The story of an accomplished game developer,

Pyeongguk Lee from DigiPen

Q1. Thank you for accepting the first interview. Introduce yourself with a simple introduction and three words to express yourself.

A1. Hi! I am Pyeongguk Lee, a client developer at 5minlab. The three words expressing myself would be ‘Coffee’, ‘Beer’, and ‘Pizza’. This is because I mostly drink coffee in the workplace, and I can eat pizza every day. Besides, I love drinking beer to celebrate the end of the workday. ‘Active’, ‘Optimistic’, and ‘Unique’ are also three adjectives representing myself. In fact, ‘unique’ is a word that I often heard from my colleagues at work, unlike other words. Perhaps the most, I am eager to work on the problem together and also very interested in what other teams are doing.

Let me give some reasons why my colleagues think this way. I personally like the circumstance that colleagues are enthusiastically interested in a company’s different issues, instead of working within a given job to move forward to the big picture. Since I want this circumstance to permeate the organization naturally, I continually mention this to ‘Culture Lab’, an in-house culture channel at 5minlab. Therefore, I keep my interest in various things happening in 5minlab to enhance its cultural evaluation.

Q2. I think many people are curious about the job/team Pyeongguk has assigned. What kind of job are you in charge of?

A2. The client developer is a role to implement the creations created by game designers and artists to the real build. Besides, my role recently changed as a team leader for Smash Legends Client team. Since then, I am responsible for assigning the necessary personnel to the right place when inquiring from other teams to the Client team. Obviously, playing a team leader is such a big responsibility to carry out his/her teamwork efficiently. Therefore, I feel more responsible and take on work much more seriously.

Q3. There must have been a server or other programming jobs, but was there a reason you chose the client job?

A3. First of all, client work is more attractive than other development professions because I can manipulate things that players can see. So, I get a sense of achievement. When I was an undergraduate student, I took courses mainly related to Client work, so I was comfortable with the Client job beside others.

Q4. You seem to do a complicated job. Do you have any difficulties or rewarding experiences while working?

A4. Let me use examples of the most interesting work, ‘BAAM SQUAD’ and the upcoming ‘Smash Legends’. 

First of all, ‘Resolving dizziness due to cognitive dissonance*’ was the most difficult task in the VR game ‘BAAM SQUAD’, but at the same time, it was a meaningful task. Indeed, ‘dizziness due to cognitive dissonance’ is the most frequent VR problem and no clear solution. Therefore, my team researched and developed technologies to reduce motion sickness. Among them, ‘Vignette’, a technology that darkens the periphery to minimize dizziness and allows users to enjoy the game comfortably for a longer time. Thanks to these skills, we created a meaningful result of  ‘30% market share of the VR arcade worldwide’.

In terms of the PvP game ‘Smash Legends’, the communication issue that arose after the number of SL teams suddenly increased to 40 people was the most difficult issue. Due to communication issues, work delay and friction frequently occurred. However, after re-establishing the work process, work performance, and efficiency increased. Since everyone put their effort, seeing the ‘Smash Legends’, which is about to be released in the first half of 2021, is very rewarding.

*Cognitive dissonance in VR: cognitive dissonance, which accompanies dizziness occurs the subject does not move, but the movement takes place in a situation.

Q5. Is there a career roadmap that you want to create?

A5. As a game developer, I hope that my game gathers a lot of love and remains in people’s memories for a long time. To fulfil this, I need to be exposed to games in various genres and continually create original creations. And by combining these experiences, I want to create a game that can feel valuable when released to the public. 

Q6. You have been with 5minlab for 7 years. Is there any particular reason you keep a long-term relationship with 5minlab?

A6. The biggest strength of 5minlab is its unique culture of freely suggesting opinions based on trust and respect among members. In other words, the position in 5minlab serves as a responsibility instead of an obstacle when exchanging horizontal opinions. As the organization grew, many rules and procedures existed. However, rules and procedures do not bind members at 5minlab because the management team makes effort members accept rules reasonably and naturally. Moreover, the company atmosphere is embracing other proposals seriously. In such an environment, 5minlab is a company that presents and collects various ideas to achieve better goals. Furthermore, the various experiences at a growing company is another precious reason to keep a long-term relationship.