80 Level Podcast

Visual Language in Games with Massive Black - 80 Level Podcast

November 09, 2022 Kirill Tokarev / Melissa Lee Season 2 Episode 14
80 Level Podcast
Visual Language in Games with Massive Black - 80 Level Podcast
Show Notes Transcript

Melissa Lee, President of Massive Black (one of the leading art outsourcing studios) has joined the 80 Level Podcast. We’ve talked about the creative challenges, the changes visual art in video games has undergone throughout the years, and its influence on the game’s perception.

Massive Black Website: https://massiveblack.com/

Melissa Lee is a President at Massive Black
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissalee3/

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0:00

foreign [Music]


0:06

don't do kind of very big large intros but maybe you could do


0:12

like a little bit tell us a little bit about yourself about a company what you guys do


0:19

and then we kind of get started from there yeah um so I'm Melissa from Master block I'm


0:28

the CEO I've spent my entire career over at NASA black I've overseen pretty much


0:34

every project that's come in through the studio and I kind of focus on helping develop


0:40

the creative end and process as well as maintaining relationships and


0:47

fostering kind of the creative spirit um massive black itself has been around


0:54

for about 20 years we're one of the first art Outsourcing Studios


0:59

um in the video game industry uh we've gone through many inceptions


1:05

um throughout our lifetime we used to run a website conceptart.org which kind of


1:11

helped Foster teaching and community


1:18

I remember conceptual.org like it's like I think it was concept art dot org then


1:24

it was a CG society and then we got art


1:30

station and suddenly everybody was just using that so


1:35

I've got like a very broad question for you but since you've been doing this for your whole career


1:42

um I think you have an opinion so uh and I have this argument constantly


1:48

when I'm talking with people who are more on like an engineering side


1:54

uh and I'm trying to explain that uh like art is important if you're building


2:00

a game you know what I mean um my question is like how do you reason


2:06

if it's a technical person and if it's like a person that's really like maybe a money person they don't really


2:12

understand they're not really into museums and stuff um how do you explain to them that art


2:18

is important if you want to make a game successful if you want a game that's gonna be you know attractive for


2:26

customers and just kind of fun to play yeah


2:31

[Music] um art we're visual people or visual beings


2:36

um I don't know about you but when I go to the store and when I buy things whether it's like wine or


2:43

um anything really when I look at is the packaging right like what label do I really like that kind of draws me in


2:50

um art in itself it sets the visual tone and emotion of anything and so if you


2:56

don't have that if you can't explain that to a Layman how are you going to sell or Market it


3:03

um it's funny we did some work with a client and what


3:12

we did a lot of was pitches just really big visual stuff so they had a problem they wanted to sell something and they


3:18

would come to us and we would just make these beautiful pictures and they told us I would give you all of my budget if


3:25

I could because you just keep the money flowing in because it allows people the


3:31

money people especially to understand like what our vision is because if you give them code you give them lines and


3:36

paragraphs it's so much to kind of go through and take in that like you just


3:42

want to look at something pretty and go oh yes I get it I feel that I understand that emotion


3:49

I think like a very good uh kind of illustration to what you're saying is a


3:55

story of how the pitched BioShock so when when can Levine like they did I


4:01

think they were doing like System Shock and he was kind of known for those immersive Sims and they had to go to I


4:08

guess it was take two and to kind of sell this vision of the underwater uh whatever like City and all the like


4:16

atrocities that were happening there and they what they did they got like a corridor so it was like a vertical slide


4:23

there was nothing there it was like a corridor some like something in the like an


4:29

aquarium thing like a big Villa on the other side was like ocean some


4:35

something and there was like water dripping and the lighting was kind of going like flashy and it was like a very


4:40

dark Moody car and we just walked for like maybe a couple of seconds it wasn't like even like anything there was like


4:46

no gameplay it was you just walk like through this and uh they they showed this demo and it was


4:53

kind of sold to take to and they said like okay we're 2k games like um we're gonna do it and uh that's kind


4:59

of like a good illustration right because which is saying I think really resonates with our audience because you see


5:08

um when you're seeing games for the first time mostly you're seeing you know


5:13

you've seen art there's like a lot of stuff on the screen like if you see Uncharted it's it's also like closer to


