Miki Gao

S1 EP18 – Ft. Miki Gao

Watch the episode on YouTube

Episode Transcription

FLOR: Hi, everyone! Welcome to another Open World LocFact. Today we’re talking about Final Fantasy XV. But before we jump in, we want to invite you to follow us on our socials. We have Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and also LinkedIn. See you there.

CHARACTERS: So I’m a man now, like you? No, we are not men.

ALEX: Final Fantasy XV allows us to take control of the main protagonist, Prince Noctis, heir to the throne of Lucis, during his journey across the world of Eos with the company of three of his childhood friends. We’re talking about Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto, who now as adults act as Noctis sworn guardians throughout his journey.

FLOR: Final Fantasy XV stands out as being the first Final Fantasy ever to have localization into Latin American Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, while also featuring full localization into German and French.

ALEX: Now Final Fantasy XV’s localization, while it’s a very good one, has had mixed opinions about the overall work done with different languages, especially how the characters are portrayed in the English version versus the Japanese one.

FLOR: That’s right. When it comes to the characterization of Noctis’ friends, there have been some changes in their interactions, and we’ll take some examples to showcase some differences between the English and Japanese versions of the game.

ALEX: Now let’s start with Ignis. In the Japanese version, he acts very casually with Noctis, despite his higher rank as prince, while in the English localization, while he’s still one of the boys, Ignis is given a very still and British butler type characterization that might throw the player off at first. But just a few hours into the game, you can tell that this posh characterization is just a localization decision for that friend who takes care of the rest of the group.

FLOR: Yes. Another example is given with the character Gladiolus. Now, Gladio is a big lad, and the characterization given to him in English, while remaining friendly and caring, he is depicted as more of an extrovert, outgoing and flirty character compared to the Japanese version, right, Ale?

ALEX: Yep. And I mean, this can be seen directly in how the characters interact among themselves. And there are these subtle yet meaningful changes between versions. For example, in the Japanese version, Gladio always calls Ignis by his given name, while in the English dub he usually refers to him as Iggy. Now, this is something that just doesn’t happen in Japanese. No one for that matter, and not Gladio or the other members of the gang call him Ignis-chan or Iggu as a casual way you’d use to call a friend.

FLOR: And the English version is filled with a layer of closeness to the characters that you don’t get from the Japanese version. Maybe this is even due to how every character is portrayed with small changes to fit each target market best. Right? And human relationships just look different in Eastern and Western cultures, so it definitely makes sense for them to treat the characters’ interaction differently.

ALEX: Exactly, Flor. I mean, Final Fantasy XV is a clear example of Eastern storytelling, where the entire group of people that you get to join you throughout the game is completely unique and all of them matter in a different but unique way.

FLOR: And we could go on and jump into the game’s DLCs for Gladio, Prompto and Ignis, which delve deeper into each of their stories with plenty of LocFacts of their own. But we’ll leave some of that for season two, right? Because that’s a wrap for today’s LocFact, everyone. Thanks for joining us.

ALEX: And if you’re watching the entire episode, stay tuned for an amazing interview with Deviation Games’ Production Coordinator and Final Fantasy XV superfan Miki Gao.

FLOR: Yes. Thanks, everyone. See you next time.

FLOR: Hi, everyone! Welcome to a new episode of Open World. How are you today?

ALEX: Hi, everyone. Well, today we have a very special guest with us, a personal friend of mine. We have Miki Gao, who is the Production Coordinator at the brand new studio Deviation Games. Miki, thank you so much for joining us today. And I want to jump right into the questions. Now, I know that your formation is quite interesting, so I want you to share a little bit about that with us. But keeping that in mind, I want to know, how was it that you found your way in the video game industry and if it was something that you always wanted to do. What can you tell us about that?

MIKI: Yes. So I took the scenic route, very, very scenic, [indistinct 05:12], so I actually kind of stumbled into the gaming industry, but kind of sort of intentionally stumbled into the gaming industry. So, yeah, so my background is actually… it’s everywhere. So I studied English and theology in undergrad, and during that time I worked in hotels, I worked in retail, I worked at Disneyland. When I graduated, I worked in real estate and then I got a job in higher education, so I was working at a university. So while I was at the university, I decided to go to grad school and study business and kind of marry that with my English degree a little bit more too, because it’s like, I don’t think people know how to hire people who are English and theology majors because it’s like, what are you supposed to do? Right? Like, I wasn’t gonna teach. So… yeah. And so I was just like, well, business and English, they go pretty well together, right? And so I studied business and I picked up a… I graduated last December with a Masters in Management, and I picked up a marketing certificate in… Oh, yeah, marketing strategy. So I did all of that. And then while I was getting ready to graduate from grad school, I started looking into, you know, kind of started thinking about like what I wanted to get into, and I thought I’d love to be in gaming, but that’s easier said than done because what everybody says is, to get into the gaming industry, you need to be in the gaming industry.

