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Dennis Presnell Interview

The computer-generated Dorn kicking butt in Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance 2 for the Playstation 2 and Xbox.
Courtesy of Interplay
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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