and dissuade the company from feature creep and the crunch mentality.

During those fixed hours I expect people to actually work. Short eye-rubbing or cigarette breaks are encouraged but general flapping about isn't. Because hours are strict, meetings can be planned accordingly but will never overrun into either lunch break or leaving time. Should this threaten to happen, the meeting will be suspended and a follow-up meeting planned during business hours. If nothing has been decided after one and a half hours of discussion the meeting will be stopped and all attending parties forced to take a breather to think about things and clear their minds.

Whenever I assign responsibility to a lead I will have to trust them enough to professionally pick up the baton. There is no point in me then hovering over their shoulders and letting my personal tastes interfere with the leadership of their team section. I won’t demand stupid changes just for the sake of it. I’ll let them get on with it. Besides, I will, quite literally, have my hands full with the Gravure Idol casting section.

The working environment will see each project's team separated into their own open-plan office. Inter-team communication can thus be achieved easily without interference from irrelevant personnel working on something completely different, though employees are encouraged to mingle, from time to time, with the other teams to exchange ideas, tech, etc. The Gravure Idol casting part of the business will be located in a separate, sound-proof room with a sofa to which I shall possess the only key.

There will be no dress-code or rules for desk adornments other than the proviso that it must not be mortally embarrassing to show clients around the work floor. That means presentable clothing and good standards of personal hygiene, and a ban on lolicon figurines and stacks of empty pizza boxes. We're professionals, not children.

In a similar vein I will not pimp out the office like a Blade Runner brothel or kiddie playground wonderland. Focus should be on comfortable and practical working environments for the staff, not showing off to visiting clients and delivery boys what a gosh darn tootin’ coolio hip-daddy finger-popping company we are (or, as is usually the case, pretend to be).

I will never, ever publically complain about the low sales or bad reception of any of our games, especially not on-line. If I need to address such an issue anyway I will never ever tell my audience they are wrong about their opinions, as that is the most arrogant and blindly idiotic hubris that one can imagine. Instead I will listen and try to learn from the experience so it won’t be repeated in the future. We are creating a product, not a vanity exercise or Art.

The company will focus mainly on hiring experienced personnel but we won’t fob them off with the usual carrots. We don’t pay “competitive salaries” but “good salaries”. We don’t demand a “passion for games”, though being informed about games is a requirement. We won’t tease you with bonuses and stock options that never arrive but negotiate a salary and benefits package you are happy with as is. If you get paid a bonus, it will be exactly that, a bonus, not a salary supplement. For Gravure Idols employment will be considered on personal merit. Candidates for this part of the business will be judged on assets, moral flexibility and endurance.

The development of games will not focus on breaking any new technical ground. Other companies can continue spending millions of dollars and man-months pushing technology forward, we'll just follow along in the slipstream. Technically the focus will be on re-usable code and proper, workable tools. The system will be data-driven, so game designers and artists can "create" the game themselves without needing a coder to implement every tiny change in assets. Tools will be neatly integrated into the main creation software, like Maya.

No title will go into full production until an extensive prototyping and pre-production process has been completed by a small core team, after which point the rest of the development should, if things go well, be simply a matter of filling in the empty slots with assets. Of course, if later on in development some design mistakes become apparent, at least we’ll be data driven to an extent things can be adjusted without causing massive delays and crunch. If change during development is going to be inevitable, as most developers seem to claim, we will anticipate, schedule and cushion ourselves for these eventualities.

Soap and paper towels will be provided at all times and failure to wash one's hands after toilet use, using both, not just water, is a sackable offence.

Japanmanship Co. Ltd. will have a bright future ahead of itself. If only that guy would call me back about that international temporary money transfer.


  1. "The Gravure Idol casting part of the business will be located in a separate, sound-proof room with a sofa to which I shall possess the only key."

    You're a dirty old man, JC!

  2. Mwuhahahahaha. And then I'd like a pony, damnit.

  3. "Soap and paper towels will be provided at all times and failure to wash one's hands after toilet use, using both, not just water, is a sackable offence."

    What if someone likes to massage his/her clean bare feet all they long while working, not washing his/her hands afterwards? Would that be cause enough for being sacked?

  4. Anon, absolutely. Naked feet rubbing, nail clipping and using the kitchen sink to brush your teeth, with all the deep throat phlegm clearing that accompanies will all be sackable offenses. Also, coming to work with a cold, a bad idea to start with, but then not wearing a face mask.

  5. Good luck, and remember to have fun with it all.

  6. "Also, coming to work with a cold, a bad idea to start with, but then not wearing a face mask."

    I never wear a mask when I get a cold instead I share it with the rest of the office to make my boss realise "paid" sick leave is necessary and therefore I/we wouldn't have to come sick to work to begin with, :)
    Besides, the risk of transmitting a cold with a handshake is much greater than sneezing.

    Anyway, count me in when you get the business up and running.

  7. I demand a Grand Price for the best employee at the completion of each project, consisting of a visit of the secret mirror-window surveillance room next to the Casting room.

    What about work on weekends? Will applicants be selected based on their actual skills as opposed to meaningless titles on applications? Are all employees meant to speak good and comprehensible English?
    Will these pesky lunch thiefs/I-won't-refill-the-coffee-machine guys be punished severely?
    In what city/district/what kind of building would you open the office?
    Would people who ask too many questions be forced to use 3D Studio Max?

    I won't ask about Air Conditioning since we all know the answer.

  8. Wow... now that's one game company where I would never apply!

    If that's your ideal work environment, why don't you simply go work for something like a bank?

    There, at least, most people would probably share your vision of professionalism...

  9. Let me know when you're accepting applications, and I'm there. I know squat about programming, but I'll happily work as a receptionist or other menial task; maybe your company website's forum moderator on the side.

    And hey, imagine the feeling of philanthropy and fulfillment when you finally get that massive gratuity!

  10. This sounds so much like working in Europe, I don't know why you're not working in Europe ;)

  11. About the gravure idol casting agency... would you consider someone with good communication skills? Or what about a good sense of humor and the ability to work under pressure? I mean, EVERY employer out there is looking for these skills! I possess all of them, believe it or not!!!! I must be some sort of Nigerian god.

    C'mon, there's no way your company could function without me.

  12. where do I send my CV? :)


  13. "I don't know why you're not working in Europe."

    That is a very good question....

  14. This is a very good idea that a lot of game companies should really adopt. You kinda skipped development methods, though something like SCRUM (fixed time periods where people have to get things done) would be good.

  15. "Nobody is allowed to work late unless a very good reason can be provided to allow this, at which point some kind of overtime payment scheme will be initiated. This will force the leads to make realistic schedules and dissuade the company from feature creep and the crunch mentality."


    having overtime compensation is usually an excellent way of forcing the company to actually make an effort in creating a reasonable schedule...otherwise, there is no point for them really.

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