Did you like the official Skyrim Trailer? Give today’s interview subject, Rick Vicens, a holla if you did.
What is your job at BGS?
I’m a character animator. Specifically, my focus has been on creature animation for Skyrim.
How did you break into the industry?
This is a two part answer for me. I broke into the animation industry with an internship at Nickelodeon while attending the School of Visual Arts. That internship then led me to working in Film and TV. After a few years of working as an animator in that industry, my friend Dennis Mejillones (character artist here at Bethesda), convinced me to make the jump to games. I put together a demo reel and just applied. Best decision I have made in my career so far.
What’s your favorite memory/proudest achievement while working at BGS?
I loved Oblivion, so working on the Skyrim trailer has to take the top spot at the moment. Todd asked Jang Joon Cha and myself if we were interested in creating a trailer, and we both jumped at the opportunity. It was a chance to bring some of my previous game cinematic experience to the table while using in-game rendering (which was new to me). The best part has been the great response from the fans and coworkers.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about your job?
I would say that the biggest misconception is that I just animate all day long. A big portion of my work is actually making sure my animations work in game and have the right feel. In film or TV, you typically get shot ownership, but never get to do every shot that involves a specific character/creature. Here you own an entire character for the length of production. It allows you an opportunity to really think about how the characters move as well as give input on how they behave. It is so rewarding to see the character you created animations for moving around and behaving in the world.
If there was one developer you could meet, who would it be?
Shinji Mikami. Resident Evil is one of my favorite series of all time and he is now part of the Bethesda family! I had a chance to meet him at our Holiday Party, but I failed miserably. I basically chickened out and didn’t attempt to introduce myself. A missed opportunity at being homeboys for life.
If you weren’t developing games, what do you think you’d be doing today?
Probably trying to break in to the acting business.
If you could trade jobs with someone else in the office for a day, who would it be and why?
It would be a dark day in concept art, but I would trade jobs with our resident concept artist Ray Lederer or Adam Adamowicz . I think they probably have the coolest job. Imagine being paid to draw pure awesome all day!
Worst job you ever had?
Door-to-door salesman in Miami. Just imagine yourself in a suit and 90 degree weather. I would walk under the blazing sun all day, being rejected business to business. To spice things up a little further, it was a pure commission job.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m probably drawing, reading, playing video games or watching a film. I also make it a point to travel somewhere new every year and to nap regularly.