5:21

the movie now right and the you don't really understand like how it's gonna jump or how it's gonna shoot and that


5:27

kind of thing but this kind of connection brings me to another question that I think is super


5:34

important and for you since you've been doing these art services for a while


5:39

[Music] um I I want us to kind of contemplate on the idea of like a visual language in a


5:46

game like when I think like a visual language in a game I think about


5:52

um I mean personally like I think about games like Mirror's Edge for example or


5:58

um some others right where it's just the artistic part of it is


6:03

just so important for everything else or let's say um it was a game like that uh


6:08

Army of Two so there were like two guys remember and they had this iconic look


6:14

with these masks um talk a little bit about that and explain like what does it even mean to


6:20

have like a visual language and why is it so important for for games to have


6:25

one because so many games do look alike like they were like made in the same


6:31

Factory so how do you avoid that um well again I mean visuals they set


6:36

the tone into motion right so depending on what you set is really going to carry


6:41

throughout um with Kanan Lynch you know um it's if you had them in sort of like


6:48

a cartoony style that same emotion would not be there right um you look at something like


6:53

Borderlands which kind of went the opposite of where everything else went right it's got this kind of like graphic


6:58

novel come to life um it just it really it's all about


7:04

emotion it's all about the tone of things um it's funny because


7:11

I would agree that art is not the most important thing about a game


7:17

um but it is the thing that people talk about first it's the thing that people see first right it's


7:24

it's gonna grab you to want to play the game right you don't know what the gameplay mechanics are you don't know


7:29

what the engineering is but you look at it box art and you go oh I want to be that character or like this


7:36

looks really cool right and and that's what grabs you and what makes you want to play it


7:43

and I I think yeah yeah I I think it's uh what you're saying is basically has


7:49

been around in games since like forever because um we often talk with developers and


7:56

before that you had to have like a very catchy box art because games were all digital and they were like pretty like


8:03

they were cardboard boxes you had to go to the store and get them and if you liked what's on the on the front and on


8:10

the back then you kind of made a decision like and spent like whatever like 60 bucks or 50 bucks now I think


8:17

that kind of all goes to against I guess like a steam screenshot


8:23

or like an uh even yeah yeah or something did I eat myself by talking about box art


8:29

no that's okay like we had like a sea level podcast I guess it looks so everybody


8:36

um let's not talk about that so um my question is like um when you're


8:43

um when you're deciding on choosing a specific style when you're deciding on talking with your client about word


8:50

direction do you want to take um how do they make this Choice like do you


8:56

make this choice for them or do they just come with references and it's


9:02

interesting to learn about this creative process like how does this exchange work and how do you guys help kind of shape


9:08

this Vision right um I think it might answer really specific they know


9:14

the kind of art style that they want so they come to us with a bunch of um and so we kind of take that and we


9:20

mold it to what we can given their technical capabilities other clients uh


9:26

really want to explore kind of the breath from like super stylized to Super realistic and


9:32

again they figure out what what that tone is that they want to set and they kind of pick from there I think a lot of


9:37

it is really dictated by um the technical capabilities though right because you really can't do


9:45

something like super photo real on like a little mobile device so you have to kind of cheat things


9:51

um but all in all it really depends on what


9:57

the story is and what the tone is that you want to set I mean it just I feel


10:02

like a broken record here but it really does just kind of go back to that feeling so let's kind of switch gears a little


10:10

bit and talk a little bit about your uh business in particular so you're doing


10:15

um arting games and you've been doing this like for a while and I mean not trying to emphasize anything


10:22

but um the question is um how do you


10:27

stay afloat in this very competitive uh business because I know


10:34

are in games I mean I can go online I can you know just simple Google search


10:39

is going to give me like hundreds if not thousands of companies from like Malaysia China Ukraine Russia uh you


10:48

know Australia anywhere I have friends like probably all over the globe and they're doing art Outsourcing how do you


10:55

stay afloat how do you make sure that you have a business and you know you can


11:00

pay salary you take a profit how does it work like what's the secret sauce I don't know if there is a secret sauce


