Gravity Release Me

And don't ever hold me down

Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

And that’s that.

Due to Pokemon and a pirated copy of RPG Maker, when I was about 12 years old I had dreamt up a life of making games in Japan.

And owning a pet Bulbasaur.

Since then, things happened, events took place, decisions were made, life was lived, failure was had and success was realised. My journey to achieve my childhood dream of becoming a game programmer in Japan has finally come to an end. On Monday, I had my final interview for the game programmer job mentioned in my last post. (more…)

1 Year Japanniversary

Today marks the one year anniversary of my return to Japan. I had left Australia in search of my dream. So how did I fair?

Well, I found a job as a web developer in Osaka. I climbed Mt. Fuji. I travelled (in fact, I’m on a bus to Gunma right now). I met up with old Kansai Gaidai friends, who I had missed dearly. I was reunited with an incredibly dear friend of mine, who, after a few months, became my wonderful girlfriend.

2012 was eventful. But where am I now? (more…)

And we’re back again

So, yet another hiatus on the blogging front? I feel that my previous blogging hiatus’ have always been followed by the same epiphany: “Jace, it’s time to refocus.”

And this time is no different.

When I’m cluttered and unsure of what direction to move in I find it hard to motivate myself for any task – including the things I enjoy, such as this blog. I don’t think that this is an inconceivable thing to feel and I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels that way from time to time.

It’s been about year since I started Gravity Release Me. In that time I have done and documented some incredible feats that I have accomplished. Unfortunately I’ve allowed my environment to make me forget what I’m capable of and what I should be doing. But alas, the wake up call is upon me. (more…)

My Osaka Apartment

So about a month and a half ago I moved into my new apartment in Osaka city. Previously, for those who may not know, I lived in a more suburban city called Hirakata – home of Kansai Gaidai, where I once studied. I really liked Hirakata! I miss it dearly. But the house I was living in was old and gross, and try as I might, I couldn’t get it clean. It quickly became rather depressing and Hirakata was too far away from work. So I decided that I would move into Osaka city.

Now, I’d like to point out, even though I really grew to dislike my old, dirty house, I am deeply grateful and appreciative of the help I received to find it. It was always something temporary, and I thank those who helped me find it, and I appreciate it as a launching pad for my new life here in Japan. But now that I’ve settled, it’s time to move on.

For the first time in my life I was finally in the position to live alone. Not only that, I had the option of choosing an apartment as opposed to grabbing the cheapest thing I could find. This was really nice! I wanted an apartment near a subway station, near a konbini (convenience store), near a grocery store. It felt really good to want all these things and not have to settle for anything less just because the apartment may be a little more expensive.

A typical konbini


Why I write

The path I’ve chosen in life is creative one. I specialise in Web Development but endeavour to work within the Video Games industry as a game programmer (a technical, yet absolutely creative pursuit). I also take part in game and web design (although I’m a far cry from being a “Designer” – but I feel my opinions as a designer are almost always well received and valid). I enjoy story and artwork – but I’m hardly an aficionado in either. I write blog posts, but I’m not a blogger, nor a writer.

But these are all things I enjoy. I love when my physical and emotional being is influenced by creative works. To me, this is what makes us human. Having something – something that is often not rational or tangible – affect us. I feel that in this day and age, it is often felt that the things that “truly” exist, are things that we understand – things that are tangible, rational and can be defined. However, I like to think that the measurable effect of something that is not tangible, rational or defined on tangible, rational and defined objects or beings, is enough to legitimise it’s existence – after all, it is affecting and altering the states of the tangible, rational and defined. The effect itself, is real.

This is why I like creative works. It is stimulating. (more…)

A brief catchup

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted here. Honestly the last month or so has been a blur. Tuesday marks 6 months – 6 MONTHS – of me living here in Japan! Time has flown, and so much has happened – now it’s time to get you guys up to speed.

First and foremost, my contract with the company I’ve been working for since February/March has been renewed – for a year! With it has come a Work Visa. So it looks like I’m most definitely hanging around here for a while longer.

The visa application process was tedious and filled with time off work so that I could visit the Immigration Office and struggle my way through the tedious bureaucracy one would normally encounter when pen must meet paper in Japan – which is much more often than you may expect. Most foreigners cringe at the thought of “applying” for anything in Japan. One may describe “application” processes as thorough, others may describe it as tedious and unnecessary. I magically sit on both sides of this fence, finding Japanese application processes tediously, and unnecessarily thorough.

With my new contract has come some extra responsibilities. This week a 3 month long major project I’ve lead will be released. I’ve never lead a project of such magnitude before. I’ve definitely got a lot to lose for screwing this up, but I have a lot to gain should things go smoothly. So here’s to hoping. I’ll blog more about it when it has been released.

