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Guest speaker


Games at Amuzo

Q: What is your job and what does your typical day involve?

A: I work as a 3D artist and my typical day involves working with high resolution models we have been sent by the clients of their products. Then it's my job to lower the detail until they're able to run in our game engine with all the other models we make. If I'm not doing that, I'll be creating a level or environment and testing that in engine with the game we have set up.

Q: How did you decide that you wanted to be a part of your industry?

A: I enjoyed drawing as I grew up and eventually developed a video game addiction. I browsed my sister's university prospectuses when she went to uni to see what kind of thing I could do and the only thing that looked interesting was a video game course. I didn't realise it was a proper course that universities ran.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your industry?

A: It's seeing the wide variety of art that comes out of it. Even these days people are still making game mechanics we haven't seen before and art styles that aren't derivative of existing games. Everyone likes a good sequel to a game they liked but also the fresh spin that's put on it to seperate it from it's predecessor.

Q: Since starting your job, what's your greatest achievement?

A: I'm not sure I have a greatest achievement as I've generally worked on small things but I'd say I've had lots of little achievements. Mostly when it comes down to the levels I've created. Even if I'm missing a few visual tricks, it's lovely to be told that some things I've put into a level have been creative. Looking at Lego Hero Factory: Invasion from Below the city streets is the second level and you run across cars balconies on the ground, then move to your mech way up on a roof letting you see the whole city and cars driving by on a bridge. So I generally like the little things and try to add a bit of life and context to things.

Q: Where were you born, and what made you come to Bournemouth?

A: I was born and Luton and came to Bournemouth after I was offered a job here. It's as simple as that!

Q: What do you remember about your first day at your job?

A: My first day was a bit of a mess. It was blisteringly hot even at the end of summer but I didn't really know what I was doing. I'd learned 3DSMax at uni and I joined a company that used Maya. I knew what I wanted to do but I couldn't do it. Took me ages to get the hang of UV tool being seperate in Maya. After I bumbled through my first day, my boss grabbed us a pizza and we went to his. He'd given me a room in his house to stay in as I'd just moved down. I don't remember the film we watched though.

Q: When you were a child, what did you want to be?

A: Popular on deviantart!

Q: When was the last time you learnt something new?

A: I've been learning new things the last couple of days about character design. I've always wanted to do characters and now I finally have a chance to work on something original instead of predefined characters from clients. I've done a lot of sketching, silhouettes and iterations just to come up with two characters. I've been showing our lead 2D artist at each step for his feedback and we're almost there. Technical wise I've looked at a small level builder as we're moving away from flash for one of our games and making it in HTML5. I've looked into how you visually build it and excitingly it means I can make bigger sprites for it.

Q: What was your first job?

A: My first job was working at a newsagents by my house. It was unfortunately the morning shift but fortunately it was arranging the newspapers for deliveries so whenever I could I spent extra time reading the days news. My hands stank of ink for most of the day though and I even had to deliver the papers a few times. Even caught one of the paper boys stealing extra papers through the CCTV. Those paper boys didn't leave me with a good impression of paper boys.

Q: How are your company's Christmas parties?

A: Considering I don't really drink and I'm a massive killjoy, I tend to split off before everyone goes off to get their drink on. The meal is the most important part in my eyes. 2 years ago it was arranged to all be made up as zombies and someone got in some make up artists to do us all up in the afternoon. It was fun seeing everyone walk back in with their new faces. I kept mine on all night, pure dedication.

Q: What was the best advice somebody gave you?

A: My mum told me to never buy cheap bread or toilet paper, but that's probably not too relevant. When it comes to art, levels and characters you've always gotta think about the bigger picture. Everything has to have a reason for being there and also helps to tell the story. Even if it's just a single scene for art practice thinking of the overarching story adds believeability, character and interest. Things like many piles of books, open drawers, shoes by the door all makes a scene seem more real. So think of that when you work "Why would this thing be like that". It also helps lead on to what else you can put in too.

Q: What would you name the autobiography of your life?

A: 948 pages of a man playing video games then going to bed. Based on a true story.

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Alan Ingle - Amuzo
Alan Ingle interview