Become a Better Game Artist: How to Think Like a Game Designer

Being a successful game artist means more than being just a talented visual designer. Understanding the technical process, knowing the intent of gameplay and story, and being aware of the aesthetics of what is being created will make you part of the bigger picture and aid you in becoming an excellent decision-maker and team leader.

On August 24th at 7:30pm PST, three lead artists from Insomniac Games will open a discussion at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects that will break down the stigma of artists feeling removed from game design. The panel will be moderated and audience participation is encouraged. Whether you’re a budding game artist, an industry professional, or simply curious about how your favorite games are made, there will be information for everyone. You’ll leave the event with tips to help you think more like a game designer and how to work better as a team member, as well as how to stay focused on the end goal of a project while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. The panelists will also explain what companies like Insomniac Games look for in candidates and offer portfolio advice for those looking to break into the industry.

Join the discussion! RSVP to attend for free at Gnomon School of Visual Effects at 1015 N. Cahuenga Blvd in Hollywood. If you can’t make it in person, tune in live on Livestream or YouTube.


7:30 pm – 9:30 pm: Become a Better Game Artist: How to Think Like a Game Designer

Guest Speakers

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Gavin Goulden – Lead Character Artist at Insomniac Games

Currently the Lead Character Artist at Insomniac Games, Gavin is working on Marvel’s Spider-Man and previously contributed to Sunset Overdrive. Before Insomniac, he was Lead Character Artist on BioShock Infinite and a character artist for titles including Dead Rising 2, The Bigs 2, Dragon Age, F.E.A.R. 2, and many more. Dedicated to improving the education of the games industry and promoting best practices for character art, he has spoken at GDC, SDCC, USC, JoGS (Jordan Gaming Summit), and is the host of the Character Art Podcast. He’s a published author of tutorial books and has had work featured in multiple articles for 3D World3D Artist, and 3dtotal Publishing.

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Jason Hickey – Lead Environment Artist at Insomniac Games

Jason comes from what he calls a “sordid background” of films, table top RPGs, animation, and illustration. When he got his first job, he says he didn’t know how to use Photoshop. Since then, he’s worked at some of the finest independent studios – Frontier, Crytek, Insomniac – including a brief stint at Sony in between, and is currently Lead Environment Artist at Insomniac Games working on Spider-Man. Previous roles include Lead Artist on Ryse, Lead Environment Artist/Assistant Art Director on PlayStation VR Worlds, and Senior Environment Artist on Kinect: Disneyland Adventures. He’s talked about environment art at GDC, FMX, Develop Conference, and BFX Festival.

About the author

Sierra is the Editor of ArtStation Magazine.