This is an interview with Ben Brudenell, Art Director at Natural Motion, chosen as Game Artist of 2016. Ben has been honored with the IMGA’s inaugural Game Artist Award for his outstanding work on Dawn of Titans.
Who is the Game Artist of the Year?
I am the Art Director on Dawn of Titans, which means I set the visual style for the entire game and help the art team be the best they can be – I’m always striving for the best, whilst being understanding and laid back in order to get the best out of my team!
Could you tell us more about your daily job?
I have 18 fantastic artists in my team. My day to day work involves working with the team to come up with ideas and decisions for the art in the game, creating mood boards and planning. Then working with concept artists on titan designs for example, reviewing the work being created and giving feedback.
I schedule Friday afternoons for the art team to work on anything they want – kind of – it has to be related to making either the game or themselves better in their role. This sort of initiative has led to them investigating new software which changed our work pipeline and ultimately improved the visuals, as well as the team expanding their skillsets.
Tell us about your victory…
It was a great surprise and I feel very humbled. I love the job of creating great looking games, so be recognised for my efforts is fantastic. I do also consider this as recognition for the Art team and the great work we have created together. It was a very exciting ceremony. To not only be going up to collect one award but two was an amazing surprise. The team was ecstatic to have won the technical achievement award.
How long have you been working on this game?
About two and a half years. In this time the game has evolved as we discovered better processes to be as visually creative as possible. During that time some of the elements were remade. We will always try and get the art finished well before the code, so there is plenty of time for testing and bug fixing. As a team we try and work on features about 4 months ahead of time, so the art is at the highest possible quality within the deadline set.
Can you give us 3 tips for designing a successful mobile game?
1- Research! This is key to everything. For art, research will help you define your style, so you know your “Dos” and “Don’ts”. It will help inform your designs and make them more cohesive.
2- Know what your aim is from the start! Who is your target audience?
3- Have a design document from the beginning to help keep the design consistent and not drift.
What are the biggest design trends that will define the future of video games?
It’s great seeing more artistic looking games being successful, for example, “Inside”, “Monument Valley” and “Samorost 3”. But in terms of design trends I think at the core will be social, synchronous and streaming.
Any new game or project coming out in the next months?
No new projects, but we are currently working on lots of new content for Dawn of Titans so we can give the players exciting updates and new features.
Anything else you would like to say to the world?
Download and enjoy Dawn of Titans of course! But also, to the games artists out there, I am hiring for my team, so if you want to come and join us please apply here!