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  • Biography
    Strive towards improving as a gamer and equally as an artist and game story writer.
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    United States
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    Gaming, Art, Internet, Strength Training
  • Occupation
    Game Artist
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  1. The impact of 3D has been everlasting in gaming, and more than likely this is the reason why many have gotten into game art and design. Although playing 3D video games today is amazing the process behind it can be tedious and sometimes even frustrating. In this article I’m going to briefly summarize how you could create 3D Game Models using any animation software. The process of creating a three-dimensional character or object that is later put into a game sounds exciting (as it is), but in reality it is a static creation cycle similar to how an architect would create a building or design a city. Before you start the real video game work you define shapes, objects, and sizes and then proceed to insert your colors and textures. Of course everything comes “alive” once you insert the models into the game, because this is the part where the game starts taking its true form. But to create any model in the first place you will need animation software. Some Popular 3D Modeling Software Applications: 1.) Maya- Considered to be the application at the helm in industry work today, especially in larger video game studios. Like 3Ds Max it’s professional and also used to make other media forms like movies; the student version or scaled down version is the most affordable. 2.) 3Ds Max- As mentioned above, 3Ds Max is also popular in the game making world, and you could even say it’s widely known for competing with Maya. 3.) Blender- Open source and completely free software package with great abilities, a good start for someone with no budget. A generic overview to creating your Model: 1.) Much like your own body your bones and joints define how you move; this is what makes up the first step in the 3D modeling process, designing a skeleton for the model. 2.) Design a texture-less skin and colorless one around the bones and joints. It is not meant for appearances, just to see how your model will look in shape. 3.) Adding in detail is the next step, and this occurs as you color in the skin to get the look you want. Then you complete it by adding in necessary parts like eyes, clothes, etc. 4.) Telling the model how to behave by directing what bones and joints will move in what directions. In 3D modeling software this process saves you time because after you dictate the beginning and end locations, it usually automatically fills in the middle steps. 5.) Export the model into a video game design software compatible format. Most 3D modeling software programs have this exporting tool built in, and are able to export to a variety of formats for game development. In short, creating a 3D game model is not a hard process, but still not a brain dead easy one; it takes dedication and a learning curve to work over. Once this is accomplished you can do this as a hobby or even do it as a profession. Nevertheless, it will take practice, persistence and developing creative talents as an artist.
  2. What are the reasons people choose to follow a path in the video game industry? For the most part it’s the familiarity with the games they grew up with; in my case, I really enjoyed the Sega Genesis and Nintendo 64 and the classic games they etched into history. The reasons may vary from being a devote fan to video games, art, or you’re your favorite video game characters. Often, the same people who enjoyed games growing up may realize they now have a chance to create and ignite change in the same industry responsible for years of excitement. Yet, with a passion for games it’s also important to know that developing and/or having multiple skills is a great advantage to have if you want a job in the gaming industry. This may come as a surprise to many people but positions in a video game studio are meant to be flexible. For example, a director may be responsible for helping the flow of creation in managing the workers involved, but may also possess the art skills or programming skills needed to handle certain emergency situations. Key skills that help aid personal or portfolio development are centered on computer programming, design, good writing skills and of course being an artistic individual. To give a clearer view on game design and an option as to the aspects of game design, I will try breaking down the topic into several areas so that you can see which ones you could excel at or are interested in. Game Concept Design Concept design is an early phase and is done primarily by writers and game concept specialists. This is the area where game ideas are thrown around and ultimately the foundation is established. The writers and concept specialists are responsible to create parameters for the game, such as the overall goal or objective in the game, and what type of skills will be used throughout. Most people have a game idea they would like to share or develop, and so those having an awesome game idea, or if just interested in improving upon some games you’ve played this is the area in the industry to become acquainted with. Also the game play and rules fall under the concept area, since no video game can be played without guidelines or rules. The rules and guidelines though come with their own problems and are quite complex, and so another available field is for designers who are good at understanding and applying these regulations as well as developing new ones in a creative and rational fashion. Layout and 3D Modeling If someone enjoys Photo manipulation, Computer Aided Drafting, Design, and artwork then they would most likely enjoy working in layout and design. There are companies that even hire people strictly to do characters or backgrounds for games in order to give a game a certain style or in a way personality. This is the area that gives most games a distinctive look and feel throughout, while