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May 27, 2012
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PE: Game Dev Interviews part 2

Sun May 27, 2012, 1:48 AM


hi and Welcome

Project Educate: Game Development Interviews part 2!



I have some amazing interviews of 3 great Artists today, today I have interviewed - beere , ChaoyuanXu and Dean Stolpmann -www.deanstolpmann.com/ , they are all from the game development industry and they all do different roles in that industry. They have all answered some questions, that should help and inspire you!

Interview with beere!



:iconbeere:beere
Name: Wiktor Öhman
Age: 24
Country I live in: Sweden
Occupation: 3D Artist

Q1 - Just tell us a bit about your self
I'm a 24 year-old guy living in Malmö, which is in the southern part of Sweden.
I live here with my girlfriend and my 3 year-old son.
When I'm not working with 3D I usually watch movies, play the guitar or play videogames.

Q2 - What software do you use or have used and for how long?
I use Maya, 3Ds Max and Modo, but my primary program is Maya which I've been using for about 5 years now.

Q3 - How long have you been doing Game Development?
I hadn't really thought about it, but it's been about 2.5 years now I believe. Time really flies when you're having fun!

Q4 - How did you come across Game Development and why did you chose do it professionally and/or study it?
Like so many others I started playing video games as a kid. I always wondered how they were made, and that curiousity stayed with me for years.
During my last year in high school I found a pamphlet from a school called School of Future Entertainment (SOFE) and I was really intrigued! I applied immediately and a few months later I got an acceptance letter!

Q5 - How did you learn to do Game Development art?
I learned about it at School of Future Entertainment. However, most of what I know I've learned during my time as a professional artist.

Q6 - Anything you struggle with in the Game creation progress?
Oh yeah, concepts! I've never been able to make a decent-looking concept.
This is something that I really want to be able to do, and if I ever go back to school, that is what I'll be studying!

Q7 - If you wasn't sitting at the computer making Art for Games, what could we find you doing?
Probably infront of my computer making music.

Q8 - Any Advise for new Game Artists just starting out?
The advice I give most people just starting out is, DON'T GIVE UP!
Learning something takes time, time and time! It'll require a lot from you, and you'll curse, sweat and cry!
But in the end it's worth it. It really is!

Finally - What's the funniest thing that's happened to you in Creating Games?
I don't know if this is considered funny, but the best feeling I've had being an artist was probably when I landed my first job! All that hard work, networking and frustration finally paid off! I was finally living my dream, making real games as a professional artist. It was truly awesome!

And here are some of his works!
Dayward Inc. Office by beere Medieval Town - Back Alley by beere Bandit Crossbow by beere


Interview with ChaoyuanXu!



:iconchaoyuanxu:ChaoyuanXu
Name: Chaoyuan Xu
Age:27
Country I live in:China
Occupation:Freelance

Q1 - Just tell us a bit about your self
Hello, everyone. You can just call me Yuan! I am a enthusiastic digital artist from China. Drawing art is what I love the most. And I love to play games (not just video games, but card games, board games as well!). Also, going to a movie and enjoying delicacies are my hobbies as well.

Q2 - What software do you use or have used and for how long?
I use photoshop most of times. Although I still prefer to draw on REAL papers. I began using photoshop in late 2005

Q3 - How long have you been doing Game Development?
I started working in game development in 2006. So this is my sixth year. I began in a game studio which was focusing on an MMO game. I learned a lot by working with them. They gave me the first insight of how to create a computer game and inspired me to keep walking on this path.

Q4 - How did you come across Game Development and why did you chose do it professionally and/or study it?
It's all about my love for games. Ever since I was a kid, the obsession for gaming drove me forward. I always dreamt of participating in creating a game, seeing the monsters or environments I designed coming to life in the screens. How wonderful the feeling is to see people love the games you created!

