I had the opportunity to attend the LAUNCH Future Gaming & Digital Conference 2012 as a volunteer artist for TL Multimedia .
The event was absolutely superb as it was all about networking and hearing what the professional game developers have to say about the industry. I have attended several talks from companies and people like SEGA, Starfire, Codemasters, Microsoft, Playground Games, Vicky Rowley from Acvition Blizzard, Blitz Games Studios etc.
I've tried taking notes from an Environment Artist perspective and to draw the bottom line, I have learned the following:
- I need to tailor my application to the specific job/company I am applying to: this means, if I want to apply as an Env. artist to a company which produces car racing games, then my showreel should show racing tracks and all the assets around it. If I am applying to an RPG game developing company, then outdoor and medieval city models should really be in my showreel.
I also need to study the visual style of the "targeted" company and incorporate that into my showreel.
- My work should look very cinematic. Games nowadays are very much influenced by the film industry. A lot of people from the film industry end up working for game development companies. These people incorporate their cinematic knowledge into the final product, thus you actually feel like your playing through a film. My work has to show that I am aware of this fact and can produce such work.
This is heavily tied in with the color theories I am learning, because that and perspective drawing knowledge are very crucial to making my environments look like they are from a film.
- The games business has grown huge. It is rivaling the film industry, thus it is a massive business nowadays. It's become very profit orientated and being efficient is crucial. I have to be able to produce quality work in the least amount of time possible.
This requires a lot of practice and theory studies to learn what to really focus on during my work and what can be neglected. In the past, my projects were lengthened very much because I was caught up perfecting small details that did not have a huge impact on the final outcome. I need to be aware what the main elements are with every project I receive and use that knowledge to complete the work as quickly as possible.
I've talked to several people during the breaks and have gained some new connections within the industry which I'm very happy about. Here are some of the business cards I was given: