Might & Magic X - Phelan Sykes Interview
Limbic Entertainment has a new update on the games development blog with a interview with Phelan Sykes.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your career?
I got into video gaming quite accidentally – In 1995 I was working as a lube tech at local Ford dealership to make ends meet, (times were tough then in rural Virginia, and my BFA didn't get me many offers!) After one particularly tough day doing oil changes and tire rotations, I answered an ad looking for a graphic artist. Two high school friends had gotten some seed money, wanted to make a video game and needed an artist. I got the job and we were successful enough in our prototype to land a publisher: New World Computing. Eventually NWC absorbed our little crew and moved all of us out to California to work on Heroes of Might and Magic and then, Might and Magic VI. Might and Magic VI was my first opportunity to learn 3D modelling and animation, which turned out to be the focus of my career. I had the unique pleasure (and challenge) of creating many of the pre-rendered cutscenes in the game as well as designing and rendering the interface.
When you think about your work on Might & Magic, what’s the first association that comes to your mind?
The years I spent at New World Computing were some of the best of my career – at the time, there was an enormous amount of opportunity to experiment and to contribute to the direction of a game, regardless of what your primary role on the team was. Team sizes were small and everyone worked together to create the best levels and the coolest art. Might and Magic VI was a unique game at the time in that it combined the variety and depth of real-time gameplay with the spectacular detail that pre-rendered worlds could illustrate. 3D rendering was a growing field and the software available on PC was making leaps and bounds with each release. Each mini cut-scene was an opportunity to experiment and discover new tools and techniques, and each animation was a new opportunity to create a more spectacular environment than the last. Illustrating the fantastic worlds of Might and Magic was both immensely challenging and rewarding.
What does Might & Magic mean to you today?
I certainly have some serious nostalgia towards Might and Magic and New World Computing. For me the franchise meant my very first opportunity to work on an established and very successful published title. Might and Magic was my foot in the door to a career, which I am grateful for on a daily basis. Many of my co-workers then are my friends to this day, and I even met my husband while we worked together on a Might and Magic title!
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