Introducing Roland Veen, Cover Illustrator
I bet you thought there would be no more Q&A's after the Authors were all done didn't you? I'm pleased (and relieved) to say that we have a cover illustrator, and his name is Roland Veen.
Here's what he has to say - and a little sample of a sketch he's kindly sent over to me - its of a pagoda in Kew Gardens.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm almost 32 years old (birthday next week), working as a freelance designer for close to 12 years. I have also a bachelors degree in computer science and have always loved playing games and programming. Other hobbies are singing in a male voice choir and reading (especially science fiction).
When did you first discover the Elite games?
I don't remember exactly when, but it was somewhere in the nineties that I stumbled upon a compilation disk containing Frontier: Elite II in the store. I can't recall the other games on the disc; they probably paled in comparison.
What's your favourite Elite memory?
What I loved about Frontier was the feeling of being in the middle of a "live" galaxy; demands going up and down, people wanting to be transported, pirate encounters... My favourite jumps were between Ross 154, Barnard's Star and Sol. I especially recall feeling very pleased after taking a bounty mission, chasing my target's ship, getting timing and destination from the residual wormhole, arriving early and blowing it up with beam lasers.
What is your experience? What made you back the project?
I have close to 12 years experience as a freelance designer, working for different companies, galleries and charities, involving postcards, posters, leaflets, magazines, websites, logos... you get the picture.
When I first saw the project a couple of hours after creation, I wanted to write one of the stories. But at that time all the slots had already filled up. I then saw the pledge level for cover illustrator, and me being a designer, it was very tempting. Part of me wanted to jump on it, but then doubt kicked in. Am I good enough an artist for the job? I mulled it over for a few weeks, regularly checking if someone else had decided to pledge for it. I would have been okay with that, but it didn't go that way. When there were only six days left on the counter I figured it was to be and put my pledge in, a couple hundred quid before the target.
Do you know what you would like to draw?
I want to design a great cover that will do justice to the stories contained therein and if possible illustrate a few key story moments to make them come to life. I look forward to working with the writers and illustrators to make it a great book, both to read and look at!
What one thing most excites you about Elite: Dangerous? Something that's already been revealed or some feature you're secretly hoping for?
What excites me is to have another Elite game, of which I hope will bring back the feeling of a universe that is alive and dynamic even in single player mode. No game since has truly captured that feel for me. I'm secretly hoping to find all the music from Frontier in the game, both as the original Adlib / Soundblaster version and a full orchestral version.