ALEX: Right.

FLOR: Yeah.

MIKI: Yeah. So I didn’t really know where to start, so… You know, and then like with kind of my background, I kept thinking that like I’m at a disadvantage, you know, like, my experience is just so general and it’s been everywhere. So how am I gonna, like, leverage this? You know, how can I, like, figure this out so that I can actually, like, go into something that I enjoy rather than just something that pays the bills but like, sucks my soul dry? So I started to make connections on LinkedIn, just kind of reached out to people, asked them, you know, if I could have 20 minutes of their time to ask about their careers, ask about their industry, ask about their jobs. And then, you know, attended some events to try to meet people and learn from them. And then that actually kind of like accidentally led me to this job because I reached out to the right person.

FLOR: From what I heard, that’s how you actually met with Alexis, right?

MIKI: Yeah, yeah. We attended the same networking event, I guess.

ALEX: Yeah. Game Global, the 2021 March edition. Yeah.

MIKI: Yeah.

FLOR: That’s amazing. Yeah. And I think that’s a great advice for people in general. Like, we usually don’t know how to enter this industry, and since the pandemic hit, we don’t have the in-person events. I think it’s a great advice to take from Miki to reach out to people that you think are on the right path or have accomplished what you’re looking to accomplish within your professional life, and reach out to them over LinkedIn and say, “Hey, I have this goal within my career. Would you have like five, ten, 20 minutes?” Like people are very generous, so don’t be afraid to knock on doors out there and get your foot on the door. Yeah, like, since we’re all about games and personal stories, we would love to know what games hooked you into the gaming industry and if there’s any game in particular that you remember playing when you were a kid.

MIKI: Yeah. So I kind of grew up on like the Pokémon games as a kid on the Game Boy, so I’m totally dating myself at this point. So yeah, I think my first… I don’t know if you would consider the gray brick Game Boy a console, but like I had gotten that from my cousin in Hong Kong, like when I was in elementary school and I had, like, really good grades, so he rewarded me by giving me my own Game Boy. So I had some like…

FLOR: That’s so cool.

MIKI: Right? Yeah. So, like, he sent me this Game Boy and a bunch of games, and most of the games were in English. I had a few that were in Chinese that I actually couldn’t read, so I was just like… so my mom and I would play together, so. Yeah. So mostly the Pokémon games were kind of what I grew up on, first and second gen primarily because then, you know, things got crazy and I started college and then I don’t even know how many Pokémon there are anymore.

ALEX: I’m with you there. I remember the first 151 of them, but…

MIKI: Yeah.

FLOR: And then life happened.

MIKI: Yeah, right?

ALEX: Adulthood happened.

MIKI: In high school, I started getting into JRPGs a little bit more, so I actually kind of randomly found one. There’s one called Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete for PlayStation. It’s a remake of like a Sega CD version, which had several remakes after that. And that was like… I don’t know that many people knew about it, but it was actually like something that, like, I really loved that story. I was just like, you know, loved the characters, the epic story, it’s like divine war, love, sacrifice, everything that makes a good story. So it was great. They do have it on iPhone, actually, but they use the PSP’s versions voices, which throws me off completely because they use the graphics from PlayStation, but they use the PSP’s voice acting instead. So I’m just like, “This doesn’t make sense. Cannot compute!”

FLOR: Like, why? What happened there?

MIKI: Yeah. So it throws me off, like the voice acting throws me off in the PSP version, just because I’m so used to and I so love the PlayStation 1 version.

ALEX: Hashtag bad casting, pretty much.

MIKI: I mean, I think if I didn’t play the PlayStation 1 version, I’d be fine with the voice acting for the PSP version, but it’s just because I grew up with this one.

FLOR: You were exposed to that one. Yeah.

MIKI: I was ruined for any other one.

FLOR: Yeah. And are you playing any games at the moment? Do you have time to play games?

