The Rockstar artist says play to your strengths to break into games
How does an artist break into the games industry?
Focus on the companies that make the games you like. If you’re a hardcore World of Warcraft fan, concentrate on a style of work that lends itself to Blizzard’s properties. Attend industry shows such as E3, PAX or Comic-Con. Meet people who work in the field. Bring a portfolio and set up interviews with companies and art directors. It sounds obvious, but visit your favourite company’s jobs page – see what’s available. And be prepared to go through a lot of interviews.
Artistic ones aside, what skills must you have?
It’s essential to have excellent communication skills – and flexibility. Huge teams make games, and every person has their own personality. So the better you can work with people, the more successful you and your team will be. Also, learn to roll with changing technology and not to be afraid of it. There’s no room for stubbornness when evolving technology is involved.
Why should an artist create their own game?
Creating your own world and characters is a great exercise in understanding relationships. Weapons, structures, characters, streetlights, rocks, plants, vehicles, clothing and on and on – they all have to be related in both subtle and obvious ways. They have to be believable, all part of the same world. It’s up to art directors and concept artists to visualise virtually every inch of the world, and the most successful game worlds are ones that have a unified wash of stylisation and coherence.