Just calling your process “Agile” doesn’t make you agile

March 12, 2014 at 8:11 am

TimeCycle

Software development management lost in the weeds:

So, you’re disorganized and your process is all over the map. You have too many meetings with too many people in them, and the wrong people, and usually after small problems have become big problems. You know something’s wrong, but you don’t know how to Fix It. So you hop onto the Agile bandwagon, assured it will solve your problems.

Beware – you may find yourself 100% Buzzword Compliant, but you will still not have fixed your development problem, because your problem is that you’re disorganized and your process is all over the map. Waterfall wasn’t like that; you made it like that. Agile isn’t like that, but you’ll make it like that, too, if the problem is your tendency toward Crisis Management and a scattershot approach.

Instead, try having fewer, shorter meetings with the right people in them. Have them earlier. Try to focus on developing working software instead of standing around talking about Process. And for God’s sake, you have a staff: delegate. They may not make the same decisions you would make, but if you empower them to, they will make decisions, and the product will get out the door. You can have Veto Power, if you’re that convinced that only you have the right answers and your staff is incapable of achieving your level of brilliance, though trust me, that is probably not the case. Until then, you are the problem. You are in your own way, and your company’s.

Above, my thoughts. But for more, HERE is a link to an interesting article about how one of the guys who developed “Agile” development feels it is time to retire the word and get people to adjust their focus. I wish you Happy Developing.

Rosetta Stone – Ad

January 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Bully_RosettaStone_5[1]

I was privileged to work on an animated campaign for Rosetta Stone with my friends at Bully! Entertainment. It was a quick job with a small team, so we all wore plenty of hats. The amazingly talented artists at Bully! made the models, did the materials work, and animated them. Along with Bully’s multitalented Carlson Bull, I co-wrote the spots, did the storyboards, designed the characters and props, directed the animation and c0-art directed the whole thing. I’m very proud of how these two pieces came out. Second was an animated ad:

Rosetta Stone – Shelf Talk Holiday Promo from Bully Entertainment on Vimeo.

For those interested in such things, the storyboards:

A color and lighting study on how to handle the end of the spot:

ZillaLights

A variety of art direction and visual design items:

Rosetta Stone campaign

January 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Bully_RosettaStone_2[1]

I was privileged to work on an animated campaign for Rosetta Stone with my friends at Bully! Entertainment. It was a quick job with a small team, so we all wore plenty of hats. The amazingly talented artists at Bully! made the models, did the materials work, and animated them. Along with Bully’s multitalented Carlson Bull, I co-wrote the spots, did the storyboards, designed the characters and props, directed the animation and c0-art directed the whole thing. I’m very proud of how these two pieces came out. First was a bit of web animation to attract people for the weeks leading up to Christmas:

Rosetta Stone – Cyber Monday Web Spot from Bully Entertainment on Vimeo.

For those interested, here are the storyboards:

Here are the character designs for the nutcracker and the Russian dolls:
NutcrackerChar01

RussianDolls

SignDesign

A really nice materials test on the Nutcracker:

NutcrackerRendering

Interview at Don’t Pick the Flowers

January 27, 2013 at 10:52 am

DontPickTheFLowers

There’s a nice interview with me over at Dave Hurley’s “Don’t Pick the Flowers” blog. Finally, all your deepest, darkest questions about my deep, dark secrets will be answered! Yes, I am your International Man of Illustration Mystery (IMIM). Go forth and enjoy!

Firaxis hiring: Senior Environment Artist

November 8, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Firaxis Games is looking for an exceptionally skilled senior environment artist for our latest project. As the senior environment artist, you will be working closely with the Project Art Director, Designer, and art team to establish asset creation pipelines along with the look and feel of the game world. The ideal candidate must have a solid grasp on lighting and color, as well as an excellent working knowledge of our tool-set (listed below).

Responsibilities:

Create the highest quality organic 3D art and textures that adhere to the project’s vision.
Collaborate closely with the engineering, level design and art teams to create beautiful and believable urban, sururban, rural and fictitious worlds without sacrificing readability and game play.
Help establish pipelines for creating real time 3D assets for a modular world.
Work closely with our graphics team to develop dynamic lighting systems for the game world.

Skills

Exceptional communications skills, both oral and written, are a must.
Excellent organic and hard-surface modeling skills.
Outstanding problem solving abilities.
Must be a team player and willing to incorporate ideas from other team members.
Outstanding organization and time management abilities.
A solid understanding of color and lighting.
Ability to work with an iterative design process is a must.

Experience

Must have an expert knowledge of 3DStudio Max, Photoshop, UDK and Zbrush.
At least two shipped products as an environment artist.
Interested parties, contact us.

X-COM is released!

October 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm

X-COM: Enemy Unknown, the videogame I’ve been working on for the past 5 years, is finally available for purchase! The team did a fantastic job on it, it’s receiving extremely positive reviews, and I’m proud as the old, stodgy studio art director, that even I made several assets for the game, including the Vigilo/Confido X-COM shield (above). If you like good strategy games with action and cinematic flourishes, this is the game for you. It’s available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Go get it!