Here’s why we think Jorge is swell:
Lead artist Shawn Robertson: Jorge is a talented artist–and not to be trifled with in any fighting game arena.
Little known fact: Jorge was the first person to actually create art assets for BioShock Infinite. He was tasked with doing a couple of character sketches of people from the early 1900’s. We didn’t tell him what he was working on at the time, but I am pretty sure that he’s figured it out by now.
We originally hired Jorge to be our storyboard artist, but since then his job has expanded to fill a concept role as well. If you liked the Bioshock Infinite pre-rendered trailer, you can tip your hat to Jorge and his storyboards.
Your title is “storyboard/concept artist.” What does that mean?
Jorge Lacera: I’m pretty damn lucky. I get to be a part of the planning process as a storyboard artist—plotting and visualizing each cinematic moment. And as a concept artist I’m able to create unique character designs, props, and worlds for the game. I get to exercise my creative chops, visual chops, and my intellectual, strategic side. It’s an awesome combo of left-brained and right-brained work. I’m an integral part of designing and detailing the narrative of the game.
What games have you worked on?
JL: None! Well unless you count Sushi Pack: Beat the Heat. Which you probably don’t. (This game is pretty fun! -Chris) I come from an animation/ licensing background, so I had to learn games in a trial by fire.
Describe life at Irrational in three words or less.
JL: Talent + Caffeine = Awesome
What is your favorite game of all time?
JL: Mega Man 2. I got it for Christmas when I was 9 and I remember clearly the euphoria of playing that game nonstop for hours on end. This song is now embedded in some groove in my brain for life.
Name a game everyone should play once in their life.
JL: Psychonauts. Specifically, “The Milkman Conspiracy” level. Also, play any Street Fighter on an arcade machine. Your life can’t really be complete until you’ve grappled with the existential angst caused by losing to a ten-year-old…
What is your favorite movie?
JL: A toss up between Akira and Pulp Fiction.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
JL: I’m a big movie buff. I like tracking down obscure foreign films or indie flicks. Most of the time you end up walking away feeling disappointed (or confused), but it’s all worth it when you find a great one–Let the Right One In being that most recent great one.
One of my favorite things about you is that even when you’re not at work you’re off doing fun art and posting things on your blog just for fun. Can you tell us a little about the blogging you do, and why you choose to do it?
JL: I started blogging in 2005. I was about a year out of art school and I realized that there was stuff I was not getting to do at work, and techniques I was learning from my full-time gig that I wanted to apply to my own artwork. So it started as a way to creatively vent and has now turned into a running diary of my creative process.
It’s a great way to try things out and get feedback from friends and colleagues. It’s also been a fantastic networking tool and has connected me to all sorts of talented folks on the interwebs. Check it out at: http://lacera.blogspot.com/
Do you have any tips for the aspiring art students out there?
JL: For those trying to get into games, keep your focus on traditional drawing and painting skills. Those lessons apply to everything else you do in any art-based career. But really, the biggest thing is to fully commit to what you’re passionate about. It shows in your work and will make you happiest in the long run.
Tell me your favorite story about life at Irrational.
JL: That would be my interview. When I first applied to the position, I was excited but slightly skeptical of the whole thing. Driving into Quincy conjures up a combination of history and grime. The vibe at the studio was laid back and casual. The art “pit” as it was called back than had a college dorm feel, complete with obligatory fake rose for “decoration.”
Then I was taken into a small room and shown what the studio was working on. I was blown away, but I still wanted to play my cards close to my chest. Throughout the day, with every new person I met I realized the level of talent, imagination and brainpower was unusually high.
As I waited for my flight home, I realized, “Shit, I really want this job.” All at once I was back sitting in high school wondering if a girl likes me too.
It all worked out for the best and I’m honored to be part of such a bad ass team of girlfri–errr…developers.