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Game PlannerCreator of New World on Computer Screen

The number of people who enjoy computer games is increasing rapidly. And computer games become more various and complex as the ability of players gets higher. Thus, a game planner, who has the same status as a director making a film, is becoming vital. "Click on Job" explores the world of game planners or game scenario writers through interviewing Jung Mu-sik, a game planner in a game software company, Triggersoft, who is 27 years old and has seven years of experience......................................................................................Ed.

What does a Game Planner do?
A game planner makes game scenarios in consideration of marketability and players' emotions. A game planner decides type, usage, era setting and a game's theme and makes them in written form. Then, he/she discusses the scenario with other members of the game project team including a graphic designer, a computer programer and a person in charge of sound. And a game planner directs almost the whole process in making a game and helps his/her team members to embody the scenario on a computer screen. A game story is usually adapted,  in general or in part, from famous fiction, animation and movies. In that case, a planner doesn't need to give new names to characters, items and places in a game scenario. However, it is necessary to add new dramatic events and action to make a scenario more interesting.

Workplace of a Game Planner
A game planner works with a game software company or as a free-lancer. A game planner usually works in a comfortable office but there is a lot of night work. The annual salary of a game planner depends on the kind of project being worked on and personal capability, but it is at least twenty million won.

Episodes while Producing Games
Triggersoft has produced various games such as ChoongmoogongⅠ/Ⅱ, Legend of Dragon Island, Legend of the Ghost HunterⅠ/Ⅱ, and Chaos. Jung Mu-sik, a Triggersoft game planner, spoke about his episodes while making games. "After making the strategy-simulation game Choongmoogong Ⅱ, we visited Hyunchung-sa and held a simple ceremony and prayed for success of the game in front of the grave of Lee sun-sin, a famous general in the Choson Dynasty period. We made the game through reference to literature and historic materials of that time. To finish producing the game, we worked every night for a month." Triggersoft is now making a game called Whanggun, which borrowed its name from a TV drama. "We often visited the outdoor studio of the drama," he said.

Merits and Difficulties of a Game Planner
A game planner can make games that he/she wants to enjoy and also create a new world which many people are dreaming of. The work is very satisfying for a game planner in itself. In addition, a game planner can work freely and get various information quickly due to frequent use of computers. "Above all, it is very gratifying that many people enjoy my game," he said.
However, it is difficult to produce games because it requires much learning. A game planner should continually acquire knowledge related to game producing. Sometimes a game planner encounters a difficult situation in the process of making games and works night and day for several days without a holiday.

Who Can be a Game Planner?
To produce games, you must, of course, like and enjoy games. A game planner should be deeply addicted to games and know what games are good or bad. If your dream is to be a game planner, you are never too young to start. Because a game planner must continually learn specialized knowledge and skills related to game producing and should be on the cutting edge of the field. You have to be an active person who is well informed about the game industry and acquires current information about various computer games. Remember that a game planner is responsible for offering excellent games to players.

The Way to be a Game Planner
"I became a game planner an early age. I joined in producing games after meeting the president of Triggersoft in 1994, when I was a university freshman in the Dept. of Biology," Mr. Jung said.
No matter what your major is, you can be a game planner if you acquire the knowledge and skills for producing diverse computer games through reading books, going to school and so on. In other words, you need to know a lot about cartoons and animation, acquire basic knowledge of those fields for producing games and have writing skills.
"I have been interested in computer games and studied about them since I was a high school student. At that time, I read various books related to games and took copious notes. And I accumulated basic multimedia knowledge at a programming school, a 3D graphic school and an animation school. Now I am studying psychology and chromatics and will apply them into games," he said.
"Because most of technical books related to games are written in English, you have to keep up with learning English as well," he added.
Now, many university departments are being established for training game experts and the number of educational centers is increasing.
As for educational schools, there is the LG Soft School (Tel. 3459-5778), the Game School (Tel. 515-1053) and the Cyber University of Art Center (www.cyberartcenter.com) and so on. And a certificate of qualification for a game planner is going to be made this year. Refer to this site for more specific information. (http://www.academ.co.kr)
"Go to any place that many game experts are in and ask them  for advice. Also, communicate and meet with people that produce games at sites such as Korea Game Developer Association (http://kgda.or.kr) through the Internet," Mr. Jung said.

Vision of a Game Planner in Korea
In Korea, game software has been produced for less than ten years, which resulted in the weak competitiveness of Korean games while foreign games make inroads in the domestic game market. Also, some adults are still prejudiced against computer games. They regard games as just children's play.
However, the game industry prospects are bright in that demand for games are on the increase all over the world. There are infinite possibilities to succeed in the game industry, because computer games can be applied to various fields such as broadcasting, education and so on.
Now, however, technical experts for producing game software are still lacking in Korea. In addition, experts are few in game planning/scenario, which is the main field for game production compared to other fields like programming, graphics and music. In that respect, there is no doubt that a game planner is a promising job.


Correction
"Click on Job" in the 325th issue : An annual salary of interns international is not twenty-one million won but "twelve million won" at COVAN International Inc.

Kim Dong-ho  dgudp@yahoo.co.kr

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