Colin Williamson
(Address / Phone number available on request)

colin underscore tokyo at hotmail dot com

Experienced game producer with rare cross-cultural expertise and 10 years experience delivering top-tier market-ready games seeks a Producer or Associate Producer role in which to drive and motivate a creative team using a combination of technical skill, excellence in management and a passion for game design.

Square-Enix Inc. Tokyo, Japan / Seattle, WA
Producer, July 2009-Present
• Job description available on request. Omitted for confidentiality.

Square-Enix Co Ltd. Tokyo, Japan
Developer Relations Guy, Aug. 2008-June 2009
• Job description available on request. Omitted for confidentiality.

Squaresoft, Tokyo, Japan
Localization Specialist/Editor, Dec. 2002-Sept. 2008
• Served as in-house company editor, polishing, rewriting and culturally adjusting voice and text scripts for Western audiences
• Established Square-Enix house style and maintained consistency across multiple RPG/MMORPG projects
• Created internal websites and demo events to educate staff on Western game production and dev culture
• Acted as consultant on Western trends and middleware to CEO and team leads
• Localization expert panelist at Game Developers Conference 2007 and CESA Developers Conference 2007

Personal Project
Level Designer, Sept. 2008-Present
• Created “Tokyo Trainwreck” Unreal Tournament 3 level with volunteer team of 2 artists
• Released level on PC and PlayStation 3
• Designed level, lighting, scripting and shaders with emphasis on performance optimization for PS3
• Level took 3rd place in IGDA level design contest

Anchor Inc. Tokyo, Japan
Assistant Director / Designer, Sept. 2001-Nov. 2002
• Created textures, interactive menus and realtime/prerendered cutscenes for WWE-branded games
• Worked as liaison between developer and American publisher THQ

Nativesens (Contract), Tokyo, Japan
Localization Specialist, May 2001-Aug. 2001
• Translated technical documents and voice scripts for large-scale RPGs
• Cast and directed voice talent

Anchor Inc. (Contract), Tokyo, Japan
Localization Assistant, Sept. 2000
• Performed QA and editing roles for UFC game on Dreamcast

Bethesda Softworks, Rockville, MD
Art Intern, May 1999-Aug. 1999
• Created design docs, 3D models and environments for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

Freelancing History
PC Gamer Magazine (Contract) Brisbane, CA
Contributing Editor/Columnist, Sept. 1996 to Sept. 2001
• Wrote previews, reviews, strategy guides and cover stories for an international print publication with a reader base of over 280,000
• Conducted on-site interviews with North American and European developers
• Wrote monthly print column (The Killing Box) and weekly online column (Colin’s House of Shame)

Temple University of Japan, Tokyo, Japan
Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies 2000-2001

Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA
Original Objective: Major in Communications Media, 1996-1999
Overseas study at Kansai Gaikokugo Daigaku, Osaka, Japan, 1999-2000

Contributing Editor
Gamespot, IGN, Games Magazine, II Alive Magazine, AMG All-Game Guide
Sept. 1996 to Sept. 2001

Software Proficiency
Microsoft Office   :  11 Yrs
Unreal Editor  :  3 Yrs
Premiere / Vegas  :  9 Yrs
After Effects  :  9 Yrs
Photoshop  :   9 Yrs

My Gameography

I’ve worked on a bunch of games. Here are all of the ones I’m credited on.
Intern, Bethesda Softworks (1999)
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Editor / Test, Anchor Inc.  (2001)
Ultimate Fighting Championship (DC)
Translator, Nativesens Inc. (2001) 
Winning Eleven 5
Shenmue II
Assistant Director / Video Designer, Anchor Inc. (2001)
WWF Raw (Xbox)
WWE Raw 2 (Xbox)
Pride FC
Editor/Writer/Jack-of-all-Trades, Square Enix Co. Ltd (2002-2010)
PlayOnline Navigator
Final Fantasy XI
Unlimited Saga
Sword of Mana
Front Mission 4
Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel
Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls
Fullmetal Alchemist 2: Curse of the Crimson Elixir
Romancing SaGa
Final Fantasy IV Advance
Valkyrie Profile 2
Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy III DS
Final Fantasy V Advance
Final Fantasy VI Advance
Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales
Dawn of Mana
Heroes of Mana
Front Mission DS
Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo’s Dungeon
Final Fantasy IV DS
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King
Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes
Infinite Undiscovery
The Last Remnant
Chrono Trigger
Dissidia: Final Fantasy
Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume
Yosumin! Live
Season of Mystery: The Cherry Blossom Murders

Studying Abroad & Kansai Gaidai

I’m not exactly sure why I decided to go to Japan. The fact that I was a huge game nerd probably had more than a little to do with it. I was going to Indiana University of Pennsylvania for a Communications major and no real direction. At the same time I was managing to write full-time for PC Gamer magazine; Communications classes are embarrassingly lax, after all.

