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Update by Kazunori Aruga, Concept Artist, and Brandon Adler, you-know-what-I-do Hello, backers. This week we are profiling another talented Concept Artist on Eternity, Kaz Aruga. While Kaz wears many artist hats his largest contributions are area and UI concepts. Enjoy. Q: Hello, Kaz. What is your job on the Project Eternity team? Before I start I want to quickly thank all you awesome peeps who backed our game. I wouldn't be here working on my dream project if it weren't for you all, so thank you for making this a reality! I have two responsibilities on Project Eternity. The first is supplying the asset and environment teams with concept art. The second is producing art for the game's UI. I'm occasionally tasked with scripted interaction art and will start producing character portraits further down the road. Q: What are you working on this week? I've been tasked with inventory and character creation UI. *leaps away as a massive fireball of community UI rage engulfs the land* But seriously, I appreciated the feedback you all gave us for the action bar and conversation UI. I've taken notes and been implementing ideas that are in alignment with our design goals. As a side note, being a fan of the IE games and having a lot of experience playing them has proven very useful as it helps me identify what worked and what didn’t. I'm sure we all have fond memories of shuffling piles of arrows between characters. Q: What is your typical work day like on Project Eternity? My day usually starts by fighting off Robs and Polinas to get to the Keurig coffee machine in our room. Consuming the glorious bean drink allows me access to all two neurons in my head, which I then rub together as hard as I can to start making artwork. My day varies a lot from this point based on the task I'm on. For character and environment work a good chunk of time will be devoted to gathering reference and inspiration, or doing homework on a specific subject. I'll then do a rough sketch pass which gets reviewed by the leads and other artists. When I'm on scripted interaction art I work closely with our designers Bobby and Jorge, and for UI I interface with our project lead Josh and Brian who is our programming intern. Q: What are you most looking forward to on Project Eternity? Just the fact that we can put an IE inspired game on the market is enough to get me excited. It's been long overdue. I'm looking forward to seeing all the hard work we are putting in coming together as one complete package, and seeing reactions of people playing the game! Q: Which concept that you have done has been your favorite? Artists are typically never happy with their own work. Next question! I've enjoyed working on art for scripted interactions, and been pretty happy with the results. I've also been putting a lot of work into inventory UI recently and am happy with the results coming out of that. Q: What other projects have you worked on? Before this job I was up in San Francisco working as a texture artist on a television series called Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I've also done some matte painting work in the film industry. Q: What do you like to do when you aren't chained to your desk by your producer? My off time often includes episodes of Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, a cold beer, and dual wielding our two resident cats Puddy Tat and Lil'Babs. They are the best. I also have an unhealthy and destructive relationship with Ramen. (No, not the vile instant noodles. How dare you call that Ramen!) Thankfully LA has an abundance of good shops to satisfying my craving. Q: Do you have a favorite concept artist? Here's a few that popped into my head. I'll link to their site and save you all a google search. Sergey Kolesov Thomas Pringle Daisuke “dice” Tsutsumi On the painting and illustration side.. Ashley Wood Jeremy Lipking Yanick "dusso" Dusseault Joseph Zbukvic Zdzislaw Beksinski And of course the greats from the past... John Singer Sargent Jean-Léon Gérôme The Wyeths Norman Rockwell J. C. Leyendecker Isaac Levitan Q: And where do you draw your inspiration from? Nature is a big one of course. I also think back on how blessed we are with powerful tools like Google image search. We don’t neglect traditional resources, but I honestly can't imagine working at our current pace without it. Q: What's your favorite Infinity Engine game? Why? BG1 for exploring the vast wilderness. I can still recall the music and hear the birds chirping in the distance. BG2 is a close 2nd for its story and companions. The only title I haven't finished is IWD2 which I am playing through currently, and I will say I'm enjoying the combat. Q: Existential question of the day: Who are we and why are we? We're just here, man. There's no why, everything just IS. You feel me? Q: Anything else you would like to share? Long live the glorious PC gaming master race. *lets out a nerdy war cry and bangs mouse and keyboard together* That's it for this week. Hope you guys enjoyed getting closer look into what Kaz does for us. See you guys in a couple weeks.
