To be fair, I would say that not every job I've had was really all that bad. In fact, only 2 of them fell into the category I mentioned, and a third one was sort of a draw. The longest job I've ever had, for about 8 years or so, was my second job (I basically quit Li'l Caesars right away) working at a water treatment facility. Everyone was really nice, there. You'd think the work was gross, but it allowed me to put some of those high school science classes to work (my favorite subject in HS, easily). I spent most of the time washing laboratory equipment and autoclaving stuff, though, but they never complained about my thoroughness. In fact, I was really missed when I finally moved on. Easily the best job I've ever had, including the game and animation jobs I've had since. That doesn't sound like it makes sense, does it?
Most people in the game industry don't expect to work in it all their lives, either, as when they get older, they realistically can't keep up what with all the other obligations. That's fine by me, I'd seriously like to do more to help people in need when I get to that point. Plus, I'm already old enough to not be so naive about the game industry as it is.
Helping others does satisfy the soul, in your words, yes. :D Having said that, I'm not so sure I'd agree about the same when it comes to volunteering to work in a daycare-like facility. Sometimes those little children can be bad. D: It's not like any of them were sick (and if they were, yikes, you did your best to keep away without being distant), the only favor I guess we were doing was giving the parents who had day jobs peace of mind.
I don't really know the exact position of what I want to do next in video games. I can only give you what I'd like to do ideally, and then what I don't want to do based off of experience. Prior to coming to this school (or working my first gaming job), I was only really aware of 4 positions: Artist, Programmer, Musician, and Tester. Everyone else was upper management, and I was never really sure who wrote the story. I can't say I've learned about a whole lot of new positions from my job experience, being a low level grunt, but I know that from those initial four, that I:
- am not a programmer. In fact, I'm terrible at math and abstract problem solving.
- am not a musician, simple as that.
- want to stay as far away from asset creation/character animation as possible. Most artists who go into this position may enjoy it. I did not.
- probably don't want to be a permanant tester because it is very monotenous.
Since being here, I've learned a few other positions, even from other students who were well more versed on this stuff than I was (truth be told, I wanted to be a traditional animator while in undergrad, so I focused more on the positions and terminology of things on that side, which is why I had less knowledge of the game industry. Long story slightly longer, I actually wanted to do games before that, but ran out of funds for that initial school, and switched over to animation). It would seem like something fitting for me would be:
-High level designer: I like to get the big picture out there. Present the overall ideas and concepts of the story, maybe the artstyle and imagery needed. That, or...
-Middle level designer: Thumbnailing, some concept sketches for clarity. hammering out a few of the vague details that a higher level position would set up. Conceptualizing the character designs, all that.
I'm not sure if there's a such thing as a low-level designer. There probably is, but even then that guy probably becomes the art director or something, but that focuses strictly on the art, whereas the designer also handles level design, setting and story.
I've always been more of a story type of guy, anyway. I also wouldn't mind learning about positions in upper managment, because honestly I've always wanted to work on the business end of things. I want to know what needs to be done to get that game to ship. I feel like everything on the development side is rainbows and sunshine until crunch time, but it's removed from the real world. You never know what's going on to have this project become sucessful. Just like I want to know how any business runs, it's no different for video games. I'd love to own my own business at some point as well. I'd've probably gone to business or medical school if I didn't go here, and since this degree focuses on leadership in video games, I felt like I was getting the best of both worlds (managment skills, and it's related to something I actually care about, versus being a banker or something).
I don't know if that clears anything up, but I'm still sort of vague. I want to see what my classes teach me before reaching a final conclusion. I just know designer or something in managment.
And no, I'm definitely not a Modern Warfare kind of guy. In fact, I just don't care for FPSes, certain action titles, or, as I put it, any game that aims for realism (which to me always seems fake or reaches the uncanny valley, which is why I'm even doing my thesis in the first place). I've only ever liked the colorful games, usually from Japan, that the 3rd generation of consoles have come out with from Super Mario Bros. to just about anything Nintendo had a hand in since then. That's why I'm probably best suited working for Nintendo of America, if not something like Disney Interactive, because I'm going to be unhappy working on "Gritty Realistic Texture Adventure starring Stiff Guy in Armor", and it's amazing how all of these games have guns in them. I think I saw something related to Sun Wukong (Monkey King), and even that game had enemies shooting at you. Why?
I'll work on the next Tetris if I must. I also wouldn't mind doing indy games, but I've got undergrad student loans to pay off, on top of graduate loans after this. Trying to make an artsy game for art's sake'll have to wait. XP
I just started sinking my teeth into your articles. You're so right! Those Nidorina, that "middle" generation or whatever that abomination is called... it's hideous! Ugh, it's so ugly! They destroyed all semblance of femininity or even a mammalian structure! I actually sat down with my boyfriend and made him looks at all the "agreed upon" renditions of Nidorina, and he said that the large-headed green thing is definitely the most familiar to him. Isn't that appalling?! I never noticed it before ;; and I actually cut out all those concept designs from my Base Set #1 TCG user manual and taped them to my door when I was like 10, so I have no excuses for never seeing it. I'd love to see a gif showcasing Nidorina's sprites throughout the generations and how it's changed, cause I'm pretty sure all those errors made it in game too. AND THIS?!?! THIS?!?! Broken. Both of them. Broken.
