The Video Game Industry and I
April 19th, 2014
I fell into the game industry. Unlike movies, which I planned to be a part of since childhood, video games were a different world. I played a bit in my youth but never thought of that industry as a career. It's not that I wouldn't have been interested, it's just that I'd never even considered it.
But then in 2003, I was contacted by Bruce Woodside, from Disney Interactive Media Group. We'd known each other from the movie industry having worked at Rich Animation and Warner Brothers together. He asked me if I'd be available to design a set of characters and environments for a multiplayer game they wanted to make. I said sure, and I approached the project the same way I tackled film or TV. It was a creative and fun assignment.
I didn't fully realize at the time that I had just entered the arena of the video game industry—an industry that I'm still very connected to 11 years laters. Since 2003, I've been invited to work on several projects for companies such as Sony, Electronic Arts, ngmoco and FXVille.
One of the highlights of my game career started in 2005, when Joe Olson and I started Shadow Planet Productions and began work on Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. Five years later, in 2010, we released the game. It was a difficult and punishing experience in many ways but also an exhilarating one. The game received critical acclaim and went on to win a BAFTA and an Annie Award. Shortly thereafter, I was lecturing to game professionals and talking about video game animation techniques to college students. Suddenly, I was a video game pro.
Which brings me to where I am now. Last September I was contacted by Jim Sanders and invited to Gearbox Software in Texas, to spent a week with their special effects crew. I returned home only to be offered new assignments and more asset requests.
Last Month, I spent two more weeks with the crew in Texas and was provided with a full time assistant named, Seung Kim. Seung is a Disney veteran who understands "feature quality standard". I really appreciate that. We had some great sushi together.
Upon my return home, I landed a 6-month exclusive gig. So for the next half a year, my focus will be on games and to be frank, I'm stoked. I love the challenges and the variety of the work. You'll start seeing my new stuff soon in an upcoming cinematic. I'll keep you posted.