Den­man Rooke

The Ris­ing Star on his “fan­tas­tic ad­ven­ture”

ImagineFX - - Digit Game Studios -

How did you end up work­ing with Digit in Ire­land, hav­ing grown up in the US?

It still seems a lit­tle sur­real. Firstly, I’ve had dual Ir­ish ci­ti­zen­ship through my dad for a few years, so nat­u­rally, Ire­land was one of the first places, along with the UK, that I re­searched. I sub­se­quently came across a new video game stu­dio in Dublin look­ing for a lead con­cept artist. So I sent my stuff their way and within a cou­ple of weeks they flew me over for an in­ter­view, and to my sur­prise a month later I ar­rived in Dublin with the wife and all my stuff. It’s been a fan­tas­tic ad­ven­ture ever since. I loved Digit’s vi­sion and vibe, so it’s a per­fect fit.

What are the best and worst things about work­ing on a new IP such as Kings of the Realm?

One of the best things is def­i­nitely full cre­ative con­trol. As a stu­dio we can de­cide what kind of world we want to cre­ate, and what kind of char­ac­ters we can build a story around. It’s bliss, re­ally. But the counter to that is we have to start from scratch at build­ing our brand. You have to be very care­ful that you don’t get lost in the wave of medi­ocre fan­tasy games, and in­stead build some­thing that’s unique, en­gag­ing and fun.

What makes Digit a great com­pany to work for?

Digit en­cour­ages ev­ery­one to be a part of the whole – not just in your skill set, but also in your ideas. Be­ing a smaller stu­dio helps fa­cil­i­tate that. It cul­ti­vates par­tic­i­pa­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion. We all work to­gether well and ev­ery­one is in­spired to pitch in to the over­all vi­sion and de­vel­op­ment of our games. Digit has made a very strong ef­fort to gather people who ul­ti­mately love games and are great at what they do. It’s fan­tas­tic to be a part of a team who all share that pas­sion.

What do you miss most about the US art scene?

I miss the con­ven­tions the most. Be­ing on the east coast was nice be­cause there were a few con­ven­tions within a day’s drive. I re­ally missed at­tend­ing Il­luXCon this year, es­pe­cially since it was in my home state of Penn­syl­va­nia, which made it con­ve­nient to get to – but even more so be­cause of see­ing and hang­ing out with other sci-fi and fan­tasy free­lancers and lis­ten­ing to great talks from other artists and art di­rec­tors and the like. I would love to see more con­ven­tions like that in Ire­land and Europe in gen­eral.

Born and raised in Pitts­burgh, Penn­syl­va­nia, Den­man was one of Imag­ineFX’s Ris­ing Stars of 2013 and is now Digit’s lead con­cept artist. www.den­man­rooke.com

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