Update by Polina Hristova, Concept Artist/Nightmare Engineer and Brandon Adler, Producery Type Polina in her natural habitat. Hello, everyone. This week will feature an interview with Project Eternity concept artist Polina Hristova. While a Project Eternity concept artist has to be well-rounded in their skill set, Polina specializes in creature concepts. Enjoy. Q: Hello, Polina. What is your job on the Project Eternity team? A: I'm a general concept artist =). My primary purpose is to design what things look like (creatures, characters, environments, etc) and help get the conversations started. But I also try to do my best at making things look cool and try to solve any problems the modelers and animators might come by before they spend hours building it. Q: What are you working on this week? A: This week I wrapped finished up some critters: the drake and the spear spider. Q: What is your typical work day like on Project Eternity? A: I guess in comparison to most, my work day is pretty simple. I get to draw pretty pictures. The days differ based on the assignment and I do sometimes change my methods since creativity does flow differently day to day, but my general pipeline goes like this: I meet with Josh and the designers to get a description on what I'd be working on. Sometimes these descriptions can range from a simple word to an extremely detailed description on facial structure, hair length and color, outfit, tattoos, amount of skin pores... (okay I'm exaggerating the skin pore part)... and anywhere in between. I'll also talk with the animators if the creatures would share rigs or any other potential problems we can have (it's best to design with these problems in mind than having to change the design a lot later). After that (and depending on schedule) I'll do a number of variants fitting the description and summon a mini-character scrum (Josh, the designers, Rob, our modelers, and our animators). Together they'll discuss any problems or make any suggestions and pick a variant that I'll take to final. Q: What are you most looking forward to on Project Eternity? A: I am really looking forward to playing it. =) But for now I'm really just enjoying watching the game come to reality. I love watching peoples' creations come to life and I give many props to our modelers and animators for all their hard work. I love how they animated skuldr and his sneaky "I'm gunna getcha!" walk. Q: Which Project Eternity creature that you have concepted excites you the most? A: This questions a trick question. Creatures all excite me. I LOVE creatures, aliens (not relative) and things that go bump in the night. I guess if you had to make me pick right now I would have to say the drake =) but I have a weakness for dragons and it’s also the thing most current in my brain. I also really enjoyed designing the godlike heads. Q: What other games have you worked on? A: I'm actually pretty new to the industry. I graduated school in '09 and I didn’t get my first fulltime game job position until Obsidian ('11), but I've had the pleasure to intern and freelance on some amazing projects. I've worked on Naughty Dog's Uncharted 2, PlayStation Move Heroes, some other unannounced titles (some of which will sadly never see the light of day), and the Dungeon Siege 3 DLC: Treasures of the Sun. Drawing one of the endless tide of creatures. Q: What do you like to do when you aren't creating creatures that haunt my nightmares? A: I have a massive range of hobbies, from collecting costumes, traveling to national parks, watching movies, playing games, being weird and goofy, swimming, kendo, amateur photography and more. But when I'm not working, or spending time with my family or friends, I still prefer to spend my time drawing and scribbling... especially at the Zoo. Q: Do you have a favorite concept artist? A: I have a lot and I hope I don’t leave any of them out, but here are the guys currently on the top of my mind: Anthony Jones, Khange Le, Ian McCaig, Jordu Schell, Craig Mullins, Andrew Jones, Erik Tiemens, Robh Ruppel, PaperBlue.net, Carlo Arellano, Carlos Huante, Charlie Wen, and Aris Kolokontes. Q: And where do you draw your inspiration from? A: Nature. Nature will always have us concept artists beat. =) It does some weird ****. =D Q: What's your favorite game? A: I think to this day Zelda Ocarina of Time holds a special place in my heart. Sure the other Zeldas are still great (except maybe Skyward Sword... but that’s more of a controller issue) But Ocarina of time has the perfect mixture of exploration, puzzle solving, action and story, and it was one of the first games that made me go "oooooooooooooo... I wanna do that! This is so beautiful." (Graphics back then...) Q: Anything else you would like to share? A: I like to hide in dark corners... and make random creature noises. =) Crafting Feedback and Answers After getting a ton of feedback and responses to the last update on Crafting Josh has decided to make some changes to the proposed system. Check out this forum post which breaks down those changes and provides some additional clarification. Well, that's it for now. Head over to Obsidian's Project Eternity forums and let us know what you think about the latest update, Project Eternity or your cat JoJo. See you guys in a couple of weeks.