Ugh.. the bad news is, I'll bet these inconsistencies exist all over the place. Which is to be expected! It's not out of the ordinary for certain characteristics to be deliberately removed or lost in translation. But, your article begs the question, "to what extent?" u_u;; Poor Nidos.. they have suffered so. Well, you've convinced me to be more mindful about Pokemon as I draw them. I'm going to stick with good old originals! (Or just use my best creative judgement-- even some of the Sugimori originals are, well, lackluster when compared to the latest). I'm gunna check out that Nidoking in my gallery now... See where I too have fallen into the trap of familiarity and conformity. ;(
Well that's just it.. It was a super low-intensity kind of thing where I'd get a few sessions in here and there. Which was informative and I'm very grateful for the opportunity! But the problem with not paying for lessons, is the consistency. It's like, great, you want to teach me things... just not with any set schedule and maybe for like 15 minutes next week if you don't have to take your kid sister to planned parenthood? Oh, and while you're on your way can you pick me up some milk? :/ I mean, I'm lucky and I know it, but there are just as many shortcomings to being that "friend of a friend" as there are benefits. At the end of the day, I'm just some girl who's pockets are empty. Charity can only get you so far. Nevertheless, I did acquire skills that will deepen my portfolio and make me more desirable for employers. And it got me some ins at NY ComicCon!
For real? I thought Pokestick was like my age. xD That's hilarious! He's so cute now!
Definitely know what you mean-- but I'll take homework over graveyard shift any day. u_u; I love being able have a job and some semblance of security, but being belittled for a task I broke my back over is not worthwhile. I like getting 100%'s and happy faces on 8 page papers that I can crack out in just under 2 hours (which is a very ridiculously untruthful and generous accurate estimate! xDDD) Especially going back to school as an older student. I'm just happy to have, well, what I have!
It's funny you mention therapeutic careers. My boyfriend and I actually participate in a charity called Eli Hops for Hope-- which focuses on getting yoyos into the hands of autistic children. The whole thing inspired me to being an art therapy project in the local Bereavement Counseling center and, I have to say, it was really, really rewarding. Art is great, and video games are a close second, but something about helping people makes you feel more whole as a person. [sappy]It... satisfies your soul, you know?[/sappy]
Speaking of video games though, exactly what facet of game development are you looking to get into? On that note, what genre of game are you hoping to develop in the first place? Cause you don't seem like a Modern Warfare guy to me (then again, I could be wrong about that, you've surprised me more than once already so...).
Alright, that makes sense, occupational experience especially. Sort of a sink or swim sort of thing at times, even when they do train you. That's also true of just about any job, in that you'll always pick up a few things here and there, stuff you never knew about, and end up applying it to your own skillset.
Sounds good to me. I was pretty much at the same level as everyone else at 16/17 myself, I'd like to think on average most people are, but it also depends on when people start drawing, too. Pokestick, for example, I think is only 17 and he has incredible talent.
Did I already say that I wouldn't mind being in school either if it wasn't for the fact that I don't like homework compared to job work? Just being back in school again, I remember why I was glad to get out in the first place, but the nicest thing about school is that it's also no pressure in comparsion. At school, you must meet your own expectations most of the time (at least, I've never been to a school with a professor that had outrageously high expectations). At work, you have to meet your superior's expectations and I dunno, I guess I never really felt good about that. Even when I was working at my first job at Little Caesars. :\ I must have had all the wrong jobs, because aside from some really cool gigs, it never seemed as if anything I did was good enough (which is weirder considering I often went above what I was required to do... at the cost of some time, yes >_>). That's the sole reason I prefer homework. :P
On the other hand, those reasons are also why I'm somewhat interested in patient care related careers, such as working at rehabilitation centers, because at least there, the amount of care I put into my work would be seen as beneficial. But video games first. I know I wanna do that right away.
Small edit. I never actually went to Joe Kubert's as a student. I can't afford it. ;o; What I said sounded a bit misleading with the whole, "I live close to comic school -- I'm not formally trained" thing. But, I did have my portfolio reviewed and accepted, so that counts for something! And it has never stopped me from shopping in their art stores / making my face known around campus! :p
Well, I suppose it has to be a mix of learned and innate behavior. But most of my "training" came from time. I always loved drawing and I've been doing it for a long as I can remember. And you know, blah blah, padding with life experience and whatnots. I think the best thing I have working in my favor is such undeserved luck. I happened to be in a Western Civ class with one of the most prolific comic book artists. And we became friends! I just happen to live 20 minutes away one of the best and only comic book schools on the east coast (Joe Kubert's). I happened to be a friend of a friend some amazing tattoo artists who took me on for a summer. This is where most of my training comes from. Unfortunately, that luck ends when I have to pay for their services. ;( So, you know..
