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Interviews: A Day in the Life of an Agency Intern, Part Four

By Carolyn Koh on December 30, 2008

A Day in the Life of an Agency Intern, Part Four

What did you think this internship would encompass before you started working for SOE Seattle?

Julia Brasil:

To be honest, I had heard plenty of stories from colleagues about their internships, a few of which were quite intimidating. Some joked that they did little more than babysit computers and refill staplers. So when I started as an intern I expected to be doing small errands around the studio or watching over the shoulders of the real professionals as they went about their work.


What was asked of you that was unexpected?

Julia Brasil:

Everything since day one! When I was asked if I would be interested in designing a space for the game, my jaw literally fell and hasn't really returned to its proper place since. The more I heard about Club Metamorphosa, the more amazed I became, it is a very unique and complex area and for weeks I kept thinking Sherry or Corey ( Corey Dangel, art director for The Agency) would come to and send me off to do coffee or something of the sort. After that it was just one more surprising thing after the other.

What did you do during your internship? How were your skills used? Were they pushed? Did you find you could do more than what you had learned?

Julia Brasil:

Before I started the internship, I really didn't know what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a game developer, sure, but there is a wide variety of career paths within that. For my 3 months here I focused more on design (with the whitebox for Metamorphosa) and art (with the paintovers and later on with props). I had never used the Unreal Engine before and had just begun learning 3d modeling so it was very challenging in the beginning. As I progressed on the Metamorphosa whitebox, however, I realized I was working much faster than before and modeling in 3d was a bit easier. I obviously still have a long way to go but being able to put what I know to work has certainly taught me a lot.

Did you get a project completed during your internship or will it get to be finished by the team?

Julia Brasil:

The Metamorphosa club is far from complete. It is a very large space and it would take a single environment artist at least a month to finish just the 3d model, let alone lighting it, and for a newbie intern such as myself, it would probably a colossal undertaking far beyond my capacities at the moment.

What was your major at The Art Institute before you did your internship? Has anything you learned while at SOE Seattle influenced you to do anything differently when you get back to school?

Julia Brasil:

I was (and hopefully, still am) a Game Art and Design major at the Art Institute in San Francisco, and yes, my experience here definitely helped me find out what skills I need to improve on in the next year or so.

Agency intern Photo

Why SOE Seattle? What about The Agency drew you?

Julia Brasil:

It has spies in it! What is there not to like?! Joke aside, I was always interested in MMORPGs and the process of creating them, which is quite different than a single player game. Unfortunately, I was never a big fan of high fantasy titles and the modern, high tech atmosphere of The Agency seemed like a good change of pace from the usual sword and magic of MMORPGs.

That was the best thing that happened to you during your time at SOE Seattle?

Julia Brasil:

That is a tough question...I suppose participating in the brainstorm meeting for club Metamorphosa was very interesting since it involved both design and art teams, but were I to pick one moment in particular I'd say it was right after I finished the whitebox for Metamorphosa and had someone successfully run around it for the first time. That was awesome!

Were there any lessons you learned that you’d like to share?

Julia Brasil:

I cannot stress enough the importance of doing an internship! It should be a requirement for any game developer hopeful out there, because you learn a lot in a really short time and you see the industry for what it really is. Also, for those who already are interns or want a more focused advice: Don't hesitate to ask questions! I, for one, was very afraid to disturb anyone with my problems, but there is no other way to learn. I found everyone at the studio to be really friendly and willing to help despite their busy schedules.

Carolyn Koh / Carolyn has been writing for since 2004 and about the MMO genre since 1999. These days she plays mobile RTS games more, but MMOs will always remain near and dear to her heart.