3D artist Rashad created character models for Smite
Do ideas or concepts for one title ever end up being adapted and used for a different one?
Absolutely. There are larger cases, like how Smite was originally going to be a Global Agenda-themed MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena). And then there are smaller cases too, where we take characters, themes or ideas and cross-promote them between our games. One example is the Tribes skins for our Smite characters.
How much feedback do you get from fans and players about your designs, and does that influence future design decisions?
As far as art goes, we take a lot of fan feedback and suggestions into consideration when we decide on what projects we’re going to be doing. The idea for Swagni [a character design] came from the floaty/nonchalant run animation we used on Agni, when Smite was still in Beta, which a long-time fan of our game designed for us.
How does needing to design for a large variety of hardware, while still being playable online, affect your work?
In design terms, it often restricts how crazy our visual ideas can be. We have to keep our textures around 1,024x1,024 pixels, and our bone count for each character under 75. With those limitations, we’re often forced to stick to large details that will read easily from a distance, while also making sure they don’t appear blurry up close.
Do you have any tips for younger or less-experienced artists looking to get into the world of concept art or 3D design?
In my experience, there’s no substitute for putting the time in – investing in your skills. If you’re in college now, and you’re just doing your classwork, that’s not going to be enough to get into the industry. Much of your competition is going to be people in the games industry who work upwards of 40-50 hours a week, always creating, learning and honing their craft. Devoting an extra hour or two every day, to making your own things, or studying anatomy, won’t seem like much on a day-to-day basis. But over the course of a year, or two years, or five years, the benefit to you as an artists can be incredible.
What’s the best thing about working at Hi-Rez?
I get the chance to make something cool every day!