Andrew Jansen is an environmental artist for Champions Online.
"Meet the Team" InterviewEdit
Q: What do you do on Champions Online?
A: I'm an environment artist, which means that I'm in charge of creating fun, immersive environments and props for the players to interact with.
Q: How long have you worked in the gaming industry, and what did you do before Champions Online?
A: I've been in the gaming industry for about three years. Before working at Cryptic, I worked for EA at its Los Angeles studio as an artist on Medal of Honor: Airborne.
Q: What goes into creating an in-game environment?
A: First, we've got to look at what story is being told, and create an environment that helps support the narrative. We look at what gameplay will be in a specific area, and we work with the designers to make the gameplay feel cohesive to the surroundings. Sometimes it's a challenge to make an environment that looks good and makes sense in the world, but is still fun.
Q: What do you draw inspiration from?
A: A lot of things in the world around me. I'm always getting ideas from movies, people, places, other games and life in general.
Q: What is your typical workday like?
A: I usually get into work before 8 a.m. Most of the time I spend working on my assigned neighborhoods and going to meetings. I work closely with the design team to create environments that are interesting visually, but also work with what they're creating.
Q: What are your must-see movies this summer?
A: The Darjeeling Limited, Surfwise and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I enjoy watching movies, painting, hanging out with my friends at the bars, snowboarding, checking out local bands and long walks on the beach.
Q: What is the one thing you can't get through the day without?
A: Red Bull! And yeah – more Red Bull!
Q: What is an interesting fact about you that players would be surprised to know?
A: I played in a ska band when I lived in L.A.
Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to break into gaming as an artist?
A: Work on your traditional skills. There are lots of tools out there that will help you and make you more efficient, but you need a good foundation.
Be as current with the technology as you can. Art jobs in the industry can be difficult, because you need to be artistic and technical at the same time. But most importantly, you need a crazy good imagination.
Q: Do you have anything else you would like to add?
A: Do something in life that makes you happy, and don't let life pass you by.