After waiting a few years to meet someone from Epic they finally arrived in the UK. I had enough notice and money to actually travel to London and meet Chris Wells.

The event was hosted by Autodesk and I was given the chance to interview both Chris and Autodesk's Michel Kripalani before the event to get some information from them.

Enjoy the highlights of the interview as well as some pictures taken at the event.

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H: What is coming from Autodesk with UT3?

MK: Nothing has been announced, officially. You know we have MayaPLE but we haven’t announced anything.

H: Any chance of anything happening or are you going to point people to PLE?

MK: Well, PLE was a pretty good solution.

H: How did you start? How did you become “Epic”?

CW: My carrier in the industry started at Red Storm Entertainment and I worked at there for about 6 years and worked on games from the Rainbow 6 Series and Ghost Recon Series and various mission packs and also for a short time I work in Ubisoft, Paris working on Charlie’s Angles. From there I moved to Epic 2 years ago and am a senior character artist there, did some work on Gears of War, and did primarily work on Unreal Tournament 3.

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H: So what would the community know that you have done?

CW: Loque and Lauren in the screenshots. Lauren from the Iron Guard and Loque from the sort of the heavy set character with the suit with the chest showing and all the wires and pipes and in OXM(Official Xbox Magazine) there is a feature with the Necris female Akasha who is the lead villain in the game and she’s on the cover and there are a few screenshots in that magazine as well, and also did some work on Reaper which is the hero of UT3. I did some of the processing and the material map which I think is on last month’s issue of the OXM in the UK. If you look on the cover of PC Zone Loque should be on the cover from March.

H: What did you do in Gears of War?

CW: I did high poly asset support particularly with... what's her name? The name escapes me. Do you recall?

H: No, I don’t. No.

CW: I think its Anna or something like that and for some reason the name escapes me right now and rigging for some of the characters for some of the cinematics.

H: Do you do any bespoke software things for Epic, like the tools they use like 3DSMax?

MK: Actually, they mostly use out-of-the-box, but we have such a tight connection with Epic that they help to spec out a lot of features well in advance. So a lot of the normal mapping tools that dropped in early, round about Max 7, were designed kind of with them. A lot of the unwrap tools that came with Max 8 were also designed with them. We have a tight relationship with them and we plan our releases about 3 in advance. So... constantly trying to figure out where they're pushing the limits - where our tools can support it - and then release the product out for the rest of the world.

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H: What’s it like working at Epic?

CW: They’re really down to earth guys. They are really very easy to work with. It’s really cool actually. Yeah I can’t really say anything else beyond that I mean it’s really easy to work in the work persona.

H: When UT3 comes out what can we look forward to from both of you guys? Anything specific we need to look out for or is it going to get slapped in our faces?

CW: Character customization, taking a note from MMO’s. We have it where you select your character and then you can choose from a selection of shoulder pads and thighs, boots, helmets, goggles, torsos and so on. Also you can use the PC version to make modifications of parts and put that on to your own character, that’s a really fun element.

H: Now everyone licences Unreal Engine 3.0, does it make your job harder? Do you have to keep pushing the boundaries to basically keep your job?

CW: That’s always been our kind of work culture. Unofficially, the last thing you’ve done should be the best thing you’ve done.

  • Download the entire audio interview here