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Spotlight Interview: Han Randhawa [ art director]

Han Randhawa Fact File

Art Directors vary from company to company. Some are amazing artists with no game background, others are highly technical (implementation/manipulation-wise), and others are a little bit of both and everything in-between.

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With our guest today, you have a person who comes from a pure artistic background, who then fell into game art. This guy can pick up art materials and just sketch, paint, sculpt and all that good stuff, plus, execute all those visuals within a game if he needed to. He’s also one of the most acute artists I’ve met at breaking down techniques/styles and relaying them to his team. Han is the person who takes Joe Mad’s sketches and makes sure the artists on the team execute on hitting the art style, across the board. If you could see the documentation and guidance this fine chap has given to the people within Vigil Games, you’d know exactly what I mean.

Another fine trait of this geezer, is how he can instantly recognize how useful a concept can be for the actual environment or character artists creating the work in 3D form. There’s one thing to create an awesome piece of 2D artwork, it’s another thing entirely to make it physical within a game and look good from any angle.

Han and I go way back. We first met at Psygnosis (Manchester) around 1998. I’d recently left Software Creations to join the company, where I filled the Producer role upon the game. Unfortunately, that game was never released, but Han and I have continued to work with each other ever since. Over the years we’ve worked on these titles together: The Contract (unreleased), Star Trek: Invasion, Star Trek: Project Oblivion (unreleased),  X2: Wolverine’s Revenge, 50 Cent: Bulletproof (sorry), Darksiders, and of course, we’re also powering our way through on Darksiders II.

Some of my most memorable times with Han were on Star Trek: Invasion. At the beginning of the project, there was only three of us; Mike Anthony (programmer), Han and I. I came up with the original story and mission briefs, then Han and I spent a few weeks creating concepts for every vessel, weapon and item in the game. We gave the main creatures a name, history and a pretty deep design theory for anything related to them. The process of theory and visual creation is such a sweet moment in a project.

As Han was the only artist at the beginning, he had to burn the midnight oil to produce all the sketches and colour comps before we started hiring people. He also created all the storyboards for the game cinematics; he did a bit of everything and, designed everything with the IP and game functionality in mind. And, although Paramount were known to be sticklers on new Star Trek content (they knocked back a LOT of work on other projects) out of all the concepts Han created, only ONE was not approved (until he removed some rather aggressive “fins” off a federation Valkyrie fighter). This is why, If I could only choose one artist to create a new IP with, it’d be this guy.

Wow, enough of me bigging up the man, let’s hear from the humble chap himself –

Can you remember the moment that you decide you wanted to do art for games?

My first computer was a Commodore 64 but I never thought of a career in Games.  I did know though, that I desperately needed an outlet for my burning desire to create SciFi and Fantasy the moment I watched a documentary on the ‘Making of Empire Strikes Back’, hosted by Mark Hamill.  Then one day, while studying Art at Liverpool University, I got to look around Psygnosis and I saw amazing 2d artistry, I was literally seeing some of my fav fantasy art coming alive on screen. Then they revealed what their advanced technology group were working on in the backrooms. It hit me like a bullet between the eyes, they had all these silicon graphics machines running Softimage, and  showed me high end renders of Star Wars ships and animated T-101 exoskeletons. I thought this was all reserved for movie special FX,  I immediately saw the potential for where art could be pushed, that was it! I wanted in!

How did you get into doing the games industry?

I was on the last leg of my 3 yr art degree, one of the older professors( who was due to retire that year) mentioned I should go see one of his ex-students from years ago, who had started a videogames company called Psygnosis. At this time, most of the lecturers were pretty negative about the scifi and fantasy art that I wanted to pursue, didn’t think there was a career in it. I took a few sketchbooks filled with SciFi and Fantasy ideas down. After looking through those sketchbooks and 10 minutes of chatting about movies and games, the AD offered me the job. I was like ‘waaahh?!!!’ I didn’t expect that. I told him I didn’t know much about computers, he said something  that I’ll never forget, he replied, ‘ I can teach you how to use those( thumbing at the computers), but I can’t teach what’s in these sketchbooks’. I also was torn, since I had 6months left on my Degree and I don’t  like to leave things incomplete, he just said ok, well then I’ll catch you at your final show and we’ll go from there. So I started straight after my degree. Wow! I still can’t believe it to this day, l still feel lucky and humbled to be working in videogames!

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt as an Art Director/Game Artist?

