Good games are a synthesis of multimedia art created by people with the most varied of skills. Creative artists design breathtaking landscapes and characters, while analytically-minded developers program the basic framework for making a fun game. Many game development jobs can be classified as either number or design based. That is not true for the technical artist, however. The name alone raises the question as to whether they are actually a techie or an artist. So we have decided to clear up the mystery surrounding this extraordinary profession once and for all.
At Goodgame Studios, the technical artist, TA for short, unites the worlds of numbers and pixels in all kinds of ways. A good TA embodies the creativity of the pixel maker and at the same time follows a highly problem-oriented approach often attributed to number crunchers. Thus they serve as the link between classical artists and developers and bring the game to life with their images and codes.
Not every technical artist serves the same function, of course. There are more artistically inclined TAs whose tasks include staging the works of digital artists in the game in an aesthetically pleasing way, while also taking into consideration technical conditions.
There are also more technically inclined TAs who focus on optimizing art processes within the art team. One example of how they do this is by developing a program that automatically updates the image files in the game database. This saves artists tedious manual labor, and developers have direct access to the animation of the spinning windmill, for example, because it is already available in the format and at the position they need.
As game production becomes increasingly more complex, the role of the technical artist also becomes more significant. Their work gives artists more room for creativity, lets developers pay complete attention to programming the games, and mediates between the worlds of art and numbers so that we can produce better games even faster.
The new processes and structures brought to life by the technical artist are key components of the constant change taking place at Goodgame Studios. As experts in internal change processes, we are able to quickly implement ideas and optimizations, such as those from the technical artists. This does not only make the TAs, techies, and artists happier, but also our players – because the faster we work, the faster the next update will arrive!