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Dennis Presnell Interview

By: Gary

Have you ever thought about making video games for a living? Did that sound like the coolest job in the world to you? Or, did you have nightmares about rooms full of smelly geeks making jokes about lame comic books? Well, I had a chance to chat with Dennis Presnell, a way-cool 3D Game Artist who works with Black Isle to make some of the sweetest PC, Playstation 2, Xbox and Gamecube games you'll ever get your hands on.

Dennis answered a bunch of my questions about what got him started in gaming, what it takes to make it and what it's like to hang out in a room full of gamers all day. Read on for the 411!

Gary: Hey Dennis, what is it that you do as a 3D Game Artist?
Dennis: I do 3D modeling. What I do most is build environments (backgrounds). Some of my favorite stuff was from Planescape: Torment where I was doing crypts and weird machines. One of the things I'm most proud of was that a friend and I did the city scene on the foldout CD case. Another favorite scene, from the Icewind Dale PC game, was a frozen aquarium - a medieval sea world of whales, sharks and other strange monsters encased in frozen ice.

Gary: What got you interested in the video game business?
Dennis: I started out as a little kid playing Pong and I remember my grandmother actually, she was a huge video game and horror movie fanatic. She always had every new system and the best games that came out. I was hooked since then.

Gary: Sweet! Your grandma rocks, dude. What kind of education do you have?
Dennis: For my education, I took a couple semesters of college, mostly art courses. Then I went to a tech school for computers and became a certified computer systems operator.

Gary: What kind of education do you need if you want to get into the game business?
Dennis: Even though I don't have much of it, experience in art education is good. People really look for that, it's as important as technical skills. There's a lot of stuff you can learn along the way in terms of art training but people should really consider it in advance if you're interested in the business. It really depends on what the employer is interested in. There are people here who are more technically skilled with art, where some are more classically trained with art.

  • Click here to find out how Dennis got his start making video games, how much money you can make and what it's like in the game biz!

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    Want To Play Games For A Living?

    • Aw yeah! Sign me up and let's start playing games!
    • It sounds like a lot of work so I'm not sure...
    • No way, I'm not that hardcore.
    • Only if I get paid in Doritos and Coke!

    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    jordand08
    Sounds like you have a crush. 
    reply about 2 hours
    Kaori_46
    Talk it through. Ask them out maybe? don't worry about it. It'll work out. If they like you as much as you them, you have nothing to worry about. :)
    reply about 3 hours
    PerksBeingABookworm
    How do I stop thinking about this guy in my school? Like seriously it's pissing me off. Every time we're in the same room, I have this uncanny awareness of where he is and what he is doing. He makes me want to watch the door of the two classes we have together whenever he enters or leaves the room, he makes me look forward to Art and Spanish and disappointed when he isn't there despite the fact I don't even talk to him much. He makes butterflies surge in my stomach and my heart pound in my ears, he makes me so nervous when I'm around him and I have to keep myself from making shaky movements. He makes me want to stare, but I don't want people to know that I care. (And great, he just made me rhyme as well).And a series of coincidences have resulted in me having to interact with him in Art. Ex). We had to draw a # out of a hat and review someone else's artwork...guess whose I got? And my teacher randomly gave us new tables-so now he sits right across from me. ...this is driving me insane. What do I do? (And I'm praying to God right now that he doesn't go on Kidzworld-if he does I hope he doesn't put two and two-oh look fantastic I rhymed again. I'm not even trying make this STOP I'm not even writing rationally anymore)
    reply about 3 hours
    PerksBeingABookworm
    "Dpsdps55" wrote:someone likes me and I like them but we dont know what 2 do... plz help!!! P.S if you help thanks soooo much I'm not exactly an expert on this but...why not talk it out with them? Get to know them better and figure out what you both want? I mean, you both apparently feel the same way, that's half the battle.  I can only assume you both are unsure what to do because you guys are hesitant about making a move and actually forming a relationship. I mean, I get it: relationships are scary; though I've never actually been in one, I know the thought of it can be. You're voluntarily making yourself vulnerable to another human being, you're letting someone in to your life in a way that you've never done before, a way that can leave you hurting or actually make your life better.  Humans fear the unknown and crave familiarity, and a new relationship is definitely new territory.  But just because there's the possibility of getting hurt doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Take that plunge into the unknown, let yourself fall, say Geronimo and dive into that waterfall (see what I did there?)-because you'll never know what could be unless you take a chance. 
    reply about 3 hours
    Dpsdps55
    someone likes me and I like them but we dont know what 2 do... plz help!!! P.S if you help thanks soooo much
    reply about 4 hours