AoE4 Technical Art Director/former CoH2 lead left Relic to join Pixelmatic.
AGE OF EMPIRES IV ART DIRECTOR JOINS PIXELMATIC:
NOVEMBER 29, 2019
Pixelmatic is proud to announce the hiring of our new Director of Art, Wayne Wong-Chong, from Relic Entertainment. Wayne joins Pixelmatic’s existing ex-Relic design team of Jason Lee and Damon Gauthier, bringing fresh ideas and decades of AAA experience at some of Canada’s top game studios.
Wayne makes the leap to Pixelmatic after having spent nearly 12 years as a Technical Artist and Technical Art Director at Relic Entertainment. He worked as a Principal Technical Artist on both the Company of Heroes and Dawn of War franchises, before leading technical art direction on the highly anticipated upcoming blockbuster, Age of Empires IV.
Wayne’s journey into game art actually started in the AutoCAD labs of the Vancouver Lower Mainland, where he studied CAD architecture. Following his passion for gaming and feature films, he soon decided to switch from architecture to 3D animation, graduating from the famed Vancouver Film School. After cutting his teeth working on numerous 3D animated TV series, Wayne took on more art supervision roles in TV and film, before finally entering the game industry in 2005 as a Technical Artist on FIFA at EA Sports. Enticed by his love for Homeworld, Wayne took the opportunity to join Relic when it came along, and went on to spend a very productive decade there.
Having had shipped multiple AAA titles at Relic, why was Wayne attracted to an up-and-coming studio such as Pixelmatic? In his own words, Wayne claims that, “games are evolving and need to evolve to effectively compete for players’ precious spare time. Longevity and success of large games need the support of tech carefully planned into the game design. The core creative team on Infinite Fleet, led by Jason Lee and Damon Gauthier, understand this and it's our number one focus to create a game where the marriage between game design and tech is meaningful, not to mention achievable.”
Pixelmatic, being the nimble and innovative studio that it is, is well positioned to be adaptive and address the changing landscape of games. It is exactly this willingness to be flexible and embrace innovation that has attracted a talent like Wayne who brings with him his unique art vision as well as his immense pedigree.
On his vision for Infinite Fleet, Wayne said, “Pixelmatic and myself, we love both fictional and non-fictional science. We also love anime. My vision for Infinite Fleet is to create a colorful nostalgic universe where players can engage in over the top anime-esk battles, or friends can simply explore beautiful vistas together while they forge their fleets. Infinite Fleet will have a deep lore rooted in the goals and challenges that the human race are faced with today. We want the world we are creating to spark conversation about technology and what the future holds for us as a species. I’ll be referencing and imbuing the franchise with shapes, colors, and motion familiar to anime fans, and I’m excited to share this vision in the coming months with Infinite Fleet’s growing community.”
Besides the new ideas Wayne is bringing to Infinite Fleet, he is also excited about existing innovations that the Pixelmatic team is already implementing. “The cryptographic game money of Infinite Fleet, INF, is cutting edge and is designed to power player agency both in and out of session by being portable and easily fungible with other cryptocurrencies. We are also exploring machine learning, leveraging HDRP in Unity, and experimenting with Houdini FX. The art team is taking full advantage of all the latest techniques in Substance Painter/Designer, harnessing the power of Blender 2.8, and much more. It's an exciting time at Pixelmatic.”
The entire Pixelmatic team is excited to officially have Wayne Wong-Chong onboard, and we look forward to accomplishing great things with Infinite Fleet.
Also, ex-Relic who joined Pixelmatic;
1) Damon Gauthier | Game Director
2) Jason Lee | Chief Creative Officer (CCO)
ANNOUNCING KEY NEW HIRES TO SPEARHEAD INFINITE FLEET DEVELOPMENT:
JUNE 20, 2019
2019 is going to be a big year, and Pixelmatic is excited to announce the expansion of its team with two major hires to spearhead the development of Infinite Fleet.
The company’s new Chief Creative Officer, Jason Lee, joins as an acclaimed game systems designer from Relic Entertainment. Having spent 13 productive years at Relic, Jason most recently led game design on the Age of Empires 4 project -- a major upcoming title in the monumental Age of Empires series published by Microsoft. Previously, he had worked on the highly acclaimed strategy game Company of Heroes 2, as well as having been part of the game balance team of the original Company of Heroes game.
Looking back on what he learned through his time at Relic, Jason mentions the importance of synergizing good gameplay mechanics with a rich game story/lore. “Building gameplay that helps tell the narrative,” Jason said, “this is probably the greatest lesson I take from Relic and bring to Infinite Fleet -- to have gameplay and story support each other to lead the player through a truly immersive, epic sci-fi adventure.”
Another specialty that Jason brings is his expertise on the art of gameplay balance -- a tricky yet crucial component of any multiplayer game. For any game to be successful, it is absolutely vital that a fine balance is achieved in terms of game dynamics and win rates between different characters and factions.
Pixelmatic also brought in veteran game designer Damon Gauthier, who joins from famed Canadian games studio BioWare, the company behind the Dragon Age and Mass Effect series. Previously, Damon was a member of the original Homeworld team at Relic -- Homeworld being one of the most innovative and highly acclaimed titles of all time in the real-time strategy (RTS) game genre. In his career, Damon has worked on over 10 shipped titles, with most of them being huge successes.
Damon brings with him a wealth of experience in multiplayer gameplay and 3D RTS combat game design. He takes particular pride in his work on Homeworld 2, where he was able to work with lead designer Josh Mosqueira on the complex multiplayer 3D space battles associated with a game like Homeworld.
On how he plans to translate his experience from Homeworld to Infinite Fleet, Damon said, “from a players perspective managing a fleet in 3D space, sending out scouts, planning where to attack and micromanaging your units in full 3D isn’t simple. The experience of working on Homeworld 2 has made me look carefully at the barrier to entry on a full 3D RTS. I have a lot of ideas on how to tackle these problems and I will be using that knowledge here on Infinite Fleet.”
Jason, Damon, and Pixelmatic CEO Samson Mow were all previously colleagues at Relic. This close relationship and chemistry of having worked together bodes well for the development of Infinite Fleet, as the three friends seek to create a masterpiece out of their dream project.