other games may just be dull and lifeless because they are lacking a distinctive touch. It’s this distinction in look that inspires a great fan following. To get more specific in regards to layout and 3D modeling, there is the process of object placement which is primarily associated with the proper placement of objects that may be significant in having special powers, revealing a secret to advancement, or providing a key to the next level. Larger companies are usually at the helm of hiring people to work on extremely specific tasks such as object placement; a sub-category branch in game design. Plot Development and Scripting An area in video games that is very important and known to the player but is sometimes overlooked or not fully developed in games is the scripting and plot development. Scripting refers to the dialogue of the characters in complex games, and this alone can either make or break the game because although games focus on game play it is the dialogue that provides the story telling and forward direction in a game. Therefore, unrealistic or awkward scripting can prevent a game from succeeding or even being published, since this aspect is so crucial and central to the design of the game. Scripting in video games could be compared to the writing of a movie script, so having great writing skills while understanding dialogue is necessary to have. Plot development is equally if not more important than scripting, because the plot in a video game may be incidental to the action. Plotting the game right moves the story forward, and relies heavily on having an understanding of how human nature, character, and motives work. A challenge in plot development for video games is that it should be able to keep the player excited, interested, and driven to complete the game, and so the plot should follow an interesting thread, but also make sense. Video game design isn’t linear or static, but a complex and evolving media, and so attaining diverse skill sets is required not only for being open to a number of diverse job positions, but to ensure longevity in the industry as well. To help with having more skills, there are art colleges and online programs that offer specialized degrees that would enable someone to combine various disciplines ; such as scripting, art, story development, or 3D art, and into one degree. Doing a degree of this type would save you time and money and would also increase the chances of getting hired by a studio.
  3. Video games are amongst the most successful forms of media; basically we all grew up on them, playing Atari (or Nintendo/Sega) as kids. Then Nintendo 64 & Sony Playstation 2 came along and now most of that generation is older and wants to get behind the process; like film fanatics wanting to direct. However, to get into the game industry; and succeed once you’re in, means you should develop a range of skills, and master one (the saying “the power of one” means there is more strength in one main skill then in skimming multiple) that is to your liking. Today’s employers are looking for a strong portfolio of work from game artists and designers alike. The twist to the entire concept of making it into the industry is that it’s not all about your portfolio or even your work experience. Video games are mostly developed in intensive team environments, and so increasingly every year employers are looking for excellent communicators, both in writing and verbally. To stress this, you have to understand the power of teamwork, since you have to work well with others if you want to create a breakthrough game or any game at all by that matter. Also, it’s very common to see people who want to get into the industry because they “just love video games”. There are a lot of people in the “love” category, but you also should have a deep understanding of game genres and can knowledgeably express yourself about the nuances of either the gameplay or art direction. So some general qualifications recruiters are looking for in top candidates: Game Artist: -Handle different art styles & have a strong portfolio that could showcase a few strengths. - Be familiar with 3d production tools like 3DSMax or Maya. - Got to have an eye for lighting, surface detail, and color if your interested in texture art. - Be ready to handle criticism; giving or taking, and prepare yourself (if not already having) the ability to work in a team environment. Game Designer: - Be organized and communicate well (both written and verbally) - Have a good knowledge about game genres, and design philosophy, and constantly educate yourself about it. - Of course have a passion for games, but also a vision and passion for the process of making them. - Any kind of previous contribution to an already existing product, this could range from a “mod”, school project, or (if already in the industry) a previous retail product. Knowing your audience and console will make or break your game, so 3 key questions to keep in mind if you want to be a professional Game Designer: What does the player do? Who’s this game designed for? What platform is this game going to run on? In short, the Game Industry is booming, but like any other industry your longevity and success ultimately comes down to who you are as a person, networking with other individuals, and “what else can you contribute to the team, studio, and industry?” If you want to succeed be passionate about video games and art/design for itself and not for big money or fame.
  4. Hi, my name is Nick. The Game Industry can be very difficult to get into these days. The key to making it is attaining a diverse background in gaming knowledge, and understanding various software packages. Programs such as Maya, Photoshop, and 3dsMax are at the helm of the industry and are great to know for developing a portfolio or getting further into your business or hobby. In succeeding as a digital artist it’s vital to broaden your knowledge in regards to traditional skill, technology, and creativity. I hope to be of help to others in understanding digital art and the game industry. Thanks for having me here, Nick B.
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