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If you haven’t heard about Player Studio, this video will get you up to speed but chances are you’ve seen those unique helemts or camos in game and maybe even own some. Have you ever considered becoming a creator, submitting your own items, and getting paid?
PlanetSide 2 Art Director Tramell Isaac talks about this process below and some of the amazing things he’s seen. He also tosses out some professional advice absolutely free!
Q: You are obviously very used to directing experienced artists at SOE on how to improve their work. What’s it like directing folks who don’t have that industry experience on improving their work?
A: There really is no difference when it comes down to it. As artists, we have to learn new things all the time. This means at some point in your career, you're going to be the person that has to learn something new and therefore will be at lower end of the experience curve (even if just for a moment). That said, I approach it as if artists are trying to learn something new. People learn at different rates so there are people that "get it" and those that will need extra help. Having to 'train' a larger group of people has been an educational experience, and I have learned a lot about the creators that we have out there. I was surprised at the level of "professionalism" that the player studio creators possess. ] It is nothing short of amazing; they are taking critiques, making changes, and communicating with each other in a professional, constructive manner.
Q: Player Studio offers a medium which allows potential artists to get feedback on their submissions. How important would you say this is to use this?
The critique is the most important part of the process. If you follow the development of a creation, you can actually see how players utilize feedback from myself, other artists on the team and other players, and watch it evolve from an okay asset to an awesome one.
Q: Which item would you say surprised you the most in terms of quality and creativity?
I don’t think I could pick one particular item because there are so many really great assets out there. I would have to say one of the creators who surprised me was Arctorn, who I found out is self taught. He learned how to use 3D software just for Player Studio. That’s amazing to me.
Q: Submissions for Harasser customizations recently started a few weeks ago. How is that going? Any upcoming items we can look forward to?
It’s going great and the submissions have been rolling in. I really like that players have come up with some extremely unique designs. We have yet to choose the first batch of Harasser attachments so I don’t want to spoil the surprise.
Q: A few of our fans over in Europe are a little disappointed they can’t participate in Player Studio. Is this going to change in the future?
Yes, in the very near future. We are fully aware that the EU community wants to take part in Player Studio and we are working really hard to make that a reality.
Q: You’ve been working in the industry for quite some time as an artist. Did you ever think there was going to be a day that games allowed something like Player Studio where any ordinary person could be paid for their work?
No, not in a million years. We've come a long way and I've glad we are doing it.
Q: What advice would you give someone who was interested in working on Player Studio? What can they expect going through the submission process?
Start with an idea/concept, post on the forums for feedback, and iterate, iterate, iterate. There will rarely be a case when the first iteration will be the one that is chosen.
Be prepared for critics. Although we monitor the forums to make sure that it stay positive, but not everyone will like everything about your work.
In many ways Player Studio creators are considered an extension of the PlanetSide 2 art team which means they work for me and submissions have to meet a certain expectations. I hold creators to the same standards as any member of my team., but always encourage anyone to keep trying, even if they don't get in the first time,.
There are a number of factors that determine if an asset gets into the game and visual quality is not always the deciding factor. I wear many hats and one of them is 'store manager'. As Store Manager, I'm only going to 'order' a certain number of a particular type of asset. Once that lane is occupied with high quality product, we'll look for different types of assets to fill the needs of the marketplace.
If you have worked your way through the forums then it’s time to submit. After submission the asset needs to be verified to see if it was built correctly. Once the content is approved, we start the finishing process, which is followed by exporting and queuing the item for release. The length of time until release depends on the volume of assets that came before your submission.
Want more advice and to get an inside look at how Player Studio works? Join him for next weeks Inside the Player Studio on Twitch Monday, March 24th at 5:00 PM PT!