MIKI: Yeah. So I’m currently playing Genshin Impact and Final Fantasy VI. I also don’t really stop playing Final Fantasy XV, like Alexis has heard me go on.. He’s read my dissertations on this game.

ALEX: Yes. There is a blog about it.

MIKI: I’m on my third playthrough because I need to get Gladio that last cup of noodles recipe, right? The important things.

ALEX: The important things.

FLOR: Well, can you share a bit about your blog? Because our audience may not know. And we’re gonna go in our next question in more depth about your writing skills and your writing career. But it would be nice to know about the blog as well.

MIKI: Yeah, so I actually haven’t been updating that quite as much in the last few years, largely because grad school kind of took over. But I had started… I started one a while back that was kind of just like… kind of about storytelling. It’s kind of like my experience of storytelling and stumbling into things and just kind of like things that I had picked up just from like whatever medium I was, you know, watching, either games, movies, shows, whatever. And then I would just kind of like talk about kind of some of the story elements in these, so some of them are a little ranty because a lot of posts are just like, “Okay, like the storytelling here was like bad, right?” So and then I’ll do kind of a rant on that. And then like when it comes to Final Fantasy XV, I think like I found that the game was very misunderstood in a lot of ways because I think a lot of the storytelling elements are very, like, it’s kind of like an Eastern style of storytelling, which requires like the audience and like the receiver to be active. So with like… With a lot of like… At least with Chinese culture, you know, there’s like high context culture, which is kind of more Chinese, and then low context culture, which is more American, right? And so high context cultures would be like, you know, here’s like the rough skeleton of what I want to communicate with you, but I won’t be blunt about it because that’s disrespectful to you, because it basically communicates, like, if I spell it out for you, it means “I think that you’re too stupid to understand.” So I think a lot of Eastern media kind of takes on that as well. So there’s a lot of like, here’s the broad general idea, but here’s like, I want you to go find, like, you know, piece it together, right? So there’s a lot of the… a lot of the details are in what wasn’t said and, you know, what you pick up from the NPCs, what you find from the ruins and all of these things, right? You kind of put them all together to understand the plot and to understand what the story is trying to say. So I kind of like… A lot of my Final Fantasy XV entries were about that. Like just kind of like, “Here’s what you can pick up if you pay attention here.” You know? And I think like… with a low context audience, it would be, you know, you spell it out. Like, if it’s important, you’re blunt about it and you’re straightforward about it.

FLOR: Oh, yeah.

MIKI: Yeah. You know, and neither one is wrong. You just kind of have to like, figure out what the storyteller is coming from, where the storyteller is coming from.

FLOR: Yeah, absolutely. Well, if there are any Final Fantasy fans tuning in right now, we’re gonna leave the link of the blog in the comments, if that’s okay, Miki, so that they can know what you’ve been writing about.

ALEX: Yeah, I mean, talking with Miki about Final Fantasy XV, in particular, because I was one of those people that weren’t so understanding with the game. I finished it, but I didn’t quite get it, but I picked it up again and I’m going through a second playthrough.

MIKI: Yes. That’s my fault.

ALEX: It’s your fault that I picked it up again.

FLOR: Great win, Miki.

ALEX: Now, apart from your blog where you rant and you talk about the things that you like in gaming and stuff, you are working on your first book, right? I know that it’s a Chinese high fantasy novel. But what can you tell us about it? And also, I would like to know afterwards what similarities exist between writing a book and video game storytelling? I think that you can tell us a little bit about that.

MIKI: Yeah. So what I’m working on right now is kind of like an adventure, like Chinese high fantasy with, like, wuxia and xianxia elements, so it’s kind of just like the, you know, it’s like “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” but like with more fantasy elements and like magic, and basically just using your chi to do, like, really amazing things. So you can see kind of like various… Like, examples of that would be, like I said, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” but like also the “Condor Heroes,” which is like one of my favorite stories growing up. I used to watch the Hong Kong TVB 1983 version on VHS with my grandfather. Really dating myself now. But like in my childhood, whenever my grandfather came to visit from Hong Kong, that was basically what we watched, it was “Condor Heroes,” the “A-Team” and American game shows. So we spent a lot of time watching “Condor Heroes,” and I think that kind of inspired a lot of just my interaction with my imagination and just being able to see like all of these martial artists do super cool things, like fly through a bamboo forest, you know, and like leap tall buildings in a single bound just by using the chi around them. So that’s kind of what I’m writing. And I do want to clarify for everyone that I am not a writer for games, and I’m also still learning when it comes to, you know, writing a novel. But I do sit with the writing team and in the writers room. So some of the similarities that I’ve observed at least, like at the most base level, you need conflict in your story or else there’s no forward movement. Like if your characters get everything they want, story over, you’re done, you know? There’s no game, right? There’s no story. There’s nothing moving them forward.