Q5 - How did you learn to do Game Development art?
I didn't go to any class or school to learn about game development art. It is having practice, and more practices. I appreciate arts. I learn from the masterpieces creating by the "forerunners" by studying and analyzing the way they drew, the angle they took, the action they shoot, and the light and shade they modified. But I still felt pity that I didn't go to an art school to have a proper and professional training, and it results me to have some issue under certain circumstances. I feel I still have a lot of rooms to improve. But well, I have already made a plan of improving, and am now working on it. I hope I can overcome these obstacles.

Q6 - Anything you struggle with in the Game creation progress?
For now, I still feel I have some difficulties on manifesting some great concepts and ideas. For example, during sketching phase it would look very great, but when I start detailing it, then it didn't turn out to be what I envisioned it should be. Especially on some certain characters. Then I would have to redo everything again to make it able to meet the standard I want it to. And I loathe it when this happens. I believe it was due to the lack of basic training in school. And I am trying to fix this problem now. So far, I can feel I am getting better and better.

Also, sometimes there might be some conflicts between the other developers and me. Usually it happens if we didn't have a proper communication. And I learned a lot from this lesson. I believe communication is the key.

Q7 - If you wasn't sitting at the computer making Art for Games, what could we find you doing?
If I am not an artist, then I would like to be a chef, or a manager of a restaurant. I love food and believing enjoy delicacies is one of the greatest delight of the life. I can't resist good food and sometimes I might have a crazy idea of becoming a chef that always wants to cook best food for his customers and himself. And if I am going to be a restaurant manager, maybe I will open a themed restaurant, cooperating with some game studios to feature some popular games for not only normal people, but game fans. So that people could enjoy good food while talking about the games they love.

Q8 - Any Advise for new Game Artists just starting out?
Make sure you have a solid basic training and always practice as much as you can. This is the utmost requirement. And you should have passion for everything in your life, not just games and arts. Sometimes you will notice that even a tiny bit of your life might happen in games as well.

Don't forget to have more interactions with other artists. Through them, you will not only just learn from them, but also be able to expand your networking within the world of arts. And they might bring you a lot more opportunities that you would

never imagine.

Finally - What's the funniest thing that's happened to you in Creating Games?
It was when I was still working in a game studio. During afternoon break, lots of my colleagues would sit together, enjoy some snacks or drinks, chatting about our life, or some bugs in game. Listening to other people's experience can always give you more knowledge of everything. And this turned out to be one of my most important inspirations. I remember one time when someone was complaining a bug that was very hard to fix, but then it turned out to be just a simple twitch that was pointing out by a man who was not working on that part. And everyone laughed.

For now, since I am a freelancer at the moment, I just simply enjoy my 2 chubby cats' accompany.

And here are some of his works!
A Female Elementalist by ChaoyuanXu City Scene by ChaoyuanXu City of Dawn by ChaoyuanXu


Interview with Dean Stolpmann!



Name: Dean Stolpmann
Age: 41
Country I live in: United Kingdom /New Zealand, New Zealand Born (Kiwi)
Occupation: Art Director

Q1 - Just tell us a bit about your self
Originally born in the wilds of New Zealand. Spent some early years in the Armed Services, found out that Comics and early thunderbird re runs were more fun than sitting in a muddy fox hole in the rain. I Quit the army and grew the hair long (note, I am bald now) I messed about with 3D software while working at a cabinetry makers factory. My plan was to work during the day and produce my comics at night, I was always interested in 2000ad comics and always wanted be an artist for Judge Dredd. I produced a few primitive comics and started to make headway. In the early ninety's I left New Zealand to wander the planet and managed to meet with the 2000ad creators about work. I was still tinkering with very early 3Ds max and Lightwave packages and gave up on the comic creation just after my first commission payment- (a comic artist gets paid very little.)

I returned to New Zealand 1998, at this time LOTR was ramping up, I wanted to apply to Wetafx, then for some bizarre reason I decided to work locally and with a shortage of 3D Artist's in my local area I was able to make a reasonable living doing to odd TV and Film FX with occasional concept art and design for local Sci Fi film makers. I started doing freelance game work via telephone and email for an overseas Game Dev company- I still had no interest in making games, Games still had the stigma the same way comics in the 50 – 60s had.
2001, I was approached to work for a UK based FilmFX company, at the time I followed someone's advice and took the job. I relocated and within 2 months that particular company had closed due to lack of projects.

