Get to Know Your Dev: David Brown

Discussion in 'News and Announcements' started by Accendo, Jun 17, 2022.

  1. Accendo Community Manager

    [IMG]Warning: What you're about to read and see may cause you to lose your breath!

    How did you come to work on EverQuest II?
    Back in the early 2000’s I was about to graduate with my Bachelor of Arts in art and animation, I was really looking for an internship with graduation so close. Well, it turned out that SOE was in San Diego and not too far of a drive from my house. I applied for an internship on EQ and got it doing basic animations and some generic art tasks. At the time, SOE was transitioning people from different projects and didn’t have a spot for me to transition to full time. I look back and think I probably just wasn’t good enough of an artist yet; my art definitely needed some work. So, I continued school and started on my masters at Academy of Arts in San Francisco, which allowed me to do another internship on EverQuest II. During that time, my focus was on model creation, and I did some weapons that when I look back on them now, I don’t know how I got a job. Luckily, they took a chance on me. So, 15 years later, I am now the Art Director for Characters on EQ and EQII.

    What was the first creation you worked on for EQII?
    Weapons, and I don’t show them to anyone. My skills were still being developed. Glad they took a chance on me.

    What is your favorite design or creation that you have worked on for EQII?
    It's usually always the last thing I worked on since I am always learning and trying to improve my skills. The last cool thing I did was the giant vampire guy called Dhampir Abomination.

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    How did you break into the game industry?
    I got lucky. But actually, I have always wanted to be an artist. My dream as a kid was to work for Disney. So, I have been drawing all my life, copying comic books in the 80s and drawing anything of interest that I was thinking about at the time. I spent a lot of time sitting at my desk and drawing in my room as a kid. So, luckily SOE had internships which allowed me to get my foot in the door.

    What advice do you have for someone who wants to break into the game industry?
    Being an artist is a life-long journey. Teaching programs and how to push buttons is the easy part—actually learning to be an artist in any medium is the tough part. I have taught many years at the Art Institute of San Diego when it was around, then I taught 3-D classes at Oklahoma State since so many things have gone to full online. The one thing I see with students is the expectation that art will be easy and not take effort. Almost anyone who keeps driving and putting in the effort can get in, but what happens is most students, and I say like over 80 percent, will give up during the learning process.

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    Who is your favorite NPC in EQII?
    Well, the Dhampir Vampire, of course. It was my latest fun model of last year's expansion.

    What was the most challenging design you have worked on?
    Anything that had tons of parts and hair or fur. There are easy ways to do hair and fur that are passable, but to really do it takes a lot of knowledge and effort. A few years ago, I took a masterclass on hair taught by John Lithvall, the guy who did all the hair in Horizon Zero Dawn. That was definitely an effective way to learn to get correct-looking hair done but it can be a pain. To refresh, I also did some hair tutorials by Adam Skutt. That’s the thing: learning to be an artist is never over. I have a sculpting class I will be taking this summer.

    What do you know now that you wish you knew when you got started?
    School is a good start, but I really became a good artist when I started taking classes from masters already in the industry. That is the path I have my daughter on. She did junior college cheap and is now taking master classes to be a character artist, and her skills are already looking great. It's better than spending $100k on a 4-year art school.

    What’s the first thing that got you interested in working in the gaming industry?
    I wanted to be an artist all my life, when I was a kid; I dreamed of drawing cartoons for Disney. Well, games had really come a long way and artists have become essential in making great games. So, my focus changed to games, and it has been great.
    Aelissa, Jesaine, Sharann and 15 others like this.
  2. Bludd Well-Known Member

    dev mcdreamy?
    Aelissa likes this.
  3. Breanna Well-Known Member

    Ya who is he? What name do we know him by?
    Rosyposy likes this.
  4. Dude Well-Known Member

    Pretty sure that's Denmum. :rolleyes:

    If I was forced to guess beyond that, Covic?
    Aelissa and Breanna like this.
  5. Breanna Well-Known Member