Wow , so many things. ‘Key focus should be on building the scene not the asset, but the assets must also maintain a certain quality bar, since they also make the whole. Great, Lighting, shadows & atmosphere is the biggest win, got to have it. Great  VFX, Sound FX/Music can be half of your visuals.

When you’re looking at a potential candidate’s portfolio or websites etc, what things are you looking for?

In both Concept art and 3d art: what I call ‘Art Spidy sense’, that gut instinct for good creative decision making, you can see this in anything from a simple crate to a fortress. Sometimes it’s what you leave out that makes the design. I look for some semblance of solid traditional skills.  Individual style is ace, but you want to have the mind set to follow the house style. You can immediately see passion in a folio, you can tell this person loves what they do, that they are on the pursuit for greatness.  That’s the artsy fartsy part, from a practical standpoint, I look for good use of colour and lighting. Ability to work loose and fast, and then translate to sharp/tight details that a production artist can use. 3d portfolios, in 3d work the ability to accurately follow a concept. Environments world builders, showing great lighting and composition( Directing the eye).

What advice would you give to those artists wanting to get into the games industry?

If you really want to work in at a certain place, try and mimic their style, copy and asset or expand on their  game or universe with something you created.  I’ve leant so many 3d packages over the years, but the one constant has been pure art. Draw! Draw! Draw! Go on Forums, share your work, take criticism. Get your hands on free or Trial software. If you make cool stuff, you will get in. If it’s your dream, then be persistent. Evolve your folio if you are getting rejections.

Develop your Art Spidy sense and solid traditional skills. Devote time to these! These are to an artist what is track work is too an athlete. Continually evaluate yourself against the top geezers in your chosen genre, be realistic but also be confident , allow yourself to make mistakes since that’s how we learn. Once you are in, many artists  fail to understand that when you go to work for a company, it’s not about your personal art. Operate like a professional art assassin! be passionate and take the shot, then get out. Job done. You may also have to iterate a ton, develop a tough shell, you’ll needed it. Being a long suffering artist and narcissistic will win you no friends on a creative team trying to pull together. Save that for your personal art. A consummate professional to me is someone passionate about their craft but knows when to let go and move on.

Paint Over of Environments

Which artist do you think your own art resembles the most?

Man I don’t know, still working on that one I guess, lol. I think, I’ve tried to keep myself free of that, so I can adapt to anything, realistic or Stylized. Art Adams was a huge influence on me, as were Capcom’s ‘Street Fighter’ artists like Akiman  and Bengus. Then I stumbled across X-men by Joe Mad! and it was like game over, this is the shit!

I would love my art to resemble the French/anime and European guys. Problem is, I like too much stuff. I  have a natural tendency to draw in a scribbly comicbooky way I guess. I’m constantly developing and honing my art.

Name a few artists that you admire, and why their work kicks arseticles?

Joe Mad of course, I was blown away to see how much more is going on in Joe’s thought process, than you can ever see in in his style, the guy is a genius and has amazing design sense. The ability to know what to leave out and what to leave in, he has that.  He can take what we think is cool and then just up it tenfold. Some of the French artists I admire, Claire Wendlin, Mathew Lauffrey, Olivier Vatine, their line work is a joy to look at. Xa Houssin and his work on Wakfu, so fun and colourful. Craig Mullins, Paul Felix, Nathan Fowkes, Xiangyuan jie, these guys colour work is massively inspiring!  So many more I could write about. I also admire the artist here at Vigil, we have a lot of talent here.

Have you got any good art resources/sites other artists may find useful?

I try and go to these sites when I can, these sites will hook you up with amazing art and artists.

http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/

http://sevencamels.blogspot.com/

http://www.linesandcolors.com/

http://cghub.com/  awesome for concept artists

http://www.deviantart.com/ wicked resource for all kinds of art.

http://parkablogs.com/ best art book review site.

If you really want to check out a book properly. This site is dangerous for your wallet!

When we worked on Wolverine’s Revenge, we used Joe Mad’s art as an inspiration for the characters, what’s it like to actually work with him?

I cannot believe that the guy can be this talented, a known figure in comics and, be this down to earth and funny. Joe is a really a cool geezer. He has a really likeable personality and has a lot of time for people, he’s quite the practical joker. He wears his heart on his sleeve. At times we’d be working late into the wee hours and shit would be serious, Joe would start throwing around left over Tortillas from crunch dinner, to remind us we work in games!! Joe’s Art Spidy sense is really super sharp , I don’t mean just  the line and style. It’s the creative decision making in asking “what would make this shit cool?” The capture of motion and energy in his art is great.  I do feel very fortunate to witness those creative cogs turning. He makes you up your game. Over the last 5 years, It’s certainly made my Art spidy sense way sharper.

