A Day in the Life of an Environment Artist

Platinum Games

Filed: Community, PlatinumGames

Hello, aspiring game developers! In our last feature, we got a peek into a day in the life of a concept artist. This time we interviewed Ms. Shinohara, one of our environment artists. I hope this post can shed some light on an often-overlooked role in the game development process.

Environment artist

Q: What is the role of an environment artist?

There are two main roles within the environment team. One is actually creating the assets that go in the game levels, and the other is laying out the level design that makes the game fun.

On top of that, when we create game levels we don’t just create assets and layouts, but also do work like lighting and post-processing that has a huge impact on the game as a whole.

Both asset creation and level design are very important elements of the game development process. I think the role of an environment artist is to integrate both of these elements at a high level of quality.

In recent years, it has also become common to split these two elements into a level design role and an environment artist role to achieve even greater job specialization.

In my current role, I don’t do much asset creation on a daily basis. My job is to research and test the most efficient and cutting-edge environment creation technologies and share that knowledge with the rest of the team. You might even say that I’m a hybrid between a technical artist and an environment artist!

Q: What is the most important skill or ability for an environment artist?

Many different skills are required to become a successful environment artist.
These are just some examples: the composition ability to lay out environments, lighting skills, the knowledge and skills needed to create assets, and the technical ability required to do development work using a variety of different middleware tools.

There are so many different skills that you need that it’s hard to pinpoint just one that is the most important! However, the environment artist job can be sub-divided into layout, asset creation, lighting, etc, so I think it’s best to choose one area of expertise and acquire the specialized knowledge for it.

Q: Tell me about an experience at work that you’ll never forget.

Once I was asked to create assets for a level that we didn’t have any concept art of yet! I was just given two or three keywords and told to freely use my imagination to create the assets. However, I found it hard to come up with many good ideas, and the assets I made ended up getting rejected. :)

Usually, the concept art gets created before the environment team begins their work, but at that early stage of development, the concept artists hadn’t even joined the team yet, so that’s why I found myself in that situation.

I didn’t have much of a sense for concept art at the time, and I also didn’t have much background in game development, so this was a high bar to clear. However, I learned a lot about how the concept artists do their creative work – how they make “something” out of “nothing”, and this ended up being an educational experience for me.

Q: What do you want to learn next for your job?

This isn’t just for work, but I really want to brush up my English skills. I want to be able to read English well enough to get technical information from English websites, and to be able to communicate fluently in English. I would love to be able to have discussions and exchange information with artists from around the world.

A Day in the Life

8:00 AM Wake up

9:30 AM Arrive at work

10:00 AM Do research for an environment creation spec I’m writing

12:30 PM Lunch with coworkers

1:30 PM Write documents on environment creation and tech

3:00 PM Give team members guidance on how to best create their assets

4:00 PM More work on documents

6:00 PM Chat with coworkers

7:00 PM Go running at the gym

9:00 PM Return home

9:30 PM Cook up a healthy vegetable soup for dinner

11:00 PM Study English

12:00 Go to bed

That’s all for now, folks! Be sure to let us know what you thought in the comments or on Twitter and Facebook.

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MGR Contest: Interesting Submissions

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames, Uncategorized

FanArt3

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, we recently held a contest on Twitter. We were touched by the outpouring of support and wacky videos we received.

Until scientists invent a device to measure raw enthusiasm, we didn’t feel that there was any fair way to objectively judge the submissions, so we decided the contest winners by random drawing. There were, however, several entries in particular that brought a smile to our faces.

The contest asked fans to tell us something they loved about MGR, or send us a video that had something to do with the game. In this post, we will share some interesting facts about what people enjoyed about MGR, and a few of the most memorable video submissions.

ResponseChart4

The soundtrack was a common theme running through the entirety of #mgrcontest. While individually it didn’t come out on top, many people mentioned how the soundtrack integrates into other things they love about the game, such as the boss battles, or how it elevates the action to new heights.

Speaking of music, check out our interview with MGR composer Akira Takizawa from last week. We asked you to tell us about your favorite Takizawa piece in the comments. Rules of Nature came up multiple times, with The Hot Wind Blowing and I’m My Own Master Now following close behind.

The battle system, including Blade Mode, was a popular choice among fans. This was reflected in the fan videos in…surprising ways.

