Ross Garfoot

What course did you study?

12 week Game Art courses 

How did studying at Escape Studios help you into the world of games art?

Escape gave me the background, skills and knowledge I needed to get the job that I wanted to do. Working on the final course project was great way to simulate working on an actual job. Even after the course was finished they gave me assistance with my portfolio so that my work was up to standard and would show off the best of my skills.

What are you working on at the moment?

We've recently finished Forza Horizon 2 this last September and have since been working on two major DLC packs. As a Technical Artist, across these I've been responsible for the cinematics and crowd systems, while also creating some environment tools (mostly for terrain and foliage assets). Most recently I've been working on our second content pack, "Fast & Furious" which is being created to tie in with the upcoming release of Universal Pictures’ film Furious 7. The expansion is being released in late March to coincide with the films launch!

What's your favourite game and why?

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time - I loved the large, exotic environments and atmospheres they conjured.

What lessons have you learnt during your time studying and your time working in games?

You're going to need to learn to take artistic direction from someone else, which is quite a change from working on your own projects. Responding to feedback and direction from potentially multiple sources is a skill in itself. This is important when you're working towards a single goal as a team of artists as everything needs to come together in a nice consistent aesthetic. Trust your art director, their job is to keep an eye on the big picture.

If you had to sum up your time at Escape Studios in one word, what would it be and why?

Intense! Immersing yourself in the atmosphere at Escape for the whole of the course and the feeling of being surrounded by people all there for the same purpose. All as passionate and engaged as yourself is an intense and focussed experience.

What is your advice for those considering entering the industry?

Don't allow yourself to get discouraged, put the work in and stay positive!

Chatting to our Lead game designer one afternoon we ended up talking about getting into the industry, how competitive it can be from the outside and how hard it is to hire people you know will do the job from the other. He told me that one of our best level designers had actually been rejected the first time around, due to lack of experience. So what changed things? After being turned down our designer went away and built a working, prototype race track in Unity... tweaked it until it was a fun and exciting track to drive and then emailed it back to us with "I won't take no for an answer". That's the kind of attitude and skill that will make you stand out and gets people to take a chance on you!

Escape gave me the background, skills and knowledge I needed to get the job that I wanted to do.

Ross Garfoot, Escapee.