The Bethesda Game Studios Interviews: Dennis Mejillones

Today’s interview is with character artist, Dennis Mejillones.

What is your job at BGS?

I am a character artist at BGS. My responsibilities can range from making some cool creatures/characters to making armors/weapons. My primary responsibility has been to create the looks of races and making them customizable.

How did you break into the industry?

I originally started doing 3D for commercials and eventually moved to doing freelance work at what was then a small game studio. When I first started there, I worked on games like Bratz and Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts. Not very prestigious games, but it was a good way for me to start and learn about the industry. Eventually as that studio got bigger I got to work on some cool stuff like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Dragon Age: Origins, Borderlands and a few other cool titles. Not too long after that, I  got picked up by BGS and have been very happy working here.

What’s your proudest achievement while working at BGS?

My proudest achievement is probably between two things: working on character gen and another thing I can’t yet talk about.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about your job?

That we play videogames all day or that we are filthy rich. We spend a lot of time testing the game, but most of our day is spent actually creating the art and getting it to come to life. The other big misconception is that were all very weird. Only the majority of folks are “very weird”, the rest are just weird.

If there was one developer you could meet, who would it be?

Ive been fortunate enough to get to meet some amazing developers in the Zenimax/Bethesda family — legends like John Carmack, Shinji Mikami, not to mention the fact that I work for freakin Todd Howard… it doesn’t get better than that. That said I wouldn’t mind meeting some of the guys from Naughty Dog or Bioware. I really admire a lot of what they are doing. I would also love to meet Tim Appleby (Brink). He’s done and continues to do some really cool stuff.

If you weren’t developing games, what do you think you’d be doing today?

Robbing banks… I think… can I say that?

Favorite office lunch?

CHICKEN FAJITAS!!!! Seriously Chicken Fajita day at the studio is great. So is cookie Wednesday.

If you could trade jobs with someone else in the office for a day, who would it be and why?

If it were only for a day I would have to say Todd Howard. He’s involved with everything and then I would have all the juicy details. That being said, he’s usually pretty good about keeping us in the loop.

Worst job you ever had?

A carwash drying off cars. IT SUCKED!!!! Washing cars in the winter isn’t fun — cold weather and wet, frozen towels aren’t for me. Thanks for asking… I had blocked that out of my mind until now.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I really enjoy hanging out with my wife, family, and friends. I like being outside and hiking. When I’m not doing that, I like to do things with my hands (mind out of gutter please). I like to build things, I also like to break things. Most of all though I like to build combat RC Mechs. Yes I just said that. Here are some pics (1, 2, 3) of my first mech and a video as well for your viewing pleasure. And yes… it is indeed awesome!


Reader Comments

  1. I am so jealous of every single person who works at Bethesda. Seriously. You guys seem like you have so much fun! Alas, the only skills I would bring to a video game company are writing ones (I’m a lousy programmer and I can’t draw, so design is out), so I hope that there’s an opening for a writer after I finish college in four years…

  2. Also, I agree with Chad, a few posts above mine. BioWare has been steadily falling from grace and their games are getting consistently worse, I’m afraid; KotOR was the best. Kick their butts, Bethesda!! 😀

  3. Hello fellow adventurers, your comments are great. I find the enthusiasm for our next release very inspiring. I cant wait till you guys have Skyrim in your hands. I cant wait till more info is released to you guys to see what you guys think about some of the other stuff we have been working on that you have not yet seen. Races and customizations are significantly improved and I think you guys will be very happy overall.

    For those of you who want to get into the industry, just keep at it. Get very good at what you would like to do as a developer and be persistent…

    Also keep an eye out on my youtube channel for some new mech videos involving a newly redesined mech with shoulder mounted bb guns and flame throwers!! seriously…. I dont want to blow myself up though before Skyrim is finished though so I will be careful.

  4. awesome review and i was wondering about some ideas for the game like getting to choose jobs like store owner,horse salesman, and stuff like that. the cool thing whould be if you had your own city like save it from total disaster like kavatch in oblivion. get enough gold to rebuild and you can become the king. and maybe even able to get a dragon of your own. {not evil of course.} i think a lot of jobs that where left out in oblivion should be added in skyrim. thank you and please talk to someone about the ideas thank you once again. i am a very big elder scrolls fan and i really am looking forward to playing skyrim. thank you for reading.

  5. Morrowind was cool, Oblivion had all the same looking characters; meaning their faces all looked the same that they didn’t move, their eyes wandered (only), and only parts of their faces moved. Obviously, Skyrim is headed in that direction, just look at the char for the trailer, the one that almost falls off the cliff. He has the same eye seperation distance as EVERYONE in Oblivion. This game has one look to it, it’s annoying. If the fighting style is the same as all the other Elder Scrolls games, I’m not gonna buy it. The fighting is boring, melee fights are just slicing or chopping someone to death in a repetetive, dull fashion, and the magic looks stupid and the spells are even dumb when they’re being cast. Action RPG games should follow Demons Souls lead. That game is PERFECT!!! There’s no other game that has perfect fighting styles, a variety of styles including using combinations of melee and magic. That games interactions are actually scary!! The camera angles in that game are perfect, the characters movements even look real!!! Bethesda is soo far off on what looks right in video games, it annoys the hell out of me to see their games most of the time. I don’t hate their games, and i don’t hate this company, i just hate how they haven’t fixed how fake everything looks in their games, and even the trailers that i’ve seen for Skyrim look the same! If it’s gonna have the same look to it, forget it. Not interested.

  6. Wow it is a good day when everyone that loves the in depth characteristics of the elder scrolls can come together and comment on how excited they are for the new game.

  7. Dennis,
    kudos to you for working on one of the awesomest games of all time, and continuing the whole series. For real, loved oblivion, pre ordering skyrim, morriwind classic.

    But what i think would be a great idea is to 1) Recreate all the elder scrolls 2) put them together in one big collection. I want to play them all without having to time travel.

    QUESTION!!!!!!: Is there gonna be stuff kinda like REALM OF SHEOGORATH? that would be uber cool, one of my favorite parts of oblivion

    Question: is it gonna be multiplayer??????

    Question: is it gonna have like a tournament or arena or games or something along those lines?