I’ve also met a bunch of really cool game developers that I usually hang out with once a week. Luckily enough I’ve managed to land a little mobile game project with some of them. I’m also working on a Flash game port with a friend back in Australia and doing some volunteer development work for Kyoto Journal – so my time at home has been quite busy. Just the way I like it. I’m not sure what I’ll do when these projects finish up. I’m considering a solo PC/Mac game prototype of sorts…



So I’ve been in Japan for about 3 months now.

3 months. That’s about the time where the culture-shock roller coaster ride takes a nose dive before climbing back up again.

But then again, I don’t really think I’m shocked by the culture here. So maybe I’m not on the culture-shock roller coaster, but instead on some other one.

Or maybe, just maybe, I’m not actually in a theme park, a carnival or The Ekka and thus not actually on a roller coaster.

It’s a sad day when one must (more…)


Since I got my job I’ve been offered 2 other jobs. Why?

“When it rains, it pours”

Aptly put. But why? During the initial/hardest times I’ve had in Japan this time around not a soul wanted me. But now they do. My outlook is that those times were my trial and my current job is my reward.

That was until I got THE EMAIL.

Hmm... not that scary looking.

THE EMAIL will remain a mystery to the public for now for 2 reasons:

  1. It being public could affect my current situation
  2. Think of all the fun I can have with THE EMAIL until I release information about it!

THE EMAIL changes everything. It turns my current job (aka my reward) into… well… it’s still a reward but… it’s like a pair of second hand shoes that aren’t really all that old yet. Like they’re still pretty good, but they have scuffed heels.

THE EMAIL is huge. Not in length, or physical size – and definitely no innuendo suggested. But it’s big. It’s big enough to force me to write a blog post about it at 12:37AM when I should be resting for work tomorrow. It’s heavy too. Like, you’d better stretch, bend your knees, and use your best form when lifting. (more…)

Now my feet won’t touch the ground

So the other day I had a job interview. A big and scary job interview with a web/game localization company. I know what you’re thinking:

“That’s big… scary even”

You’re right. It is.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook would already know the outcome of said interview. But for my fellow readers who don’t follow me on Facebook, and also for my own ego that has earned the right to boast just a little:

I got the job.

I got it. I… yes… job… not unemployed…. web/games…. I start Monday. I got a job. I’m a programmer again. I start Monday. Yay.

In fact, 4 months ago, I made a decision to come to Japan. When I made that decision there were 2 companies I had my eye on that I thought I would one day like to work for when/if I ever went back to Japan – funnily enough, this company is 1 of those 2 companies.

Not only that, I thought to myself that I would want to live in Japan because A) I love it here and B) I put a lot of effort into learning the language, I’d like to get better. Well… funnily enough, my initial task involves me working very closely with the Creative Director at this company. Now, not everyone at this company is Japanese – it’s about 50% Japanese, 50% foreigners. But this Creative Director chap: Japanese. Through and through. No English. So I’m going to be working with this guy 40 hours a week. My Japanese is gonna go through the roof, so is the Creative Director’s stress levels.

I made some of the most painful sacrifices of my life in an effort to get here. I have this stupid belief that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. The unhealthy part is that life seems to be enabling this crazy behaviour. I made some decisions that I look back on now and I think to myself “Jace, seriously bro, that was just blatantly idiotic! What the fuck were you thinking?” But I made all those decisions with a goal in mind, to one day live a dream that formed itself in my mind back in 2006.

Well… here it is. (more…)

I can hear it comin’

As of today, tomorrow can be said to be the most important day of the rest of my life. It could very well be one of those pivotal moments that decide the course of the rest of my life. Fast forward 24 hours from now and I might consider it to be something completely different.

Tomorrow I have an interview with a game localization company in Osaka. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Hell, I don’t even know what position i’ve applied for. But they’re pretty big, we’ve emailed each other, they’ve seen my resume, and are still keen to have me in. That only means one thing: I have a shot.

When it comes to interviews I’m usually pretty cool, pretty calm, and kick a whole lot of ass. I go in there armed with enough knowledge, experience and personality to get the job. But, on the flip side I also always think to myself: “Jace, you might not get this.” Which is immediately followed up with “…meh. I don’t care.”

When I go for an interview I go in there knowing that I’ll be quite alright walking away without a shot at the job – this often leaves me with confidence, it leaves me unafraid of the outcome, and leaves me in the right mindset to go in there and wipe the floor with the interview.

However… Game developer jobs are completely different. (more…)

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