ALEX: There’s nothing.

FLOR: No challenge. Yeah.

MIKI: Yeah. So you kind of have to figure out, like, what do these people want and how do I, like, stop them from getting it, right? But at the same time, you also kind of have to pace it properly. Otherwise, like, you lose your audience for various reasons because, if you’re too much into like their thought, then it’s just like… it just becomes kind of like a drag. But if it’s just like too much action, too much going against them, then that’s also kind of like exhausting, right?

FLOR: Yeah, it gets frustrating.

MIKI: Yeah, you have to ratchet up, like, slowly, so there needs to be kind of a balance between the plot, which is the action, and the story, which is the emotion. So you kind of have to have them play against each other and balance them out so that like, you know, the audience will like have the high action and experience all of the things that are happening, and then you pause and have some introspection and then you just kind of play them off of each other.

ALEX: Right.

FLOR: And regarding the book, how far along are you with the content, or at what stage are you?

MIKI: So I am still in first draft stage, which, you know, I have license to be terrible in this draft, because I’m still telling myself the story. I am about somewhere in chapter 15, which is still, you know, kind of like first act kind of a thing. My characters had all just met each other. There’s a lot of banter. There’s a lot of… there’s a lot of antagonizing each other. It’s great. Like I… And, you know, I think especially like for me, I want to be able to interact with my culture through… just through the narrative and being able to kind of like, you know, really be able to see… You know, for me, I feel like there’s healing and learning that can be done in fiction, which… You know, a lot of people will go to like non-fiction, self-help, all of these kind of books for learning, but like, fiction teaches you so much. And I think a lot of it is because, like, you don’t have the barriers and the defenses up as much as you would with kind of something like a self-help book, like a non-fiction book. So your defenses are kind of down. And so it kind of teaches you a lesson like sneak-attack style that you kind of otherwise wouldn’t know, right? So I like to kind of like, you know, I want people to be seen. I want, you know, people who look like me to have like heroes that they can look up to, you know? Because it’s like, especially growing up in America in the nineties and looking like me, like most heroes didn’t look like me, right? Like there weren’t really Asian starring roles. There weren’t really, like, you know, Chinese-Americans at the forefront and whatnot. And so I think for me, it was like, you know, like… being able to see an authentic storytelling just from my background and from, you know, like being seen in things, right? Like just kind of like little things that authors or like storytellers have done where I’m just like, I do this, right? And it’s just kind of this like niche thing that like either I do or like my family does and like, you know, none of my other friends do, right? And so like… Like washing your rice, right? Like, I have this, like, really great scene where, like, my character washes her rice, and I’m just like, “You know what? We’ve all been there.” So, yeah.

FLOR: So now, like, I wanted to go back to what you said previously about your experience with the games and you first approach with games. You mentioned languages here and there, and I wanted to understand what it was like and what’s your take on video game localization, having been born and raised within a bilingual household in the States, where you spoke English and Cantonese, right?

MIKI: Yeah. So I grew up quite poor, so, you know, I’m the only child of a single mom, so it’s kind of rare for me to be able to play games when I was growing up. You know, like I mentioned, my first system was one of those, you know, gray brick Game Boys that I got, you know, as a gift. So I unfortunately just didn’t experience a game in really more than one language growing up just because what I had available primarily were in English. I’ve also just never played a game that had Cantonese dialog, though it would be really cool. Like I’ve heard that like one of my bosses mentioned that there was like a fighting game where like the Asian guy basically just cusses in Cantonese, and I can’t remember what it was. I think it was King of Fighters, but I’m not entirely sure. But, you know, whenever you hear a Chinese dialect in any media, there’s a high chance that it’s Mandarin. So I’m really delighted whenever I hear Cantonese spoken. But before I learned Cantonese, I actually spoke Shanghainese, and I never hear that. Like I never hear that language represented anywhere. And I didn’t actually learn English until like primary school. I didn’t start talking like an American until I was like nine or ten, so…

FLOR: Oh, wow!

