Sil­ver Saaremäel

ImagineFX - - Studio Profile Wooga -

One of Wooga’s new­est lead artists on life at the com­pany

How did you end up at Wooga?

There’s a trend go­ing on where AAA de­vel­op­ers are flock­ing to indies and mo­bile-game stu­dios, and I was no dif­fer­ent. Mo­bile games are get­ting more com­pet­i­tive by the month, con­stantly more beau­ti­ful with the new hard­ware, and can reach a bil­lion peo­ple. That’s a pretty ex­cit­ing chal­lenge.

What are you work­ing on right now?

Wooga has sev­eral stu­dios in­side it, each rep­re­sent­ing a dif­fer­ent seg­ment in the games mar­ket, and each stu­dio has sev­eral game teams work­ing on games from pro­to­types to pro­duc­tions. I’m in the core games stu­dio, where we con­cen­trate on a deep game­play ex­pe­ri­ence and a high-qual­ity vis­ual ex­pe­ri­ence. Just within the brief time of a year I’ve worked on games rang­ing from epic fan­tasy strat­egy games, to Re­nais­sance em­pire-builders and steam­punk vik­ing bat­tlers.

What’s a typ­i­cal day for you?

I usu­ally start the morn­ing with feed­back and art di­rec­tion over­paints, or writ­ing briefs for new as­sign­ments. I try to get all my meet­ings in be­fore lunch as well. Af­ter lunch I do my darn­d­est to find hours to paint con­cepts, while tack­ling the oc­ca­sional feed­back ses­sion.

What’s been the best part of the job to date?

The mo­bile games in­dus­try is very dy­namic and con­stantly in­no­vat­ing it­self. It’s a lot of fun try­ing to keep up with the mar­ket and outdo it at the same time. But most of all, I en­joy the tremen­dous amount of ef­fort that the com­pany founders and stu­dio heads are putting into trans­parency. We’re con­stantly up­dated to the state of the com­pany, what each stu­dio is do­ing, why we are do­ing it and where we’re headed in the fu­ture. We’re also con­stantly in an open dis­cus­sion about what we’ve done wrong, what we’ve done well and where can we grow sen­si­bly. It’s a very ac­cept­ing and pro-ac­tive en­vi­ron­ment that’s not afraid to try out new things.

What’s your own best ad­vice for some­one look­ing to get into a sim­i­lar sort of job?

It’s fairly sim­ple re­ally. You need a port­fo­lio that’s up to par with in­dus­try stan­dards. If your port­fo­lio looks as good as the guys who did Dis­trict 9 or Frozen, then you’re bound to get to the stu­dio of your choos­ing. Art di­rec­tors are look­ing for peo­ple who can de­liver solid art first, and in­no­va­tion sec­ond.

Sil­ver joined Wooga in 2014. He was pre­vi­ously a se­nior con­cept artist at Cry­tek Frank­furt and “dab­bled” at Jagex in Cam­bridge.

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