11:07

I think what it boils down to is we genuinely love what we do we are visual


11:13

beings we love we love consuming media so we explore it and


11:21

from that we have a greater understanding of what it is and honestly a lot of it is we've built relationships


11:27

over our 20 years so we have old clients and old friends that you know call us up and they go start a new game studio and


11:33

they're like hey what are you guys doing can you help us out with this um so it's a lot of really old


11:38

connections uh that we kind of just keep around because we tend to do good work


11:46

so when you are talking about the clients that you have uh and maybe new


11:52

clients um did you see any change over those years like when people first started


11:59

working with you and how they're working with you now I'm I'm not talking just about how much they trust you in terms


12:05

of like you know creative decisions but overall do you feel like maybe tastes are a


12:12

changing or requests are getting more elaborate that kind of stuff yeah


12:18

um so when we started it Outsourcing was completely new and a lot of Studios honestly didn't know what to do or how


12:24

to work and so we were kind of building this thing together um and it was a little haphazard right


12:30

you had to work with an art director and an in-house team and like how does that balance


12:35

um now things are way more regimented everybody understands kind of the process where you want to be so that's


12:40

fantastic in terms of taste they have completely changed in the past you know


12:45

two decades uh you know I think we started out with very big breasted women


12:51

like so many superhero Heights all you know and it was basically all white


12:56

white male white female um now you have just like a plethora of


13:02

different characters that you can choose from you know nobody wants the big breasted woman anymore they want


13:08

something a little bit more realistic they want all different shapes and sizes all different colors


13:13

um it's much much more inclusive and it's super exciting to see


13:19

so you mentioned about this um kind of idea how characters changed


13:25

and how spaces change but um correct me if I'm wrong right but


13:31

there are some periods in time when people kind of tend to think the same in


13:38

terms of how they see the art in games like if you you probably remember like when they need the like PlayStation 2


13:46

generation kind of ended Xbox one generation and we had we got like PlayStation 3


13:52

uh an Xbox and they got Gears of War and I think there was like Killzone and


13:58

resist resistance on Playstation platforms and I mean if you take those two games like resistant kills on you


14:04

you maybe slash them into a trailer together and add even if you add some


14:10

Gears of War or or although like stylistically and gameplay-wise there are different games they do look an


14:15

awful lot the same like right there's like a lot of brown there was like even memes and jokes about it and


14:22

um I'm trying to understand like how does this happen it's like why do people


14:28

make these choices where it's obvious that it's like it's not for the good or


14:34

the title it's just like you know is it like a trend or like it's yeah I think


14:39

it's reflective of society right I think something hits and a lot of times um you know developers and Publishers go


14:45

oh this is really cool like let's do it like this I don't know how many times


14:52

um we have been asked to concept Sawyer from Lost you know and like as as an artist and


14:58

contractor you have to make Sawyer look different every single time because you can't give them the same person


15:05

um you know so it really it's it's what's hot and what's new and so people grab on they're like oh this sells


15:14

I think now though um there's so much media out there that


15:20

it's not quite so one track right there is a lot more


15:26

variety whereas before you know everything was kind of gatekeeped you know you had box art get to go to the


15:31

store and buy stuff um things were a lot more expensive and so you


15:37

only had a sliver of certain media content that was really big and because


15:42

of our different streaming methods like there's so much stuff that's coming in that there's just much more variety


15:50

I I kind of have like an like you talk about variety right um because I like you said like the


15:57

information like the visual information field around you really


16:02

became bigger I guess right so you would probably go to movies uh watch some


16:08

Saturday night cartoons or Saturday like afternoon cartoons right and then it


16:13

would shape your kind of understanding of what the vision is but now you have a lot of references you have different


16:19

stuff and I guess my favorite example is when um they show this uh show squid game on


16:26

Netflix where they have like those jumpsuits and the PlayStation logo for


16:32

like their their masks and uh then if you if you dissect it right you see that


16:39

there are references from like another Netflix show right and uh you know in a


16:44

PlayStation icon graphics and stuff like that and you mentioned like you had to do Sawyer from Lost like for hundreds