Nutella Rising

Cat-Datsu

Characters matched the battle system shot for shot in popularity. We are thrilled that our designs inspire amazing fan art. @rtcifra was even kind enough to take a video of a beautiful painting in progress.

PlatinumGames is filled with fans of classic games. While we may have missed our chance to release a genesis title, this video gave us a glimpse into an alternate reality.

Keepin’ it Old-School

Finally, what would a contest be without a little Cosplay? Happy B-day Raiden!

B-day Costume Party

It takes guts to punk a guy who rips out spines as a hobby.

One individual enjoyed a very specific aspect of MGR. No comment.

FanArt5

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Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2, Community, PlatinumGames

As you may be aware, the Blu-Ray & DVD of the Bayonetta: Bloody Fate anime were recently released in Japan, so we think it’s about  time we gave you a bit more info on the movie, which was released in Japanese theaters last year.

Bayonetta: Bloody Fate is a movie adaptation of the first game in the series, created by anime studio Gonzo (http://www.gonzo.co.jp/index.html, Japanese only), known for popular works such as Hellsing, and Rosario + Vampire, as well as for contributing animated cutscenes to various video games such as Super Street Fighter IV, the Lunar series, and the Blazblue series. That’s an impressive résumé!

It also features an all-star cast of voice actors:
Atsuko Tanaka as Bayonetta
Mie Sonozaki as Jeanne
Daisuke Namikawa as Luka
Miyuki Sawashiro as Cereza
Tesshô Genda as Rodin
Wataru Takagi as Enzo
and the inimitable Norio Wakamoto as Balder

We won’t spoil the plot for you (although you’re probably already familiar with most of it), but we do have some other nice background information to share.

Last year, shortly after the movie was released in theaters, a special talk show took place in Osaka, organized by the “Bayonetta: Bloody Fate” staff: Mr. Fuminori Kizaki (director), Mr. Mitsutaka Hirota (script), and Mr. Yuji Naito. Our very own Yusuke Hashimoto (producer on Bayonetta/director on Bayonetta 2, and helped created the draft for the movie) attended as well!

bayonetta anime (2)
From left to right: Mr. Hirota, Mr. Hashimoto, Mr. Kizaki (the director), and Mr. Naito

The talk show touched on some of the trouble experienced during the development of the scenario: apparently Mr. Hirota had cried out “Maybe I could do the whole thing as a 3-parter, but you want me to do it all in 86 minutes!?” before exploding in a rain of haloes.

However, it wasn’t all bad: the show also covered some behind-the-scenes topics of the Tokyo International Film Festival in October last year, where the movie was first shown to the public, as well as some anecdotes on Bayonetta’s bathing scene (!), which was decided on “instantly and unanimously” at the first meeting between the movie staff and the staff of the original game.

bayonetta anime (5)

After that, it was time for some questions from the audience.

bayonetta anime (4)

Of course the crowd was dying to know more about the shocking climax scene, but there was also a healthy amount of interest in the cast of high-profile voice actors, and the BGM used for the movie. Everyone got to ask about their favorite scenes as well, so question time just flew by, and before you could say “Phantasmaraneae,” it was already time for the giveaway!

Character designer Ms. Yokoyama and character planner/supervisor Ms. Shimazaki kindly provided a couple of beautiful signed illustrations, and there was even a surprise present in the form of a framed illustration signed by our very own producer Yusuke Hashimoto and director Hideki Kamiya!

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Excitement filled the air!

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The illustration donated by Mari Shimazaki.

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The illustration donated by Ai Yokoyama.

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And the framed picture signed by Hashimoto and Kamiya

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We’re sure it found a great home somewhere.

For more information (in Japanese) and loads of downloadable goodies, please check the site below:

[Bayonetta: Bloody Fate] Official HP:

http://www.bayonetta-movie.com/

bayonetta anime (1)

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest PlatinumGames news and events.

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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance 1st Anniversary Contest Winners!

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Thank you to all the fans who participated in the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance 1st anniversary contest.

Without further ado, it’s time to announce the winners! Let’s begin with the Steam code / T-shirt prize sets!

We received hundreds of entries praising many different aspects of MGR. We here at PG localization will translate your comments into Japanese and share them with the team – it’s always nice to feel appreciated!

