Britnea Sage

Britnea Sage is an awesomely outgoing recent graduate. She’s a creative extrovert who loves animals and has a way with words. She’s proficient in Autodesk Maya 2012, Adobe Photoshop CS5, and has intermediate skills with Zbrush and the Unity engine. She is trying to figure out this crazy world just as much as we are! 

BRITNEA SAGE 
3D/Digital Artist 

COMPANY
Gannett media and marketing solutions

EDUCATION 
Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago. BFA  

WEBSITES
Britneasage.weebly.com

When did you first start playing games?

Oh, jeez. I was young. Like easily 5 or 6 years old. I would play the NES with my sister. She’d play Mario and I’d be Luigi, being the younger sister. Inevitability she’d beat the game before I got to play.

How old are you now?

I’m 25. I’ll be 26 next week on Wednesday.

Do you build games?

While I am not currently building a game, I have in the past for school.

“When an Art Institutes representative came to my Graphic Arts tech class in high school, I fell in love what she was saying.”

Was the class where you built a game a requirement, or an elective?

Requirements. I didn’t get many fun electives that let me do that. I was in school for game art and design, so it was a common thing.

Why did you choose game art and design?

I was lost for what I wanted to do with my life, as I’m sure most teens are. I have loved video games since I was young. I love teamwork, some structure, but I’m a creative type too, so I liked the thought of that avenue. I had some talent in art but definitely needed some training. So when an Art Institutes representative came to my Graphic Arts tech class, I fell in love what she was saying. She really sold me on the school. She said it would help hone my skill in art while working towards that career. I also have a huge passion for movies, storytelling and monsters. So I felt like it just kind of fit.

“The AI rep really sold me on going to an art institute school. She said it would help hone my skill while working towards a career in art.”

What is the one most important aspect of a game that you feel elevates the good games above the rest?

A strong story. I can’t immerse myself in something so flat. And it’s a fine line, because I love the idea of games like World of Warcraft but the reset factor and the fact you have to read the storyline makes it tedious and disconnected. I think Star Wars: The Old Republic really hit a strong cord with the voice actors. However, end game and the fact that your decisions didn’t really matter were kind of a killer. But still a strong direction! To me that’s what makes a game, that’s the whole point of them. A story that comes to life visually that you can escape reality with.

What’s a game that you recently played that inspired you in some way?

A game that recently inspired me? Jeez, I can’t think of just a singular one. Inspiration comes in from everywhere. Perhaps the game “Knight Rival” to inspire a better horse-esque RPG.

“To me that’s what makes a game, that’s the whole point of them: a story that comes to life visually that you can escape reality with.”

Could you talk about the work flow you use when designing a game? (Milestones you have to hit in order to build a successful game.)

I’m all over the place. First off, I’m an artist, so I’ve only made some primitive games with my limited knowledge of programming. Inspiration is always the first part for me. Then crafting the characters, giving them quirks and understanding why they’re in their world. Then a style and ranges of power. From there it just evolves naturally.

What sort of games do you think there are not enough of? (What direction to you want to see the industry take??

I feel like there is a shortage of quality story-driven RPG/Adventure. The industry seems to have taken a turn for sports/shooters, which are great in their own right, but seem to be overwhelming the market.

How would you involve women with the gaming community, who otherwise might not become involved on their own?

I feel like if we were to bring down the “hardcore gamer” myth and bringing more diverse games into the mix, we could bring in a larger market of ladies. I remember when I was growing up, I felt like I couldn’t push my pride for being freakin’ awesome at Harvest Moon or getting all the recipes for Cooking Mama because those just weren’t the “cool” games. I am a conqueror in God-games like Black and White; sadly, these games don’t get as nearly as much attention or cred as Halo or Call of Duty, the latter being a pretty much constant reshelling of itself the last few  years.

What can big companies like Microsoft do to bring more women into gaming?

For a big company, it is easier to market more to those games like Call of Duty than it is to put dedication into the creation of more diverse games or more advertising to them. And it’s not necessarily a waste of money. The Wii was one of the best performers in terms of dollars because of their “silly” games. Reaching into the community and getting thoughts is a great way to understand that moving culture is important. Standing still? That’s death. Just look at Nintendo, who was so slow to catch up with Microsoft and Sony.

“I feel like if we were to bring down the ‘hardcore gamer’ myth and bringing more diverse games into the mix, we could bring in a larger market of ladies.”

What can I do locally to bring more women into gaming?

Getting groups together, hosting events, reaching out to the girls you know that have this interest is great. I feel like the key is really just being open and encouraging.

How do you think people with diverse backgrounds add to the field of game industry?

It brings different cultures to the mix, different beliefs and different ways of seeing things. That is the magic to bringing something to life, in my opinion.

Thank you Britnea for your candid and insightful discussion!

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