We are bringing regular personal interviews, so you can get to know more about the Ashborne Family and its members. This time meet Peter Minďaš, a Senior 3D Artist currently working on assets for our unannounced project.
What is your role in the Ashborne Team?
I am a 3D artist. My role entails creating 3D models, which begins by researching then continues by playing around with vertices, edges, and polygons, UV mapping, and texturing through to implement assets into a game engine. I occasionally do other tasks like basic rigging and animating assets, set dressing, and level lighting.
What is your contribution to the Ashborne Team?
No superpowers here, just an occasional workaholic :D. I like to complete things as fast as possible.
How did you become a 3D Artist?
As a young PC gamer, I started exploring game editors at a certain point in my life, primarily within strategy games, to create custom maps and scenarios. It brought a lot of joy into my life. Sometimes, by the end of my elementary school days, I became more curious and asked myself questions: How can I create games content? I found this article on one of the community websites regarding modding and creating custom 3D models. I started learning 3D modeling software 3ds max as a hobby. I had no intention to pursue a game industry career until I finished high school and chose a university. No art universities were focusing on 3D modeling and games in Slovakia, so I picked a faculty of informatics that I dropped off after a year to study Game art in North Wales. That journey was long and perturbing. I ended up taking two years off after my second year to pay for the university. After graduation, I was trying to find a job as a 3D artist for some time, but without any luck, so I went out adventuring, working various jobs, and improving my art skills. After a year, I tried to apply again and got lucky with a few companies. I started my first job as an environment artist at Bohemia Interactive. I had spent two and a half years before I came into Ashborne games.
On what games have you been working? Which is your favorite and why?
I worked on two games. The first one was Vigor at Bohemia Interactive and then on Comanche at Ashborne Games. Working on Vigor was enjoyable solely because of the art style the type of assets in post-war Norway.
What is your favorite thing about 3D Artist? Least favorite?
I love that I get to see and learn about things that I didn't even know exist. When an asset has to be functional, I will undertake extensive research to understand how things work. One other thing that I love is that the art industry is fast-changing and evolving, and I can be part of it to try all the new technologies.
In the perspective that we develop a historical Strategy & RPG, can you name any Strategy game you like?
So many. But to name just a few. Every Total War game, Warcraft 3, Age of Mythology, Cossacks: European Wars, or Battle for Middle-Earth. The one that I have the best memories of would be Age of Empires 2.
What do you do when you are not making games?
I play games from time to time. I have to say it's relatively rare these days. I spend time with friends and family. I do ride a lot on my bicycle. I like to go for a run in the evenings or if the weather doesn't allow me to ride my bike. Also, I love to travel, hike/camp, whether it be just one day hike or multi-day hikes. Conquering new places and spending nights out in the wilderness is priceless. Hiking also brought me into the world of landscape photography. Anytime I go out venturing, I tend to snap a picture or two to save a still memory.
What's your favorite music, movie, show, book, and why?
I can listen to anything. I don't have a specific genre or band. The same goes for movies. Anything that fits into historical, fantasy, or drama, I will watch. But I surely know what my favorite book is. It's The Lord of the Rings.
Your all-time favorite games and why?
Hmm, a tough one. Gothic 2, Red Dead Redemption 2, or The Witcher Series. All these games are outstanding in storytelling and open world opportunities. Initially, I was predominantly a strategy game player, but then I came across Gothic 2. It was the first RPG that I tried, and it completely pulled me into its living fantasy world. It wasn't easy. You have to be vigilant and plan carefully who and when to fight. One blow by a monster, and you are dead. No autosave/checkpoints. Then I experienced the same thing with The Witcher 1 and every next part that was released. I haven't been able to uninstall The Witcher 3 from my PC ever since I installed it for the first time. I always like to come back to it from time to time. I completed all Witcher games multiple times. I find the Witcher 1 story most appealing to me. I wish there would be a remaster with Witcher 3 gameplay mechanics. Then there is RDR2. I played it a few years after release, but oh boy, I am glad I had that opportunity. What incredible storytelling and gameplay. So many options and things to do. One game or, better say, series that deserves mention is S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Countless hours spent in the Zone.
What is the most crucial aspect/feature of an excellent game, and why?
I can only speak for myself since this is a very subjective thing. I prefer good single-player, open-world games with solid storytelling. An excellent addition is a story branching into multiple plotlines, which allows for replayability. As a 3D Artist, I love stunning visuals that immerse more into a game.
Imagine creating/developing your dream game without any limitations. How would it look like?
It would probably be a walking simulator in Tolkien's Middle-Earth. That's all I need (Lol).
Did game dev change your view on the games, and how?
I spend less time playing games than I used to since I spend more time learning and improving my artistic skills. Also, while playing games, I spend a lot more time just walking around and checking out 3D models and textures.
Is there some advice that you would give others 3D Artists?
You are not alone. Seek feedback. You can communicate with others from the very first stage of your asset. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Question from Martin Gregor (Senior Technical Designer): Do you have a favorite artstyle of games to create and to play? If they are not the same art style, why are they different?
I can appreciate every art style, but I am a fan of more realistic art styles when playing games or creating. It doesn't necessarily have to be hyper-realistic with 1:1 when it comes to proportions and look.