Inside the Vault - Clara Struthers

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by ivpiter, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. ivpiter

    ivpiter It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jun 26, 2007
    Another installment of Inside the Vault, this time with Fallout 3 world artist Clara Struthers.

    From the interview:<blockquote>What other games have you worked on?

    Oblivion and Shivering Isles are the only published games I’ve worked on.
    How did you get into the industry? Do you have any tips for breaking in?

    If you really want get into the industry, and think there’s no chance, I’m sitting here at Bethesda telling you that you can. When I started at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for CAM (now the Media Arts and Animation program) in 2000, I could barely draw, I had scant, if any, useful knowledge of computers (my family never owned one. In fact, I typed all my reports throughout high school on an electric typewriter that would only store 400 words at a time.), and I really didn’t have a clue what 3DS Max was or that Photoshop even existed. (Central Pa. tends to be a bit sheltered from the civilized world.)

    So how did I do it? I’m still not sure.
    </blockquote>Still absent from the question list is "Have you played a previous Fallout?"

    Inside the Vault - Clara Struthers.
  2. Crowfoot

    Crowfoot Still Mildly Glowing

    Jun 21, 2007
    After reading this, you could be forgiven for thinking she was involved in Fallout 3 in some way.
  3. TheVaultKeeper

    TheVaultKeeper Deliciously Demented

    Apr 22, 2007
    Well - it could be because your name ends with an "a" instead of a "k"...
  4. alec

    alec White heterosexual male Orderite

    May 21, 2003
    It's definitely not her looks that did it, that's for sure. :D

    Meh. I don't like artists that rely on coffee for inspiration. Feels like cheating to me.
  5. Sovz

    Sovz Vault Dweller

    Aug 11, 2003
    Knowing that Beth has such amazingly talented and skilled individuals working on FO3 is extremely comforting.\
  6. TheVaultKeeper

    TheVaultKeeper Deliciously Demented

    Apr 22, 2007
    I scientifically estimate that at least 10% of the fat nerds at Bethesda have thought of her at least once while polishing their rig (computer rig of course...). Regular beauty rules don't apply in the game development industry…

    And I want to make it clear that I'm not saying that she's incompetent because she's a woman, which would be ridiculous. I'm saying that I know that corporations have hired women over more experienced male programmers due to "group dynamic factors" alone.
  7. UncleDrax

    UncleDrax First time out of the vault

    Sep 24, 2007
    Wow.. you guys are a buncha neighsayers :p

    A good artist (I haven't played enough of Oblivion to say she's good or not, but lets face it.. Oblivion is definitely at least pretty) can work with anything from anything..

    If she can come up with some good looking 50's inspired post-apoc scenes and world objects, what's the problem?

    Besides.. she used to do CAM.. some good industrial art would be a good fit for Fallout..

    .. just say'n
  8. Mord_Sith

    Mord_Sith Mildly Dipped

    Sep 21, 2007
    Hmm, any idea what part of the walking through trees simulator she modeled and/or textured, 'cause even if she didn't actually play the game beforehand, if she doesn't appreciate the artwork or even connect with the original Fallout artists, I think we're going to see a whole new simulator, a walking through wreckage simulator.

    Look how the re-bar sways in the wind so graciously. Ooh look at the patterning on that chunk of broken drywall hanging precariously from the third story of that dilapidated apartment complex, isn't it just glorious? Hey, hey, get a load of that rock, oh man I wish my lawn had a rock JUST LIKE THAT in it, man that's an awesome rock...

    Now there's nothing wrong with appreciating the scenery, but if they took as much time designing the landscape as they did actually making a game, dear god they'd probably produce the second coming of Jesus Christ the computer programmer (See Paranoia for details). However as good as the detail is, the game suffered far too greatly for it, perhaps nobody told Beth that the point of an RPG is to tell a story based around the player's actions, rather than try to replace a player's reality with trees...

    At any rate I digress, either way the onus is on Beth, the fans have told them what they expect, and either they have wholeheartedly ignored it, or made fleeting gestures to try and say 'lookey lookey, we gots us some falloutz orijanale content! Without knowing exactly what part she worked on, there's really no point in interviewing her as there isn't anything awe inspiring or any great feats of 3d associated to her name that hasn't been tarnished by Oblivious' terrible game play and storyline.

