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The people of Machinegames

Behind the 3D art

— With Matthias Develtere, Senior 3D artist

Matthias Develtere

What do you love about your job?

I’m a Senior 3D Artist at MachineGames, and I have the amazing job of working on a lot of what we call our “hero assets” – from robots and weapons to vehicles. These are assets that take a lot of work and have to go through a lot of different departments, but what is so unique about MachineGames is the freedom we all have. Every asset I get to do is one big team undertaking, but there isn’t anyone telling me what to do. Instead it’s a collaboration where everyone is just there giving advice and offering their honest opinion.

MachineGames is the perfect studio for artists who want to challenge themselves with every assignment – from exploring new work methods to taking responsibilities for their own work, planning and execution. We have an amazing concept art department; every sketch or fully fleshed-out design is so appealing that you just can’t wait to start modelling.

What is unique about working on games at MachineGames?

Personally, what was and still is cool about making games at MachineGames is how much the environment allows for growth. Over the years I’ve been here, I really feel like I’ve gotten the chance to grow in terms of coming up with my own designs for the games. At MachineGames you get to put your own little footprint on the artistic vision of the game. All that while being in constant communication with leads and directors because we’re huge believers in the open-door policy.

Something else I really love about MachineGames is the fact that every artist takes ownership over his own assets, from the start of the pipeline till the end of it – from blocking it to the final texture pass. That means you don’t get tunnel vision just focusing on one thing, but instead you get better at the whole process. Just being able to visualize so many cool concepts is a dream come true. From looking at astonishing 2D concepts or listening to an idea, and then getting the chance to translate that person’s vision into 3D and see it come to life.

How have you contributed to an end product and where have you seen your work make an impact on the end product and/or what is your favorite contribution you’ve made to a project and why?

Being in charge of most of the gameplay/hero assets it´s always amazing to see gamer react to them: From some just saying “wow” when a giant dropship cimes down or people just staring into every car to see the uniquely designed dashboards for every car design. It´s these little things where you like to spend maybe an extra couple of hours on during the week just to make it standout to then see them being noticed by gamers/streamers.

Talking about impact of my own work there is of course all the gameplay hero assets I do, making sure they are readable, understandable and work both for AI and the player is of course super important. If the player isn’t interested in these assets or doesn’t even take a couple of second to stand still and look at them, I feel like I felt at my job. On a more personal note I would say, just vehicle. I have a burning passion for making vehicles for games, there is nothing more that I then making them and different variations so we can prop out all our environments with them and make it feel like an even more alive world.

Picking the my favorite contribution is an easy one – we called it the laser puppy. It’s a small robot dog Still remember the day I started modelling the little thing, even the date hahaha. From the first time I saw the concept and I just wanted to model it, so I begged my producer to assign it to. Never had I worked on robots, so it was big challenge, but then again that´s what I love about MG, getting the chance to prove yourself with trial and error. But what was so cool was to just see it come alive. From being part of the first gameplay meetings, to audio ideas, to sitting down with our concept artist Per G to talk about little details or how his head would move and his little paws could open up. To getting the chance to actually visualizing it. But the most magical thing for me was seeing it animated for the first time. It was a bit like a baby to me, trying to show it anybody at the office: “Look at this puppy he´s alive”. Till this day it still breaks my heart a bit when I see gamers shoot it “evil” robot.

Get to know my colleagues

Learn more about some of the people behind Machinegames here.