Hello Megan, could you tell us a little bit about your job? Im very interested in all phases of development and I’m just curious about your Environment Artists position.
Environment Art is aptly named. We make everything from the caves to the apples. It’s a wide spread list of things we make, but they all come together to form the environment around you in the game. For example, in Oblivion I made the Cheydinhal houses and their interiors, did world building in those areas with our construction set, and made various other things like the tapestries and the painting supplies, and the door for the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary. We do both the texture work and the 3D modeling, as well as placing it in the actual game world. It’s insanely fun, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
You mentioned my name as well, so I figured I’d go ahead and answer the question.
Basically, I do the same as Megan, but as I am a character artist, I don’t get a chance to touch environmental stuff at all… rather I’m limited to monsters and creature creation… which is actually completely fine by me, I loves that stuff. I basically create 3D monsters and such, and UV Map them and then texture them. I do the whole process with rigging and animation in mind, so I try to keep in mind how the creature will move, etc. It’s fun, I basically create horrific digital puppets!
By the way, Megan is ridiculously good.
*innocently* Are you the one who made the Super mutant? *cough*
Hahah no I did not do the supermutant, I did the giant ant (of which there are no pictures, sorry!). I understand that there’s been controversy over the look of the supermutant… but I personally really like it, and the person who did it (I’ll leave names out for the time being at least) is an extremely formidable artist.. one or two screenshots doesn’t do it justice… the amount of detail is fantastic… further screenshots will hopefully sway ppl’s opinion’s.
Also, do the environmental artists get to think up the monster, and then it is added to the story and the game, or does someone else think up the monster and then you make it from their concept??
The lead artist, concept artist and others go through many reworkings of a certain creature, after it’s placement in the game has been figured out well (so it’s not just: is this thing cool? it’s also, “does this fit the look, feel, story?) Then the drawing is handed to me, and they say “ok make that” and I start modeling! I definitely try to take movement into consideration, and it’s really really fun to invent a whole skeletal and muscular structure to something that is completely fictional.
Why don’t you attend to forums especially to Meet The Devs?
I think we attend to the forums more than you know, but I tend to participate only in the “Meet the Devs” section, as that’s the shallow end of the pool… the deep end being the “why Bethesda is a money-grubbing, soulless dark organization, full of incompetent monkeys bent on destroying the Fallout franchise and everything I hold dear?” section. It’s hard to tread water there for long .
Oh, also, we’re working. In theory at least.
Well I think the detail will be fine, and the models will look great, it’s just that they don’t look Falloutish.
Well you decide what is Falloutish and what’s not from these pics.
Today’s Q&A (questions courtesy of our forums) is with Nathan McDyer. Nate started out as a QA intern, worked his way up to QA tester and is now an associate producer.
1) What’s your job at Bethesda?
I’m an associate producer of content for Bethesda Game Studios. I mostly deal in trying to figure out how to get all the environment and special effects art that people want done in the time allotted. Basically I hammer square pegs into round holes.
2) What prior projects have you worked on?
As an associate producer I’ve worked on Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine. Prior to that, I was a quality assurance tester on Pirates of the Caribbean: Legend of Jack Sparrow, Oblivion, Call of Cthulhu, Airborne Troopers, IHRA Drag Racing 2005, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Bloodmoon.
3) What have you drawn on for inspiration in developing Fallout 3? Books, movies, music, etc would be fine, if you don’t want to name any games.
Obviously Fallout 1 and 2 are the main sources of inspiration. Since I’m more involved in the visual look of the game, I look at movies and comics like The Iron Giant, Mad Max, Children of Men, The Hills Have Eyes, Sky Captain, Metropolis, and Tank Girl (the Jamie Hewlett comic not the terrible movie).
4) How is the work-environment? Is it competitive or co-op? Do the different teams talk together?
Everyone here is a big dork that wants to make great games. It’s awesome.
5) What is your favorite type of game to play (RTS,FPS,RPG etc)
I’m an RTS junkie. There is a boxed copy of Dune 2 sitting in my cube. Right now Dawn of War is my favorite game series. Nothing beats humiliating people by destroying them with a hot pink and lavender space marine army.
6) How long have you been playing Fallout, and how would you describe your feelings towards the franchise?
Unfortunately I got in to Fallout late. I was unemployed and in high school with Fallout 1 and when 2 came out Starcraft had consumed my free time. So my first foray into Fallout wasn’t until about 3 years ago, I picked up the first one had a blast with it. Who knew that MacGuyver could be such an evil ****?[…]
9) What games are you looking forward to on the horizon?
Like Emil, who is my gamerscore rival, I play just about everything. So here’s an abbreviated list of what I want: Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts, Enemy Territory, Bioshock, Mass Effect, GTA IV, Assasin’s Creed, Rock Band, Guitar Hero 3, Call of Duty 4, Blue Dragon, and Team Fortress 2.
10) Other than videogames, what are your interests? (Board games, reading, music, etc)
There are too many hobbies that consume my time and income. I’m currently learning to play bass guitar, I paint and play Hordes tabletop miniature game, I have an ever growing collection of 300+ movies, and I read comics.
11) Have you played the VanBuren Alpha? If so, what were your feelings on it?
Pitch me your dream game in a sentence or less. Go.
Take 28 Days Later, put it on an island city, give it fully destructable environments (Zombies breaking through sheet rock), whatever I can hold can be a weapon, and make me try to survive and escape. My love of Zombies outweighs my love of RTS games.[…]