Dev Box Interview: Jumpgate Evolution’s Art Director Darrin Klein

It usually takes a small army to create the video games that we play, and, most of the time, all of the focus gets put on the game itself, and not on the people that came together to make it. Our Dev Box interview feature takes a look at some of the unsung heroes that have committed their lives to entertaining all of us. This week we are giving NetDevil’s Darrin Klein a chance to answer some of our burning questions.

Name: Darrin “RoGLaRiCoN” Klein
Title: Art Director
What you do: I maintain the art direction and art-pipeline focus of “JGE.” I also aid in the creation of 3D assets and FX.
Most recent game worked on: “Auto Assault” (R.I.P you bastard)

1. What game has most influenced you, and why?
Different games give me different influences. It’s funny though that when I started working on “JGE” I immediately thought of a game that gave me this sense of being in a beautiful alien universe that has hostile capabilities. That game was called “out of this world”. Other than that most of my influence for “JGE” comes from films as far as visuals go. As for gameplay, I lean towards FPS’s. I’ve taken a lot of influence from “Halo,” “Gears,” and “CoD” for example.

2. What are you playing right now?
“Left 4 Dead,” and “CoD4″

3. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about game development?
There is no way to speed up production and still maintain quality. Good shit takes time and that’s it. You can’t just “throw more bodies at it” to get things done faster.

4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
If you want to grow and become a better artist, you have to surround yourself with artist that are better than you.

5. What do you think is the biggest problem current games suffer from?
I think a big problem that developers fall into is trying to estimate the time and money needed to make a successful game. They set milestones and deadlines based on these assumptions and unfortunately rush content needed to meet these pre-determined dates. To me, that method seems to just produce massive amounts of mediocre work. Great games take a lot of time and iteration. That’s the honest, brutal truth.

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