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Games Entertainment

Bridging the Gap Between Art and Code In Games 42

Gamasutra posted an article written by Jason Hayes, a developer for Volition Inc., which is known for its production of the Saint's Row, FreeSpace, and Red Faction series. Hayes discusses the division between graphical artists and coders, who often clash because their aims are so disparate and their areas of expertise do not necessarily overlap. It has caused some companies, such as Volition, to develop an intermediary "technical artist" to find a balance between the two. "Integrating technical artists into a studio frees up the programmers from being solely responsible for the development and maintenance of the game's tools and pipelines. While programmers still have a hand in the design (and sometimes implementation) of those tools and pipelines, the technical artist is the driving force behind them and is looking out for the best interests of both parties."
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Bridging the Gap Between Art and Code In Games

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @04:32PM (#24681773)

    I worked for the Evil Empire (aka EA) for 2 years as a technical artist. There's nothing *new* about this field -- certainly EA went through the hassle of categorizing the discipline into levels one through five.

    I wrote many, many scripts in Maya, as well as other scripting languages. Three of the technical artists I worked with had Engineering degrees. NONE of us actually did any "artwork" per se.

    Much of a game is art-driven (hell, most of some games) and it's helpful, esp. early on, to have a technical artist help define the feature set for a game and determine how it can be implemented. Artists generally want to do art -- thankfully, there is this niche of [technical] artists who's role it is to allow the artists to do ART and allow programmers to not have to learn something like Max or Maya and focus on the engine.

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray