Interview with a Giant
Introducing our Art Director/Giant Andy Bate
How long have you been working in the Games Industry?
I started working in the games industry 25 year ago! I have spent more time in my life making games than anything else.... except sleeping maybe!
How did you start out in this sector?
After finishing my foundation course in Art and Design at the tender age of 19, I was given a choice; go to university and get an art degree; or join a games design company and make computer games. I chose the latter. Best decision I ever made!
What’s your favourite game you’ve developed and why?
I Have 2:Inferno The first game I ever worked on - a space flight simulator called Inferno. I was young, wide eyed and bushy tailed. I got to spend my day making space ships and planets. We created a whole vibrant solar system for that game and you could fly anywhere within it. It was AWESOME.
Talisman: Digital Edition The last game I worked on (and am still working on) - Talisman. I'm a massive Games Workshop fan, have been since I was 8, so working with one of their most loved franchises has been a dream come true!
How do you create a digital Talisman Character?
We are lucky as most of the artwork has already been generated. For the characters that move around the board, I photograph the physical models and then "paint" them in Photoshop. I actually use similar techniques as I would if painting a model in the real world.
What changes have you made from the original board game?
The primary brief for Talisman was to keep as true to the original board game experience as possible, and this went for the art style as well. This was quite a challenge as we had to fit a game that, when setup, takes up the space of a large table and fit it onto a mobile phone or tablet!
What are the perks of working in the Gaming Industry?
I get to draw Knights, Dragons and Monsters for a living!
What makes a good Art Director?
Always make sure you have a good understanding of the "big picture" when working on a project. Do your research and hire people who are better than you!
What would be your dream game to work on and why?
I’ve just started working on it .... but I can't tell you what it is! Watch this space though!
Do you play games in your spare time?
Not as much as I would like. When I do get any spare time I tend to play a lot of tabletop and board games such as Warhammer 40'000, Blood Bowl and of course Talisman :).
Who is your favourite Talisman Character?
Probably the Exorcist. He was one of the first characters translated for the game that didn't have a physical model. I had to build his digital model from scratch, which was great fun.
Which character would you associate yourself with?
Well you’ll find that I’ve incorporated a number of our faces onto some of the characters you come across whilst exploring the Talisman board. I’m the Giant, which is appropriate as I am 6'4" and the Blacksmith.