Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in the gaming industry? Lisa is here to tell you how she turned her passion as a gamer, artist and digital creator into a career as a 3D artist.
What other types of roles and opportunities exist in the industry outside of a development studio?
I built my career by combining my love for both game art and horses. However, it takes dozens of people with specific skill sets and passions for a videogame company to succeed. Community managers interact with players daily to ensure they have a positive experience with the game and make sure fan feedback is implemented. We also have amazing people running the business at the executive level and as product managers and business developers. This is just a handful of the multiple opportunities, inside and out of the development studio, so you must embrace your skills and interests to find which career path you would enjoy most.
What inspired you to build a career in the video game industry?
I have always been a gamer, and really into art. As soon as I knew it was possible to work in a creative role in games, I started working my way towards it. Now, as a 3D designer at Star Stable, I can unite my interests and skills to create magic for girl gamers around the world. The artistic process of designing the 3D horses inspires me the most. It is so rewarding to have an idea in my mind, sketch out a new design and work with the visuals such as 3D models, characters, textures, environments, and props, and then release the final product for horse-loving girls who play our game every day.
What kind of roles make up a typical development studio?
To build a game, artists (3D, 2D, VFX, and animators), designers, and programmers need to work closely together from start to finish to ensure all of our in-game horses are as visually stunning as real-life horses. Artists work on the overall creative vision. Designers work with the mechanics and features. Then, programmers use their coding knowledge to bring it all to life. We work with producers to ensure that all tasks associated with the development process are completed on time and reflect the overall vision of the project. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, developers focused on mobile and virtual/mixed reality are in high demand, as are tech animators, who use a combination of creative and animation skills to solve issues related to art production.
What are the most important skills needed to be successful?
I recommend that aspiring video game developers find a network, get to know different game engines, become familiar with 2D and 3D software, and try new games all the time. Then, become a specialist in the aspect that interests you the most. Developing specific skills is important but developing into a well-rounded person with a broad view of the world is equally important. It is also good to dive into sports, learn the arts, take a computer class or explore theater. Never stop learning and challenging yourself. So many things I learned from taking care of horses have translated to my career with Star Stable – from personal responsibility to attention to detail, it’s amazing to see how my lifelong passion has allowed me to develop skills that have made me successful in my role today.
What advice do you have for young girls who are interested in a career in video games?
A career in the video game industry, perhaps born out of a hobby or passion, is legitimate and can be profitable too. Today, there are dedicated game developing programs at universities. And, whether you are a teen dreaming of a future career, a university student or you’ve already started your career – finding a role model and seeking out feedback from people in different disciplines is key. Finally, no matter what direction you choose to go in – it’s important to be passionate about your subject! I started with my knowledge about how horses behave and move, but I continue to push myself to learn more and more about their moods, habits, and reflexes so that I’m always producing the most compelling and lifelike designs for our players to experience and enjoy.