What were some of the difficult factors in creating the original Darksiders?

We waited for the right talent, which meant huge pressure on the existing team, some of us were doing 3 man jobs. We were developing the franchise and story, the engine was being coded. We really were uncovering the Art style as we went along, even thought it was Joe Mad influenced, I had to figure out how to best leverage the art team’s skills and talents, without stopping art production in its tracks and teaching it for 6months. I Art directed as we rolled, it was kinda Guerrilla Art Direction! I implemented the daily WIPS just so I could stay sane. Everyone too take a screen grab of their progress each day and place it in their folder. I would then paint-over their work or, speak to artists individually. Now we have that all automated into a Webpage and it’s an extremely valuable Art Direction tool.

Anyway lots of things in flux made it a herculean task. We survived it and it came together!

Iron Canopy Ar Direction / Feedback

What are you most proud of art-wise, in Darksiders II?

It has to be the fact I truly think that we have a coherent and consistent visuals here. The environments feel like they fit Joe Mad Characters. It has a painted and colourful quality with a grungy edge. A testament to a very talented art team I can tell you. One of our Senior Programmer’s once said he’d hate to be an Artist here, since its sooo scrutinized. I laughed, because that’s the exact reason why I’m glad to be an artist here. It can be painful, but that’s how you go from good to Blisteringly awesome.

Talk us through the art process from concept phase, to finalized implementation of a creature?

We would potentially start with a  JoeMad Scribble, that could be a wipeboard scribble, a pencil sketch or a detailed drawing. Depending on how loose it is, we’d have one of our concept guys, such as Avery ( super talented bloke!) make it production ready; tighten it up, add colours and make a production turnaround after rounds of feedback. Then, it’d go to one of our ultra-talented Character Artists for sculpting, low rez model, textures and normal maps. After this, it goes to rigging and that’s a task and half, our rigs are bloody complex as you can imagine( have you seen a JoeMad creature!??) Then finally our eager animators get to animate their  crazy combat moves. This is where I believe you get involved Haydn, Design & Combat kicks arse.

Which is harder; creatures or environments?

I think each has their own difficulties. Soz this if this sounds like a cop out answer, lol, but  it’s what I believe. Environments are huge endeavors, it’s like a huge creature that needs an entire team of artists to create. So many things can go wrong with it; memory, design implementation of lots of moving parts, Lighting composition, puzzles. That’s the hard part. I believe we are making the ‘Scene not the asset’, so assets dont all have to be pimp, they do need to be of a certain standard, but I think you can get away with some lesser assets in environments.  A Character is too commonly mistaken for being easy, yep, making a standard character is easy, making a ‘GREAT’ iconic Character is NOT easy. Not everyone can do that. A great character artist has to have knowledge of body language, anatomy, costume design, style, colour and, injecting personality. There is also very key element that makes an character ICONIC and not everyone is able to create that. Sure substandard character art? Thats easy. Awesome Character art is not easy.

Ashland Art Breakouts

I know you like kick-ass action, give us some pointers where to find some?

I love Anime Fights!, Ninja Scrolls, Naruto! Jo Jo’s Bizzare Adventure, Bleach, Afro Samurai, Samurai Shampaloo! and the list goes on. Also, Hong Kong Cinema, check out Iron Monkey, IP Man, Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle. Kiss Of the Dragon is overlooked. Always been a huge fan of Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee,  so it would massively rude not to have them on the list. On Western action, I rate 300, ( best slomo fights). I loved the over the top 80’s action movies, Lethal weapons, Die Hards and Indiana Jones.

Most people who’ve been in the games industry a while, have a few games that were never released. What are yours?

Wow, I feel pretty lucky as most of the games I worked on were released. But yeah, I worked on Mega Drive ‘No escape’ and ‘Mary Shelly’s’ Frankenstein’ , these were based on some atrocious  Movies, first was a Ray Liotta film and the second was that DeNiro as Frankenstein. lol Oh yeah, The game we worked on at Manchester Psygnosis Office, Contract, that got canned when the studio closed. All the others the good, bad and the ugly went on shelves.

If there’s one game, or piece of art that YOU could’ve created, what would it have been?