Here are the 10 winners who will receive a code for the Steam version of MGR and a T-shirt:

1. 3IceCubesShow

2. Abdo

3. anthonyfilipas

4. CasterOGPimpGD

5. erohir

6. LoveFNDeluxe

7. PaulSeesAll

8. Rauko3

9. Shinogu

10. tskx

Next, let’s move on to our grand prizes for the video contest. With videos ranging from reenactments of Blade Mode to cosplay antics, everyone here at Platinum was blown away by your creativity.

Here are the 3 winners who will receive a signed soundtrack:

1. djrubynyc

2. JetstreamFox

3. Halcyon_years

…And the winner of the Raiden figure from Play Arts Kai:

rtcifra

…Finally, the winner of the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance down coat is:

MERCURIUSFM

How to claim your prize:

  1. Make sure you are following @platinumgames on Twitter.
  2. You will be followed by our official account.
  3. We will send a private message confirming your win next week.

Once again, thank you to all the fans who showed their support for MGR. For more PlatinumGames news and events, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and right here on our official blog!

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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance 1st Anniversary Contest!

METAL GEAR RISING

Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

February 19th marks the 1st anniversary of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

To celebrate, PlatinumGames is holding a contest for our fans!

There are three ways to participate:

1) Download an interactive cuttable screensaver!
Download an MGR screensaver by liking us on Facebook! It allows you to reenact Blade Mode from MGR with your mouse cursor.

2) Tell us something you love about MGR!
Tweet about something you love from MGR using the hashtag #mgrcontest to be entered into a drawing to win 1 of 10 prize packs: a code for the Steam version of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance* and an MGR T-shirt.

*Before entering the drawing for the Steam code, please confirm the game is available in your region.

3) Make us an MGR-related video!
Using Vine or Instagram, tweet a video that has some connection to MGR. What kind of connection? That’s up to you! Don’t forget to include the hashtag #mgrcontest.

MGR-relevant videos will be entered into a drawing for 1 of 5 grand prizes:
-An MGR soundtrack signed by the artists. (3)
-A Raiden figure by Play Arts Kai (1)
-A limited-edition Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance PUMA down coat (1)

RaidenPlayArts2

Soundtrackcds

T-shirt

BDNsWdcCAAABTjc

Contest details:

Contest period: 2 days
Start time: Wednesday, February 19th 00:01 PST (03:01 EST)
End time: Thursday, February 20th 23:59 PST (02:59 EST)
Entry Limit: 1 per prize** (once for the Steam code / T-shirt, once for the soundtrack / jacket / figure)

**Feel free to post as many tweets / videos as you like, but your name will only be entered into each drawing once.

Check Facebook, Twitter, or this blog on Friday to find out if you won!

Follow us on Twitter for all the latest PlatinumGames news and events.

Good luck everyone!

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Fan Roundup February, 2014

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, The Wonderful 101

101FanArt8

At PlatinumGames we are thankful for our fans. You set aside your precious game time to write about our games, make high-quality videos, and create beautiful arts and crafts. We thought we would help spread these creations with regular Fan Roundup posts here on the official blog. Enjoy, and please keep that content coming!

We are sure 101 has been keeping your thumbs occupied, but if your feet are feeling a bit neglected, these wonder shoes should do the trick! Thank you Mairead Ralph.

WonderShoes

When it comes to art on a more traditional canvas, our Japanese fans have got you covered. Here are some of our favorites (with many more on our official Facebook page!)

101FanArt3
RisingFanArt2
101FanArt7

Japanese fans aren’t the only artists out there! Check out this creative character blend of Bayonetta and another femme fatal by PlagueOfGripes.

Take a look at this Wonder-Pendant. It may not be functional on a pseudo-digital sub-atomic particle level, but it will complement any outfit. Besides, fan “Bucha” who sent this in is already Wonder Talented.

WonderNecklace

Saur’s helpful tutorial series has videos for both newcomers to 101 and veterans hoping to take their game to a higher level. This video gives tips for attaining the coveted Pure Platinum rank.

In a three-part blog on Destructoid, Chimpomagee explores the way 101 uses subtle visual cues to introduce systems to the player. We couldn’t have explained it better ourselves!

Many fans have noticed the DNA 101 shares with past PG titles. Gabriel Turcott-Dube explains what he calls the “secret ingredients” of The Wonderful 101; a truly wondrous concoction.

Speaking of in-depth analyses, check out Matthew Matosis’s review of The Wonderful 101. The video offers a comprehensive look (and at 37 minutes we do mean comprehensive) at 101 while contextualizing it with comparisons to Director Kamiya’s past titles. His critique is fair; his attention to detail second to none. Truly a review for the thinking action game fan.

