Scot is the Lead Animator here at Kingdom Games. This week we sat down with him to gain some insight into why he chose to work in the gaming industry.
When did you know you were going to get into animation?
It started when I was a kid. Bob Ross type art shows were really popular. I remember this one aimed at kids that taught flipbook animation. So I became this avid fan making these flipbooks—they were all simple things like a bouncing ball, but it really pushed me into art and drawing.
As I got older and saw movies like Jurassic Park and those early Konami SMHUP games, I knew I was going to be an animator. I think when I first played Prince of Persia is when I switched from majoring in Psychology to focusing on art. I haven’t ever looked back.
Would you say Art is your passion?
I might be a bit more specific and say that animation is my passion. Look back at the transition from 8-bit to 16-bit. That change is really the introduction of creating life-like beings. It stopped being a bunch of squares that moved 1 pixel this way or that way; it was bringing the screen to life. In my career I’ve worked on more realistic art styles like FIVE, and I’ve also worked on Unicorn Guns, so I’ve definitely explored the spectrum of creative choices.
Is it hard to come back to a small studio after working on such big projects at Volition?
There are different dynamics and pros/cons to both. Right now, I really like the more intimate feel where you know everybody in the office. I’m sad to admit that I didn’t even know all of the names of people on my team at some of my past studios.
That isn’t to say there aren’t a lot of benefits to working at an established studio. It’s really great to deliver games on a consistent cycle and have an established brand that people already know and love.
So for right now, I love the small studio environment. In the future, maybe I’ll go back to the big studio.
Excited about the project?
The majority of titles I’ve worked on, I’ve never been able to share with my son. He’s 9 now, and several of my past projects were in the M-rated category. So it was always a bit of a disappointment that I couldn’t really share that aspect of my life with him.
FIVE having a T-rating is pretty cool and exciting because now I can bring home the game and brag a bit. Seriously though, it’s going to be great to be able to sit down and see my son watch animations I rigged up. It’s always amazing to see anyone enjoy a game you worked on, but having my own son enjoy it would just be that extra little boost.
Would you ever leave the Industry?
Before I was working in games, I worked with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) patients, and it was tough and emotionally draining. I respect anyone who can work in that field and help people every day because I could not provide the daily attitude and bedside manner needed for that position.
More recently, I did try animation work not in the games industry, and it just didn’t click the same way games always have. So I guess, I couldn’t leave the industry if I wanted to. It seems to be the perfect fit for me.