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Development from game player to character designer

4 Mech Chan Socheata

Everybody has their own dreams in life, and some succeed while others don’t. But Mech Chan Socheata, 23, has solidly planned the career of her dreams, which is to design electronic game characters.

“We should do what we want to do”, said Socheata, 23, who is a fourth-year student at the University of Fine Arts and a 3D designer at the Digital Work Khmer Company.

“I love my current job so much because it is the first step to my dream,” she said with a smile.

Socheata has been working at the company for nearly two years and makes them a lot of money. Therefore, she received the opportunity to study in Japan for three months in order to master her skills.

“I was very excited to be there, because it’s the place of game experts that made me want to jump into this field. Now I have experienced it and learned many techniques of creativity in games.”

Socheata became interested in the electronic games industry when she first played a game as a child. She knew from that moment that she wanted to design her own games.

Luckily, there was a school of 3D design in Phnom Penh when she was in high school, so she attended the school and started to focus on her dream, even though the school’s focus was on movie design.

Being a 3D designer is not an easy job. You have to be skilful, and know how to play with the computer and be able to draw your designs both on paper and on the computer. Because the job requires a lot of time investment, you must have your heart in it in order to compete in the job market.

Furthermore, designing game characters requires different amounts of time depending on the kind of character you want. Sometimes it takes three or four days, while other times it takes two or three weeks.

You must also be able to work in a group to make the best product possible because the game will be sold around the world after it is completed.

Socheata said that she wants to create the games in Khmer style because she wants to show the world the tradition, culture, stories and history of Cambodia, as well as to show the world the potential of the Cambodian youth.

In the end, Socheata wants to send everyone, especially teenagers, a message:

“Try to do what you want to do, don’t give up. I know that maybe there is no market in this field, but I still try till I got the job that I like, and you can also. By the way, playing games is not a bad thing, but you can gain more general knowledge from them if you do not play too much.”

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