Hey! My name is Aidan Takami. I am a student and an aspiring game developer and designer, currently enrolled in the Interactive Media and Games Division (IMGD) at USC Games.
I live in Koreatown, Los Angeles. I have been writing code for about 6 years. I’m most versed in C++, C#, and Java, but have experience with Python and Swift. I currently use Unity, Unreal Engine.
Like most kids, I grew up playing video games. Admittedly, I was a bit fortunate because my dad is a Creative Director in the games business. We always had every game, and that planted a seed that turned into a passion.
As I got older, I started to realize that there was a whole lot happening behind the scenes to make a game. I would visit my dad’s office and see artists, game designers, programmers, audio people, producers, etc. Everyone working to bring the game to life. All the different roles and specialties really fascinated me.
Somewhere along the line I made up my mind that I wanted to make games. One area that I find most intriguing is the position of gameplay programmer. Basically, a game designer with a strong understanding of programming who helps bridge the gap between the two disciplines. Someone who can quickly prototype gameplay concepts, solve problems when design and programming are out of sync, and help refine a game through user feedback and polish. A skill that I believe can be applied no matter what type of game you are trying to make.
As a budding game designer, I have been asked what are my favorite games? My all-time favorite is The Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time. I played this game before I could read, but I remember that the components of the story, design, and gameplay intrigued me beyond my own understanding. I am positive it ignited my passion for games. When I think about the types of games I want to make, Ocarina of Time always come to mind. My other all-time favorite games include: Minecraft, The Elder Scrolls Series, The Fallout Series, Firewatch, and most recently Red Dead Redemption 2. The challenge of combining story, adventure, character development and gameplay action is particularly appealing to me.
Since Fall 2019 I have been a student a part of the IMGD program, which makes up half of USC Games. The classes are taught along the principle that the player experience comes first. The program strongly encourages (and enforces) rigorous playtesting. As a designer this is a mentality that I have taken to heart.
As far my hobbies and other passions:
I love to hike. We have some great hiking trails practically in my backyard that lead into the Santa Monica mountains. Trails that lead for miles and miles.
I love to play the guitar. I am now trying to decide which I like more; acoustic or electric? I guess it depends on the song.
I love playing D&D. My dad taught me and my friends to play using classic. Since then I have started playing 5th edition which I really like too.
I love listening to music. My favorite artists are the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mumford & Sons, Led Zeppelin, Jack Johnson, and Ed Sheeran.
Also, I love my dog! He’s a Yellow Labrador named “Morrie”.
Thanks for taking the time to read about me!
Check out my résumé here!