MIKI: Yeah, so. You know, because I learned English from like non-English speakers at first, right? So like I remember all of the times in the classroom when I was just like, you know, I would mispronounce something because that was just how I was taught to pronounce it, right? So, yeah. So like… You know, like, I think it would be really cool to be able to see more Cantonese speaking games. I’m sure they existed, I just don’t know if, like, we got them in America and, you know, like, I’m sure like Hong Kong probably has some, but I think Hong Kong is probably inundated with like Mandarin speaking games as well. So it just, it’d be nice, right? ‘Cause, you know, not as many people speak Cantonese anymore, and even fewer people speak Shanghainese, unfortunately. I do play Genshin Impact with Mandarin audio right now and English subtitles. I’m actually learning a lot more Mandarin because of this. And there’s times when I argue with the subtitles, like, sometimes it’s not accurate, and I just feel like, “Why did you…? Why? Why? Why was this…? That was…? What? Why?” Yeah, but like, the way that the characters behave is like, it makes me super happy because I recognize some of the nuances from daily life growing up as an immigrant child in America.

FLOR: Well, it’s great that you at least have that opportunity. The same happens to us, like, we’re language nerds and we try to play games in both languages to see how they tackled or solved a pun or a character’s name or something. Sometimes the result is not as great as we would like or we would expect, but at least like the industry is evolving and the content that is being localized is… the quality is improving for sure. Well, at least that’s what I’m seeing.

ALEX: Yeah, it’s a work in progress. I mean…

MIKI: For sure.

ALEX: We that we live in Latin America, it’s something quite interesting because sometimes things have to be localized in a sort of, one thing fits many different countries, you know? You kind of addressed it, but I want to go a little bit more in depth about, what are your thoughts on diversity and inclusion in video games? Do you feel that there is a broader and more respectful representation of different cultures in video games nowadays? Is it evolving? What are your thoughts?

MIKI: Yeah. I think that we really need to remember equity in this list because it’s not just enough to represent, like especially here in the U.S., like there’s historically been so much tokenism and stereotyping when it comes to marginalized people. So it has a major effect on the development of young people in our communities, right? So like those in the majority culture might believe that they’re always the heroes, while, you know, those of us in marginalized communities, marginalized genders and ethnicities, will see these barriers that we’re not allowed to cross, right? Like there’s, you know… I would hear stories from like other Asian-Americans who grew up even like before I did in their youth, and they’re stuck with these like really horrific stereotypes of Asian Americans from media, right? And so the only thing that was available to them was like being the nerd. You know, but I find that, like, when you pass the microphone to… or when you share it, pass the microphone to marginalized people, you get to hear stories that you don’t normally hear from the majority culture. And I think when you combine these different perspectives, you get kind of like a fuller view of like kind of the story of humanity and the world, you know? And I think there is beginning to be more people who are pushing for this kind of equity, and like I think a lot of it is just that like we’re starting to empower ourselves to get into these spaces so that we can effect change from the back, right? But equity needs to be built from the ground up, like not just inserted to score points, right? Because you can’t write a character from the majority culture and then flip it and make it a marginalized person partway through without having to make like major adjustments based on that person’s culture, because that person’s culture would have shaped them very differently from somebody who grew up in majority culture. And so it can’t be…

FLOR: Oh, absolutely.

MIKI: Yeah. It can’t be an afterthought, right? And a marginalized person would make decisions very differently in the exact same situation. Like, you know, you throw an Asian person in a story, it doesn’t mean anything if they don’t behave like an Asian person, right? And then you kind of have to break it down from that, cause, like, you know, all of us Asians aren’t monoliths, right? So, like, we all will make decisions very differently based on, you know, the values that were instilled in us growing up. And so, you know, so like, you and I would make decisions very differently. You know, our values might be different or just differently prioritized. And so there’s a nuance in the way that marginalized people have to navigate these spaces that make decisions without them in the mind, right? So I think there’s beginning to be a push for this, and largely because, like, there has to be, right? Like America is becoming more diversified. The world is like… globalization is making the world smaller, and so people will speak up when something is wrong, right? Like when things are misrepresented, like, you know, there have been movies that have… and even recently, there have been movies that have been like, you know, really harmful for like Chinese communities or other marginalized communities. And people are like, you can’t just do that anymore and get away with it, right? Because people are…

FLOR: No, it’s not acceptable.