16:51

and tough times which I guess is like in just like an average uh kind of rugged


16:57

uh male character like America because they don't really know like they can go outside probably if you've got to be


17:03

Sawyer and my question is like when you're when you're working with these references


17:09

when you're trying to uh get this or that how do you not kind of repeat yourself like that's the biggest uh


17:16

question I guess every artist has right how do you not make like another whatever like how do you bring some


17:22

personality to it or change it and make it your own yeah


17:30

really you know you know just um because of legal reasons obviously but uh you


17:37

you don't want everything to be the same and so as a company we've always tried even with the same references to like


17:45

change things out slightly or differently but give them the general you know rugged Man


17:51

um but I think it's honestly it's probably just


17:57

a matter of like artist Integrity right and and and wanting something different and wanting change


18:02

um it is a unique challenge to be able to draw the same thing in a hundred


18:08

different ways so when you talk about this like the


18:14

same thing in a hundred different ways so um how do you manage this with a team of


18:22

creatives because I know a lot of guys who work at companies let's say like wargaming or somebody who's doing


18:29

like uh I'm not gonna name like the companies but they're doing like a series about a certain


18:34

like action game and it's basically the same action game every couple of years and they're just get tired of like you


18:41

know doing tanks or they're tired of uh creating hard surface for guns or like


18:47

how many materials for metal do you need them to create or like asphalt or


18:53

something right um the the question is like how do you how do you try to manage them and uh


18:59

especially an Outsource company what are like the levels that you use to


19:05

push them in this direction the other direction so they don't kind of burn out


19:14

we let them be creative right we let them be


19:19

themselves so we're not going to push somebody who really loves it only does characters to do like environments or


19:27

tanks for example um we want to be able to nurture who they are and play to their strengths so


19:34

that they produce something that inspires and informs and something that they can be proud of


19:39

um and it's really about knowing who they are


19:45

and having open communication with them and and not making them do that piece of art


19:53

that they don't want right and you can tell when an artist is struggling after the fifth iteration that the art


19:58

director is like hey change this and you're they're just like oh my God you know and you have to like let them step


20:05

back have somebody else come take it you know and have have a breath to just


20:10

settle down and regenerate their creative juices um but we really just try to kind of


20:15

find the best fit so it's like uh this is I guess is the


20:21

art of management right because you need to find kind of the right person for the right job and


20:28

um I'm gonna give you another an example so I work with designers but the designers


20:34

who do like you know web stuff and you know they do like banners for


20:40

for 80 level and they do them they do them and then suddenly one day they say like oh I can't do this anymore like I'm


20:46

not going to work for you and I'm like why like in my uh like in my uh Universe


20:52

it's like well yeah it's like repetitive maybe it's not the most creative stuff but it pays like and you probably do it


20:59

faster right so you don't really spend that much time but that those guys they're like they just don't want to do


21:05

it they're like very particular about because it's I like I guess from my


21:10

perspective that's not I'm not really that super creative right and for me it's just work right and for those guys


21:16

they're like oh no it's like how do you work with that like it seems like the most Anti you know um


21:25

not really something that you can manage it's like the passion or your own inner feelings or like


21:31

I mean I it I think it has to do I agree with passion


21:37

um we always try to keep the lines of communication open right so you know


21:43

with your designer if he would have come to you and been like hey this is really bogging me down like it's it's really


21:50

killing my creative juices like is there something we can do you know um for our artists you know we've had to


21:57

step in with an art director client and our artist and be like you know what's going on how are you feeling are you


22:04

okay with this process and trying to work it out with the art director and be like hey this is not really working like


22:10

can we try something else maybe it is the art director is um expecting


22:15

something different right so their expectations aren't being matched um our artists expectations aren't being


22:22

matched um and and at that point you kind of step back and go okay well if this really isn't working out then let's step


22:28

back and try and move on right find a different fit figure out a different process


22:35

because our goal is really just to make everybody happy at the end of the day right you get happy artists you get


22:41

great work you get happy clients you get more work so when you mentioned this


22:49

um kind of relationship between art director and an artist and


22:55

um how does this work so it's not really


23:01

full of conflict right how do you make sure that it's not they're fighting each other because I know they're a very good


