Kw-logo-smaller

Dennis Presnell Interview (pg. 2)

Dorn - a computer graphic closeup of a hero from Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance 2.
Courtesy of Interplay

If you've ever wanted to get into the game business, 3D Game Artist, Dennis Presnell is dishing it up on what it takes, what it's like and what he does. Check it out!

Gary: How did you get into the business of making games?
Dennis: I took a risk and turned in an application to Interplay as a game tester. I was accepted so I took another big risk, quit my current job and took a lower-paying job as a game tester. I started as a tester and, after a little less than two years, became a senior level tester before I moved on to a designer internship at Black Isle. I had that for a few months and now, a few years later, I'm an artist at Black Isle.

Gary: Whoa, that's pretty risky to leave a good job like that. Okay, the big question is how much money do you make?
Dennis: It can be really low for entry level, depending on your experience level and skill. I started out at less than $30,000 US a year. As you gain more experience and skills, there are some artists in senior positions who earn as much as $80-90,000 US per year. Starting as a game tester I was making very little money, it's a job that doesn't pay much. I'm not absolutely positive what industry standard is for a mid-level artist.

Gary: What's it like working for a game company?
Dennis: This place is full of great people, but some of the strangest people that you'll ever meet. From outside the industry you might expect us to look or behave like the comic book guy from The Simpsons. There is a little bit of that, but most of the people in the game industry are just regular people who like games.

The game community is very small. Every company you go to, you'll know someone there. A lot of people at work are friends outside of work. The social scene is kind of like college or high school. It can be a really great place to work and it's really fun, but there's a lot of hard work.

Gary: Do you have any final words for the kids here at Kidzworld?
Dennis: If I had anything to say to kids I'd say, don't think the game biz is out of your reach. If you want to be in the game industry and you're willing to work, there is a place for you. If anyone out there is creative and likes to draw, don't let people tell you that there's no future in it. Keep your feet on the ground but don't turn off your imagination. It can be tough and there are long hours but it's a great place to work and you meet some really great people.

Thanks for chatting with me, Dennis! The game business seems like a really cool place to work, but it sure sounds like a lot more work than you'd expect though.

Related Stories:

  • Make-Up King Rick Baker
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • More Cool Jobs!
  • readers voted!

    Comments

    there are 0 comments

    Please login or register to add comments


    like this article?
    Sign up now to get more just like it!

    latest videos

    What's your favorite TV Show?
    • Grey's Anatomy
    • America's Next Top Model
    • The Office
    • Lost

    related stories

    Dear Dish-It in the forums

    Thranduil
    That is the type of decision capable of changing your life. However, if you don't want to be part of it (And I highly recommend not engaging in that sort of lifestyle), then as hugebear said, you should sit your sister down and explain to her why you do not want to be part of a gang and maybe since you're afraid to lose her, explain that just because you want no part in it does not mean you want to lose her as well.
    reply about 1 hour
    hugebear
    hugebear posted in Family Issues:
    Me advices is talk to her.  Tell her exactly what your feeling and you doesnt want to join and ask her why she is joining.  Tell her why you think she shouldnt and also add that you feels that you will lose her if she does.
    reply about 1 hour
    Alsina
    Alsina posted in Family Issues:
    So my big sister just recently told me she was in a gang, I kinda already figured she was but I never asked. I don't really know how to feel about it. She's like my best friend, I can come to her for anything and I'd do anything for her! Anyways she asked me if I wanted to join the family, I haven't really given her an answer yet, and she keeps trying to pull one out of me so I jokingly asked what gang she was in and she told me she was a crip.Telling me that she and her boys will have my back and stuff... I don't want to lose her if i say no but I also don't want to be in a gang.  =(
    reply about 1 hour
    simran88
    simran88 posted in Family Issues:
    I guess you should give your parents some time to accept the fact. And don't worry... everyhing wil end up fine.... :)
    reply about 2 hours
    simran88
    simran88 posted in Family Issues:
    You should probably tell your mom or ny of your siblings about it (if you have any siblings)... or maybe you should just ask your dad about it when he's in a good mood. Hope I was of help.... :)
    reply about 2 hours

    play online games

    Valantine-day-crossword-thumb

    Valentine's Day is almost here! Time for candy, hearts, flowers, love and, of co...

    Goodgameempire-thumb

    Goodgame Empire is a great strategy title by Goodgame Studios. Build your own ca...

    Black-history-month-crossword-pre

    Black History Month is a time to celebrate the amazing contributions of African ...

    Big-farm-thumb

    Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...

    Candy-cash-thumb

    Candy's got her candies into a terrible mess, can you help her to sort them out?

    Candy-100

    A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

    _thumb_100x100

    Bloons 2 is here! A worthy and awesome sequel at last to our original Bloons gam...

    Frostbox_100x100

    Explore the world or hang out with friends in your own condo. Get a unique look,...