Hey everyone, this is Liz! Here at PlatinumGames.com, we like to give our fans the occasional glimpse behind the scenes of game development.
Have you ever dreamed of being a concept artist? Learn what it’s really like in this interview with one of our artists, Cho.
Q: What is most important to you when working on a game?
A: I’m in charge of concept and design work for the game’s characters and enemies, so I’m always thinking about whether the users will find the characters appealing. Of course, different things appeal to different people, but I always wonder to myself, “Would I buy an action figure of this character?”, “Can the player emotionally identify with this character? Will they want to control this character?”, and “Could a player tell the character’s personality at a glance?” So I think about my characters from various different perspectives when I’m doing my design work. Other than that, I try to focus on making the game fun!
Q: Tell us an interesting experience you’ve had working on a game.
A: To make a game fun, the creators on each team need to be in the same mental space. That’s easy to say, but hard to achieve. For example, when I think a concept is interesting, sometimes the entire staff shares that feeling, but sometimes they don’t. Each individual has their own thought process, so we discuss and create, discuss and create, over and over again. Only through this cycle can we create a fun game that every single team member is satisfied with.
Q: What memory will you never forget about your work?
A: Originally I was in the character section, and I was in charge of converting character concepts into 3D. But I had always wanted to create my own original characters from scratch, so I told all my coworkers that I wanted to do character design. Also, I had been taking part in brainstorming meetings because I could do illustrations. So one day, a senior team member happened to notice one of my drawings, and I was re-assigned to do 2D character design in the artwork section! Of course I was lucky that there was an opening at that time, but I was really glad that my persistence had paid off, and I promised myself to make the best possible use of this chance.
A Day In the Life
8:00 AM Wake up
9:00 AM Commute by bicycle
9:30 AM Arrive at work
10:00 AM Start working on character creation
I always decide a goal for my day before starting my work. Sometimes people think that artists just sit around drawing all day, but it’s also the artists’ job to imagine the game world itself. When I do my drawing, I think in as much detail as possible about what kind of people and animals live in this world. I also get ideas from looking at reference material and talking with my coworkers.
12:30 Lunch with coworkers
1:30 PM Character drawing
In the early stages of design, I draw about 100 versions of a character. Each version takes only a minute or so – I don’t make polished-quality art at this stage. I go through the cycle of character sketching and showing my work to the director countless times. As I narrow down the number of versions to 50, 25, and 10, I create more finished illustrations.
2:00 PM Section meeting
Discussion about the game world with the art section.
3:00 PM Continue to refine design
4:00 PM Director check
I always have the director check my work at least once, and sometimes up to 4 or 5 times per day! I have my work checked so many times because, if the character’s design isn’t finished, other sections’ work gets slowed down. Speed is a very important quality for an artist.
5:00 PM Character approaches final version
As I improve the detail level of the drawing, I think about how it will move in 3D and how it can be animated. It takes me an average of three days to one week to brush up a character. The main character of a certain title took a year to be finished!
6:00 PM Director check
7:00 PM Return home
8:00 PM Shower and have dinner
9:00 PM Take care of kids
11:00 PM Free time
I play games in all genres, watch films and read novels and poetry, as well as reading art-related books. This time gives me more material for new character design ideas.
2:00 AM Go to bed
Well, that’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed. Tell us so and we might interview more Platinum employees in the future.