23:08

uh like high level guys who can create you know high level Concepts like the


23:14

guy who uh Jan van Derby who created The Horizon zero Dawn thing like he did this the the


23:22

concept and but he's like a very strong art director in terms of he really


23:28

understands and knows what he wants so he can communicate to an artist that you


23:34

know in in his in his style that this was not really what I wanted you need to


23:40

redo it and he can do it all over the place like like on the Concept side on


23:45

the material side like in substance designer on the modeling and all the other stuff so when they found this guy


23:52

who created the you know those moving dinosaurs for them like the robotic dinos that was like it was a very good


23:57

fit right but what if there is like not really that much of a fit and you still


24:03

have those frictions and how do you make sure that they don't kill each other so to speak


24:09

um it boils down to communication you know you can find a really great artist that you look at their work and you're


24:15

like this person is going to be the perfect fit I know it and then you get them together and it is just


24:23

gas and fire right like it just does not match and and it really boils down to


24:29

communication you talk to them and you go what's what's wrong you know is there something we can fix is there something we can mitigate and if not then you just


24:37

part ways right because having to try and fit those pieces together it's just


24:42

going to be an explosion there's no magic sauce yeah yeah do you


24:49

guys in your company do you just do art or do you work on like other areas as


24:55

well like do you help with tech do you help with other elements how does that work yeah so we mainly do art and um and


25:04

everything art but since we've been around for about 20 years now um you know we can help out with pretty


25:10

much anything we have contacts uh that work in engineering and game design


25:16

um we work with uh a client for a few years in like really quick prototypes


25:22

from start to finish um so we have the ability to technically do full development if needed


25:30

do you feel like this uh full development cycle did it become easier to do over the


25:38

years not just like with experience but did the tools become more accessible or


25:44

maybe some others changed yeah yeah I think the tools have become much more accessible


25:51

um you know you have a bunch of free tools some are really expensive still but there is a bunch of


25:59

um like procreate right you don't really need Photoshop it's great to have but you know you can


26:05

still draw and use your computer or your tablet um even with like the VR stuff


26:12

it's Leaps and Bounds has improved the development process


26:19

when when you talk about the tech that's becoming more accessible one of the


26:24

topics that kind of comes up over and over again especially in the recent six


26:30

months is the question of metaverse so we all talk about


26:36

um they even asked me this question like what's the better first going to be like probably the person or the further the


26:44

furthest away from the better verse um idea in general but um with tools kind of being more


26:52

accessible with content being more accessible like with libraries like the Adobe libraries or even like


26:59

the mega scans libraries in the real engine um how do you see


27:05

this virtual space thing developed in the future do you feel like you're going to be Outsourcing for you


27:12

know metaverse companies in the future or maybe you already are us and uh how


27:18

do you think it's going to change this look at kind of Art in general and like


27:24

virtual art like in games and just in experiences and digitally


27:30

yeah um reverse uh I definitely think it'll be a


27:37

thing right um I mean face or meta is putting in what


27:43

30 billion into it um to make sure that it's a thing


27:48

um in terms of the way it looks I don't know that it'll be much


27:56

different from what we see today in terms of our visuals right there's a lot of capabilities that you could do


28:03

digitally AR VR that you can't do say like watching a TV screen or watching


28:08

your computer screen and so those things are really exciting um


28:14

but I think the thing with the metaverse is


28:19

it's not going to be real until we can get it into everybody's hands right like


28:25

right now there is a gate of Entry to be able to go into it you need this device you need a fast computer


28:32

um and it is honestly kind of clumsy right you can take your meetings in the


28:40

metaverse but like if you have a cup of coffee that you're drinking in real life you cannot drink that while you have


28:45

your headset on um you know I think a really great example is something like YouTube YouTube really wasn't a thing until


28:53

everybody got their smartphones and could watch and download videos off of YouTube right and and that's when like


28:59

it kind of exploded and it was this Central Language now Everybody Knows YouTube everybody


29:05

watches YouTube my kids will watch YouTube on our TV um


29:11

so I don't I do think it'll be a thing I think it's


29:16

a ways away you know I think Mark Zuckerberg even said five to ten years and I think 10 is probably more likely