I was stuck in the UK. And I was approached by David Braben of Elite fame to join his company Frontier, at the time I did not know who or what Elite was. I started work on Wallace and Grommit the Game with Nick Park. By 2003 Frontier took another direction that did suit me, the idea of Elite 4 was ever going to be made was never going to happen I realised.

I joined Climax Online in Nottingham a day after they closed their version or Warhammer Online, luckily they transferred me to racing Online. I had a fit of madness and actually asked to work back at frontier, thankfully they said no. The reason they said was due to I might steal their secrets, to me seemed a little illogical since I had already worked there and was asking to go back. In later years Frontier have asked me to return and many times since -I have replied saying I have too many secrets now.

I found myself working for Sony (Sony Cambridge uk) The most vile and incompetent circle of tyrants I have ever met of ever known since. Sony Cambridge produced the game 24 of jack Bauer fame. After that studio Spent 15 million pounds they produced probably the worst TV IP game in modern history. In an effort for the studio producers to pay themselves bonuses after losing so much money, they decided to fire 30% of the staff, thankfully I was one of them. (have never been that happy to be fired) later Sony Cambridge was reduced to an out source company due to being sued by ex staff on a huge scale.

I then ended up working for Electronic Arts Chertsey, to this day I have fond memories of working for that studio. I found myself as their senior concept artist/modeller on many occasions I was on loan to MPC and Framestore working on the Harry Potter Franchise. The bad press Electronic Arts has had over the last few years have been In my opinion a little unfair- I like it there and their treatment of me was good.

Criterion (the creators of Burnout) Was an interesting time for me. Alex Ward (director) due to his fits of madness created the most expensive video game in history, a little known fact the official budget at release was 45million USD- the figure was far higher. Alex Ward was (or is) a recovering cocaine addict (common knowledge) in his temper rages he would often spout the costs of his projects, today I hope Alex ward is succeeding with his treatment. I left working with criterion amongst my own very messy divorce (there is no place in games for a wife or partner) average working week was 70 – 100 hours and you had to work weekends (unpaid!)
Lucas Film/ the Mill

I was offered a short contract in the USA, I had a pleasant time working there but with the green card issues I couldn't really stay longer than my contract. Codemasters, I some how wound up working as their senior concept artist, to this day I am not sure why they hired me. I worked on concepts for racing games and I have no real idea of cars or any other kind of vehicle. Thank fully they took another direction and decided to create BLACK 2 – called Bodycount. Due to infighting and internal team politics, Bodycount was a disaster- it was to be my first and last First person shooter I was to be involved with, sadly the studio of talented people closed.

I was approached by Supermassive Games to be their art Director, this I my opinion would have to be the most professional and superb studio I have ever worked with. The directors had a very clever ethos that helped them to become a quiet world leader in the game development. They had no dev managers or producers and this helped their staff to surpass their own expectations- their policy was - "we hire people to do a job, let them to their job" this created and superb team atmosphere that has made supermassive games one of the most profitable companies in the industry.   About this time my father became ill and I decided to return to New Zealand,
I wound up working for a few small New Zealand games companies, their is very little in the way of game development in New Zealand, there is a Pioneer spirit that will maybe bring them to the fore front of game development.

Q2 - What software do you use or have used and for how long?
I use 3Dsmax, Maya (prefer maya) Zbrush, Mudbox, Photoshop and pencil and paper.

Q3 - How long have you been doing Game Development?
too long.

Q4 - How did you come across Game Development and why did you chose do it professionally and/or study it?
joined the wrong queue, (seriously I did!) -  I wanted to make comics

Q5 - How did you learn to do Game Development art?
had to teach myself - and lie alot.