MIKI: Right. People are speaking with their wallets, people are speaking on their social media platforms. And, you know, so… You know, and it’s like there’s that argument that, like, people are becoming soft and can’t take a joke, but it’s like, really what’s happening is that like they’re finding their voices and finding that like, you know, they’re able to say, “No, this is not okay and this is not acceptable, and we can do better.” You know, we can love people better by representing them better and giving them the equity of standing on the same platform as us at the same level, like, you know, like raising them up, because they deserve to be heard as well. Like, their stories are important. And the thing is that you won’t hear some of these stories if you don’t let them tell it, right? Because like, you know, you guys don’t know what it’s like to be like second generation, you know, born in America, right? Like, you know, I feel the gap a lot more. I feel like when.. ‘Cause, like, my mom came from overseas and I was born here, and so I constantly fought the tension of like going to school in the American school system, coming home to a very Chinese culture, you know. And there’s always this kind of like push and pull, you know, and you don’t hear these stories if you don’t let an Asian American tell it, right? Because, like, majority culture won’t experience this, right? So, yeah, so I think it’s like, you know, so we need to remember equity in the equation and especially like we need to fight for the equity of the people and their right to tell their own stories.

FLOR: Oh, yeah, absolutely agree. And there’s only so much one person can tell, you know, or one character. You need to diversify, you need to bring more voices to the process so that we can build those stories and make them richer and more representative, of course.

MIKI: Yeah.

FLOR: And… Before we move to the memes section, I wanted to know, because you gave great advice on people to start knocking on doors and to get their foot on the door and understand how they can build a career in the industry, is there any other advice that you would give to someone that is just starting in this industry?

MIKI: Yeah. So right off the bat, I would say don’t discount yourself just because you didn’t study a major that directly relates to gaming. As you can see, my route could not be considered traditional whatsoever, and my work experience hasn’t been related to gaming. You know, and then there’s also different areas in the gaming industry where you can use your skills, talents and passion, so like growing and sharpening those skills can only help you, right? So like if you don’t have the mind for like, you know, computers, but you’re really good at marketing, like guess what? Game industries need marketing, you know, and these kind of things, right? And, additionally, I would say don’t disqualify yourself from a position before you even try for it, because I’ve had friends who would say, “Well, I don’t have experience in this area or industry, so they won’t take me.” And that’s just a self-fulfilling prophecy, because of course they won’t hire you if they don’t even know who you are, right?

FLOR: Exactly.

MIKI: But yeah, like, you know, more than anything, I think the most important thing is kind of what I mentioned previously, like, you need to go out and meet people, you know. And there’s that cliche that’s, you know, it’s not necessarily what you know, but who you know. And like Tifa said this in Final Fantasy VII Remake, right? And this is an absolutely true statement in real life, you know? And so something that they taught us in my leadership class was to do informational interviews. And that’s basically exactly what I mentioned that I was doing. So you find people in positions that you’re interested in or in industries you’re interested in, and you ask for some time to chat and ask that person some questions to learn about the industry or the different jobs available. Ask them for advice, right? So it’s kind of just like, “Hey, you know, I’ve got like this experience, these are kind of my skills, like, I’d really like to know how I can leverage this to get into the industry or to get into this kind of position,” you know? So… And a lot of times like, you know, you might get a few people who will just ignore your request, but then, you know, every so often, you get the person that would be like, “Yeah, let’s connect!”, you know? And really you can look up how to do this. There’s a lot of resources out there. You can also reach out to me on LinkedIn if you want any pointers. It’s a really, really good way to learn about a job or industry without having to sign any contracts or commit to them or like become, you know, like become an employee and suddenly realize you hate this, right? So… So it’s just a really good way to… to go in and just kind of like be able to learn a little bit more. And then like, you know, people start knowing your face and whatnot, people start knowing who you are, and then you need to take care of these people that you start reaching out to, right? Like, you know, send them a holiday greeting, you know, and cultivate that, right? Like, you’re not using these people. Like, I just want to make sure that’s clear. Like you’re not using people for their knowledge or for, you know, trying to get a job, right? Like you actually are trying to learn from them. And like, you know, also, you know, maybe you can help them in some other way, right? Like, it’s not just a one-way relationship. Like, that’s not how relationships work, right? So. Yeah, so I would say don’t be shy. You know, go out there and, you know, like… Like I’m an introvert, right? And I’m also like a really shy introvert. So when I was doing this, I was like, okay, psych myself up, right? And I was like, “All right, I’m gonna talk to or I’m gonna send out three requests this week,” you know? And by the time I sent out my third one, I’m just like, “Okay, I’m done. I’m gonna hibernate until next week, because that was a lot of social energy.” So that was… You know, like… And so the thing is, like, I think people are surprised when they hear that I’m an introvert, but I kind of learned how to fake it because I worked at Disneyland, right? So you can’t really not talk to people. So… Yeah, you know, so I… Yeah, so I think I kind of like… take that and, you know, just kind of set small goals also. Like don’t go out and try to meet 20 people in one setting. Like, if you can do that, you’re a mutant and I respect you. But, you know, start with one to three, you know?

