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Fully employed mother of 6 makes a game in spare time; I ended up feeling she’s “too extraordinary to serve as an example”!

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Fully employed mother of 6 makes a game in spare time; I ended u_001

Hello, Yoppi here!
That’s me in the picture, being surprised by the genius of indie developer Marudeyukimi.

Today I’m visiting the home of the developer behind the Nintendo Switch game “Pixel Game Maker Series LUNLUN SUPERHEROBABYS DX”. Known online as Marudeyukimi, I think most of us would be surprised to learn she’s currently employed at a financial services company, is currently raising six (6!) children, and made a game in her spare time!

Fully employed mother of 6 makes a game in spare time; I ended u_002

Fully employed mother of 6 makes a game in spare time; I ended u_003

Normally just working full time while raising six children would be difficult enough, adding in the challenge of making games leads us to wondering things like “what kind of environment is she doing this in?” or “how does she find the time?” and so many other questions!

We approached her thinking the answers might be useful for other people wanting to make games, but the more I hear from her the more and more I found myself thinking “She’s too much of a genius, is anyone going to be able to relate?”. I hope you’ll agree with me after reading my report!

Interviewer/Writer: Yoppi


How She Finds the Time To Make Games

Fully employed mother of 6 makes a game in spare time; I ended u_004

To start out, with six children isn’t that alone enough to use up all your time?

Oh, definitely! After coming from work, we don’t finish getting them all fed, bathed, and in bed until around 11pm.

That’s a lot! So you start your game development time from then?

Indeed, yes. I tend to start around midnight, and then go to bed whenever I get tired. I probably only get about 2 hours a day of development time.

That means you go to sleep around 2am. So what time do you wake up?

Since I have to help the kids get ready, around 6 am. That’s why I only sleep for a short time.

And you’re able to handle this lack of sleep?

It’s not really an issue for me. It helps that my husband helps out with chores. In fact, once I get into development I can get overly focused, and my husband is really good at supporting me.

 

He works in the restaurant industry, primarily on the night shift, so he’s able to look after the kids during the daytime.

It’s true! I do things like cleaning up, the laundry, shopping, even making dinner. I take care of the chores like that before heading out to work.

And what time do you wake up?

I get home from work around 3 or 4 am, and then am awake around 9 am.

You’re a short sleeper too?!

Well, I get a lot more in comparison to my wife.

It’s been about 15 years doing this, so I’m kind of used to it (laughter).

Origins in a Card Game

Fully employed mother of 6 makes a game in spare time; I ended u_005
Yukimi’s handmade card game is the origin of LUNLUN SUPERHEROBABYS DX

Originally, I wanted my kids to play so I made a rock-paper-scissors card game. So making video games is just an extension of that.

How many years ago did you make this?

About 3 years ago?

And the art, did you draw that as well?

Yes. I start by making line drawings with a brush-tipped fountain pen then digitize the drawings for coloring.

Fully employed mother of 6 makes a game in spare time; I ended u_006
Yukimi’s draft line drawings

Oh, does this mean you graduated from art school?

Oh, no, not at all!

Ah, well, then you work for the design team in your office or something?

No, incorrect.

Then I guess you’re a self-taught artist?

In essence. With regards to experience, I guess it is only my kids asking me to “please draw Anpanman!” and things like that.

Fully employed mother of 6 makes a game in spare time; I ended u_007
Someone with no experience drew this?!

Wait a minute! People with such limited experience usually are unable to draw so well. Your line work is beautiful!

You think so?

Fully employed mother of 6 makes a game in spare time; I ended u_008

I do! And does that mean you did all the art for the game too?

Yes, that’s correct.

Without any prior experience?

Yes.

Fully employed mother of 6 makes a game in spare time; I ended u_009

That’s amazing! Before coming here, I was expecting to hear that you’d hired an artist or outsourced the art production!

 

Oh, can I take a moment and inquire about your workspace?

Oh, that’s just right behind you, Yoppi.

Fully employed mother of 6 makes a game in spare time; I ended u_010
Yukimi’s workspace. There is no chair.

Thinking about this, there’s not just no chair, there’s not even a desk. You’ve just placed a laptop on top of a storage box!

Fully employed mother of 6 makes a game in spare time; I ended u_011

And you make the graphics on this computer, I see.

Yes, that’s correct. I actually use different computers: one for the art and one for the game development.

Wait a minute! This is Windows Vista! That OS is already well out of support. Heck, you probably shouldn’t be using it, it’s that old!

 

And there’s only 4GB of RAM too. I’m amazed that Photoshop is running!

Fully employed mother of 6 makes a game in spare time; I ended u_012

But this one is a much newer model!

So this is the one that you use for game development. What development software are you using?

I only use Pixel Game Maker MV.

On that subject, do you have any programming experience?

None. Though I have made games for a contest with RPG Maker before…

Have you ever had someone like a teacher or a mentor?

I learned on my own. If I had anything I didn’t understand while making the game I just looked it up online or Youtube…

I’ve played your game, and the hitstop when you take damage or the use of sound effects shows a lot of care and effort. Did you have anyone to help you learn those details?

Well, I really cared a lot about “feels good to play” as an idea, but it was all “i guess this feels right” intuition.

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自称“無職”のボードゲーム好き。 ライターとしてさまざまな媒体で面白記事を執筆。 現在はメディア運営のアドバイザーやWEBライター塾の講師としても活動している。
Twitter:@yoppymodel

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