Interview With Jim Magill
I'm a regular guy from a small town in West Texas who, until the age of 24, had no idea what he wanted to do as a career. That's not entirely true. I dropped out of high school my senior year because I was going to be a famous musician. I had played guitar for years at this point and it was only a matter of when my big break would happen. Well, after years of sitting on the edge of my bed, playing along with CD's resulted in zero breaks, I got frustrated one day and pawned all of my equipment. I then proceeded to waste time until I was in a bar one night and saw one of those classic "Mind's Eye" videos that were popular back then. I yelled to the friend I was with that "I want to learn how to do that" and a month later I was sitting in class at The Art Institute of Dallas. Long story short, after graduating I worked for some architects and then moved to New Jersey for a miserable eight months before being rescued by Adam Medhurst. Adam was the Art Director on a game called Freelancer that was being developed by Digital Anvil in Austin, Texas. I've been in Austin ever since and have spent time at Digital Anvil, Ion Storm, Edge of Reality, Midway and SOE.
It was 1996 and I was close to graduating art school. Most of my class, including me, believed that we were destined to work in film. Man, we couldn't have been more naive. I was let down and embarrassed by the thought that I might have to work in games for "awhile". It wasn't until after I couldn't even get a game job that I was struck by how much I truly sucked. That was a hard thing to admit. I was very lucky to get a job with an architectural firm in Dallas. By then I was desperate for work anywhere I could get it and was glad to have it. During the two years I worked for them, I kept practicing and eventually started on portfolio #2. I probably sent out a hundred emails with links to my new work and, in 1998, I accepted an offer from the first game studio that flew me out for an interview.
Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.40GHz w/ 4GB
I need to switch to 64bit and get more RAM, but it's a pain so I'll probably wait until my next one.
I'm a 3ds guy through and through. I learned on r4, which was the last dos version. My first employer, Successive Graphics, used r4 for architectural fly-throughs before they switched over to Max. SOE, my current employer, was actually the first studio I worked for that preferred its artists use Maya. This was mainly due to the fact that the dev tools had all been developed with Maya in mind and it was too much to try and support tools for both Max and Maya. I muddled my way through my first several months here using Maya exclusively and actually got to where I was pretty comfortable with it, but when my first challenging task came along I asked if I could do the modeling in Max. There was no way that I could commit to the time constraints that I had been dealt unless I could use my tool of choice. I love you, Max.