Monday, 27 May 2013

An introduction to the Game Industry From generalist to specialist?

Since this course and maturing into more of a Game Artist from whom I were back in College. My direction and aims in life has changed, I was still unsure where to go in my career of being an artist. Though since doing Game Art and even with the hard work you have to put out and growing to love and becoming more of an embodiment. I still believe that this direction is right where I am leading into. Which is being at the moment a 'concept artist' (leaving it open) which allows me to absorb a lot more then to narrow it down now.

So as for the Game Industry, personally I felt lucky that when Mike Pickton came and did a few seniors back in the first semester, he spoke about his time in LockWood and explained a lot of what happens in Lockwood which would be very similar in many other companies.

He spoke about specialization, outsourcing which is undertaken other contractors working either in the EU or US countries that labor are at lower rates and  the pipeline process

So where does leads me? Well a lot of options in a way because the Game Art course creates you into a versatile person, learning, practising fundamentals of drawing and painting Traditionally and Digitally then we have 3D modelling with using engines and then critical studies, for documentation skills, research and development that prepares you knowledge of what you need to know and where to go.

Just like our course out there, Feng Zhu school of design, also prepares you fundementally for the industry. In many ways like how we do things on our course, we have the bonus of 3D and as it seemed to be known, the industry are looking for a lot of 3D artist. Due to concept artist being very competitive to get a job in, you can say that it is wise to gain both high skills in both areas because both can aid you towards getting a job as either one or the other and using both as a means of expressing your concepts and ideas.

So here's a great video on illustration and industrial design process from FengZhu

Very informal and a eye opener for being an artist in that field.

So as the industry grows and expanded, enormously from the yesteryears. Back then a few people could be doing most of the roles when creating and designing a game. However there are specialised roles more so now and for specially for large game companies with the big titles.

Being a game designer, to me in modest and humble way, is a fragment  of what a 'god' is. That we create things just like the creator-gods do.

So a Game Designer designs the content and rules of a game in -pre-production and designs gameplay, environment, storyline and characters during post production. A good way to understand a game designer is compare them to a director of a film: the designer is the visionary of the game and controls the artistic and technical elements of the game in the fulfilment of their visions. So it requires artistic and technical competence as well as writing skills. So  management, scheduling and research skills and more can be a lot to control and handle so for bigger projects more than one game designer may be needed to overlook for the projects.

From our 2nd years group project, we had a taste of how it could be in the industry of the collaboration and the communication. Yes some groups may been better than others, just as you may get this in the industry, however it is required to enable a smooth flow of the process.

For everyone in the group project, we all had our specific job titles and roles for us all like;
 Lead manager,
Art Director
Colour Artist
Technical Artist
Concept/ Modeling Artist.

and so we all worked on the roles and task which was given, as I was a regular artist doing both concepts and assets, I really enjoyed this job because I experimented in both 2D and 3D applications. Whist another member in our group was a Technical Artist, so his job were purley more a bout the Engine and getting technical fication like scale and size of assets and rooms. He also did model and concept pitch a few things at the beginning of the project.

So here are some titles that exist in this area as a job.

 Game Designer
Staff Programmer
Web Game Programmer
Level Editor
GUI Designer
Storyboard Artist
Graphic Designer

The typical stereotype scenario of  people creating games  in a basement has been quiet for some time as I am aware of, though in a way, There are many kinds of specialised art areas that take on a specific role, such as concept artist, environment artist, vehicle is a typical titles that many people are aware off, though at times now there will be artist within the job role of a character artist for example that one guy might work on modeling and the other on texturing, which in a way, can be good or bad in my opinion. 

So there are
Creative Manager
Art Director
Lead Artist
Concept Artist 
Vehicle Artist
Environment Artist
Character Artist
Technical Artist
3D modellers 

and more

A good website for seeing any employability 

A great website of news a round the world of the industry.

So how does all this affect me? Well it has broaden my scope of specific areas and roles if I wish to  choosen to go into. Though at the present moment, I believe to be a jack of all trades, knowing as much as you can in time of our training getting a feel to what connects to you best and what you believe yours 'key' strengths are. Though to only purely be good at one thing, is my opinion is quite of a limitation in a way. The person who knows a lot more and modestly good at everything and probably not as fine tuned as the guy good one thing, can exceed more, when given the chance if he does put more time in one of the areas he wishes to improve then he has much other wealth of information and skills across a broad range that he can put into and  improve that aspects, like everything can be connected and transferable.

Though it can be hard to explain in my opinion what is better, because it's down on the individual because anyone can exceed well in either being and feeling better to know more and do more or other people feel better in specifically  and enjoying one thing and becoming as good as they can in that.

Me personally I am an all-rounder kind of guy, pretty balance, though without me trying and knowing a certain thing, I don't think I could improve as much as I could in another area. For example, if I didn't do 3D modeling, I wouldn't create and train my brain to understand see things in 3D (maybe) and as well learning 3D technical terms, this enables me to transfer that language across when  I do my 2D drawing/ painting.

However, I am enjoying experimenting at this stage and it is wise to narrow down in a way and use your strengths that will get you a job in the industry, but never reflect the weakness you might have and if you have time, build them up to the strengths of your other skills.

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