Learning The Dream Job
Ever since my childhood, I've always loved to draw characters, especially when I discovered video games. While the graphical representations were limited for their time (especially for the pixel NES era), you could fill up the blanks with your imagination and draw your favorite heroes, creatures or boss monsters. After finishing up my little creations, I imagined them moving, reacting, attacking in a game that didn’t even exist.
Years later, while having some experience in drawing characters, I couldn’t enter the gaming industry for several reasons: lack of experience, maybe not good enough or not having a style that fits a game project. Even having some experience in 3D modeling wasn’t enough in character modeling, since you need to be in your A game because the competition is fierce and furious. So, I decided to take an alternate route and go into 3D environment modeling.
However, that dream of designing character lingered inside me for years, waiting for a moment to awaken back into my mind.
Easier said than done
Right now, I am doing something I always wanted to do : I am designing brand new characters for a video game.
I am writing those lines without realizing the impact of it all and how my adult anxieties have eroded this childhood dream in a way. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing what I do right now: with the help of William, we create those characters from scratch and give them a visual, a way of talking, a place in a future universe that will become our obsession for a few months, maybe even years. Creating the 3D models after drawing the characters is awesome and my childhood memory of seeing them becoming alive is possible with technology!
But… it is easier said than done. Arriving to the team’s expectations in a timeframe that doesn’t put the project in jeopardy in the long run, and learning how it all works at every step, is something my childhood self would never understand! Again, reality creeps in and applies its limits and laws that create a lot of problems to solve. You soon realize that it is way more than having an idea and getting it done: some technical aspects are not considered and it comes back at you while discovering how to do it yourself.
Please, accept your losses of time
Trying to foresee how much time you are doing a task is something I always struggled with as a 3D modeler in my career, and it is still a challenge for me as a noob project manager. As I try to get characters done in a certain amount of time, I quickly realize that, because this kind of task is new to me in a technical way, I didn’t see the obstacles here and there that can really change how much time it takes to do it. It is basic, I know, but I have to accept this simple fact: creating a character in a game is a long process and I will lose time for the first ones. Normally, several people do those tasks and I must tackle it myself. In the end though, it will give me a lot of experience and I hope I’ll learn a lot from that.
So, is it still a dream job with all those challenges involved? Yes, I believe it is, and I am so happy to do it after all this time. But like a lot of things as an adult, I think I’ll truly realize it when all those characters will become alive in our new game project and I can’t wait to share those characters with you all!