It’d be a tossup between the Original Starwars Trilogy! OR  LOTR/Hobbit!

Example: Low-Poly Model and Texture Layout

Answer a question I should’ve asked?

What do you like and dislike about the industry?

Heh that’s good question matey, lol.   I like the unfettered creativity, it’s still an immature industry where we can still make crazy creative calls. I dislike how long games take, I’d like for art tools, and Applications to move to a and even greater level of WYSIWYG, great artists can come in and be running in 1 hour creating awesome shit.  Something where the creative time spent on any creative task is maximized and time spent on making it production ready minimized. So much precious creation time lost that way in just making something engine ready. Most great artists are Right Brained, creation orientated, juggling Left hand sided tech is currently a necessary evil. Of course we do have a need for ‘GOOD’ Tech artists, tech tinkerer’s, they are definitely  worth their weight in gold when working with their artist brethren.

Quick fire round here; 5 questions that require only the answer; no fluff & reasoning –

  • Most visually appealing game?
    • Dofus Wakfu Shh! secretly, I’m going to make that game one day.
  • A great artist we may have never heard of?
  • Favourite art book?
    • Art of The Empire Strikes Back – my first realization that concept art existed.
  • A must of trait for ANY artist?
    • Be Humble, Brace yourself to iterate a 1000 times.
  • Most exciting part of your job?
    • Any moment I get to draw, paint or sculpt.

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Spotlight Interview: Ben Cureton [ combat designer ]

Ben Cureton Fact File –

Twitter – @verytragic
Moby Games Profile
LinkedIn Profile
Years of Experience – 17+

To kick off a series of spotlight interviews, we’re starting with one very close to home for me; combat. If you’ve played Darksiders, you know we like our combat intense and meaty, so what better place to start than with one of our in-house combat designers; Ben Cureton. Ben is spearheading Death’s combat, with a focus on flair, fluidity and some other cool word that starts with “F”.

You may know Ben as ‘tragic’, a longtime veteran of the fighting game community, known for a variety of combo and tutorial videos. He is also the official stage MC for the EVO Championship Series (the fighting game world championships held in Las Vegas every year!).

Ben was one of the new editions to the Darksiders II team, and he brings a lot of energy, enthusiasm and a shit ton of opinions! He’s passionate about combat and games in general, and that’s why we love him!

I was contemplating splitting this into two parts, but I’m already at work on the next interview for the site, so please, enjoy this rather lengthy read.

What was the last project you worked on, and what did you do on it?

The last project I worked on was Fear 3 for Day 1 Studios. I was in charge of weapon balancing, co-op, and the scoring system (though I didn’t think a horror game should have had a scoring system… at least not the way we did it!).

Call out some games with great combat, and a little bit about what makes them so good?

Bayonetta and DMC3 are among my all-time favorites and I think they both have an incredible blend of style, substance, while still allowing the player freedom to play how they want. There are so many tricks in both games (more so in Bayonetta) which really reward players for experimenting. Replay value is not always about finding all the pick-ups or discovering all the hidden areas. In both Bayonetta and DMC, you can practice combos and techniques for hours without progressing the game at all. That’s real depth, and that (in my opinion) makes them timeless.

When designing a new combat move for Death, talk us through the process of creation, to implementation?

The first thing we do is take into account the weapon type. Is it the Scythe, a Heavy (Hammer, Mace, etc), or a Melee type weapon. Then we determine what type of move it is going to be, and the input we are going to use to execute it. For example: Is it a gap-closer? Is it a dash-type move? Is it a launcher? How does the player access it? When taking these aspects into consideration, we can get a general idea of the type of move we are looking to create. Then we compare that against what we already have – do we have a lot of slam-down moves? Do we already have too many moves where the Scythe is thrown? Sometimes it’s quite easy to come up with the type of move we are looking to create, due to holes in the moveset, however, sometimes it provides a bit of a challenge.

At this point, we (myself, the animator, Haydn, or anyone else interested) start acting out moves to get an idea of what might flow with the rest of Death’s moveset. Once we think we have something good, the animator puts a few keyframes together so we can put a rough version of the move in game. I put the move into the game with some very basic hit data (such as knockback, knockup, slamdown, pop-up in air state, etc.) and attach it to a button. Then we just play with it and see how it feels. Usually, we can tell if we are on the right track after performing the move a few times. There are a couple of options at this point: A) Take it to polish, B) Rework it a bit (something about it we don’t like), C) Go back to the drawing board.

