Dennis Adams is an associate producer for Champions Online.
"Meet the Team" InterviewEdit
Q: What do you do on Champions Online?
A: I'm an associate producer, which means I have the pleasure of managing the art team and designers on Champions Online – the concept artists, character modelers, animators, FX artists, powers and combat designers all fall under my jurisdiction. When you're entrusted with managing a talented group of folks like the ones we have here at Cryptic, it starts to feel less like work, and a lot more like a golden opportunity.
Q: How long have you worked in gaming, and what did you do before working on Champions Online?
A: I'm relatively new to the gaming industry. I spent five years working as an animation production supervisor at Walt Disney Studios, followed by a gig on The Simpsons Movie; all the while dreaming of "making videogames." I eventually got my break a little over a year ago after landing a job at a small game studio in San Francisco working on Star Trek Online. I then moved to Cryptic in February, and I love every minute of it.
I'm constantly singing the praises of game development to my old colleagues who are still working in film and animation in an effort to make them envious, as well as tempting them to move from L.A. to join in on the fun.
Q: What is your secret for keeping production running smoothly?
A: First, you have to understand that artists are one of the most integral components of game development; respect their contributions, and do your best to keep morale and enthusiasm at a constant high. Having a background in art allows me to work closely with our art leads Shayne and Chris, and to do my best to help realize their artistic vision while being mindful of our delivery schedule, and ultimately our ship date. I'm always leveraging schedules and art expectations to be sure we successfully ship a product that exceeds the expectations of our fans.
Q: Who is your favorite Champions character?
Overall, I'm still partial to Armadillo; the design of the model, coupled with his powers really gives him personality. We're constantly pushing ourselves to present Champions Online's heroes and villains in a manner that will not only pay homage to the Champions IP, but also to create an iconic representation of their original design – Foxbat being the exception, he's pretty much 100 percent true to the original. *wink*
Q: What superpower would you like to have and why?
A: I'd like the power to evoke rational judgment upon the masses. If that's not cool enough, then I'd have to go with teleportation. If you had asked me this when gas was only $2 a gallon, I would've chosen something cooler like super strength.
Q: Who is your favorite author?
A: Thomas L. Friedman. I find world history and current events just as fascinating and strange as science fiction and fantasy.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: If I'm not headed straight to the gym after work, I'm heading home to log on to Xbox Live or working on personal art projects. I like to stay as busy as possible, so I'm always playing in softball leagues around the Bay Area, trying out new restaurants, watching movies and old anime, traveling locally and abroad or generally avoiding having to be too domestic.
Q: What three things would you take on a deserted island?
A: Three hammocks – each strategically placed throughout the island to minimize my trek back to my place of sleep. I'm so ready to settle down on a deserted island and sleep my life away.
Q: What game are you currently obsessing over?
A: Grand Theft Auto IV, and eagerly anticipating Ninja Gaiden 2.
Q: What is an interesting fact about you that players would be surprised to know?
A: My love of videogames began as a young ruffian growing up in Italy, and I've owned every console released … even the Sega 32X.
Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to break into the gaming industry?
A: Love the craft – you owe it to the gaming community, and to yourself to be passionate about your work; the end result is a reflection of your commitment. Immerse yourself in everything related to videogames; read news sites, message boards, dev blogs and crash conventions if you must. Remember, your reputation precedes you; so keep healthy, professional relationships with anyone you come in contact with once you get your big break.
Q: Is there anything else you want to add?
A: PM Shayne and ask him if he'll let me do some character concept art!