This past summer SOE hosted two G.I.R.L. scholarship recipient artists for internships. It was a pleasure working with these talented individuals, they both brought energy and enthusiasm to the teams they worked with and the experience was rewarding not only for their mentors, but everyone on the development teams. I asked Rebecca and Sylvia to share a few thoughts on their summer internship experiences.
-Joe Shoopack “Rystall”
Director of Artistic Development
It was a long drive home, but my boyfriend and I finally rolled in to Indianapolis late Sunday night, having been on the road for almost three days. My car was holding together, but I had definitely eaten too much junk food and my body had been screaming for my own bed. We had driven cross-country from the SOE studios in San Diego where I spent a few months getting a taste of some serious game development and having one of the best summers I can remember.
When I won the G.I.R.L. Scholarship last year, I had no idea what to expect from the internship. It had always been a dream of mine to work on a creative team designing things that had never been seen before and I couldn’t wait to get started.
I was lucky enough to be placed on a team that was working on a new game. Full production hadn’t yet begun, so I got to experience what pre-production research and development looks like. After being shown in to a large, dark studio where the glow of multiple screens emanated from each giant workstation and concept art covered the walls, I was introduced to the Producer, Art Director, artists, designers, animators and programmers. Everyone was so friendly and helpful; I knew immediately that I had nothing to be nervous about. I was given my own giant workstation minus the action figures and other personal artifacts that made the others so interesting and colorful. I was ready to begin.
My focus had always been on 2D art, but was asked if I wanted to learn 3D. Of course I said yes. It was always something I had wanted to learn, but had been a bit intimidated by in the past. That first week I spent learning some 3D programs and getting a feel for the game we were working on. Because my mentor was such a great teacher, I was able to pick up the programs pretty quickly. Over the next few weeks, I “concepted” some game weapons, built them from scratch, and was able to see them in action shortly after. It was beyond exciting to see something I created actually end up in a game. I was also able to do preliminary designs for a couple of PC characters as well as some clothing designs. They may or may not end up as the final designs for the game, but they were a good starting point and a great learning experience for me.
The summer seemed to fly and by the end, I felt like I could do anything I put my mind to. I didn’t want to leave. I had made good friends, gained some valuable skills and learned a whole lot about myself and what direction I am headed in. Returning to SOE to continue my experience is something I hope to do in the near future. I’m grateful to Sony and all the wonderful people there for giving me the chance to get my foot in the door; which is a foot closer to living my long-time dream of being a concept artist in this industry.
-Rebecca Gleason (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis)
I had a really great experience interning at SOE this summer. I learned everything I hoped for and more! My art director and team were very helpful and welcoming. For my internship I worked on the EverQuest team mainly designing concepts. I helped to design some creatures, props, etc. I was very happy to work with the EverQuest team because the players have stayed loyal to this game for so long, and bringing new content to such a dedicated group was fun. Being able to help and have my designs incorporated in such a well known game is really exciting.
I learned a lot about designing for an MMO because sometimes there are restrictions and you also need to keep in mind the style of the game.
Since there were some 3D limits, my job was also challenging but I learned a lot because of it. Also, I became more familiar with how artists turn a 2D concept into a 3D model that can be playable in the game. So understanding that helped me create better concepts for the team. I also had the opportunity to learn more of the 3D aspects of gaming such as modeling, texturing, etc. Overall my experience was very fulfilling, and I would recommend others to try for the internship at SOE if they are interested in creating online games.
I will be starting at Art Center College of Design in the Fall 2010 where I will be majoring in Entertainment Design. I plan to go into the field of visual development and concept art. My goal is to design 2D concepts for games, film, etc. I hope to someday be working to create new games that will be enjoyable for many people.