What's your role on the Third Pie Studios (TPS) team and what all does this entail?
Hi, I'm Sam! I'm the 3D character artist for Ages of Cataria. I transform the imaginative work of our 2D concept artists into 3D game-ready characters. This entails digital character modeling, using programs like Blender, Zbrush, and Autodesk Maya, assuring accurate creature and character anatomy, ensuring quality edge flow for quality animations, optimizing character models & UVs for easy engine implementation, and texturing the characters to really bring them to life. I also provide prop & technical art assistance through prop development and material, post-processing, lighting, particle, and set dressing implementation.
What interested you in game development?
By far, my favorite part of game development is teamwork. There’s nothing more motivating than working with a community that, collectively, has one, simple goal: to make the dream work. When we invest in each other, there’s nothing that we can’t do. I love making good games, I love working with good people more. But aside from that, I guess, meta, aspect of game development, I love immersion. Games have the power to give people a happy place where they can be empowered, connected with a community, and be themselves without worrying about day-to-day stresses. Immersion is such an important aspect of this. It creates a world where we can put the hard aspects of life on pause and just breathe for a second. Helping to fully realize these worlds is what gets my creative “flow” going. Characters just happen to be a self-contained immersive aspect of game design. They, themselves, have an entire backstory that you get to bring forward through their appearance. Want a warrior to have had a family? Give her stretch marks and a battle ax. Want to tell an underdog story? Give a character smaller proportions, a once-broken nose, and some scrapped, muddied knees. That kind of thing. That’s what I love.
What are your favorite video games, and why?
Halo is, flat out, my favorite video game. I contribute a lot of my career and, I guess, life path to it. I have three siblings. All of whom are a pain in my butt, yet, my best friends. Growing up, I’d watch the older two play Halo with each other and with their friends. Now, being significantly younger than them, I was too little to keep up or to be considered “cool” to play with. This, therefore, meant that I was left sitting on the side-lines of most games. So, because of this, just to spite them, I made it a life goal to be better at video games than them. A goal that, I believe, I’ve accomplished, if only, just in that fact, that I now make them. The Mass Effect and Dragon Age series are runners up for their immersion and Castle Crashers makes honorable mentions for the hours that my younger sibling and I spent together on it.
What excites you most about Ages of Cataria?
I am super excited about the possibilities the world of Cataria holds. From the vast world building, to the immersive storytelling, to the player agency, to the community interaction. The world just has so many places it can and will take us. It’s got so much room to learn, grow, and be influenced by what our community wants. We’re truly making a game for the players. We wanna give them something good, and Cataria is giving us the platform to do just that.
What are your favorite non-gaming things to do?
I am an avid creator. Whether that’s furniture, home decor, 2D or 3D art, or cooking, creating is when I feel the best. Other than that, I try to talk to my family, both on mine & my SO’s side, as much as I can. I enjoy going on walks the boyfriend. And we have a pet lizard that entertains us 100% of the time.
Beyond TPS, where can we find you?