Have any PlatiumGames related content you would like to share? Please let us know.

Find us on Facebook, or tweet to @platinumgames

Thank you!

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Bayonetta 2 coming to Wii U in 2014!

BAYONETTA 2

Filed: Bayonetta 2, Community, Games, PGTV, PlatinumGames

Hi, this is the director for Bayonetta 2, Yusuke Hashimoto. Hope everyone has been well.

Did you enjoy seeing Bayonetta in the latest Nintendo Direct? You can check out the newest trailer here:

As we’re using this post to touch base with our fans, why don’t we take a little time discussing what the “2” in our new Bayonetta means. It’s a sequel: we’ve taken the characters, story, and gameplay of the original and built upon them.

In addition to the original’s gameplay system—dodging at the last minute to perform Witch Time, saving up your Magic Gauge to use Torture Attacks—Bayonetta 2 includes a new feature called Umbran Climax. Now saving your Magic Gauge also gives you the option to unleash a combo made of successive Wicked Weave and Infernal Demon summons. This wide-ranged attack can effectively give you free rein over the battlefield.

We’ve escalated the Climax Action in other ways as well, take a look these, starting with the E3 2013 trailer:

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In our playable demo at E3 last year, you got to experience fighting on a jet and taking care of a rampaging Gomorrah. Now we have our new footage of Bayonetta caught in an epic battle of summons with a masked sage. This time the action is going to take you to all different places, be it land or sky. There will be exciting new situations of all types.

Eventually I’d like to talk about the new looks we’ve given the characters, and about the story as well. Stay put until then.

We’re starting to reach the climax stage of development here at Platinum as well. I’m excited to see what you’ll think. See you again!

2/14/2014

Yusuke Hashimoto (Director)

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Bayonetta Developer Commentary Part 69: The End

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Bayonetta Commentary, Community, Games, PGTV, PlatinumGames

This is it, folks! It’s the end of the line! The final part of the Bayonetta Developer Commentary!
In this episode we… well, we mostly say goodbye actually. It’s been a long run and we had fun doing it, so we hope you enjoyed watching it as well!

But don’t be afraid, this is only the end of the Bayonetta Developer Commentaries. The world keeps turning!
More content is brewing, so keep an eye on this space! We will be back before long…

Thanks for tuning in, everyone!

Also, be sure to watch the “Developer Commentary” tag for previous episodes. You can get the videos delivered via iTunes or RSS as well.

Follow us for all the latest updates!

You can also send feedback about the videos to the production crew:

This episode was translated by Abebe Tinari. Give him a round of applause, everyone!

If you’re feeling in a talkative mood, why not join our Community and share your feelings on our Forums!?

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Bayonetta Developer Commentary Part 68

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Bayonetta Commentary, Community, Games, PGTV, PlatinumGames

Here it is! Part 9 of the Bayonetta Developer Commentary Finale! THE END IS ALMOST UPON US.
Today’s episode mostly deals with Bayonetta spin-off products (sorry, that hug pillow is probably not gonna happen), so if you simply cannot have enough of our angel-slaying witch (and let’s be frank: you can’t), be sure to check out the video below!

Enjoy!

If you want to know more about the upcoming Bayonetta anime movie, clickety-click here (Japanese only).

Also, be sure to watch the “Developer Commentary” tag for previous episodes. You can get the videos delivered via iTunes or RSS as well.

Follow us for all the latest updates!

You can also send feedback about the videos to the production crew:

This episode was translated by Abebe Tinari, who does not like it when I make fun of his name.

If you’re feeling in a talkative mood, why not join our Community and share your feelings on our Forums!?

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Bayonetta Developer Commentary Part 67

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Bayonetta Commentary, Community, Games, PGTV, PlatinumGames

Welcome to part 8 of the Bayonetta Developer Commentary Finale! We’ve almost reached the end!
Today’s episode is very character-focused, so if you want to know more about the colorful cast in Bayonetta, make sure to give this a look!

Enjoy!



Also, be sure to watch the “Developer Commentary” tag for previous episodes. You can get the videos delivered via iTunes or RSS as well.

Follow us for all the latest updates!

You can also send feedback about the videos to the production crew:

This episode was translated by Abebe Tinari, which is actually a real name. As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

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