22.

Sep 24, 2010 I Roads? Where We're Going We Don't Need Roads..

That’s my new number. It’s the number of credits I have left to graduate.

So! SOE!
SOE was an adventure, let me tell you. I’ll spare the details of how I lived in a room in a house full of Asian college students, rode a bike to work and back (5 miles both ways, and I had to go through a valley each way, so yes, it WAS uphill both ways), spent the weekends in south Orange County with my friends and family from my younger years, and saw Paige for a couple days every 2 or 3 weeks.

Instead, I’ll remind you WHY I was doing all of that stuff. I was a 3D art and production intern on the character art team for Everquest 2, which is regarded is the 2nd-largest MMO game next to World of Warcraft. I worked under a great mentor on a fantastic art team. I was constantly and consistently impressed (for whatever that’s worth, I’m still just a student) by the quality and speed that these guys produced. Frankly, one of the biggest things I learned over the summer was that I need to be much, much faster. I tend to take my time designing and building whereas these guys produced really quality work in hours instead of days. It was humbling. Then again, I think that’s part of the value of an internship.

I was on the character art team, so I spent all of my time dealing with things that pertain to the sentient life of Everquest 2, particularly the characters. I made a couple handfuls of player cloaks. Some of these were meant for their in-game store where people spend real money on in-game items to deck out their character. One of them was given away as swag for those who attended SOE’s fan convention “Fan Faire”. Additionally, I did some slight redesigns and retexures of a weapon set that is destined for the an area in the next EQ2 expansion. This was all about taking a group of existing weapons, adding my own design, color, and touch to them in order to make them completely new.

Finally, my largest project at SOE was designing and building a boss character for a raid in the upcoming expansion. She was so much fun to work with and I hope she turns out nicely. I have yet to follow up on if she imported into the engine all right or not.

Most of my work is still under NDA, so I can’t post anything just yet. Once the expansion finally drops in February-ish, though, I’ll be posting an SOE reel with everything in there. Until then, just know that it was a fantastic experience for me. I learned that I need to learn to paint in a BAD way. I also learned that I need to better polishing the skills I already have in order to get faster at producing within my comfort zone. I also learned that pushing beyond my comfort zones is ok and even necessary even in day-to-day projects. I also learned how to cope with assignments that are beyond my skill set. I learned that I need to be a generalist. The better you can do other people’s jobs in addition to your own, the better off you’ll be. I learned more things specific to modeling, texturing, and designing than I had in the 6 months previous.

I think the most important thing I learned, though, is that I really really enjoy working in this industry. I’ve never had a job that I’ve actually loved doing, and heaven knows that SOE wasn’t always a party to work at for work is a lot of work, even if you enjoy it as a whole. Every other job I’ve ever had, though, has quickly disintegrated into a drudge after a few weeks’ time. Working on games, I never even sensed an inkling that that would be the case. I loved doing it, and with luck, I’ll love doing it for a long, long time.

As for now, I’ve got school to finish and lots of stuff to post up. I’m swinging into my last few semesters and shooting for a December 2011 graduation. I’ll end up with 2 degrees: BFA in Animation and a degree in the Russian Language. Until then, I’ll continue to work my personal projects into my school assignments, and I need to get going editing and supplementing my reel, so expect to see new work in the close future. Better work. Faster work.

Thanks to everyone who helped make my summer of 2010 possible. There were many of you, and you know who you are.

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  1. supermar Says:

    Yeah, posts! I enjoyed hearing about your time at SOE. I can’t wait to see what you did there, especially the boss! Cool.

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