MMORPG.com: How were you introduced to gaming?
Erin Loelius: My siblings and I got an N64 the year it came out and we’ve been gaming ever since. Gaming was a huge part of my generation’s culture growing up and was a great outlet for overactive imaginations and energy. Without games I don’t know if I would have gotten into art the way I have.
MMORPG.com: What inspired you to apply for the GIRL program? How did you decide on EverQuest for your entry?
Erin Loelius: I’m very interested in how girls are portrayed and treated within video games, the industry that makes said games, and the community that sells and plays games. I want to create a positive image for girls to interact with and to feel equal when playing in the worlds created within interactive media.
MMORPG.com: What was your typical day like at SOE this summer?
Erin Loelius: I worked in the Art Department and everyday was given a revised task within the environment team to concept props or aspects to the world of Everquest such as architecture styles, interior layouts, or exterior concepts.
MMORPG.com: You worked with Rosie Rappaport, who has spent nearly 20 years on the EverQuest franchise, and is now its Senior Art director. What have you taken away from the experience of working with her on such a lasting franchise?
Erin Loelius: I think it was inspiring to see a woman hold a title like Senior Art Director, especially in the game industry. She is extremely dedicated to her job, the game, and the fans. It’s not something you see every day in the workforce.
MMORPG.com: EverQuest Next and Landmark both have a foundation that encourage player contributions to the game world. As an artist, what do you think about how much players will be able to contribute creatively?
Erin Loelius: They’ve already contributed so much! When I was there, we were shown screenshots of what fans had done and how we could either add those aspects to the game’s style and props, or even how we could improve our ideas to be as great as what the players were producing. The fans have some really great ideas and are making some kickass things, I know I was inspired.
MMORPG.com: What are your plans for the future? How do you think this experience will help you with your goals?
Erin Loelius: Once I get out of school, I’d love to get a job within the game industry. I loved my experience at Sony and would love to pursue a job with an environment team in the future.