Navigating the Game Industry: A Woman’s Perspective at Agate

As the game industry redefines itself, one woman stands at the forefront, shaping narratives and breaking stereotypes. Meet Krisnina Mahanani, a Lead Artist at Agate, affectionately known as Nina. In the male-dominated world of game design, Nina has not only found her place but has become a driving force in creating captivating visual experiences. In celebrating International Women’s Day, which falls tomorrow, we delve into Nina’s remarkable journey, exploring her contributions to Agate’s project, Code Atma, and the dynamic growth she has experienced in the game industry.

Get to Know Me

Hello! My name is Krisnina Mahanani; people usually call me Nina. As a Lead Artist in Agate’s Full-Cycle Development division, I’m currently involved in the RnD project. But my story started much earlier when I graduated with a degree in Visual Communication and Design (VCD). Despite the stigmas associated with anime-style techniques, I was driven by a passion for color and animation to pursue my dream of becoming a visual development artist. I had yet to learn that this route would lead me to a fulfilling job at Agate and the game industry.

My Academic Influence

Being a VCD student didn’t directly pave my way into the game industry. The invaluable insights from seniors and friends in the creative have shaped my perspective and skills. However, commitment to finish my education is still necessary to create more experiences. After graduating and working in the creative industry, working felt like a daily final assignment – a continuous learning process filled with research, observation, stress management, and effective communication.

My Career Before Agate

Before entering the game industry, my path varied, ranging from Trading Card Game (TCG) to comic colorist. I’ve also worked as a vector asset designer, character designer, visual development artist, and children’s book artist. With its freedom for experimentation, visual development left a lasting impression despite the challenges of balancing idealism with production limitations. The project lasted only briefly, but it gave me new aspirations!

How I End Up in the Game Industry

I have always liked concept and design, and games are the middle ground of both. That aspiration then leads me into this industry. First, I have known Agate since college and was interested in doing an internship in Agate. I also heard from my friends that Agate’s environment in Bandung was promising. It was an opportunity because I wanted to migrate outside my area.

The journey to join Agate was not without its quirks. During the application process, juggling homework and freelancing left me with only 90% technical test completion. In a bold move, I submitted it with a letter expressing my apologies for the unfinished section. Rather than succumbing to the fear of failure, I let Agate’s hiring department make the final call. It was a leap of faith; little did I know how it would shape my future. And here I am, doing what I love in Agate. What has kept me rooted at Agate is a perfect blend of project alignment, personal interests, and a supportive community. The project I joined at Agate perfectly matched my creative passions, offering an ideal environment for my growth and development. The support from teammates and seniors has been a constant, making the working conditions conducive to growth and exploration.

Me in Agate

Agate’s Culture and Its Impact on My Growth

At first, I was a shy and somewhat timid person. However, Agate’s culture empowered me to be braver, voice my opinions, and learn about sustainability through collaborative decision-making, ultimately helping me grow more confident.

I developed my ability to blend idealism and pragmatism in my managerial role. A memorable mentoring experience happened when I tried to make a brief for a coworker for the first time as an associate lead. I initially focused on managing every detail, but the producer in the project taught me to allow the creative team more freedom. While the outcome slightly differed from my vision, it still met our quality standards and goals, illustrating the importance of balancing guidance with creative autonomy.

As a Woman in Agate

In my experience with various projects at Agate, my male coworkers have treated me nicely, which has helped to create a respectful and warm workplace. This positive dynamic reflects a broader change in the global game industry, where diversity is increasingly embraced, and more women actively participate. I’m dedicated to fostering this diversity in my leadership role and ensuring every team member feels equally valued and supported.

As a Developer in Code Atma

Continuing my focus on diversity and inclusivity, my role in the Code Atma team has been breaking stereotypes and integrating local culture into our designs. I’m excited about how Code Atma’s unique approach could inspire Indonesian game creators to embrace and highlight local nuances in their games.

Our character design in Code Atma features unique personalities like Drona, Wisanggeni, and Antasena. Our team collaborates closely, with input from both male and female members, ensuring a diversity of perspectives in the design process. This collaborative process has led to characters that appeal to a broad audience, both men and women. Although our primary target audience is men, contributions from the entire team have helped create universally appealing characters. As a woman involved in this project, I’m proud to have played a part in developing characters that resonate with our target audience and appeal to a wide range of players.

A defining moment in my journey with Code Atma was when I took on the role of lead artist, creating key marketing art during the pandemic. It was a delightful surprise when my work gained recognition beyond our team, affirming the trust placed in me and opening doors for collaborations within Agate. This milestone has been a highlight of my career, showcasing the impact of dedication and innovation, especially during challenging times.

Code Atma key art, created when I was the Lead Artist with the support of Code Atma’s 2D artist team

Code Atma Character, Jon – Jacket Logo Design, created when I was the 2D Game Artist

Atma Character Concept, Kandita, created I was the 2D Game Artist

Code Atma Lampir Illustration, created when I was the Associate Lead Artist

My journey at Agate has been adventurous, thrilling, and, above all, fun. The diverse projects, interesting people, and continuous learning made this experience memorable. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, my advice to aspiring women in the game industry is simple – go for it! Research the work environment, seek advice from industry peers, and embrace this dynamic field’s excitement. The game industry is evolving, and your unique perspective and talents can contribute to its vibrant tapestry.

Want to start your own adventure? Check the vacancy list below!

Vacancy List

Position
Department
Division
Contract Type
Technology
Full Development Cycle
Contract Type : Internship
Production
Gamification
Contract Type : Temporary
Design and Writing
Gamification
Contract Type : Temporary
Art
Full Development Cycle
Contract Type : Regular
Art
Full Development Cycle
Contract Type : Regular