Thursday, October 20, 2005

Big News: The Newest Gig

As some of you may know, I have three major interests that I have passionately pursued over the years.
  • Games Development
  • Tool Design
  • Illustration
Over the past seven years, I’ve been honored to work with a stunningly talented crew of folks over at Anark. In that time, we’ve released six (!) versions of Anark Studio, a truly classy tool for authoring 3D application. It is my baby.

The latest Anark Gameface keeps gaining major new customers at an impressive rate. We just announced Silicon Knights, makers of Too Human are using it with their new Unreal-based Xbox 360 title and there should be some even bigger announcements coming out shortly. A little bit of me is going to be in dozens of games that hit the shelves next year. That is pretty darn cool.

Change, baby
But time comes for a man to move on in his life. Aya and I have been talking about moving out to the Northwest for some time and I’ve been doing more marketing than product design lately.

Shortly after returning from our trip to Japan, I got an unexpected phone call from a gentleman up in Redmond, Washington. One thing led to another and I now have a shiny new job at Microsoft helping design the recently announced Acrylic graphic design tool.

Designing Art Tools
A little history is perhaps in order. I’ve been designing drawing tools since I was 17 when I first got my hands on Deluxe Paint and was convinced that there was a better way. I’ve been drawing professionally ever since I landed my first game job in college. My notebooks are filled with scribbles on how to improve Painter, Illustrator and Photoshop.

But the chance to do serious product design on a new illustration tool happens about once every dozen years or so in this industry. To have such an opportunity fall into my lap is exciting to say the least.

With Anark, I had a chance to combine both Game Development and Tool Design and it was a great experience. Now I get to combine my passions for Tool Design with Illustration. At the moment Microsoft is not known for their beautiful art tools. That will change. I may end up boiling the ocean, but I’m going there to make an amazingly useful, crazy sexy design tool that inspires lust in artists across the world.

Games, Tool Design and Illustration
I will, however, still be writing essays on game design essays. This site isn’t going anywhere and may even grow in the future. Each passion is like the leg of a stool. I realized long ago that I need all three to be happy.

So…does anyone know any good board gaming groups in the Seattle area?

Take care

PS: ‘Oi’ to all the Anarkists who might be reading this. After so many years of listening to me sing random 80’s tunes, you may actually enjoy our new long distance relationship. ;-)