This time A Conversation with… tracked down Brennan Massicotte, from our 7th graduating class, at Blackbird Interactive.
- Tell me about what you are doing now in the Games Industry
I’m working on the art direction and concept art of the Homeworld property in development at Blackbird Interactive. This involves a lot of painting images to inform and inspire the production of game content as well as overall project vision.
- How has this changed since you graduated?
Since I graduated I’ve done some stints freelancing as an illustrator, concept artist and art director. Working full-time I’ve been shifting over time into project direction which involves working more with narrative, worldbuilding and vision development.
- Can you describe a typical day in your office?
We generally have some meetings to discuss what we’ve been doing and where we’re going. In the art department we’ll do some concept art paintings and work on the cinematic visuals for the game’s storytelling. Lots of coffee, lots of talking about cool ideas. There’s an incredible energy in the Blackbird group and never a dull moment. We’re all consistently focused on creating the same kind of cool sci-fi.
- What’s the most fun thing you get to do? What’s the most stressful/challenging?
Coming up with new ideas for projects and creating inspirational imagery is about as good as it gets for me. When a strong narrative concept matches up with compelling imagery it’s magic! The most stressful is usually slamming together last minutes paintings for pitches and deadlines. The pressure is exciting, but you never know if the piece is going to work right under extreme time crunches.
- What games are you playing right now, and what elements have impressed you?
Botanicula on the samsung tablet. It’s…absolutely charming and amazing. The way they orchestrate the different elements of sound, gorgeous visuals, charming characters and simple gameplay oozes inspiration and soul.
- What are some trends you see in upcoming games?
To be honest I haven’t been following the trends very closely. I have noticed a strong dedication to exploration features and en emphasis on storytelling. Every single game in existence now requires a crafting system.
- What do you feel was the most valuable skill that you learned in the Game Design program at VFS?
I think the collaboration skills and working right next to like-minded creatives was an invaluable experience to gain before trying to break into the industry.
- If you could give a current student in Game Design some advice, what would it be?
Be the best at something. Having a wide skill set might get you jobs, but being really passionate about one or two things will get you the job you love.
Thanks for the update Brennan, best of luck with the Homeworld project!