As a lead game designer for one of the world’s biggest video game developers, Wan Hazmer’s day-to-day job at Square Enix involves the imagining of fantastic worlds. The 36-year-old heads the “Culture” team at the company, which is assigned to create and design cities for the award-winning game Final Fantasy XV. Even more impressively, 5 million units were delivered globally on launch day.
Wan Hazmer’s passion for videogames is an innate quality, having been very critical about game design since very young. In 2008, he left his native city of Kuala Lumpur for Tokyo to learn Japanese. He could write a ten-page proposal in Japanese by 2010, and thus used it as his stepping stone to get to where he is today.
While others just play it, he oversees what goes into Final Fantasy XV’s large world. Simultaneously, he does his best to incorporate his proud Malaysian culture into the game. For instance, Lestallum is a town inspired by Malaysia’s Mamak stall culture, with appearances of staple breakfasts such as roti canai, satay and teh tarik.