Q6 - Anything you struggle with in the Game creation progress?
everyday is a struggle, people take the game business very seriously and behave badly. End of the day we do not solve world hunger or cure cancer, and games have no real value to society- but the egos or people would tell us another story

Q7 - If you wasn't sitting at the computer making Art for Games, what could we find you doing?
Zoo Keeper, this is would guarantee I would get sensible answers from  monkeys. Being a zoo keeper in many ways is like managing a team of artists and coders.

Q8 - Any Advise for new Game Artists just starting out?
try not to take it to seriously, and try not to be hurt by other peoples behavior- do not believe the illusion that games is fun to work in, it is not fun. Games industry is exploitative, low paid and desructive. The burnout rate is high and you will have no social life

Finally - What's the funniest thing that's happened to you in Creating Games?
Farting in an inteview with the director of Free Radical Design- and watching them go green while they were trying to be polite and deny that it had not happened, - I chuckle to this day.

And here are some of his works!
Personal Work - www.deanstolpmann.com/
CGtalk site -  dstolpmann.cgsociety.org/galle…


Whats happening and whats happened in the week!



Hi and welcome to Project Educate, I'm WillowXD and I'm the Community Volunteer for the Game Development! and this week I'm going to try and Educate you and help you learn and understand more about Game development here on DA! so what I have planed for this week is:

Game Development Intro and Contest Day - on the Monday (21st May)
- For this day I will be running through whats happening in the week and I will be running a week long contest, the contest will only last for this week and well be for both 2D and 3D game dav creators, the prize will be 2000 da points! for more info click the link below!
Monday 21st May blog - projecteducate.deviantart.com/…

Game Dev Info Day - on the Tuesday (22nd May)
- For this week I'm going to be gathering info about game art, like what is Game dev all about, A recap on what goes in the game dev category, some articals on game dev and some tips and hints on how to make it big in the game dev side of dA and how to get your work noticed. for this I list all the info on a blog.
Tuesday 22nd May Blog- projecteducate.deviantart.com/…  

Interviews part 1 - on the Wednesday (23rd May)
- I have about 5-6 interviews from people in industry I will split them up for both parts and I will post them in a blog. This day I interviewed  HazardousArts, sangheili117 and  Dudz
Wednesday 23rd May Blog - projecteducate.deviantart.com/…

Game Dev Feature day - on the Thursday (24th May)
- Yes I will be gathering artworks from artists and post them in a big blog. I will also be asking for people to contribute to the blog by listing their art gatherings in the blog comments, there is a prize up for grabs of 500 da points for the person, who lists the most and amazing artworks of that day (from the game dev category and/or out sources ONLY! it must be game dev related in some way!)
Thursday 24th May blog - projecteducate.deviantart.com/…

Interviews part 2 - on the Friday (25th May)
- I have about 5-6 interviews from people in industry I will split them up for both parts and I will post them in a blog.

Game Dev Resources and Tutorial Gathering day - on the Saturday (26th May)
- Yes I will be gathering Resources and Tutorials for Game envelopment usage, I will try and find some beginner and expert material, so if you want to get into game dev, this blog will help you achieve that. I will be posting all this in a big blog. I will also be asking for people to contribute to the blog by listing their Resources and Tutorial gatherings in the blog comments, there is a prize up for grabs of 500 da points for the person, who lists the most and useful Resources and Tutorials of that day (They must be game dev related in some way!)

Contest Results and Recap - on the Sunday (27th May)
- This day I will be recapping on what went on in the week and will be announcing the contest winners and giving out the prizes!
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  • Listening to: Anything
  • Reading: People's comments
  • Watching: My Art grow
  • Playing: My own game
  • Eating: Nothing
  • Drinking: friut juice
:iconweazel-art:
Weazel-Art Featured By Owner May 27, 2012
the vote of confidence in the game industry way of life by Dean Stolpmann at the end was amazing! I cant wait!

Some of the other interviews, with the whole happy "accomplishment" feeling you get with a great piece of art was nice too =]
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