This month brings us a new member and a great guest speaker. Ken Keys has recently moved to Omaha and started his own studio, Ludicrous Games. Prior to that, Ken was Art Director for EA Salt Lake from 2008-2012 and before that, Associate Art Director at EA Tiburon from 2005-2008. Before entering the game industry, he worked in traditional film animation for a variety of companies including Hanna Barbera, Warner Brothers, and Dreamworks.
Ken left EA and moved to Omaha to be closer to family. He took this opportunity to start his own company with other industry vets. Their debut mobile title, Crash Test Monkeys, will be going into Beta this week for release on iOS in the next month or so.
I have invited him to speak to us about his experiences in the AAA game world, his experiences as an art director for a major studio, what it takes to be a good video game artist, and the differences that he faces as a co-founder of an indie mobile studio. He has also invited us to help test Crash Test Monkeys live at the meeting — both so we can provide feedback to him, but also as an educational experience for us. (We’ve been down that road before, haven’t we, folks?) Make sure you bring your iOS devices to help test!
If you are an artist, I invite you to bring samples of your portfolio for Ken to look at. I’m sure he will be happy to give criticism, guidance, and encouragement to all!
Let’s welcome Ken and his new studio to Omaha and show him what a great community the OGDA is!
Additionally, we will be seeing work from a number of people who are participating in the “1 game a month” challenge. Check back as I get confirmation from people on who will be showing what.
(I will be attempting to broadcast the meeting via our Google+ channel. I think I have the bugs worked out now!)