Citizens! Welcome to Meet the Devs with host James Pugh and guest Chris Smith, Lead Vehicle Artist at CIG Austin.
Chris Smith (CS) , James Pugh (JP)
JP – I didn’t like it but I saw it;
JP – No control over it; It just happened
CS – Got flashed
JP- I like how you got dressed up for this (points at CS clothes)
CS – Its good for camera
JP- what does your shirt say?
CS – its …
**Cuts to intro
JP – Hey, everybody welcome back to Meet the Devs, I’m James Pugh and with me today is principle ship artist Chris Smith; Chris how you doing man?
CS – Good how are you?
JP – Good, thanks for coming on#
CS – Thank you
JP- So I don’t think the fans know anything you yet, they haven’t seen you before so why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself.
CS – Well, I’m Chris Smith I’m lead well principle ship artist
JP – see its not easy getting this stuff out now
CS – well you know once you move on up
CS – Can’ always remember those old titles; So well yeah I’ve been here with CIG for..since the beginning, I guess I’m employee number 14 or something like that, I’ve been doing all the ships, well not all of them bit a lot of them; most of the ship you guys are flying around in you know the 300i, Hornet, er Mustang, M50, erm you know Constellation coming up, all the variances for the Hornet, all the variances for the, well not all of the variants some of the variants for the Mustang and so yeah just been working here doing ships for Chris and having fun.
JP – Now you’re just getting braggy
CS – Well you know, you’ve got to be when you’re doing ships for Chris; gotta have some confidence
JP – So how did you get started at CIG?
CS – Shortly after a big lay off with our previous company called light box and ..
JP – You worked on Star Hawk!? I did Q,A for Star Hawk over at Sony
CS – Oh, you did?
JP – Yeah, thats awesome
CS – Well you know Harvard then; very well (can’t hear the name)
JP – yes
CS – yes, well yeah I actually did all the vehicles for Star Hawk, the flying thing, the transformer, the jet bike and all that stuff
JP – That was the best part of Star Hawk
CS – Thank you; but yeah I did all those so I was sort of like a “vehicle” guy at that moment and then during that, actually whilst working at Lightbox I saw the first trailer for Star Citizen you know that came out in October or August or Something and I was blow away by it; actually we had just finished Star Hawk and we were starting a new project which actually was a space game and so now I saw this trailer and I was like woah! that would be cool to work on, I saw the big Bengal carrier and all that stuff so that blew me away; well our company unfortunately folded then and then a few months later Erik Peterson gave me a call and saked me if I wanted model some ships for star Hawk
JP – Star Citizen
CS – there’s too many stars!
JP – we are not cutting that out by the way
CS – so anyway I was like (hooks finger in mouth) HELL YEAH!
JP – So how did you get into games to begin with?
CS – Well you know, in 2004 I got into the game industry just straight out of school, was already like an artist you know did all kinds of stuff, fine art, freelance art, nothing with computers though at all was just like mainly illustrator stuff; you know graffity jobs, tattooing what ever came by…
JP – Damn
CS – whatever came by, then I was like I need something more steady I think, so the whole computer 3D modeling thing, I thought I’d try that out, went to school went to an art institute for 3 years and well the rest is history I guess
JP – Was that a hard transition because you’ve always been an artist was it hard to go from being able to express it easily to having to use different systems like a computer?
CS – No not really, I mean I guess if you start out as an artist it’s probably a lot easier because then you are just learning a tool that you use to create the art that you like doing; I mean I used to do a lot more like character work just off the wall kind of stuff like that and then once I started in the games industry though the first thing I did was an environment artist just anything generic and actually my first gig was Duke Nukem, In Dallas at 3 Realms and then I sort of just evolve into doing some spaceship for them and some vehicles for that, you know me personally have always been a gearhead to besides just being an artist I like working on cars, and I like watching racing and all that stuff, it kind of lent itself to that and my style and everything so kind of evolved into that so now just purely a hard surface modeler for the gaming industry.
JP – What’s your favorite thing you’ve worked on in Star Citizen so far?
CS – The M50 was fun cause I got to redesign that one a little bit, erm the Mustang was awesome because that one went pretty quickly and easily , Constellation is really fun so far, I got to work on the interior and redesign the interior a little but and yeah I mean the 300i was fun that my first ship that I did but there was a lot of mistakes that were sort of made sort of growing pains you could call those, But the I would say probably the Mustang or the M50 so far, Constellation is pretty awesome so far.
JP – What was it like been on TNGS?
CS – TNGS was pretty awesome actually, that was definitely a different experience I mean compare to any other game company, where you are very secretive and you don’t really talk to the people at all you know this company has been the exact opposite to that, since the very first interviews we’ve had in Austin with Sandi and all them and Erik Petterson, its always been a lot you know different in that way when we started that getting to know the fans and hanging out with them and talking to them was just a cool thing, cause you know; first of all if they like your stuff it’s always cool, they get excited about it and you can see that, and in turn that always amps me up, I won’t to make some creative stuff for you guys and its a good motivator and yeah it was fun to do and getting to see all that talent was pretty amazing and unexpected actually and well we hired a couple of those people, we got some employees out of the whole thing gig so that was cool.
JP – It was brilliant we got to make cool little show it was some nice competition and we saw a lot of really good talent.
CS – Yeah, I mean if anything we should do another one, If anything now the next one should be better because we have our ducks a little bit more in a row and the pipeline I think would go a lot smoother
JP – IF we dd another one would you be back as a host, er Judge rather
CS – Well yeah if I’m asked to of course
JP – so we are going to let you go, but before we do, I’m going to ask you three rapid fire questions; are you ready?
CS – Wrap it up
JP – Favorite movie?
CS – Aliens 2 … Aliens
JP – Never seen it, favorite video game?
CS – Star Hawk; no Star Citizen of course
JP – you can say something else, you don’t have to say the two games we know you worked on
CS – favorite video game? oh god, I’d have to think about that actually ok, The Last of Us was awesome
JP – Yes, the Last of Us is great and favorite ship in Star Citizen
CS – Constellation of course
JP – you’re a homer man, alright well thanks so much for coming on been a pleasure having you. Once again Chris Smith and I’m James Pugh and you just met a dev.
** James holds up peace sign
JP – Keep holding it