XR stands for Extended Reality, an umbrella term for technology-driven altered reality that includes Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR).
Becky Gibson is an XR Artist for Make Real, an award-winning Virtual and Augmented Reality studio with established corporate clients such as EDF Energy, Vodafone and McDonalds. Becky has worked on lots of titles including Loco Dojo, Silicon Valley: Inside the Hacker Hostel, Curfew: Join the Race and DHL Box Stacker Pro. We asked Becky, some key questions about getting into the games sector.
Explain your role like I'm 5 years old
I work on everything you can see in the game, like worlds, characters, vehicles, effects and menus.
Take us through your average day at work
I will usually have a list of things that need to be done in relation to a project. I work with the project designer and developers to discuss any specifications and limitations of what I need to make, and then I make a first version that gets reviewed by the rest of the project team. Almost everything I make will be iterated on until the project is finished.
What was your educational and career journey into your current role?
I decided I wanted to work as an artist in games when I was 14 - I chose to do Art and Higher IT at GSCE thinking it would be a good fit. I went to sixth form and studied Fine Art, Computer Science, Photography and Media Studies with the hope of going to university. I was good enough to get into my first choice university in 2013, De Montfort University, where I studies Game Art Design (now called Game Art). I graduated in 2016 with first-class honours. I had a couple of short internships as a 3D artist arranged by my university that helped me have something to show when applying for jobs.
I got my first job, a 3-month contract at Make Real, in December 2016 after being recommended by a Lead Artist at a different company I had interviewed at but been rejected from at the final stage. It was a great place to work but I had to leave when my contract ended. I then got a permanent position as a Games Artist at another company where I stayed for just over a year but really didn't enjoy it as much. During that time, Make Real was able to secure funding for a new team and offered me a permanent position there as an Artist. I took it and have been there ever since.
What do you love most about your role?
I get to work on a variety of projects and use a lot of different skills - I make things in 3D and 2D, and I do animation. Projects have a fairly quick turn around which means I get to work on something new.
What's the hardest thing about your role?
It can be hard trying to make things that look nice but also fit the technical limitation of the hardware.
What key skills should people work on to do your role one day?
Work on improving your artistic skills in any medium. Learn the key fundamentals of form, perspective, composition and lighting. Learning specific software or tools is secondary to becoming a good artist.
What advice would you give to your younger self looking to get started in the industry?
It might take some time for someone to give you a chance, but keep working hard and don't give up.