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Passion Republic On Its Approach to Working with Clients & Game Dev Market in Malaysia

Passion Republic's Senior Project Manager Rohana Razak, Head of Animation Cheong Teik Mun, and Lead Modeling Artist Tiong Boon Chee shared how the work at the company is organized, spoke about the Malaysian game dev industry, and discussed the studio's relationships with partners.

Work Organization at Passion Republic

There are six teams at Passion Republic: Art, Animation, Modeling, Support, Technical & VFX. The production pipeline of the projects we worked on was never linear. We needed to work in parallel with each other, so genuine conversation and flexibility were the keys to success. This was also an ideal environment for the culture we strive to nurture.

We wanted to promote an open and transparent culture, where knowledge sharing across teammates with different levels of work experience and expertise can be done freely. The combination of all the above brought us the great honor to work on titles such as Elden Ring, Diablo II: Resurrected, Uncharted 4, The Last of Us 2, Gears 5, and more.

Game Dev Market in Malaysia

We are proud to say that the Malaysia game dev industry is flourishing and on the rise! Local talents are super passionate and always strive to make the local industry better. At Passion Republic, we used to be more focused on game art. However, throughout the years, we gradually became more directly involved in the game dev pipeline, enabling us to have more influence on the game’s design.

Other than that, local universities are giving birth to more talents than before. These attributes attracted many overseas companies to set up and expand their studios in Malaysia, providing more opportunities to local talents. Additionally, with more Malaysian studios and homegrown IPs on the rise, local talents are retained within the country, giving the local industry the momentum it needs to push forward toward an even brighter future.

Aik Sern Ng, Founder of Passion Republic

First Steps When Working with New Clients

Here at Passion Republic, we value the relationship we build with our partners. Our decisions and thoughts always revolve around building trust and forging a stronger bond with our clients. We will foster our own curiosity about the project and the client’s team beforehand. We will study their previous work, seek to understand their perspective, and prepare more meaningful questions before we begin production. This helps us align with our client’s direction which will help us communicate their intent and ideas to the players a lot better, ultimately benefiting the final product and ensuring the players have a great time with the game.

Passion Republic's Services

We can't really tell what the most popular services that we provide are as it depends on the client. In our experience, the outsourced tasks are rather equal in amount across the different departments. Nowadays, overseas studios are looking for partners who can integrate with their products and support the overall vision of the game as a full package.

They would like to work with someone who can provide services in concept, modeling, rigging, animation, VFX, and more. In the past, we were mainly involved in the production phase of the game. However, these days, our involvement can start as early as the prototyping stage to help them craft the vision and tone of the game.

Passion Republic's Approach to Education

Nurturing individuals is one of our core values. For us, the training starts during the recruitment process. We will conduct an art test with the candidate and it can take about 3-4 weeks. The task is usually something related to the role they applied for.

During the test, a mentor will be assigned to the candidate. The mentor will guide the candidate to achieve a successful result by answering their questions and providing constructive feedback. If we feel that the candidate has good potential, then we will most likely invite them to join our team and begin the probation process, which is usually considered their training period. We would like to see new joiners integrate with the team, adapt to our culture, learn to take responsibility for their tasks, and improve their overall efficiency.

To push our standards further and grow together as individuals within a team, we also hold sharing sessions on Blender, leadership, Unreal Engine workshops, and also our self-evaluation system. We also train our senior teammates to become mentors to our younger teammates, so everyone has room to develop their career path.

Passion Republic's Take on the Future of Using AI in Game Dev

Integrating more intelligent solutions to improve our workflow will definitely help us reduce costs, stay agile, and remain competitive within the outsourcing market. We believe integrating AI into our workflow is an upgrade rather than a threat. With the assistance of AI, we think it can further push the quality of our work and improve the game development process as a whole.

Tips for Artists

We would advise aspiring artists who wish to work at a game dev studio to be proactive and ask questions if they have something they are unclear about. Be humble and always be willing to learn from others. Finally, learn to take in feedback about your work and not treat it as a personal attack. Professional views harsh criticisms as thoughts on how to improve their work and seeks new ways to push themselves to the next level.

Rohana Razak, Senior Project Manager at Passion Republic

Cheong Teik Mun, Head of Animation at Passion Republic

Tiong Boon Chee, Lead Modeling Artist at Passion Republic

Interview conducted by Arti Burton

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