Oh Where Oh Where Has Our Dear Tiger Gone

So I hear there’s been some audio news over on the ArenaNet blog. Truth be told I haven’t had time to read and watch (blasphemy, I know!)  But it goes without saying that ArenaNet’s audio team are supremely talented artists in their own right and that the soundscape of Guild Wars 2 is rich, varied, interesting, and every bit as beautiful as the visual artwork of the rest of the game.

I’ve been super busy, and not busy playing other games. I have been poking at Minecraft and League of Legends, but mostly because they are quick affairs that don’t encourage me to continue playing for hours on end.

I make no secret of my desire to enter the games industry. I have a Bachelor’s degree in media arts and animation and by chance I landed in advertising. But my heart belongs to 3D work, so this is ultimately not where I want to be. What’s been taking my time so much lately are drastic steps toward my ultimate goal: Work for a great company, preferably in the game development capitol of America, Seattle.

ArenaNet looks like a fantastic company, and their art department is second to none. They are definitely on my list of “places at which I want to work” (I actually have a list, I’m not some kind of starry-eyed idiot. My backup plans have backup plans), but I have no illusions that I can just walk in the door, proclaim myself a fan and an artist, and get the keys to Tyria. If I want to get to my goals I’m going to have to work for it. I’m going to have to work my ass off.

Hence me being busy. Part of my strategy is talking big, performing bigger, getting advice from the super-awesome, and diving head-first into award-winning mod projects. That indie company I was going to do work for collapsed. I took about a day to be mad and moody about it then I turned right back around and shot for the moon — and landed.

It’s still early days, and things with this group might still crumble to nothing (unlikely) or they might decide I’m not actually the droid they were looking for (more likely). But as I’ve said before, everything I do, I do to better myself. If I were to be released from this project this instant I would still come out ahead: more determined, more persistent, single-minded, and most importantly more hungry for that mountaintop.

Success goes to the most talented. Talent isn’t awarded by luck, it’s earned by relentless perseverance in the face of constant failure. I choose to play charr because of their relentless nature and ferocity. They don’t accept defeat. Seize the day? No, I will rip it… from life’s teeth.

Bonus for putting up with all this navel-gazing: An old WoW buddy of mine commissioned a logo for his beer brewing blog, I’m going to be livestreaming the painting of it tomorrow morning. I’ll make sure to put up a shout-out on twitter.

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  • Comments (4)
    • Borx
    • August 5th, 2011

    You don’t think just going in and being gutsy will work? D: There goes my game plan. I also want to work for ANet one day, but don’t have the benefit of any education besides what I’ve learned myself. I’ve been a part of quite a few indie game projects myself and most of the time they fall apart or don’t go anywhere, but regardless they’re worth your time because there’s always the chance it will turn into something big and practice never hurts. Good luck with the new project!
    Now I need to go rethink my strategy for getting hired at ANet…

      • Tigerfeet
      • August 5th, 2011

      I don’t think a formal education is as important as educational institutions would have you think. From my experience most employers want EITHER education OR experience, and experience usually gets more weight especially if you can boast shipped titles.

      Walking in and being gutsy is what got me into this mod project, so I’m pretty sure attitude really helps 😀

    • Ben K
    • August 8th, 2011

    I agree about formal education. Most of what you need in the video and video games industries is a good skill set, because there’s a much greater shortage of people who can work a 3D program or draw/paint well than there is in people who can come up with a good idea. It’s certainly worth looking at some art theory to expand your horizons a little, but all that material is freely available.

    The most important thing is to put some effort into it and find good contacts. Apathy caused me to fail my final year of art school, but I managed to get some leads in the right places to still be working as a 3D artist with regular hours after three years.

    Indie game projects are a good idea. However, try to join one that has a small, coherent, achievable vision. Most of them bite off way more than they can chew and fall apart when their crew feels like nothing’s going to happen.

    If you’re going into formal education, ask the companies you imagine working for where they get their graduates. ArenaNet sources a lot of theirs from a local Seattle art school, and their concept art team does guest ‘appearances’ in Seattle as well.

      • Tigerfeet
      • August 8th, 2011

      Yes yes! Excellent points ben!

      If you do decide to go shopping for a school don’t listen to what the schools themselves tell you (they lie). Go to companies, tell them that this is something you want to do and ask them for recommendations about schools. The school I went to made all kinds of promises that turned out to be false, the most glaring one was that they taught Maya as well as 3D Studio Max. Apparently ‘teaching Maya’ means having it installed on one machine in the entire building. Pffft

      To that end, if you’re interested in artwork I would say it’s MORE important to learn good artistic foundations like color theory, anatomy, etc. Learn first how to DRAW WELL. Software is being constantly developed and upgraded, so you can always teach new software to an artist, it’s not so easy to teach art.

      If you’re interested in Animation, the one book I recommend picking up is called the Animator’s Survival Kit. I think it’s the one book from college I decided to hang onto.

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