Anyhoo, the main reason I went to IUP was its outstanding study-abroad program — they had links to tons of overseas schools, so I was deadset on going to Kansai Gaidai in Osaka, Japan. I took about 4 semesters’ worth of Japanese in advance to prepare, and for the first semester in my senior year, I headed off to Japan.

Preparing for this was pretty easy, though there was a good amount of paperwork involved. I had to get a physical and an AIDS test (!) in advance, write an essay justifying why I wanted to study at Kansai Gaidai, and for the actual student visa, it was a ton of paperwork culminating in having to physically visit the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC. Fortunately I was interning at Bethesda Softworks the summer beforehand in Rockville MD, so it was a quick train trip away. (If you’re living in Wisconsin or something, I’m not entirely sure what your options are.)

Detroit Departure

With two pieces of luggage and a carry-on, I embarked from Harrisburg International Airport to Detroit, and then began the longest plane trip–14 hours!–of my existence. (I have since mastered the art of trans-Pacific travel, and the Seattle –> Tokyo trip is pretty much effortless now.)

The first picture of me in Japan.

My first week of life in Japan passed by in a drowsy blur–an endless bus ride to the university on a highway that soared far above the single-story houses of Osaka; staying my first night with 3 other students in a tatami dorm room, fighting off an angry digestive system and battling the worst jetlag I’d ever experienced, my discombobulated brain screaming oh god I want to go home right now!. Eventually my body clock caught up with reality and things picked up — I met my wonderful homestay family, and started checking out the local sights (and trawling Osaka/Kyoto for used game and CD stores).

Kansai Gaidai was an awesome school. The faculty was fantastic, most of the students were really interested in being there, and I met some of the best friends I’d ever have. There were also tons of clubs; after a brief stint in Judo I wound up joining the Ballroom Dancing club. (That was a good idea — it’s much better to sweep a partner off their feet with a solid waltz step than a kou ouchi gari.)

Kansai Gaidai circa 1999

I’m not sure how the school is now. They moved the campus and expanded, so the foreign student population has ballooned in size. I’ve heard a lot of complaints that it’s turned into a party school because they’re not as strict on admissions as before, but I guess that’s how things go. If you want to go abroad these days, I guess it’s a toss-up between Kansai Gaidai and Sofia University; I’d still recommend going to Kansai, as Osaka is a lot more laid back, and jumping headfirst into anything related to Tokyo can make your head explode.

I’d also highly recommend getting a host family; mine were wonderful, wonderful people who were always helpful and full of encouragement. And boy oh boy, Mom could cook. We’re talking about a woman who’d make me tacos and make the tortillas from scratch. Yowza!

Next update, I’ll talk about campus life and transitioning to school in Tokyo.

Welcome to my blog, and stuff

Fighting the Yokohama Spiderbot, 2009

Heyo, my name’s Colin Williamson and I’ve been working in the Japanese game industry for almost a decade. People frequently come up to me and say “How did  you wind up working in Japan?” And even more frequently, people say “GET OFF MY LAWN!” 

So this blog is intended to document how I got from Point A (Lancaster County) to Point B (Shinjuku). The short answer is “Do a bunch of annoying paperwork and then take a plane,” but the long answer is a little more interesting. In the end, I’m hoping to post some useful information that might keep someone from making the same stupid mistakes I did, and boyohboy did I make a lot of stupid mistakes.

Who is this Colin shlub?


I figured I’d register an URL that I’m an expert on. Colin Williamson being me, I thought that would be appropriate. (Besides, you never know if some chump might register an URL of your name and set it to auto-forward to goatse or something.) I’m an American who’s been working in Japan for the last ten years or so, in the always-colorful world of the game industry. Now I’m back in the United States working on stuff that I’m not allowed to talk about. On this site you can read about my adventures, many of which end with my being strangled by art directors. (It’s okay, I deserved it at the time.)

In the past I’ve worked as:

Columnist for PC Gamer Magazine


Bright-Eyed, Uncorrupted Intern at Bethesda Softworks


Freelance Translator for Nativesens LLC


Assistant Director and Planner at Anchor Inc.


Mocap/stunt performer at various gigs (ouch, my knees)

Editor at Squaresoft (now Square Enix Co. Ltd)

Project Manager at Square Enix (on loan to Airtight Games)

AV Producer at 17-BIT

Director of Partnerships at Shinra Technologies, Inc.

Wasting Future Generations' Time Since 1977