Post feature RSS Team Interview Series - Sam Owen

An interview with Sam Owen, level designer and technical artist on Ascension: The Awakening

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How did you get involved with Rocket Powered Hippo?
All the team worked on an ut2004 mod called Bug Company for a second year uni project with some others, but we left them at the end of the year and started our third year project with just the core bug company team.
What do you do on the project?
My main role in the team is as one of two level designers along with Adam, we designed a set of levels for the game late last year when we were creating our level design document. Currently we are implementing them design in engine, which means creating scripting game play, adding triggers for enemies and taking the assets and adding them to the levels.
I have another role on the project; I rig the weapons and characters and try to figure out how to get them into the engine. We call this a technical artist though I’m not sure that is an actual traditional game development role. So I have created custom rigs for one of the creatures in the game and am working on getting our custom weapons working in third person at the moment.
What has been the most challenging bit of working on Ascension: The Awakening so far?
Unsurprisingly it’s been the rigging and implantation of the custom creature into the engine, this is a process that isn’t widely detailed in the official documentation and is still at this time a ongoing process. Since I’m trying to learn all this as I’m trying to do it, it has lead to lots of frustration with not knowing the right processes for certain things I’m trying to do. I have nearly completed the creature with only the damage not working being my only issue which I will have to fix this week ready for alpha.
What are you currently working on?
This week my responsibilities are rigging and implementing the weapons for the main character and figuring out why the creature is not causing the player any damage, other than that just getting the Yagomir level into shape for alpha.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully having progressed from a junior level design position in a established game house to one of greater responsibility, whilst making great games.
What's your favourite game at the moment?
Mass Effect 2 is probably the best game i have played this year so far, but as to what I’m currently playing I’m about 2 hours into King Arthur the Role Playing War Game and have loved every minute of it.

Sam is more than happy to answer any questions on level design or rigging. He can be contacted on his Mod DB and Crywiki user pages Username: Owen99.
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