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Thread: Interview with Daniela, Graphic Artist

  1. #1

    Interview with Daniela, Graphic Artist

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    Hello Daniela!

    The Miramagia players have voted for us to interview you – and we have plenty of questions to ask you! You are the head of the graphics department; the players are familiar with your work. Now they've become curious about the person behind it.

    Please, tell us something about yourself.

    I joined the team in 2011; but at that time, I was involved in another project for a short while before I switched back to Miramagia. I reckon I've been doing this for around 5-6 years by now.

    After all this time, you become an integral part of the Miramagia team. We are also particularly interested in how you got here: can you tell us a bit about your education and graphic design studies?

    There are actually loads of ways that may lead to a games company. If you want to work in graphic design, however, it is important that you can draw, you have an eye for layout and enjoy getting to grips with new technology. We primarily work with Adobe products and draw the artwork and objects on the computer using Wacom tablets. Drawing on the tablet takes quite a lot of practice.
    I became certain that I wanted to enter the games industry relatively early on. Back then, there weren't any specific study programmes for this career, but that's different today. That's why I actually have a background in film, where I was involved particularly in special effects and storyboarding. I then had an internship at a games company in Freiburg; there, I was responsible for in-game videos and trailers. After that, I found a position at Bright Future and took part in a shortened digital training course in media design to gain more knowledge in the web space. And I've stayed here since.

    There's probably a huge difference between working digitally for display on a lit screen and for conventional print media. What impact does this have? Do you work with different colour combinations and shading in order to also ensure an image has bright colours on paper and generates a pleasant overall impression?

    The colour spectrum is different on a monitor compared with on print media. On a monitor, we always use RGB (red-green-blue); but when we create images for print, we convert them into CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow key). Generally, you only then have to consider the resolution and bear in mind that print colours appear a little darker. Otherwise, our approach doesn't differ much for artworks on paper or monitor. The programs actually simulate a piece of paper.

    But drawing alone isn't everything, of course. Can you explain to us how your team works together and how you progress from an idea to the finished object?

    We know roughly when any given event takes place and many events already prescribe an underlying theme; so, we begin with the research. We scour through the Internet and find out about lots of different cultural customs in various countries, before gathering our ideas together. I then usually go through them one more time and sort which ideas can be used by Miramagia players from those that aren't useful or don't fit in with the setting. Once we have a decent-sized list, we start sketching and considering how the objects might look like in detail. There are typically a range of different feedback loops here until I give the final green light for embarking on the final implementation. The Game Director then also begins to add texts to the items at the same time, so that Localisation can shortly begin working on translations.
    We draw the items in Photoshop and integrate them using Animate, where we also add the most animations. We initially test our items in our test environment and pass them on to QA (Quality Assurance) afterwards.

    Thanks for giving us this behind-the-scenes insight! The players also have really specific questions about certain requests and items. How many of these questions can you answer?

    Could you add more mansion interior gifts to the game, especially for events
    Absolutely, and I'm sure we'll also do that.

    Could you introduce more small (particularly dark-coloured) items that could be used to 'paint' bigger pictures?
    I'll gladly add that to my to-do list.

    Is there any chance of correcting the size ratios for some of the animals that don't fit together?
    In principle, yes. But many players respond negatively to retroactive changes. Instead, we'd probably draw a set of similar/identical dog breeds and offer them additionally.

    Can we expect any new avatar classes and dragon forms some time in the future?
    New dragon forms are coming in the future. A new avatar class would actually be difficult as we'd have to redesign or expand all the existing class-specific items.

    Could you introduce a day/night setting with light effects?
    Unfortunately, this is not possible for technical reasons. But we could offer night floor tiles.

    Could the village background map for events be offered for purchase?
    This is also not possible for technical reasons. But we could offer larger floor tiles that would make it easier and quicker to cover larger areas.

    Could the symbol on the druid house roofs be changed to make it better suited to the druids?
    We'd rather not change anything on the old houses as other players like them how they are. However, we could offer a house jinx that would create an enhanced druid look.

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    Daniela, thank you for taking the time to answer all of these questions and giving us a glimpse into your work!
    Last edited by dragonholt; 25th November 2017 at 07:57 PM.
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  2. #2
    I enjoyed this. Thanks
    Cone Bush

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