Alumni Profile: Orchun Koroglu, Game Designer
Sessions College game art alumni Orchun Koroglu was getting game development work in long before he graduated his program. Since 2006, he’s worked for three different studios developing games for mobile applications. In this interview we asked Orchun to describe his experience entering the game industry.
Your professional career so far seems focused on the entrepreneurial, fast-growing space of games for mobile applications. What led you to working in that space and how did you get started?
I would’ve never thought I would be working in mobile gaming. While building my portfolio I came increasingly aware of how fast mobile space is growing. I’ve started my journey as an artist. I’ve networked my way in and worked for free to gain experience. I was hooked. After that I landed full time job as “mobile artist” and started developing my own games.
What are some of attractions and challenges of working on games for mobile applications compared to say developing a large-scale console game?
My favorite part working on mobile applications is faster development time. I am able to work on 2-4 different mobile games in a year, sometimes more. That at least has been my experience. Also, mobile is still in its infancy and most of companies are rather small. This provides great opportunity to take the leadership and influence or help shape up final product. Being so involved in the entire process you really feel accomplished and proud at the end.
You’ve worked for Canned Bananas, Sonic Boom, and just joined a new company Cellufun. Can you describe the kinds of game art projects you’re working on now?
Cellufun is a FUN company! I’ve always put the greatest value in teams. At Cellufun I get to work with really dedicated people. Current game dev focus is on 3D art for Web mobile games. I get to do what I absolutely love: modeling, texture work, and animations. Love it!
What kinds of software tools or engines are you using to create the games? What are the most important objectives for you in your role?
Maya, Zbrush, and Photoshop are of daily abuse. For readers I recommend to take advantage of all available resources. I’ve started my journey with Sessions Game Art courses and that enabled me to be where I am at now. My biggest yet self-inflicted objective is to deliver best quality product in a time efficient way. Biggest objective working for Cellufun is to coordinate my workflow with the pipeline of the given project.
Who are the other people you work with (game designer, programmer, etc.) in creating mobile application games?
Other artists, producers, game designers, programmers and sound artists.
What’s your favorite game project you’ve worked on and why?
Definitely Pearl Lands! I love this game. It is a strategy game and my first Facebook game. Mostly I love it not only because I think it’s great but also because I’ve designed it. Pearl Lands has been developed by Miharo Games, a company I’ve started with few of my friends.
As a team leader, you (presumably) see a great many reels and portfolios. What kind of qualities do you look for in a graduate or game artist who’s new to the industry?
I value people who might not know it all but have the drive, dedication and show initiative. For readers who work on their portfolio/reels I recommend using top pieces that showcase versatility. Versatility is especially important/valued in mobile gaming industry. Good artist is always learning and improving. It is a never ending process but how fun!
Finally, the fun question (as in are you having it?). Is working on games a blast? Do you still have time to play other people’s games? And if so, what are some of the great games released this year that you’d recommend, and why?
It is a long term blast!!! I love what I do and love doing it. I don’t think there will ever be time I’ll stop playing games. Call it addition if you wish but I call it research. My live is a 24/7 game, I dream up new ideas too. Honestly, my love for games got me into industry. What games were I impressed this year? Quite a few but let me try listing: Heavy Rain (PS3), God of War 3 (PS3), Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360), Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Wii), Plants vs Zombies (Mobile), Angry Birds (Mobile), Civilization 5 (PC) and recently Call of Duty Black Ops.
Visit sessions.edu for more information on game art courses and digital media programs.
Sessions Staff is a restless soul who loves to share Campus News stories with current and prospective students.