What’s the hardest part of combat design?

Pleasing everyone!

Everyone has their own idea about how combat should be in a game like Darksiders II. Some people prefer a more subdued/traditional RPG approach, while others want high-flying, fast-paced, fluid combat experience. The trick is to get a little of what everyone wants… which is admittedly much harder than it seems.

On a less obvious note, “feel” is actually the hardest thing and much of it is subjective (which relates to the above reason). There are so many elements that contribute to the feel of a move, some of which aren’t obvious at first. For example, the sound trigger may be off causing the move to strike and then make a sound afterward. Or, the rumble may be too early, causing a premature tactile response. This happens with mistimed effects as well, or too much hit-pause, or not enough damage, or a ton of other things. Getting it all right takes a keen eye, and you can/will still miss stuff!

On top of all that, you have your transition windows. Transition windows determine when you can transition into or out of a move, and tiny variants can make or break the feel of the overall combat. In Darksiders II, they also determine when a button press is registered and when it returns that data back to the engine.

Let’s take a basic 3-hit combo chain. The player presses the attack button and the engine sees the input and plays the move attached to it. So now we are in the first attack – pretty standard. Now, let’s say the player presses the attack button twice back to back. The first move begins and the engine stores the second button press so that when the first attack finishes, the second move begins. If we don’t remember this second button press then even the basic 2-hit combo chain will feel unresponsive. However, it’s not as simple with the 3-hit variation.

If the player presses the attack button three times quickly, we don’t want to queue up all 3 attacks. The second attack is probably not even playing at this point which means the player can just mash and release and a full 3-hit chain would come out. Even though the player actually pressed the button three times, by the time the second move finishes, they may not actually want to perform the third hit. This is where our transition windows come into play. We have to decide when that third button press is allowed to be stored/registered. Compound this issue with dozens of moves and hundreds of transitions and you can see where it gets complicated. The person adjusting all of these windows can make or break the responsiveness of the main character by simply changing a few numbers around. It’s a lot of work!

What would you like to see advance within combat games?

I’d personally love to see even more layers of ability-based player customization (think: Godhand). Players are controlling the same character, but the way each plays is completely different. You can see some of this in DMC3 where one person might play Trickster and another is more interested in Swordsmaster. I’d like to see it go even further with character customization mechanics brought into the mix. Take the initial Styles of DMC3 being “Classes” but then each has its own talent tree and customization options. This way, your Swordmaster may be totally different from my Swordmaster, which might be totally different from someone else’s Swordmaster. The basics are all the same, but the way you utilize them with the supplemental skills and talents are completely different. The good news is, Darksiders II is already leaning towards this a bit. Let’s see where we go in the future!

I’d also like to see more multiplayer!

What do you think players will like most about the combat in Darksiders II?

One of our main goals with Darksiders II was to remain accessible while allowing more advanced players the opportunity to let loose. I think that players will really appreciate how easy it is to jump right into our new system and quickly realize the amount of freedom they have to play their own way. Fans of the first game should be pleasantly surprised at the lengths we’ve gone to make Death feel like an entirely new character from War, and yet how easy it is to do something badass. At the same time, I’m personally looking forward to the stylish combos that more advanced players will come up with.

I think players will like that it is both familiar, and new at the same time!

From a combat point of view on Darksiders II, what are you most proud of?

I’m probably the most proud of the fact that we are doing something no one has really done before. Of course, there are definitely elements of many games within Darksiders II, but no one has done this particular combination. We wanted high-energy, action packed combat, but we also wanted to incorporate lots of character customization as well. On one hand, Death has tons of attacks, unique weapons, juggles, bounces, parries, dodges, but on the other hand, we’ve also included talent-trees, loot, and even more Wrath abilities with decidedly deeper context. It’s crazy!

Do you have any advice for budding combat designers?

Play everything! From the most revered combat games to the most despised – play them all. Just playing the big games gives you a limited perspective of what is out there. Even if you don’t like a particular style of game, there is probably something that might pique your interest or even surprise you. From DMC, Bayonetta, God of War, and Ninja Gaiden, to Otogi, Shinobi, Ninja Blade, Mark of Kri, Soul Reaver, Godhand, to Spike Out, Powerstone, Urban Reign, and everything in between. All of these games (and dozens of unmentioned games) have done something different and brought something new to the table. You may love them or hate them, but there’s always something to learn from them. Even games that aren’t “combat” games have something to offer.