..Still starving over here. :p But it's true, I'd be lying if I said I've never been trained. It's just not formal-- and most of it was occupational. Otherwise, I learned perspective, color theory, shading, everything on my own. But I'm also not some young gun, at least, not anymore. :x Many of the galleries you see in A&D (much as you already know) are done by 16 - 17 year old's, who's talent is more or less equivalent to mine at that age. I dunno, maybe that's where all that "life experience" shows. xP
Finally, and easily one of the most important things that lends to my ability, comes by way of my insatiable desire to learn. That's why I've been really picking your brain about character development. I can't get enough of it! I love learning and applying new things. Like I told you a while back, I'd be a student forever if someone would just start paying me for it. What can I say? I can't help myself! So yeah, lmao, that's really it. Save a few things here and there. But I'm glad I caught your attention if anything! n_n;
Aw, come on, don't give me that. :( You didn't just draw that really cool stuff in your gallery (which I mean both the user and A&D versions) outta thin air. Some kind of practice had to be involved, unless you're a natural talent, which would then put you way above the rest of us. :O I gotta know how you do it, I still think that stuff in there is amazing.
So nothing at all, huh? Oh well, at least you're here, that's better than nothing. :D I just thought maybe you had something cool, even if it wasn't art related. I totally understand, though. Like I said before, most of my artwork stays with me, because I only really need to show it to people I'm working for or with, and I'm not looking to be a professional artist, anyway. I don't need any special accolades, which is why every time I've ever made an art account somewhere, I've never kept up with it for more than a week or two.
Aqua Bunny is an exception because it's not just for me. That, and back in the day I wanted the Nidoran family to be accepted more than they were, so I used all the talents and clout I had to help that ball get rolling. It was kind of a sacrifice, though. My original site, Creative Worlds, was a lot more popular in that it was way more varied, but I got tired of drawing fan art, and having to keep up with gaming culture. For some reason, Pokemon is an exception. I'm happier with AB, but it's no where near as popular as the currently defunct CW was. So in the end, I really didn't care to just have my own stuff up just to say "hey look what I can do", I just wanted to help the little guys, that's all. :( Sounds corny, I know.
Having a website can be annoying on certain days, but truth be told I find messing with Tumblr much more aggravating, and that site's built to be simple. I never really got into it, but I use it because it is convenient for everyone else, and it's a good way to show newbies the site's old stuff. Go with the flow, I suppose.
Hah, well, seeing as Larvitar is a reptile, if you wanna keep it real you can't do a whole lot beyond accessorize. Clothes on Pokemon is annoying as heck when they don't have the build to wear them in the first place, so I feel sorry for you. XD Having a Kirlia and a Machop would be so much easier. Any design I have for a Pokemon is 100% based on the character, or to put it another way, I let the characterization determine the final design, but I also do that because I try to create a cast of snowflakes, if you know what I mean. If they all had the same body shape, eyes, whatever, I think we'd all get bored with them. Heck, even I'd quit and just play video games all day or something. A lot of that inspiration comes from cartoons, or cartoon movies. One of my favorite movies to this day is still Cats Don't Dance. I love how the animals are distinguishable as whatever they represent, are relatively scaled appropriately, and are still by and large shorter than humans, but have just enough leeway to let their characterization determine their overall design. I wouldn't have it any other way, but that's the old cartoonist in me. :P
Lisa, for example, is essentially a 16 year old, but she's very average. So, her design looks closer to that of your common Nidorina, but younger. Based off of real life, she looks like the forgettable, nameless kids I bypassed in the hallways during my high school years. I hate making that comparison, but characterization emulates real life. *shrug*
The other Nidorina, the one in my avatar, is a lighter, happier take of cool big sis. She plays around a lot because that's the role she assumed as the oldest among her siblings. Protective, but always willing to have fun with all of them (she's very close to her large family, which reflects her wanting a large family herself). She's based on the sort of quirky, gender neutral in tastes but nevertheless feminine girls I know or have known. She's also atheletic and into physical fitness, which is why she has more of a figure (though overall she still appears stumpy because Nido biology).
Maybe an easier description is that she reminds me of all the artsy girls I know without being artistic herself. All that is kind of hard to capture in appearance, but I think I sort of show it. That's why she's so smiley and bright eyed all the time.
And it goes on... the point is, it's never arbitrary, though if the character is background, they may just be designed based on an archetype just because.
I should try doodling something in the oekaki, just to see what happens. It won't be absolutely effortless, but it'll probably look kind of stupid. I just want to see if anyone'd notice or even care. Bulbagarden still has an active oekaki, I used to go there. Being active in more than one place at a time is taxing for me, though. I dunno how anyone does it. I remember looking at the bottom of the Topman/Topshop website at all the dozens of social network buttons and icons. I'm thinking "and someone out there probably has an account for every last one of these, and has yet to lose their mind". Some people can do it, apparently. Tumblr is too hard for me! I'd hate to see what would happen if I got too much more active than that.
I hate dominating these conversations. Come on, Alex, stop making me feel bad. :( You've gotta have some interesting things to bring up!