Hello, welcome to our developer diary and my first foray into the blogosphere. My name is John Steels, some people call me Steel Fox (On account of my my surname and my luxuriant ginger locks and cos its sounds like a MGS badguy), some just call me Foxy (cos its true) and some people call me a grumpy bastard (which is also true).
Now, unaccustomed as I am to typing, this short bit of prose has been the most painful few hours of the entire development thus far. But I figured that if I was going to write a little something about myself, then something that contextualises the potentially terse-sounding updates would probably be a good thing. It’s not that I type slowly or have a poor vocabulary (I know all the English swear words and even some Cantonese), it’s more a case of not being sure how to pitch this. First I wrote a jokey version that sounded like a hammy intro for a game character, then that was followed by a dreadfully dry “professional” version that just sounded like an accountant’s CV, and finally what you see here the “honest” version. Well, they say write what you know, and I know how to make a meal of something :)
Anyway… I suppose I should get onto the bits that people who are reading dev diaries want to read rather than the deranged stream of consciousness it seems to have become.
First up… A potted history of me. I trained as a graphic designer and illustrator back in the days when an emerald green linen jacket with the sleeves rolled up was perfectly acceptable item of clothing to leave the house in. I left college in the early 90s but having joined a band, spent the next four years touring the UK as the frontman of an Avant Garde Hip-Hop Outfit. Following the bands split (musical differences of course) I figured I needed a job. Illustration seemed oversubscribed and a friend of mine had just landed a job at Probe. He seemed to be enjoying it so I went and got a job at Scavenger. I learnt on the job and moved on to Argonaut for a year and a half where I was lead artist on the N64 title Buck Bumble. After a brief stint at EA/Bullfrog I moved to Muckyfoot working on Urban Chaos, Startopia and Blade 2, after 5 years I moved on to Computer artworks and then onto Sony for 4.5 Years working on Play 2, Getaway Gangs of London and Playstation Home, the latter for which I was lead character artist. Finally the commute got the better of me and I left to start my own company which I ran for a year before moving on to where you find me now.
My responsibilities? Well if you ask my girlfriend she’d say I’m terribly irresponsible but that really only applies to putting the bins out and leaving the toilet seat up. On A!SB! — art, art and more art is where I’m at. In-game assets, character design, art direction, cutscene characters, environments, logos, anything really. I also wrote the basic plot, wrote the first pass dialogue and re-worked parts of the press release but really that’s the beauty of a project like this. You can be involved at every level, Its a truly collaborative effort.
Well I think that’s more than enough waffle from me for the time being. Both my typing fingers ache. Rest assured I’ll try and keep it more succinct in future. Perhaps a short sequence of pictograms or a photo of me pointing at a pencil ;)