There's an inner child in me that guides almost everything I work on. The sense of wonder I had when experiencing new worlds when I was young is one of my biggest reasons for creating games and settings.
From the perspective of the work that I produce, the gaming industry allows the rare opportunity for me to create a complete product. For most of the games I work on, everything in the box, and the box itself, is designed by me (apart from the game itself of course!), and that level of ownership is pretty rare.
Working freelance isn’t for everybody. You have to manage your time and your workload as well as deal with crunch periods (or self-doubt in the opposite situation). It’s often a good idea to go for projects for which you don’t necessarily think you’d fit, as they often are a good opportunity to try out some new things.
With any game design, before making a big change, you have to understand what the problems are that you are solving. My process is to find what's fun about the game and design everything else around it in support of that fun.
I was so pleased to be able to work with such a diverse brief because diversity REPRESENTS. The idea was to include several characters with some cultural-anatomical features. Latin people, Asian people, Arab people, white people, gender fluid or/and androgynous people/trans people, curvy people, gay people. I think this is the right direction to work in. Visibility matters.
Although we were using a lot of fantasy tropes, I always found it odd how so much of fantasy was so white. It made sense in Tolkien's days, but being persons of color ourselves we felt like why not create a world where our heroes could be from other backgrounds?
I look back on the work from those years and it seems like every brush stroke and ink spatter holds some little story of personal struggle, tragedy, or triumph. I chose to inject humor and lightness into when my day was painfully absent of it, or some little bit of cartoony pathos and sadness when that's what I needed to vent at the moment. They're just weird little cartoon cards, but there's a lot of my heart in them.
I took my passion for drawing to another level by practicing daily and trying to develop a workflow and an identity in my work. Now that my personal work is more defined, I realize how that has an impact on the possible opportunities that are more in line with what I love to draw.
There are surely those who would argue that a Sicilian setting is the most classic one, but we always had an American setting in mind. That allows for a wide variety of characters and illegal businesses, as so many different people and cultures were present in the US gangster scene during the first half of the 20th century…