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Googleshng - January 23 '02- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

It's always tricky pulling up out of late column, but I can guarrentee I'll be back to the wee ours of them morning by the end of the week. Anyway, let'sa go!

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Hey Google,

I'm not sure of your experience with Hoshigami, but I'll ask anyway.

I'm at the 2nd battle of the 2nd chapter, and I can't beat it. I've played it about 10 times now, and I can't seem to win. This is the one where you have to kill the leader, but before the battle starts the “bad guys” are talking about how to beat you, that the canal is like a maze and such. I tried leveling up, their levels go up with yours. Will you help me?



They only match your levels to a point. If you keep bringing them up, you WILL eventually pass them. You can also try sessioning up the nearest tower to get some better equipment.


As I muddle around in my senior year of High School, my so called "future" keeps on leaping in front of me and slapping me across the face. Out of curiosity, how does one become a "Character Designer" a la Yoshitaka Amano?

Just one of my many passing fancies *grins.* After thinking it might be fun, it occured to me that I don't really know what they *do.* Does someone hand them a tome of descriptions (This character is a brooding dark knight who later becomes a Paladin. He is charismatic and handsome, standing x feet tall and wields a sword...) and then they simply paint a visual? Or perhaps someone talentless writer grunts "We need hero. He use big sword. Has girlfriend. He also not happy. Girlfriend hot..." and then the designer proceeds to flesh out a character so detailed and beautiful that the programmers pass out when they realize they have to code it?

Of course, there's always the lurking concept of "payment," but I think it's been made pretty clear that *any* job in the video game industry (programmer, story writer, etc) starts out as a piddling trifle and maybe eventually becomes decently high-paying. When I see Amano's "before" paintings and then the end result, I question how much influence they really have... but, of course, if the characters started out as mere words in the first place, the paintings would give the coders a great starting point.

Summary: my question is, what do you know about Character Designers? How do they get their foot in the Industry Door? How stressed are they when a company hits them with 150 amorphous characters that need faces?


Wow, that's quite a bit to reply to, so forgive me if I skip around a bit. First off, it's not that all job's in the video game industry pay squat when you're starting out. It's that the vast majority of those jobs aren't entry level, and the ones that ARE pay squat. In fact, the major game companies usually get their character designers by begging at the doors of artists who are already famous.

Your best bet if you want to want to break in anytime soon would be to find someone just starting in on their first game, prove you can do a decent job, and then just hope it actually gets off the ground. Two more tips for you though: Don't jump onto any game development ship that doesn't have an experienced programmer, and if you're honestly going to be designing characters, keep in mind that clothes are a heck of a lot more important than faces, since you can still see them when a character gets shrunk to 16 pixels high.

Oh, and as for how much character designers have to go on, that honestly depends entirely on the game.

Little late...

Hey Goog, I remember when RPGamer first mentioned that the import version of Shenmue II would be sold at various retailers. I thought to myself, "I'll get it eventually." Now, I'm combing the net and coming up with nothing. What gives?

-Squall the Surly SeeD

Well, you waited a month and a half. You can't expect a store to IMPORT as many games as they would normally buy, particularly for a system that's otherwise dead, or for what they do to wait around. I'm sure you can still get ahold of a copy if you try hard enough, but now you're going to have to hunt.

More stuff on me...

Do you get paid for doing RPGamer?
If so: How much?
if not: Then how do you make a living 'cuz a couple of days ago you stated that you have 7 hours of sleep and the rest is RPGamer

It's odd how often people ask these questions. To the first, no I don't. Given the state of this business actually, I take a lot of pride in the fact that RPGamer can even support its own server costs. Now, to your second question, the answer is quite simple. I DON'T make a living. I just have the eerie power to get by in life without the need for cash. Seriously. Last year I took a cross country trip to hit Anime Central and E3. I borrowed a small amount of cash to cover my expenses before I left. When I got back, I handed that cash back immediately. Every cent. And I had souvenirs. I don't even know how I pulled THAT one off...


i beated teh crono triger

No comment from me here. Just wanted to show you the sort of thing people send me every so often.

The Last Laugh:

See? It's less dark out today! YAY! Now away I go!

Googleshng "Word a day calendar: FUNGAH!"

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