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We interviewed one of our long-time employees, Kyle, the Art Director!
Her Interactive: What was your first job?
After graduating from the Art Institute, I contracted as a digital ink & paint artist at Humongous Entertainment, working on projects like Putt-Putt and Pajama Sam. I did this for about 8 months, before being offered a job as a 2D artist with HI that started the following year.
However, technically speaking, an internship with HI during my time as a student feels more like my first ‘job’.
Her Interactive: How long have you worked at Her Interactive?
11 Years as of last week!
Her Interactive: What are you currently working on?
Currently we’re working on wrapping up ND26 – “Art Freeze” is this week, so just making sure that the team has all the art assets the game requires delivered to the scripters to be built. I also have some last-minute textures and puzzles to update for my patient partner for this game, 3D Artist John Hayashi. Essentially by Art Freeze all art assets should be available to be built into a final ‘game’ though there is still a bug-fixing process that takes place afterwards.
Her Interactive: Name one memorable project or interesting experience you’ve had here.
Over the course of 11 years there have been many projects and experiences so it’s hard to pick just one. I’ve worked with some great people and we’ve had a lot of interesting activities outside of work that we’ve done. I think the one that stands out the most to me was the time we went to a cooking school in Seattle, and spent the day in different groups learning different cooking techniques. It was fun to see so many professionals that you work with try to tackle something different than the usual day-to-day things you’re used to. Programmers trying to fill raviolis; artists trying to prepare salmon, etc.
Her Interactive: When you aren’t making awesome games, what do you do for fun? Any hobbies?
I like to watch a lot of football (go Seahawks!) and of course play video games, console or PC. I’m a big fan of RPGs. I enjoy spending time with my wife Kelly and our daughter Aubrey, and our families. I enjoy cooking and entertaining friends and family. This past year my wife and I bought our first home so a lot of my free time has been spent learning the ins and outs of home ownership, and the maintenance that comes along with it.
Her Interactive: Is there an environment you’d like to create in the future?
Being a sci-fi/fantasy geek, I would love to work on an environment that is a little more whimsical or futuristic than what we’re used to. Since Nancy is part of the ‘real world’, we have to try to find ways to spice things up a bit where we can, so maybe I’ll get that chance in the future. Some sort of extremely high-tech laboratory with all kinds of cool cutting-edge technology and gadgets would be really neat. I also really loved dinosaurs growing up, and for a long time wanted to be a paleontologist (however my art grades far outpaced my grades in science class. . .) so I think it would be really cool to work on a game that involved a museum with dinosaur fossils and other dino-related subject matter.
Hmm..maybe we can combine the two, and make a cool cutting edge dinosaur research lab! I’ll have to run that by our designer!
Her Interactive: If you were the main character of a video game, who would you be and what is your story or mission?
I’ve always liked the story of the bad guy who realizes he’s a jerk, and works to redeem himself and at least even the score; balance out the evils they’ve done with good deeds. A story in just about any setting where you start the game as the villain but ultimately go on a quest to right all your wrongs and eventually somehow achieve the sense that you’ve not only repaid your debts to society, but also made a lasting positive impact on the world is a storyline that compels me. That moment in “Star Wars” when Darth Vader tosses the Emperor down the ‘chute’ really resonated with me even as a kid. Just one brief moment turned a fairly one-dimensional “bad guy” character and typical good vs. evil story line into something a little deeper and more ‘grey’ in a universe that’s presented in a very black and white fashion.
Her Interactive: What is your favorite Ice Cream Flavor? Either in real life or from the ice cream parlor in Alibi in Ashes?
I really don’t eat enough ice cream to have a favorite; I’m more of a meat and potatoes kind of guy, not much into sweets – but I will say that my favorite dessert is carrot cake! If there’s carrot cake ice cream somewhere, I could be converted into a sweets guy that has an actual favorite ice cream flavor!
Her Interactive: What is your favorite movie?
That’s an impossible question to answer but if I had to name a movie I’ve always really enjoyed and appreciated my whole life, it has to be Jim Henson’s “The Dark Crystal”, which I’m sure must feel fairly dated, but it’s still an impressive work of art and puppetry.
Her Interactive: What is your favorite color combination?
Black and Red! Though as a fan I find that Seahawks Blue & Green appealing as well.
Her Interactive: If confronted with one of the following options, which would you choose?
A) Expose and catch a criminal
B) Sleep in a haunted place
C) Hunt for treasure in a dangerous location
I’m not a very superstitious person, so sleeping in a haunted house wouldn’t really be that exciting for me, so it’s got to be a tie between A and C…
I suppose I would go with A. I’m a ‘problem solver’ in that if a friend or co-worker or family member comes to me with a problem, I just assume that it’s up to me to solve it (however sometimes people just need to vent/talk and don’t want you to solve their problems for them!). It seems like a criminal could be problematic and I think doing the detective work to keep them from causing trouble would be fun! Treasure hunting would be fun too, and I’m sure that it would present its own puzzles to solve – however if doing the detective work to catch a crook could both satisfy my need to problem solve while getting a crook off the street, then it’s win-win.
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, Kyle! And thanks for all your years of hard work to make the games look great!