    However there was I believe one time where I was actually surprised and quite impressed by one of the underground areas, the ambiance they caught was quite well done, however personally I would have gone with red ambient lighting rather than cyan as the area was crawling with undead and would have most defiantly augmented the sense of dread that would have been felt at the time, instead it cast them in silly and haphazard colors, making them look poor at best, but the room was nice, yes very nice.
  9. Nim82

    Nim82 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    May 5, 2007
    I've got no problem with newbs as long as they have talent, but given she admits she didn't even draw previously. I suspect that isn't the case here.

    A good artist knows how to construct a visually interesting scene, a bad/average artist just knows what buttons to press. I'm not totally sure if she is responsible for making the models or making the scene, so will summarise my thoughts on Anvil assuming she did both.

    The Anvil models were very generic, based directly on central European castle architecture (without the epic scenery). There's little or no unique architecture, same prefabs everywhere. Very little effort went into making the walls or turrets appear aged or weather beaten, in places the structure made no sense at all. City walls, with no access?

    The actual layout was equally dull. Little effort seemingly went into making the town lived in. The streets were remarkably empty and devoid of clutter. The city is a dock port, yet there was little sign of it being a bustling trade port, beyond a couple of generic crates on the piers. No warehouses full of goods, nadda. There was also nothing of interest in the water. A shipwreck in the bottom of the bay complete with some treasure wouldn't have taken much effort, yet nadda. The whole place lacked character and lacked love. The fact I can even put a name to the scene is that it's the only one with a port.

    You know how good a job a TES artist has done by how many fan fixes exist. A quick search shows there's ~15 fix/improvement mods for this one town... half for a pivotal quest location, the haunted manor... not good.

    What the fuck!? That's wrong. Hasn't she heard of DVD's? or even CD's? A website is vital yes, but if your applying by post (which is still recommended here in the UK) you should, ideally, drop a nicely authored disk in alongside your CV. As a bonus you can also hand them out at exhibitions and stuff.

    I know a couple of recruiters for games and film, their preferred medium is (where demo-reels are applicable) a DVD that they can just shove into a machine and watch. They don't like waiting ages for massive HD video files to download, they don't like fiddling with codecs and they most certainly frown on shitty youtube quality hosted videos.
  10. Forhekset

    Forhekset Still Mildly Glowing

    Jul 5, 2007
    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that the answer is probably "no".
  11. Ausir

    Ausir Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 20, 2003
    I wouldn't call Oblivion pretty. Sure, it has good quality graphics from the technical point of view, but I don't like the art at all.
  12. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    I don't use coffee for inspiration, just for turning my daily rhythm around (and around and around).

    Less sexism in this thread kthx.
  13. alec

    alec White heterosexual male Orderite

    May 21, 2003
    There was sexism in this thread?

    And I didn't see it?

    Awww... :puppy-dog:
  14. TheWesDude

    TheWesDude Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 25, 2005
    never got to see her city in oblivion. i couldnt stomach the game that long.

    i do agree with points made in the thread by:


    good day to you!
  15. ivpiter

    ivpiter It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jun 26, 2007
    Having seen her work first-hand, meh.

    Second rate technical artist that usually gets some of the details right; but hasn’t developed the ability to give voice to her work. My take is that for this person it's a job, not a passion.

    I think will see this regardless of her involvement in that part of the process; more than once the tag line has been "destruction is the new trees".
    The Granite-Inc. model is an upgraded version.
    It does seem Todd the decider has spoken and no amount of grass-roots pressure will sway him from his mission.

    He's making the kind of game he knows how to make - which is trending toward a smaller and smaller base with each iteration.

    Somehow, I don't think she made it.

    I also recall a couple of areas that were different to the point of being memorable - but very few and very far between. Broad and shallow is the stroke of Todd’s brush and his team follow that lead. He'll have the chance to tell the story of Washington D.C. one of the global centers of power, instead he'll fill a map with a whole bunch of Vaults and Raider Camps... Caves and Bunkers... Subways and Restrooms :roll: If they take after there Oblivion counterparts they'll tell no story at all and at best offer a loosely associated quest.

    Painfully generic to put it another way. It's my fondest hope that Beth proves me dead wrong.