Daren Bader

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation -

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.

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