Following on from our feature piece last week, next in our series of articles on Gold Scottish Games Week sponsor YAHAHA is an interview with their Co-Founder and COO, Pengfei Zhang. Here, Zhang gives us an in-depth look at the decisions behind the creation of the company, as well as his future plans, for Scottish Games Week and beyond.
What is your role at YAHAHA?
I am Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at YAHAHA, and am responsible for various things across the company – from community management to developer relations, and everything related to business and partnerships. Also, a key part of my role is ensuring that everything runs smoothly in the office for day-to-day operations.
What inspired you to co-found YAHAHA?
Through my past work experience I really saw that there was, and still is, a demand for low-entry yet powerful 3D creation tools. More and more people want to work with 3D content but struggle to find an accessible tool to create it. Most professional 3D creation tools have a high barrier to entry, requiring technical skills that make them inaccessible to many would-be creators. We wanted to make a platform that was accessible to all, and so YAHAHA was born. The rise of TikTok democratised video content creation, and in a similar way, we want to democratise 3D creation making it easy for anyone to make games and environments using tools that are as easy as drag and drop.
Throughout the pandemic, people’s behaviour shifted, as more and more activities took place in an online environment. Hanging out online with friends has become the new norm – look at how many players are socialising in Fornite now instead of playing the actual game. Our aim for YAHAHA has always been to develop an accessible platform, where users can create content in a safe environment, as well as grow their skills.
Why did you think Scottish Games Week was a good fit for YAHAHA?
Scottish Games Week is a brand new event that supports game developers, and its values really align with ours. We have similar priorities at YAHAHA, surrounding pushing creators’ development and supporting skills growth. The Scottish Game Awards is a perfect example of how SGW is encouraging game developers. The Scottish games sector has also grown enormously, and there is no better time to be a part of the industry in Scotland than right now.
What are your hopes for Scottish Games Week?
We hope that Scottish Games Week will help to raise more awareness of YAHAHA. We want creators to learn more about YAHAHA and through promoting the brand, we would like to encourage more users to join and engage with the platform. Furthermore, we aim to empower creators who want to create their own 3D multiplayer content without barriers.
What does YAHAHA have planned for the future?
Due to the platform being extremely accessible, we want to continue to grow YAHAHA to have millions of creators. Ultimately, we would like to introduce monetization models to allow our creators to make a living from their content.
Whether it’s socialising with friends, making their own 3D creations to share with the community, or developing their 3D design skills, our goal is to build a platform where anyone with a passion for creation can enjoy making content on YAHAHA.
What are the three most important things for people to know about YAHAHA?
- YAHAHA is a global company that has been built and brought to creators by 10 different nationalities.
- Everything you build in YAHAHA is real-time and multiplayer by default, you don’t need to know about servers and clients.
- None of the spaces in YAHAHA have been created using code!
Next week, we’ll be rounding out our YAHAHA series with a deep dive into the concept of UGC, and its potential impact on the way game developers work and learn. Make sure to join us then!