We recently asked our Lead Animator, Lance Myers how he started working in video games and what keeps him motivated.
How did you get your start in the game industry? What led you to this career?
I moved to Austin to study art at the University of Texas. There I made friends with all the cartoonists for the college paper. They all started drifting towards animation and helped me find my first job at a traditional 2D animation studio called Heart of Texas Productions. At Heart of Texas we worked on Space Jam, Anastasia, Quest for Camelot, and Prince of Egypt. When that work dried up in Austin, I moved over to games.
What is your favorite part about working with the Stoic team?
Stoic is a small studio and everyone here is amazing at what they do. I love the mutual respect and collaborative spirit that’s been fostered here.
What has been your proudest contribution or biggest accomplishment with Stoic so far?
TBD. I’m just happy to be in on the ground floor/preproduction phase of this new endeavor.
What kind of games do you play or hobbies do you have during your time off?
I usually only play along with whatever my kids are playing. Lately that means getting DESTROYED at the new Smash Bros. on Switch. My two hobbies are writing and making my own animated shorts.
What moment or memory from another game do you have that has had the greatest impact on you?
My favorite games/gaming experiences: Abe’s Oddworld- the original Abe’s Oddworld did a fantastic job of tying story to game play. The story and character designs did a fantastic job of motivating throughout the game. SSX Tricky- the control scheme in this game is very simple and user-friendly, but allows for fun, complex growth. Mortal Kombat- another very user-friendly control scheme that allows for rewarding growth as a player. I was always terrible at every other fighting game (Street Fighter, Tekken, Virtua Fighter, etc.) but something about MK clicked and made it easy to pick up and fun to learn. Vexx- this is still the best game I’ve ever been involved in creating (so far! I’m still new to Stoic!) I did a lot of the in-game enemy animations, and just about all the in-game cinemas. This is a wonderfully designed 3D exploration, puzzle-solving game with a very fun control scheme.
If you could give some advice to someone who wants to work in this industry / do what you do, what would it be?
Don’t wait around to land a studio job. Make your own games! There are enough tools out there to get started now. Even if it never lands on a best-seller list, an indie effort goes a long way in showing a studio that you have passion, talent, and initiative.
Who’s your favorite person at Stoic? Why?
Arnie! Because he invited me to be a part of all of this.
What would you be doing, if you couldn’t make video games for a living?
Animated films? I’d also love for one of my novels to become a best seller.