    I was going with Covic or Chrol.
    Dude likes this.
  6. Bludd Well-Known Member

    no chrol is not a visual artist, he is an artist of pain, of destruction, of obstruction and challenge

    chrol delights in our misery, he savors our spilled tears - laps them up while contemplating new fiendish ways to foil our endeavors
    Tanto, Agulo, Breanna and 1 other person like this.
  7. Rosyposy Well-Known Member

    Definitely not Denmum, as I know her name. =)
  8. Moonpanther Well-Known Member

    OHHHH, does this mean some long flowing hair for our toons??? *Jumps up and down in excitement* Greetings and Well Met. How exciting! *dreams of running her fingers through her new long flowing hair and flipping it over her shoulder in a oh so nonchalant way.*
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  9. Bhayar Well-Known Member

    Welcome. I had to do a double take when I saw the name "David Brown." We were friends with some Browns (both Dads were in the Navy) when I was growing up in San Diego. David Brown was the name, but you're too young, haha. Ruth Brown was the mom. Great artwork, btw.
    Jam175 likes this.
  10. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

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    Holy crap, that looks great. Loving all the small and delicate details of that vamp. Where can you find him? Does he look like that in the game? If so, one more reason to finally upgrade our old character models and bring them up to the that level of visual fidelity. Love it @David!

    Interesting to see that a lot of the designers or ppl involved in eq2 either worked for Disney in the past or wanted to work for Disney at some point in time. Tbh, a lot of zones and npcs do give me Disney vibes, like Sinking Sands (Aladdin), for example. Good stuff, good stuff.
    Jesaine and Breanna like this.
  11. Sigrdrifa EQ2 Wiki Author

    Yes, he's a mob in Castle Vacrul in the Visions of Vetrovia expansion. I always think of him as Baron Harkkonen!
    Geroblue, Jam175, KauaiJim and 2 others like this.
  12. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

    Ah, thanks for the info! Haven't progressed that far yet, my god, seeing that really makes me wanna see more. Do all the other npcs in the castle look like that too or is it "just" the vamp? Really like how VoV turned out, welcome to Jurassic Park.

    You mean like this?

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    If so, count me in. +1 vote for new and enhanced character models -> male, female, creature / animal (Hamster) and beast.
    Moonpanther, Breanna and Dyss like this.
  13. Dyss Member

    VERY good information for others, as well as describing Dev David Brown's own path. I'm glad he's encouraging his daughter with what he's learned along the way.

    Nice to meet you!
  14. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

    Btw, seeing how this is all about vamps, who's the final boss in Castle Vacrul? Can a dev take inspiration from this and add this exact same scene in eq2 -> including some powerful voice acting with the endboss saying something like: "WHAT'S THIS RUCKUS???" when we enter the final boss room of the vamp lord sitting on his throne?

    Moonpanther and Breanna like this.
  15. Accendo Community Manager

    You are correct!
  16. Twyla Active Member

    So that's who's responsible for the nightmares I had the night I beat that evil son of evil Mayong down. ;)
  17. KingDragon Member

    Oh nice, I always thought of it as the librarian from "Blade" 1998, Pearl
    Sturmlocke and Moonpanther like this.
  18. Moonpanther Well-Known Member

    That's a great start! *smiling gleefully* Longer would also be awesome, But I could be happy with this. *reminds self to pick up combs and brushes in anticipation.*
    Sturmlocke likes this.
  19. ttobey Makes the Monsters Move

    That's Covic.
    Jinksie, Schmetterling and Breanna like this.
  20. Sunlei Active Member

    Hi good to meet you!

    " What was the most challenging design you have worked on?
    Anything that had tons of parts and hair or fur. There are easy ways to do hair and fur that are passable, but to really do it takes a lot of knowledge and effort. A few years ago, I took a masterclass on hair taught by John Lithvall, the guy who did all the hair in Horizon Zero Dawn. That was definitely an effective way to learn to get correct-looking hair done but it can be a pain. "

    please, the eq2 models we need new hairstyles/colors! even if you marketplace sell a bundle of hair styles we can use in the appearance slots wardrobe head slots....this would be so appreciated......no more play dough hair thank you.
    Aelissa, Sharann, Rosyposy and 3 others like this.