FLOR: Yeah, like setting goals is very important I think, like reasonable goals within your boundaries, within your needs, within the time and energy that you can dedicate, because sometimes you may be studying or maybe you have a job. Life happens, you know? And also something that has helped me a lot in that way is to get in touch with local associations, like even Women in Localization, Women in Games, or even IGDA. Or, well, now it looks like next year, in-person conferences are gonna be back on the menu, hopefully, fingers crossed. So, yeah, that is insane, right? Those are great opportunities to, like, meet the right people and understand what you need to do, where you need to study or what networks you need to explore to get where you need to go or where you want to go. So yeah, that’s great advice. Well, thank you so much, Miki. I think like that’s the last question for today, but this is not the end of our episode. We still have the memes round. Let me share my screen.

ALEX: We are adults and we talk about video games, work, and we watch memes.

MIKI: You know? That’s what adulthood really is, you know? You just get to enjoy what you can do.

FLOR: Yeah, watch memes and eat dessert whenever you want to. That’s adulthood.

MIKI: Yes. Yes, it is.

ALEX: What did you have for dinner? Ice cream.

MIKI: You know? No one can stop you at that point. That is both a good and bad thing.

FLOR: So, “Talk about projects. Before release and after release. Dude, it’s been two years and you’re telling me you can’t talk about work? I’m gonna start thinking you just don’t wanna share anything with me. Sorry.” And after release… Yeah. You just… stop talking.

ALEX: This is Miki and me on DMs.

MIKI: It’s true.

ALEX: This is Miki and me on DMs.

MIKI: Yeah, I think especially, like, with me being in, like, a brand new company with a brand new project, like, I can say nothing, right? So, like…

FLOR: I know. I know, I know, I know.

MIKI: So, Alexis would be like, “Can you tell me anything?” I’m like, “No, I can’t.” You know? I’m pretty sure… If I tell you anything, someone will be knocking at my door at midnight and then you won’t see me ever again.

FLOR: At midnight.

ALEX: At midnight.

FLOR: No, please stop. We don’t want to get you in that position.

ALEX: “Deviation, Miki doesn’t share anything about your game.”

FLOR: Oh, no, no, no.

ALEX: All I know is that I wanna play it when it gets released. That’s it.

FLOR: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. And all I know is that we need to have you again probably once the game is released.

ALEX: Yeah, that’s a given.

FLOR: That would be amazing.

MIKI: Sure.

FLOR: Yeah, I know how it feels. Like my partner is also in the video game industry and we cannot share much.

MIKI: Yeah.

FLOR: But they’re funny.

ALEX: Yes, they’re.

FLOR: Okay. All right, so, “English doesn’t borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over and goes through their pockets for loose grammar.” Okay.

ALEX: This is funny because it’s true.

MIKI: Yes. Yeah, English doesn’t make sense, really, kind of at all. And trying to teach someone English is very difficult. And also, like, you know, growing up and kind of just like having to learn English, like… I don’t know. It was like it was my third language by that point, right?

FLOR: That’s amazing. You were done by the time you picked up English.

MIKI: Yeah. And I was just like, “No!” And, you know, it’s just like… why? You know? Like all of these words look like each other, but they don’t sound like each other. What is this madness? Yeah, so like… Yeah. And the thing that I usually throw at people is, like, the plural for “goose” is “geese.” The plural for “mongoose” is “mongooses.” Why?

FLOR: It doesn’t make any sense. Logic, why would you need it?

MIKI: And the plural for “moose” is “moose.”

FLOR: Oh, yeah.

MIKI: English. Hashtag English.

FLOR: We need the “Moosies.”

ALEX: “Me: Stands up really fast. My entire body…” Yeah, especially when you’re over 30.

MIKI: Yeah. Yeah. I feel it. I’ve been feeling it for a while. I don’t know, everybody keeps telling me that I’m too young to be having, like, lower back problems and whatnot, and I just… I don’t know if I believe them or if I’m just a mutant, like…

FLOR: Well, something is going on.