29:22

there's a lot of work that needs to be done in you know the technical side of things


29:29

so last question about metaverse do you think it's going to be more realistic or kind of like Zuckerberg Vision like very


29:36

stylized Nintendo V kind of like avatars and that


29:41

kind of stuff and it'll be both honestly I think um it'll it'll cater to the taste of people and some of us like very


29:49

realistic things other of us like kind of weird crazy out of this world stuff


29:55

um you know personally I'm pretty excited to see like how crazy we can get


30:00

with it because why else would you be in a virtual world if you could just sit and drink coffee


30:07

yeah I feel like this is uh it's more like a philosophical question right how


30:13

do you want to spend your time do you want to be like a digital reality or somewhere or just one the problem is


30:20

some for some people maybe digital reality is going to be much more you know interesting than how they spend


30:26

their time like day to day um I have another question kind of


30:32

connected with technology not really connected with the metaverse and that's the question we get a lot uh on our


30:38

especially in the last year so you have probably seen all of that AI


30:45

generated art like the the most recent one I've seen was probably when they did uh reimagining of Lords of the Rings and


30:53

it was like those like Grand alfian kind of castles and it looks


31:00

um very different like let's say this way like um when you talk with your team members


31:07

when you talk with Junior guys uh what do you tell them like how do you


31:12

make sure that they don't feel like this is gonna you know this is the end it's like they do they're no longer needed


31:18

and the dolly is gonna do all the work for them


31:24

um that's a really good question AI


31:31

I think can go so far right um I don't think


31:38

it just doesn't have kind of that human nuance um


31:43

we have worked with some companies actually feeding images to Ai and


31:49

machine learning and the whole time we're like we're just putting ourselves out of a job you know but like


31:55

um there are just aspects that a computer


32:01

can't pick up right if you want like a you


32:06

know a scene set in at the Eiffel Tower with you know people drinking coffee etc


32:12

etc they'll get the general things for sure right and they can do a really great job at that but there are little


32:17

things in the scene the atmosphere all of that that will need an artist's hand um and so you know


32:28

I don't I think that AI will be a thing for sure for companies who are looking


32:34

to do things quickly and cheaply um but I think overall you know


32:41

people are still going to want that human touch and you know the human instinct


32:48

we talk about AI in in kind of Our Generation right so when they're like neural networks build something but


32:55

they're also using AI in to process photographs like when I have


33:05

like a camera and stuff like I told in the beginning like I uh I do like home videos with my daughter and I really


33:11

love them but I uh I had I had a situation where I


33:16

looked at the Google photos and I saw like a picture of me and I thought wow that's such a great


33:22

picture like the the camera really paid off until I understood that this was actually my wife and she took the photo


33:30

with her phone and I was at the picture with the cameras


33:35

and that kind of brings me into another kind of observation I guess is when


33:41

currently like in China and in us they're doing a lot of research where


33:46

let's say you go to a specific place um it's a restaurant somewhere right and


33:52

you take a picture and then it all goes to the cloud and in the cloud they kind


33:57

of get down like the the best aperture you know shutter priority ISO and all the other data to make sure that your


34:04

picture kind of looks the best it can in that particular location so it's like


34:10

you know a lot of Technology going into the visual and then you kind of are


34:16

faced with the question is you know is it even real you know like


34:21

what's what is there like even if I take a picture and it's like it's already


34:27

processed and there's like it's not your like your mind's memory


34:33

it's not your eye it's something that's like calculated across the cloud to be like this light speed this yeah you know


34:40

and I when I think about games and we talked about this like and if you go to


34:46

GDC you can hear people talk about this all the time then that games are even if they're like on


34:53

their top realistic level there are still games like Uncharted is


35:00

great but it's not uh reality reality like yes Nathan Drake might look like a


35:06

very handsome man but uh he's not real like the space is like the that they


35:12

have like in Scotland and Uncharted 4. it's awesome but it's not a real kind of


35:17

Scotland and my question is like when you're building art for games and uh how


35:24

do you keep the balance how do you make sure that you're that there is a little bit of reality


