I was Studio Art Director for Pipeworks Software which developed this game based on the second movie of the popular franchise starring Ben Stiller. The IP belongs to Twentieth Century Fox and the game was produced by Majesco Entertainment.
Concept art by Joel Mandish. Art directed by Lynwood Montgomery.
Being a third-party developer meant there were multiple approval levels above us, from publisher Majesco, to movie studio 20th Century Fox, to Ben Stiller himself as he was a Producer and star of the film and voice actor for our game.
Other obstacles, like a publisher backing out mid-project, created a lot of stress. However, it was up to me to keep my artists focused on their tasks and to give them the tools and direction to produce their best work.
Since this was part of a movie franchise, we had restrictions about the story and the settings but were allowed to stylize the characters, particularly the main character, Larry. This was a good thing since creating a convincing likeness of a famous actor is already extremely difficult in a video game.
My team flew to Washington DC to visit the Smithsonian where several thousand reference photos were taken. We also flew to LA for an audio recording session with Ben Stiller. Hundreds of high quality assets were delivered on time as a result of my team’s commitment and diligence.
As the Studio Art Director, I was in charge of all departments of the art team: Character Artists, Animators, Environment Artists, Cinematics, Concept Artists and Technical Artists. I also served as the Outsource Manager working with studios from China and India. Additionally, I contributed to creating in-game assets such as paintings and banners, the ingot symbols on Larry's satchel, all of the UI art, the promotional video and the intro sequence at the beginning of the game.
This game was one of the most challenging games I've worked on in my career given the extreme demands including a publisher backing out –mid project. I’m very proud of my ability to keep my artists focused on their tasks and provide them with the tools and direction to produce our best work.
The finished game was completed on time in 14 months. It was released on two platforms (Wii and Xbox 360) in May 2009. The movie opened a couple weeks later.
The game and the movie were well-received by critics and audiences alike. The game was rated a 7.5/10 on IGN.com. A Nintendo DS version was made shortly thereafter by a sister-studio, Amaze Entertainment, which I art directed remotely.
The movie earned almost $1 billion worldwide and continues late 2014 with the third installment of the franchise due to be released.
Phone: (206) 369-9785