Interview with the Lead Concept Artist of Hash Rush, Dendy Dhamier
Every now and then, we try to get one of our team members to stop what they’re doing and answer a couple of questions. A few weeks ago we had a talk with Senior Game Producer Rafal Nowocien, and a week later our project leads (Maris Ziedonis and Kristaps Vaivods) were interviewed on Steemit by Steemit blogger badastroza.
Now this installment of the series will turn to the Hash Rush Lead Concept Artis Dendy Dhamier. I (Jochem Gerritsen) sat down with him to discuss his role in the Hash Rush project, his responsibilities and his day-to-day job.
I find solutions for 2D-visual problems / D.Dhamier
- Hi Dendy, thanks for taking the time. What are you doing at this moment?
Hi Jochem, no problem. I’m currently drawing a concept for the mining station for the Hash Rush project. Similar to the mining silo, we need different versions of the mining station, so that players can upgrade it. Now we just have the first level, but we also need level 2 or level 3. So that’s what I’m making right now.
- Alright, I see. How long does it take you to finish these?
Probably around six to eight hours, for all three levels combined. That’s the time it takes until it’s finished for the 3D-modeler to transform it into a 3D-model.
- Wow, that’s quite a lot of time that you put into these concepts! But before we talk more about your work and Hash Rush, could you first introduce yourself?
Sure. My name is Dendy Dhamier and I’m a full-time freelance concept artist, based in Indonesia. I graduated from the FZD school in Singapore and started working on different kind of game projects since 2 years.
I now work as the lead concept artist on the Hash Rush project. This means I make concepts that will be transformed into 3D-models by our 3D-modeler. I need to come up with ideas, do research on styling and what to draw, and see what works and what doesn’t. It’s a special kind of job that you need a dedicated person for; 3D-modelers are really good at making the 3D itself, but they usually need some ideas that serve as input.
- Alright, great. So you already mentioned the Hash Rush project, but how actually did you come to hear about Hash Rush?
Actually, Rafal Nowocien, our senior game producer, referred me to Maris (one of the founders, red.), and that got the ball rolling.
- Ah that’s great. So Rafal knew your work and recommended you as the lead concept artist. And once you started working for Hash Rush, what then? Could you tell us a bit more about your responsibilities?
Sure, well since then, my number 1 responsibility has been finding solutions to 2D-visual problems. For instance, I need to answer questions like: “How do the Ernacks live on their planet?”, “What should the Rustarian world look like?”, etc.
Besides finding an answer to these questions, I also work on illustrations for Hash Rush when needed, for articles or posts on Twitter and Facebook.
- Ah that’s right! You have provided quite a few images for my articles here on Medium.
Yes, that’s correct. But recently we added a member to our team who will start taking care of most of these illustrations. His name is Nicholas ng Hanyang and he’s a freelance concept artist based in Malaysia; he went to the same school as I did.
- Ok, I see. So you’ll work together with him, but do you also work with other members of the Hash Rush team?
Sure I do. Usually Maris gives me a brief to work from. For instance, he will tell me “we need a specific concept for the Ernacks and some kind of picture of the Space Pirates with their leader in the middle”. I then send him some sketches of my ideas, which Maris approves (or not). On that basis I’ll refine my sketches and when it’s done, send it back to Maris.
But I also often discuss my work with the project’s 3D-modeler, to talk about what will be best for the game. For example, we might want to add a lamp next to the mining station so that in-game users can see the mining station clearly. These kinds of things.
- Ok, and then you also work with Rafal? (Rafal Nowocien, Hash Rush’ senior game producer)
I don’t work with Rafal too often. But I often use his GDD, or Game Design Document. That way I can get inspiration about what the Hash Rush world should look like and make my images fit the descriptions mentioned in the GDD.
- Alright, I see. To be honest, I had never heard of a GDD before! But now that we know what you do at Hash Rush, could you tell us a bit about your daily routine and how you go to work in the morning?
Of course! Well, my bedroom is my design studio, so I don’t really “go to work”. After I wake up, I usually check my laptop to see if there are some tasks from Maris for today, then I work on these until I’m hungry (and go to eat). After that, I sometimes work out, also because it can be a bit antisocial sometimes if you’re in your room all the time.
In total, I work between 6 and 10 hours per day. So my day during the week consists largely of just drawing and working out, and other basic stuff (like eating, taking a shower).
- Hmm, I can imagine that’s one of the downsides of your job: Having to work alone in front of your computer?
Yeah sure. I really think drawing is fun, and getting paid to draw in my bedroom is fantastic. But sometimes I become kind of a hermit and forget how to communicate with others. So I don’t draw at all during the weekend to overcome that.
- Ok well you seem fine to me, in terms of communication :-) But I can imagine the struggle. This interview has almost come to its end, but let me just ask you some short questions and you’ll give short answers, if that’s ok with you?
- Ok, here we go: What are some other projects you worked on?
I worked on a variety of projects, most under Non-Disclosure Agreements. But you can take a look at my portfolio.
- Do you have a faction that you like most and why?
I like the Ernacks and Space Pirates equally because they both look innocent.
- What work that you’ve done for Hash Rush are you most proud of?
This (below) is some of the work I’m most proud of. The reason I love these pictures is because I love the aspect of creating the lifestyle. For instance, the Ernack world is magical and full of wonder and mystery. The Space Pirate world is kind of carefree, despite the junk yard they live in.
- How often do you play games and which games do you play?
I play games for about 3 hours a day. Something like Assassin’s Creed Uncharted, BioShock Infinite, Persona 5, Witcher 3.
- Ok, last question. Do you have any interesting about yourself to share with our readers?
I always find working with my cat relaxing. She’s pregnant right now actually, she’ll give birth in a week or 2. I’ll probably keep one kitten for myself and give the others to my friends.
- Ha, that’s a good note to end our interview with. Thank you so much for your time—we’re excited to see your drawings turn into reality in the Hash Rush game.
Well, I’m also quite excited about Hash Rush, so my pleasure!
I had a great time interviewing Dendy, and we’re eager to see more designs from his hand. And if you live in Jakarta and want a kitten, who knows, Dendy might have one for you!
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