Greetings friends and welcome back to The Conversation. Today I’m performing a bit of a preemptive strike on a Kickstarter by talking to my friend and coworker Ben Jones about his work on the upcoming Valiance Online. Thank you for joining us today Ben.
Glad to be here James, it’s an exciting time for me personally and the team as a whole.
Lets start off with how a NASA satellite controller can end up working on a videogame like Valiance Online while still working for NASA? That seems like an odd combination of jobs.
Well video games are very technical from the guts out, most things that people see are the artistic side but there is a huge amount of technical expertise that goes into game creation. Being a comic book artist at heart I was able to merge the technical and artistic sides fairly seamlessly.
How I came into it was just a bit of luck. I was originally hired on as a freelance concept artist and moved up the chain as de facto Art Director. Little luck and a little talent can go a long way it seems.
Can you tell us a bit about Valiance Online and why should folks be excited to see it?
Because we say so, isn’t that enough?
Yeah didn’t think so.
People should be excited because this is a game built for the people and by the people. While as a successor game from the now defunct City of Heroes, we are building on what they did right and innovating what they did wrong. Creating a game within this genre hasn’t been done often and even fewer times done well so its a great opportunity for Superheroes and Villains to create a home for themselves. Like many people we have sat back and said we should create something better than what’s out there, but unlike most people we are actually doing it and doing it well if i must say so myself.
What got you into drawing comics in the first place? How is your 2D art effecting the 3D game world?
Well I’ve always been into comics from a very early age, something I would have to blame my father for, but in highschool something sparked in my mind to attempt to draw comic book characters. Once I started getting the hang of it, it became the most addictive drug on the planet. I went from jock to artist almost overnight and its stuck with me till this day.
Well the 2d side is the foundation of most 3d art when working in a pipeline of different artist all with different backgrounds and expertise. Im affecting the entire game with my designs and general art direction for the world of Valiance Online and It can be a bit scary to be thrust into this position with so many people relying on your creativity and talent level to deliver something special. What everyone will see in the game visually will have my fingerprints all over it, the good and the bad.