Author: Robert Haynie
Greetings! I am Rob the intern, and I work at Black Hive Media. My purpose today and in the future is to provide some insight into what I do here, as well as offer my perspective on various game design topics. In general, this is an opportunity for me to share my experience with anyone who will listen. So, stay a while and listen! (or read)
Considering that this is my first article, I should probably tell you a little bit about myself. As I've mentioned before, my name is Rob… The Intern, and I am currently studying graphic design at Lone Star College in Kingwood, Texas. Although I've only been studying art and graphic design for a few years, I know that it is what I am supposed to be doing.
Before I found the creative field, I was studying geology at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. After spending a few semesters with the Aggies, I quickly realized that it wasn't the school, nor degree for me. Maybe it was the culture. Maybe it was the science. Maybe it was the fact that I stopped taking notes and instead spent my time drawing people in class… Either way, I was unhappy and in need of a change. I remember moving back in with my parents and explaining to them that I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I was at least going to register at Lone Star to finish my associates.
While living with my parents and finishing my last few classes for an Associates of Arts, I put in some serious thought as to what I actually wanted to do. Geology wasn’t my passion. Hell, the only reason that I got into that gig was because after leaving the Marine Corps, I had no idea of what to do with my life. I followed the advice of my father with no thought about how I would fit into that career path and in retrospect, that was a terrible decision. Upon reflection of what I wanted, I realized that I had always loved to draw. As a kid, I drew my favorite Pokémon, and when my Uncle Jeff (Jeff Haynie- AKA The Cat Man of LA) would come around, we would draw together.
I stopped drawing in high school because teachers were now telling me exactly what to draw. I wasn’t about that life… Once I stopped drawing, I basically forgot about it until it became one of the main reasons I failed at A&M. The final deciding factor for my change of major was after a drawing of mine was featured in a Student Veteran Art Competition. I figured if I could find some success against people who had been drawing for longer than I had been, there was a decent chance that I could make it as a creative type. Turns out, making the change was the right decision.
Feel properly introduced? Great.
It's an exciting time to be working for Black Hive. With a new game on the horizon, everyone is hard at work in preparation of its announcement. Personally, I am working on creating some decorative assets for one of our levels. Yes, by decorative assets, I mean trees, rocks and plants. While that may seem dull to most people, I've always been into the beauty of nature, so having a hand in creating new environments is an exciting job for a newbie like me. Baby steps… sometimes you just have to take baby steps. But honestly, creating decorative assets is an important step in the production of a level. They serve as a way to add diversity to a levels background, foreground, and overall aesthetic feeling. Could you imagine playing through a level that only had one type of tree? Boring! I guess if the game was trying to make a point about using limited assets I could believe it, but then again, I wouldn’t call myself the leading expert in level design either. I am noob alpha, after all, so take that for what it’s worth.
In addition to my happy little trees, I am also in the process of developing my first set of user interfaces (UI). Unlike creating decorative assets, UIs are something I have no experience with at all. Well… I wouldn’t say that I have zero experience. I mean, I’ve played countless hours of video games over the years and used many different UIs, so I know OF them, but not so much how to create them. Despite my lack of traditional education on the subject, another intern and I have been theory crafting the overall mechanics of both an upgrade and inventory UI. Interestingly enough, the endless hours of games I’ve played as a kid (and adult) are helping out tremendously. Take that, Dad!
Seriously, having experience utilizing different menus helps when it comes down to creating your own. It’s not as if game developers are fully reinventing the wheel every time they release a new game. Similarities can be seen within every genres UIs, so it leads me to believe that the creative process has a lot of borrowing involved. I don’t mean borrowing in the sense that people are stealing ideas, but in the sense that people taking ideas that work and attempting to put their own creative spin on it. As of now, we are strictly in the planning steps of the UI design, but it will soon take the next step into concept art. Hopefully I will have some more details to share with you in the coming weeks.
Overall, I can’t deny that I am overly excited to be working with Black Hive on their new game. As a student and an intern, every project that I take on here is a stepping stone to a career in the end. I look forward to sharing my progress with everyone and I hope that you (the reader) will get something out of these blog posts.
Until next time…