Koji Moriga’s Dev Diary
A few months ago, you all posed questions towards Moriga-san, our talented concept artist! Though he’s been busy, he was finally able to get back to you all and here’s what he had to say:
Can you talk about your background and what led you to become an artist? Do you have any advice for those who would like to pursue this as a part of their career?
I originally liked games and as I continued being involved in game development, I was able to develop my core strengths as an artist. Since I really loved creating character artwork, I kept pursuing projects and works that I wanted to do, which is how I was able to work on characters’ conceptual artworks. If you want to become an artist, I think that it is important that you fully understand what you like and can actually do, and with this knowledge under your belt, create your own chances.
What does Project Phoenix mean to you from a personal and professional standpoint? What will Project Phoenix allow you to do that you have not ever done before?
Project Phoenix breaks new ground by showing people what is possible in terms of creating a new style of game development.
What is the best part of working in creating concept art and what is the most challenging? Also, in general, what percentage of your artwork makes it into the final product? How do you feel about art or ideas that don’t succeed in making it into the game?
The best part of working on concept art is when your ideas were favored. The challenging part is when your director is trying to figure out his thoughts and ideas, because those certain ideas usually are 70% dropped. Even with the shifting nature of how things work in the games industry, unused concept art is never a waste. The art always becomes part of your knowledge and I enjoy thinking that every aspect becomes an important part of your experience.
In looking at your work history, we see that you’ve done work for Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin and the Starship Troopers animated movie. How did you get the opportunity to work on such high profile projects and what did you learn from your past projects?
In simple words, I was able to work on such projects because of personal connections. Through these team projects I learned that I cannot create a video or game solely by myself and that it is necessary to have different peoples’ cooperation. With that in mind, no matter what types of projects I work on, communicating with my team members is something I continually learn.
When you're designing monsters for videogames what emotions are you hoping the players to feel when encountering them?
Monsters and characters are all part of the game world. I design such monsters with the hope that they will enhance the player’s ability to enjoy the game world.
What artists, media, or art styles have influenced your work? Are there certain artists you look up to as a source of inspiration?
I think my work has been influenced by different people. My favorite artists change depending on the period. With that said, GONTARO is one of the artists that I respect, so I am very honored to be able to work on this project together with him.
What do you in your spare time while you’re not drawing? What are your hobbies or interests?
I have not been able to spend time on what you can call a hobby since my child was born, but when he is older I would like to go bouldering (rock climbing) together. Until then, I must lose some weight….
If you weren’t an artist, what kind of work would you be doing instead?
I began art because I loved games, so if I had studied something other than art, I think I would have aimed to become a game programmer.
Thanks for your questions!
As the game continues to take shape, one of the most critical components of the game that is being worked on is, of course, the 3D models. While you all have gotten a chance to see some of our 3D models and renderings that we’ve posted on the Kickstarter updates and while our 3D modelling team, led by Steffen Unger, has briefly interacted with you all in the comments, we’d like to open it up to all of you to ask even more far-ranging questions. So if you have any questions based on what you’ve seen thus far or if there’s something else that you’re curious about, now’s the time to ask! Just get in any questions you may have by Wednesday and we’ll send them over to Steffen!