Hey there everyone! I’m Ash Paulsen, the associate producer of Hiveswap here at What Pumpkin. I’m a relatively newer addition to the team, and while I’ve been working on the game behind-the-scenes for a little while now, this is my first appearance on our blog.
It’s far from my last, though, as I’ll be the one heading up the thrilling team member interviews Cohen teased in his recent update post! We’re kicking things off today with Rah, our environment art director, whose excellent work you can see in the images peppered throughout this post. So without further ado, let’s get things started!
Introduce yourself to the fans! What is your specific role on the Hiveswap team?
I’m Rah. I’m the environmental art director. The environmental art team is responsible for all of the backgrounds and scenery in the game. I draw some of them, but a large part of my job is coordinating with everyone to make sure the game has a consistent look and has the art it needs to support the characters and plot.
When and how did you get your start on the Hiveswap project?
A year and a half ago I started as a production artist, drawing backgrounds. I still do that, but now I also tell other people to draw backgrounds.
Tell us a little bit about your career background! How did you get your start in art and graphic design? Do you have any advice for others looking to enter this field?
I have been working in the games industry for ten years. On more than one occasion, I was hired because I did fan art of games I liked and then the studio hired me to keep doing it. It happens more often than you think!
We’re making a video game, so of course the question must be asked: what’s your favorite game of all time, and what games are you playing currently (if any)?
My favorite game is Shadow of the Colossus, but I also really love open-world games like Skyrim. Right now Final Fantasy XV is eating me alive. I sneak in some playtime here and there, but work is keeping me too busy to play more than one game at a time right now.
Are there any games that you currently use or have used as inspiration for your own art and graphic design work here on Hiveswap, or just in general?
Not on Hiveswap specifically, but I hope someday I can make game art as glorious as what can be seen in Bastion or Wakfu. I can’t get enough of that colorful, squishy style!
What are your preferred programs and applications as an artist and graphic designer? What are the tools of your trade?
I primarily use Photoshop and Paint Tool Sai.
What’s your workstation like? Do you like to listen to any particular kinds of music while you work? If so, tell us about it!
As I work I usually alternate between news podcasts and video game soundtracks. As for my workstation, I can reach approximately 70 plastic dinosaurs from where I’m sitting right now.
Favorite Homestuck character?
Karkat, Rose, Meenah, and Her Imperial Condescension (who, I guess, is also Meenah).
Favorite Homestuck ship?
I’m not really into shipping, but I can’t get enough Rosemary.
Favorite Homestuck flash?
That’s really hard to pick. Terezi: Remem8er is very important to me, but I think I liked Game Over the best for the huge reaction it gave me. I screamed for a solid nine minutes. It was great.
Do you have a personal message you’d like to relay to all the Homestuck and Hiveswap fans out there?
It’s been a real journey. Thanks for hanging in.
Where can people find more of your work? Link us to your own little corner(s) of the Internet!
Thanks for giving us some insight into your work here on Hiveswap, Rah! In the meantime, you all have been waiting for updates very patiently for quite awhile, so I’ll be back with another interview later this week, on Thursday, May 25th!
See you then, Hiveswap fans!