Posted on February 21, 2010

Max, Erich, Adam and Marsh returned from their China adventures with stories galore and pictures too. We rounded up some of the best and most entertaining for you! We’re actually pretty darned impressed with the bravery shown by Adam in trying new food overseas. His derring-do in the face of the exotic and downright strange, well, it approaches masculinity and brings a tear to our eye. All growed up! Kudos to you Adam!

When asked about his overall impressions of China, Adam said: “China was amazing! I felt like I was in Bladerunner only moooore space-age.” (Emphasis added for the necessary Sword of Adam-style expression.)

Marsh shared this laugh-out-loud story about one of Erich’s culinary experiences:

HOST – “This is a herbal soup..” ERICH “I’ll try it..” Erich takes a bite… ERICH – “Oh my God that was the grossest thing I have ever eaten. It exploded in my mouth.” HOST – “Yes, the soup has cow penises in it.”

They found out later that wasn’t all it had in it, but we’ll leave the finer details to your imagination. Let’s just say that dining in a foreign country often is an adventure, and sometimes it’s a reality TV challenge.

Everyone had a great time, and many thanks to our hosts at Perfect World! We’ll close out with some great photos, below.


Posted on February 12, 2010

Hello, I am Mike Fisher and am the UI Artist here at Runic Games. I have been working with this crew since we created Mythos, and can remember when we could count the numbers of our team on one hand. Prior to that I worked with many of our group at Wild tangent on titles such as Fate. This is a great bunch of people and friends at Runic, and it is truly a pleasure to work here.

I have for the most part always lived in the pacific northwest, and love it here. I didn’t get into the art gig until late. At close to 30 I decided I’d had enough of the typical 9 to 5 grind. I attended the Art Institute of Seattle with dreams of becoming a great illustrator. Immediately upon graduating I was hired as an artist for Humongous Entertainment. I’ve been working on PC games since and have never looked back. It’s now been over 16 years – Yes I am an old fart.

What I do here at Runic is design the elements for the User Interface as well as other 2D art assets for the game. Occasionally I will pinch hit on wardrobe textures. I really like the direction we’ve taken the art in Torchlight. I think it is whimsical and classic. I am especially proud of this title, and am thrilled for the MMO. It’s incredible to be surrounded by such talented and committed people, working in an open environment where all input is valued. I feel lucky to work with this creative collection of characters.


Posted on February 5, 2010

Hey there, people.

I’m Jason Beck, the Art Director here at Runic. I’ve been with this group since Mythos and with a handful of these guys like Travis, Marsh, Greg, Brock, John, and Mike since our time together while I was pitching in on FATE. I’m originally from the Portland, OR area and saw my fair share of small to mid-sized studios try and flail before I relocated up to the Seattle area in 2001. I studied Fine Arts and Computer Animation and have had a pretty wide range of roles in the industry, from Character Artist and Animator, Level Designer, Modeler, Concept Artist, and a bundle of hybrid roles as a Lead and now an AD. It feels very strange being able to say it’s now Year 12 in the industry.

My day to day varies greatly. I strive for a nice split between management and production work, but the percentages have shifted on me as we grow. There are days where it resembles an Instant Messaging Crisis Hotline and there are others where I’m stomping around as a new monster idea with our animator. I love the variety of work, having a hand in building a creative environment, working with the best coders and gaming minds around, and doing my part to create new games and IP with the rest of the team.

Torchlight has been out as a digital download since the end of Oct. and the response has been amazing. Recently, the boxed version has been made available to many retailers, and we’re working on the final parts of our localized and regional versions as well. In parallel, we’re all hard at work on the next project and scribbling up ideas, painting beautiful concepts, and writing up a whole lotta backstory and lore as we expand and add to our IP.

One of the more difficult conversations I have with people I meet for the first time is discussing my work. After I’ve gone on and on about how I love what I do, the crazy bits of fun we have, how I basically am being paid to make monsters every day, and how I can’t imagine doing anything else I’m usually given that snarky response of “must be fun to play all day”. But while there is certainly a wealth of passion, creativity, and childlike zeal involved…there is also a tremendous amount of work, time, and commitment necessary… and this team is a tenacious band of the best of both sides of that coin. Wouldn’t wanna be anywhere else.