Andy Davis of Rockstar Games

Tuesday February 12, 2013

The second lecture of the day and i find myself sat in front of Andy Davis a Technical Artist working at Rockstar. Andy started by telling us his background, he was into music at first, instead of gaming he was in a band, but when he decided to pack that in he went back to what he was really interested in, which was painting, architecture and 3D art. One of the strange things that he told us was that he wasn’t a big gamer and that he was only looking for a career, which I find kind of odd, but hey… he said you don’t have to be really into games to be a Technical Artist, I can understand, not everyone is into games as much as me and many others.

His first few games he worked on that got him into the industry were mainly quiz and kids games that he said he enjoyed but he wanted a bit more of a challenge, since Andy was only into the look of a game he wanted to find something more interesting for him. The next job he had was working on the Lego games, games you will probably know, LEGO Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Rock Band, Etc.

Andy highly recommended Technical Artist as a job, because there is not a lot of stress and you get to socialise and meet lots of new people within the industry, but it comes at a cost… this is a job option for those that are really good at maths, problem solving and good communication skills. This job is not for the weak, only the strong will survive.

He described a typical day at work:

  • Morning: E-mail/sync/task list (Organising)
  • Lunch: Gaming/Personal projects (Relax)
  • Afternoon: Core Work
  • Evening: daily report/ crunch (Long Hours)

sound like fun? if yes then this maybe something you might want to look into.

Next he told us the software we would have to be well acquainted with.

  • Key Software Skills
  • Maya/ 3D Studio Max
  • Photoshop/ Illustrator
  • Source Control: Perforce/Subversion/Bit Keeper/Source Safe
  • Motion Builder
  • Video: After Effect/Premiere/Final Cut
  • Flash
  • Audio: Sound Forge/Logic/Pro Tools/ Cubase/Reason

You will have to know some inside out but only the main ones like Photoshop.

Andy works in London, he said that sometimes you will have to move to where the work is, so if you are thinking of working for a big AAA company then you may have to be prepared to move somewhere the company will need you most, or otherwise… no job for you. In order to get any job in the industry your CV must be written with you job you want in mind, so what i mean is if you were going for an interview for a Technical Design company you will not only want to put what you have done but also send them your work by sending them a link to your website with evidence of the things you have done and also take a laptop to the interview with a tool you have designed so you can show them what you are made of.

Andy ends his lecture by saying that he is proud and passionate about his work, a little Q&A at the end and wished us luck in the future.

Industry Week guest post by Confetti student
Lewis Brandley