Basically… play everything!

Are there any resources readers may find useful?

Believe it or not, reading reviews for games as well as user comments can really give you a general idea of what people thought was cool, what they didn’t like, and what they’d like to see in the future. There are tons of sites that have one person’s philosophy on game design, but that doesn’t particularly make it right or wrong. However, if the general consensus thought “GAME X” had unresponsive controls, go check it out and see for yourself maybe they are onto something!  In many cases, some players go the extra distance and break things down with well-written documents and even videos. Also, watch tutorial videos for combat systems. Even if you haven’t played the game all the way through, you may be missing all sorts of really cool techniques that you didn’t know existed. Remember, these are the people that will most-likely be playing your combat game as well! Don’t be afraid to check sites like NeoGAF, SHORYUKEN, or even GameFAQS (yes, even GameFAQS!).

Are there any websites you regularly visit that revolve around combat?

For sites that only revolve around combat, I mostly visit www.shoryuken.com.  However, that’s for more traditional 1 on 1 fighting games (Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, etc.). The bonus is that there are a TON of combat game fans on the site and they are definitely some of the more hardcore players. It’s a good site to go to for opinions, techniques, wish-lists etc.

Has any game surprised you with its combat?

Godhand. Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls. Monster Hunter.

Godhand for the customization options which allowed players to be creative. The Souls series proved that you don’t need a ridiculous amount of complexity to be rewarding – you simply need solid mechanics and great enemy / boss design. Monster Hunter, similar to the Souls series, reinforced the idea of simple/straightforward mechanics but also added the element of teamwork. While I absolutely love the high-flying, in-your-face combat of DMC and Bayonetta, I also love games that can make something simple contain so much depth.

Most overrated combat game?

This is probably a question I should avoid! That being said, even the games that I don’t particularly like have some really cool features. This is why I suggest that players and budding combat designers play everything!

Best thing about working at Vigil?

There are actually two great reasons about working at Vigil (among others!). The first is the sense of collaboration. While everyone has different titles and seniority and experience, the general idea at Vigil is simply “is it going to make the game better?”  It doesn’t matter if you are a tester or the General Manager; a good idea is a good idea. There are always exceptions, but the vast majority of the time, the game comes first.

The second great reason is the fact that you know the people you work with want to make an awesome game.  I’ve worked at plenty of places where getting even the simplest thing done becomes a task. At Vigil, it comes down to doing whatever it takes to make the game better. If a sound needs to be redone, then the sound guys make it happen, even if they are completely swamped. If someone needs to learn a new tool, someone will take the time to teach them, even if that means staying late to make up for their lost work/time. If retouching or redoing animations will make a much greater impact, then it will get done as well.

We only get one chance to make Darksiders II awesome. The team knows this, and embraces it.

Tell us something we don’t know about you?

Well, some people don’t know that I came from the same little studio that many of the industry’s most notable combat designers came from – Paradox Development (which eventually became Midway LA). In fact, I was the first one there, but I took a different path than many of the other guys. You’ve probably heard of people like Eric Williams – Lead Combat Designer of GOW, GOW2 (as well as assisting on most of/all of the other versions). He also consulted on the first Darksiders! Derek Daniels – also from GOW, and GOW2. Omar Kendall – one of the driving forces behind THQ’s UFC titles. Adam Puhl – GOW3 Lead Combat Designer. John Edwards – one of the Lead Designers on Mortal Kombat 9. Paul Edwards (John’s Brother) who is working on some really cool stuff for Sony. Ed Ma – a famous SF4 player who is now working with Paul and Omar at Sony. Mark Acero – now a Senior Combat Designer at Radical!

It’s pretty crazy that such a tiny studio produced so many combat designers that have gone on to work on some of the biggest games in the industry.

I’m also an amateur beatboxer. =O

Give us an answer to a question you would’ve liked to have been asked?

How about “What would you like to accomplish in this industry?”

Well, I’d absolutely love to get one of my original ideas to a console or PC (who wouldn’t!). I think it would be awesome to take all of the things I’ve learned over the years and create a game that focuses on combat, teamwork, and competition. There is a ton of room in our industry for combat games; especially when people are willing to try something new. However, risks in our industry are expensive. Since I don’t plan on going anywhere, perhaps one day you might hear about a brand new combat game from Vigil/THQ that centers around the elements mentioned above!

We’ll see. For now, I hope you all enjoy Darksiders II!

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