Name: Dan Jones
Job: 3D Artist & Animator at Ocean Spark Studios
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Hello, I’m 23 years old and have been studying game design for 5 years now, I absolutely love playing Nintendo games, anything from Pokémon to Super Mario, NES to Nintendo Switch, I’m there.
I started my own Games Studio with 3 other students from The University Of Huddersfield, we are currently working on our first title ‘Tetra – Elemental Awakening’ which is an RPG Tower Defence Wave Clearing Game where you control several characters, which all have their own individual abilities and skills to defeat waves of enemies at certain locations across the world map, for more information on our game visit www.playtetra.com and send us an email for a free 10 minute demo over at email@example.com
I’m always trying to push myself to learn new and exciting things within game development to really get the best out of what projects I’m working on, especially in Unreal Engine 4 and Zbrush!
How did you first get into video game development?
I started at Leeds City College after finding out they started a Games Design course, thankfully I found this course because I had no idea anything like this existed, prior to this I was planning on studying Business, that would have been a completely different career path!
I’d always been interested in how games worked from a young age, ever since I picked up a NES and played Super Mario Bros I was hooked on figuring out how games functioned, and more importantly, how they were made. This course really gave me an idea of where I wanted to go with games, and set me up to be able to study further at university.
Why did you choose to study at the University of Huddersfield?
Before choosing where I wanted to go, I toured around various universities, and none of them really stood out for me. Until I came to Huddersfield, what really intrigued me was the way the modules for the courses were set out, Team Project was the one that drew the most attention for me, being able to work with programmers and fellow artists to create a game for the year really appealed to me, because it gives you a little insight into what working in the games industry is really about, and you can learn how to get your points across and work with others who can help you with this.
Also, the connections Huddersfield had with companies such as Rockstar/Red Kite/Team 17 made me think this could be somewhere that I may gain useful contacts from, and maybe even work for in the future.
What is your favourite thing to design/programme?
Massive, wide open environments is something I really enjoy designing, it almost feels like a jigsaw puzzle, making every 3D asset to fit into place to create an astatically pleasing scene, tweaking every last detail, adding countless number of lights and effects until you’re sick of looking at it. It’s great because sometimes you’ll just be out walking somewhere, and see something that makes you want to create a whole scene around it, for example something like a statue, or a fountain, all of a sudden ideas just keep popping into your head, it really gives you inspiration to create more and more worlds.
What is your favourite piece of software to use and why?
I use quite a few day to day while working at Ocean Spark, but for me it has to be Substance Painter, it is such a powerful piece of software (and its now free!) It really brings your assets, or characters to life, being able to paint your 3D models in real time along with normal and ambient occlusion maps (and tons more) is such a massive time saver, plus you can also create your own materials in Substance Designer, which you can then share with others on their community pages, or download other artists materials and tweak them to your liking, I really don’t know what I’d do without it now, and more and more companies in the gaming industry are turning towards it as standard, which is great!
Do you have any examples of previous work that you would like to show us?