Friday, July 23, 2010

How I became an art directore and how hilarity ensued

I think it's an interesting story so I figured I'd lay it out here.
I was art director for a roleplaying game company and helped put together a couple of books in case you didn't know.

So I was hired by company X for some quarter-page illustrations. Eventually they asked if I would like to playtest the game for them. I said sure. I playtested the game with some friends and knew the rules really well and gave the company feedback. They asked me to do some paid writing for their game even though I'm no writer and I said sure. I also did some more artwork for them and pointed out to the current AD at the time that one of the other artists had given them stolen artwork.

Then Gencon came and they asked if I'd like to stop by the booth and do a signing of the two books I'd worked on. I said sure. There I found that the current AD didn't like the game at all and seemed to have a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the game. It would be like handing someone the xbox game Need for Speed and them asking how many hit points they have and why can't they jump out of their car and like totally shoot a machine gun or something. AD had his wife doing demos of the game and he had his wife telling them the rules how he thought the rules should be. I felt sorry for the owner because his product was being totally mishandled but hey I'm not about to go insulting the AD that gives me work so I shrugged my shoulders and ignored the catastrophe.

Owner was disappointed that Gencon sales were terrible. Then he found out that AD and wife were very obese, making it difficult for customers to visit booth and felt that they were socially inept. Owner apparently wasn't getting along great with AD before then and was especially fighting with AD's wife who was designing the website. So he asked if I was interested and to send him a photo of myself if I was. I said sure. I apparently didn't look like a hideous cave troll so I got the job. I managed to raise rates for the artists and created some great books I think. I used some of the previous artists and had to keep some of the established design stuff that the previous AD had done. I continued to hire the previous AD for work but owner asked for a recommendation for a new web person which I did direct him to somebody.

Bitter wife of ex-AD begins posting as false personas on company forum criticizing my art direction and attempting to sabotage the company by posting other ridiculous stuff on the forum. She also began pushing for us to hire the ex-AD more. We started calling her out and she admitted that she was a friend of the ex-AD. The wife under a false identity had said she hated the digital art we were using and would rather we use traditional stuff. I said that we would if there were traditional artists able to deliver the same quality for the same price. She continued to run her mouth so I said something along the lines of , "good news! We'll be cutting out all border art and chapter art which will give us a bigger budget for our quarter-pagers!" The ex-AD was the one doing the border art and chapter art.  The ex-AD e-mailed us saying that he just found out that his wife was doing this stuff on the forums and that she was sorry. Yeah right. Anyways, never imagined there'd be sabotage and subterfuge to deal with when I took over as AD.

Work with the company slowed down and was really inconsistent. Then I started doing the work on the children's book and the company started needing AD work again so I decided to resign.

3 comments:

Jon Hodgson said...

It's hilarious that I worked out who you were talking about when you mentioned their weight. Interesting story which clicks a few other factoids into place for me. :)

Joe Slucher said...

You've met him before or you've seen pictures?

Jon Hodgson said...

Only in pictures...