35:31

in in the games especially if it's like realistic stuff because like you you


35:36

can't really make you know parking lot that exciting but in games suddenly that's it's all like explosions and like


35:43

Reflections RTX everywhere and it looks like wow a picture so


35:49

um well for you and I who are not artists um you know a parking lot cannot be


35:57

exciting but my husband is an artist and I've spoken to him about how he


36:04

processes like visuals around just looking at stuff and it blows my mind like the different


36:10

nuances that he takes in in terms of like light and shadows and how things play with each other


36:17

um and so I think that's what you have to do when


36:23

you're doing art for video games right because you have to bring in sort of that realness but it's also there for


36:31

entertainment so you have to have a little bit of fun and for us who


36:36

visually like you know I look out and I see you know like a red ball playing


36:42

there you know for him when he looks out he sees the red ball the reflection of the red ball going off of everything


36:48

else the different shadows um and how it kind of plays with the environment


36:54

that's I think what you need to translate and and how we kind of


37:01

make it fun but also realistic but answer your question yeah I mean


37:06

it's art it's kind of lucky we can go any any direction right um


37:12

I we ask our guests especially when they're like in the Helm of the studios


37:17

or they're helping with the hiring to give advice to people who are just


37:23

starting out or who are graduating or who just want to make a change right you know some people work in film they want


37:31

to work in games or you know motion design they want to work in games on something


37:36

um what would you kind of recommend for people who want to do a career in


37:42

games like in terms of the question is like what advice would you give to people who are just starting out or who


37:48

want to change their career and work in games in terms of what kind of skills should they acquire


37:55

how should they work with like the fundamentals like Anatomy the rule of


38:00

thoroughs all that stuff should they even go to an art college or you know do something else maybe go to like a cjma


38:07

course or do something else yeah um


38:13

I would say do what you love right so if you love


38:19

drawing characters focus on that um honestly we love generalists right that can kind


38:26

of do everything but there's so much out there there's so much content out there there's content being put out by amazing


38:32

artists um that you can watch your tutorials and watch your videos I mean even now our


38:37

guys do that right um they find somebody who's really great at


38:43

a different like a program and they'll sit there and they'll just dive into hours and hours of like how to use the


38:49

program what to do make stuff because that's how you're gonna learn


38:57

so it's kind of like all in your own what you're saying like it's all in your own hands like if you want to do it just


39:04

go ahead and do it just say go say go ahead and do it um you know again to reference my husband


39:10

um he went to art college for a little bit uh but he was brought into the games


39:16

didn't know anything and it was just really him kind of figuring it out and


39:22

and doing stuff you know um and this was before we had YouTube before we had


39:27

forums um you know so it took a lot of him like just trying to seek seeking other people


39:33

out and asking questions um we used to have a school


39:39

uh and I've seen artists who should not be artists you know and you see their


39:44

portfolio and you just want to tell them like maybe you should think about another career


39:50

um but they kept at it and now they are senior concept artists at some of the


39:55

most prestigious Studios out there not just in games but also in films


40:00

um and it's just because of their dedication and their passion to do it every single day


40:07

yeah I agree I think it's a great advice actually to because we we all see portfolios of


40:13

people who are just starting out like and they're in school and even if it's like a very good school like a


40:19

traditional kind of like they come up with their first project and it's never you know it's never really that good I


40:26

mean maybe in some schools they do create something AAA stuff I don't know how to do that but


40:32

um I think persistence is the key right if you want to do this work you will just continue to grind and eventually


40:39

something will get be there already you will get to some kind of result all right


40:45

oh I was going to just add one more thing when we look at portfolios we look at


40:51

the breadth of work right like what we want to see is not just your student portfolio that your college gave you to


40:57

do like we want to see that you've taken it on your own and you're doing work aside from that because it shows us this


41:04

passion other than like yes I did this assignment so just a little tip


41:11

all right cool well Melissa I thank you so much for joining us today it was a pleasure we'll add the links to your


41:19

Studio website in the description to our YouTube video uh hopefully if people will find it useful you can go there


41:26

maybe there are some open positions so they can try their luck


41:33

interview for enjoying another episode of the 80 level Roundtable podcast check out


41:39

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41:45

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