Midori "Momochi" McDaniel of SOE's DevDiary interviews Thomas Sincich, character artist for Legends of Norrath and EverQuest 2.
Konnichi wa! Hi, I'm Momochi, welcome back to DevDiary. This month my guest is Thomas Sincich!
How ya doing?
Can you tell me what you are doing at SOE?
Yeah! I'm a character artist in EverQuest 2, and particularly I do the characters, but I've been working on a lot of the illustrations in Legends of Norrath, and that's been a lot of fun.
What are you currently working on?
I'm working on expansion five content -- particularly concepts because it's still really early in production.
What did you do on the latest expansion, the Rise of Kunark?
Well, I kind of shifted around a whole bunch, but from the beginning, we were doing a lot of updates, to the Arasai player race and to a lot of the player customization to the hairstyles and the wings. And I also did a lot of the character revamp work. We kind of shifted around to the epic armor sets, the Soulfire weapons, the profession hats. You name it; if it's player characters then I had...
A lot of what you see in the game...
When you make those characters, do you have any rules you follow?
Well, the traditional pipeline I kind of follow is -- you know, you get the design docs, and they kind of outline more or less what they kind of want, how it's going to fit in the game and whatnot. I kind of take that and put my own little spin on it. And then, hopefully, it matches what they were looking for, and it has a little taste of my style.
What was your favorite thing you worked on in the expansion?
Well, I think I really enjoyed the epic armor sets. They were a lot of fun. And also, the Sarnak player race, the reptiles. Those guys are a lot of fun.
Because you live with them.
Most definitely. Yeah, I have a few of them at home.
Yeah, crested geckos actually.
No, they're a little bit smaller.
Oh, that could be good. And you have names for them?
Heh. Yeah, they were a huge inspiration. I was actually studying how their heads move and and their eyes, as they track people.
You are always cheerful in the office! Where does all your energy come from?
I think I drink too much coffee! No... actually, I love my job. That's what it comes down to. I leave work every day and I just kind of smirk to myself because it's like, this is almost a joke. I make art for video games -- this is a childhood dream.
How has being an MMO artist affected your life?
Well, really, I'd say that it's like pretty much intensely inspired, and pretty much sleepless nights as well. I do art all day here and then I go home and do some more art and uh --
And drink more coffee?
Yeah, and drink more coffee until about three o'clock in the morning, and try to get at least a couple hours of sleep before I come back.
So what do you do for fun?
Well, I kind of -- I do a lot of things really, but particularly I paint. I draw and I paint. I love rock climbing, you know, like mountain hiking and what -not, and ...
Fun! Can you tell me the best story happening in the office?
I remember sharing an office with, a good friend of mine, Roel Jovellanos, awesome artist, and I'd be doing my thing, just drawing, and then sometimes I'd look over my shoulder, and then he was just doing just a bunch of blobs and I'm like heh. And I'd look back five minutes later and it's a completely finished illustration, and ... It always drove me crazy that I never saw the in-between stages. It was unfinished to like, masterpiece.
Amazing! What do people think about you being a game developer?
Well, everyone kind of has a different opinion. My friends absolutely love it. But I remember one incident in particular... I showed my mom this game right here, the Echoes of Faydwer, just the box cover, and I'm like Hey, I work on games! Isn't it great that I've been playing games my whole life? And she kind of had this look on her face, I don't know, like of disapproval, and she's like, just because you make games doesn't mean you have to play them. And I'm like, Mom (sigh)... Got to love her though.
But now she knows what you do. Well, thank you so much for joining me!