We return once again with another Dev Blog! July is coming to an end, and while some of you might be experiencing some warm temperatures, we hope you find ways to stay cool since VR in the summer can be a bit uncomfortable. As we like to keep certain things under wraps until the right time to show them off to the community, this month's dev blog will be slightly different from the previous months.
Arthur | President and Chief Creative Officer
Since we are keeping some of what we have been up to a bit secretive this month, I thought we could get some of the team to talk about what game inspired them to get into the game development. Though we asked each person to cover a single game for themselves, there are a couple that I will cover for myself.
The first game for me that made me interested in the idea of making a game at a a young age was Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo. I remember the first time I played it was when we went to spend the summer with our Dad, and he rented a few games for us DKC was one of them along with Zool and Rise of the Robots. Geoff, Xander, and Dad had gone to sleep and I stayed up to play DKC, when I got to level 2, Ropey Rampage, combined with the actual storm outside, it really brought me into the game. The music and art for the game were amazing to me.
The second one that really got me into trying to mod and making my own games in High School was BattleZone, it hit at a time where we were starting to learn how to 3d model and animate. The levels were huge and the mixed FPS and RTS modes were such a cool feature. We had a HOTAS that we played the game with and it was about the most immersive thing I was playing at the time.
Here are some of the games that inspired some of the other team members.
Tyler | Chief Executive Officer
While I can’t say that any particular game inspired my passion for business, I can say that I fell in love with a little game called Final Fantasy on the NES as a kid so deeply that it inspired my love of gaming in general. Even back then, my desire to play video games with other people was very strong. To the point of walking my NES to my friend’s house down the street, taking the old 12” TV his dad had in the garage, plugging it in next to the TV in their living room, and playing Final Fantasy with him side by side in ‘multiplayer mode’. As far as technology however in my previous life as a Software Engineer; I learned how to code when I was asked if I wanted to help make content for a MUD I played a ton which was written in a customized version of C, which after a while led me to traditional C++ and C#.
Jared | Developer
My first playthrough of Doom(1993) had an effect on me as a 9yr old kid. Sometime the following year I found out this game had something called “Mods” and “Level editors” which was unheard of at the time. I was hooked and soon started creating my own Doom levels and mods. This was the starting point for me to go from “Game Player“ to “Game Maker”.
Jason G | Developer
The game that got me interested in game development was the original Super Mario Bros. It was more than just the game, though. It was seeing my father pick it up and figure out not only how to play it with little to no instruction but figure out the advanced tricks as well. It made me want to create games that enable that experience of discovery and mastery.
Kyle | Narrative Writer
Mass Effect 2 showed me what could be portrayed through dialogue and characters. The interactions and choices that you got to make in that game helped me see that NPCs could be three-dimensional personalities rather than just props intended to give directions and kill bad guys. I knew that if I was going to work on a game, I wanted players to have the same sort of connections, through dialogue and character personalities, that I did.
Kevin | Character Artist
Bullet Witch was really the game that inspired my career as a Character Artist. Growing up a Nintendo kid, I had no idea a character could look so badass, and 12-year-old me made it his mission to want to make characters as cool as Alicia. The game was awful, though. XD
Seth | Character Artist
League of Legends was really the first game that inspired me to want to pursue a career in Character Art. I fell in love with the overall art style, stylization and color palettes of the champions and skins when I was 12 and knew I wanted to create characters. After seeing the Heimerdinger sculpting video on YouTube when I was 13 and attending the 'Champion Update' panel at PAX East 2014 was what really solidified me wanting to become a Character Artist!
Pam | 3D Artist
The game that made me realize I could take my artwork and create whatever worlds I wanted was Portal 2. When I was a sophomore in high school my dad built a gaming PC for us to share and downloaded Fallout 3, Skyrim, and Portal 2. Being the terminally online child I was who saw a billion "the cake is a lie" memes, I immediately went for Portal 2. I played that game about 10 times over... I loved the silliness of the characters and the world and how they could take it and tell such an amazing story of things forgotten for the sake of moving on using silly murderous robots. I wanted to be able to let people experience stories like that, and soon after I joined a game jam with a friend and began that journey!
Abbie | 3D Artist
I would say the title that got me into game art was God of War. Early in high school watching the "Making of God of War", that was the first time I ever saw game art being created. It was the first time I sat down and thought about the work that went into games, haha I remember thinking “that looks way too difficult for me!” (and some people agreed), but I was also super intrigued. I wasn't convinced to go into game art until I got older and saw the game awards stream for the first time. Seeing the audience's reactions to those games, the collective excitement and thrill, the gasps when they saw beautiful environments being revealed… it made me think, “That's it, That's the field I want to be a part of.” But Silent Hill is my fav game :)
Sam | Community Manager
I got heavily involved in the Beat Saber community helping run Beat Saber YouTube content focusing on competitive plays and tournaments while volunteering my time managing the community Discord. I really enjoyed the player connections, general discussion, and community as a whole and wanted to build on that more. While I've always been a gamer at heart, I thrived best at creating positive communities for the games I love to play! I realized through my previous volunteer experience with VR and TTRPG groups that I wanted to be a community manager for a studio.
We continue the blog tradition of showing off some of the amazing art from our community! If you'd like to submit artwork for our next Dev Blog, be sure to join our Discord and post in our Ilysia Fan Art channel!
Thank you all for reading this months blog! If you havent already, feel free to check out our other socials and join our Discord community!