MIKI: Yeah. And, you know, and I think especially, like, the last year, working from home, it’s just gotten really easy to, like, be a potato in your seat.

ALEX: Well, me in particular, I’ve spent like three quarters of my life just hunched back with a joystick on my hands, so my back hurts ever since I was like eight.

FLOR: Yeah, that’s just like, you’re getting full moon. Mr. Burns.

ALEX: Mr. Burns. “Excellent.”

FLOR: Oh, this one.

MIKI: Yeah. I mean, sometimes this just happens, right?

FLOR: Oh, yeah.

MIKI: I’m not gonna, like, go through, like, all of my moving craziness this last year, so I just moved into this place, right? And like, there is this construction, and every single time, the strangest thing that can happen happened. So, hence this meme.

FLOR: Yeah, I mean, you have to be ready for it because it’s gonna happen.

MIKI: Yeah. I mean… Yeah. So, like, I’ll give you one. So I ordered tile and got it shipped to the store, and somebody stole 12 like packs of tile.

ALEX: What?

MIKI: Like, who does that? How does this happen? So that was one of the many strange things that happened during my move.

FLOR: Great. That was in 2020?

MIKI: This was beginning of 2021.

FLOR: Okay. Well, these last two years have been weird, so I’m not surprised, somehow.

MIKI: Yeah. Yeah.

FLOR: Yeah, that’s life.

MIKI: Okay, so this one…

FLOR: “I eat many people. I know many people.” Okay, I need you to walk us through this one.

MIKI: Yeah. Yeah. So this one is not quite a meme, but I just thought it was funny. So tonal languages are unmerciful, right? So “I eat many people” is “Ngo sik hou do jan.” So that’s like… you know. But then, if you just change the tone for the second word, “Ngo sik hou do jan,” “I know many people.” Right? So…

ALEX: Oh! Okay.

FLOR: It is so easy to mess up, like I would be eating many people a lot.

ALEX: Right. Yeah.

FLOR: I wouldn’t know which one is the right one.

MIKI: Yeah. There’s… Sometimes it can be a little bit embarrassing when the tone is wrong. It’s very entertaining for me to witness it. I think I would be mortified if I did it.

ALEX: Right. As the beholder, it’s funny.

FLOR: As long as it’s someone else making that mistake, we’re fine.

MIKI: Yeah.

FLOR: Well, that’s great. Thanks for bringing this one.

MIKI: Yeah.


MIKI: This one’s cute. So this is from Genshin Impact. So Childe, which I don’t really know why the translation was “Childe” because that’s a pretty archaic word to say, like, “son of nobility.” So, like, I played it in Mandarin, so, like, he introduces himself as “gongzi,” which is kind of like “young master,” but also like “son of nobility,” right? So, but yeah, but it makes me giggle because during his story quest, somebody calls him “Master Childe,” and I can’t stop laughing because he literally called him “Master young master.” But he’s really good with kids and it’s really kind of cute to see him, you know, Childe with the children.

ALEX: Childe with the children.

MIKI: But yeah, it just, like, it kind of misses me up a little bit. Like when, like… I don’t know. I just find, like, you don’t see the word “childe” very much, right?

ALEX: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah, that’s true.

MIKI: Yeah, because even in, like, in a lot of, like, Chinese dramas, like most of the time they’ll up for “young master.” Not always. Sometimes you’ll see “childe,” but usually, like, it’s just not as familiar a word, right?

FLOR: Yeah, it’s true.

MIKI: Yeah.

FLOR: Childe and the children.

MIKI: I love it.

FLOR: And I believe that’s the last one.

ALEX: That was the last one, yeah.

FLOR: Well, all right. Well, that was the end of our episode. Thank you so much, Miki, for joining us today.

ALEX: Thank you, Miki.

FLOR: It was a pleasure to have you and to learn more about your story, about your journey, and those incredible memes. Like, I had so much fun.

ALEX: Thank you so much, Miki. I love your T-shirt, by the way.

MIKI: Thank you. I love this T-shirt too.

FLOR: Very cool. Well, thanks, everyone, for tuning in. Thank you, Miki, again. I hope everyone’s staying safe. Take care. See you in our next episode.

MIKI: Thank you, guys! See you!

ALEX: Bye!

Share this post

Add Your Heading Text Here