“Criticize their work, that’s fine- as creators we often welcome critique as a way to better ourselves and the product we provide to gamers.”
With so much attention being paid in the last week to the animation issues seen in the previews leading up to Bioware’s next big release, Mass Effect: Andromeda, we thought it would be interesting to get a few experienced animators together to discuss the challenges animators face when dealing with these types of projects. Also, a special thanks to Daniel Floyd for moderating this round table for us. So, let’s get to the introductions!
Dan Floyd: I guess I’ll start things off, since I’m mostly here to moderate and ask the smarter people questions. I’m Dan Floyd, I co-run a YouTube channel called Extra Credits and make a show on that channel about game animation called Extra Frames. I’m also an animator with film and game industry experience, but not nearly as much as my counterparts here.
Simon Unger: Hey! I’m Simon Unger! I’m an animator at Phoenix Labs working on a new game called Dauntless. Prior to that, I was a lead animator at Electronic Arts, Square Enix, and Robotoki. I’ve also taught at schools such as Gnomon, iAnimate, and Vancouver Film School.
Gwen Frey: I’m Gwen Frey. I’ve been in the industry for a decade now. Most recently I formed a small indie studio in Boston and shipped The Flame in The Flood as the sole animator and FX artist! Prior to that I worked in technical animation on Bioshock Infinite and the various DLCs, and before that I worked on MMOs such as Marvel Heroes Online. I speak publicly about game development, have a podcast (The Dialog Box) and a YouTube channel (GwenFreyTheTA)
Tim Borelli: Hello! I’m Tim Borrelli. I’ve been doing some form of something with animation in games since 1998, working on more failed projects than not. I’ve been at Volition (from Freespace 2 to the beginnings of Saints Row 3), 5TH Cell (where I learned more about being a good leader than anything), and am now Animation & VFX Director at First Strike Games working on the secret sauce.