Rules & Regs - Prizes - Judging - Clans - Mini Challenges - Mini#1 - Mini#2
Name: Vadim Bakhlychev
Entry: Recon Elite
Location: Moscow, Russia
Email: [email protected]

Vadim Bakhlychev, aka slipgatecentral, wowed the world with a character creation that pushed the creativity and technical guidelines of Dominance War and the game industray as a whole. A single artist demonstrated that with a strong will and determination to succeed, backed by talent and over 50 cans of energy drinks, dreams can become reality if stived for.

In the exclusive interview, we will talk with the man at the helm of a bright carreer in the creation of games - as an artist, director, or as a future creator of a new hit game title. Now, on to the interview...

A few Personal Habits and Traits of Vadim:

Favorite Software? Autodesk Maya, Zbrush 3.5, Topogun, Adobe Photoshop,  Marmoset Toolbag.
Inspirations? Game art direction, sci-fi movies, military.
Favorite Games? Half-Life,Killzone, Metal Gear Solid, Quake, Fallout, Battlefield, World of Warcraft.
Favorite movies? Transformers, District 9, Matrix, LOTR, Terminator, Aliens, Predator.
Favorite music? Various electronic chillout , dub and streetbeat.
Good Habbits? Perfectionism, leading to good results.
Bad Habbits? Again, perfectionism, but leading to failed deadlines.
Future Goals? Design and make a blood & gore action game under my direct control.
Dog or Cat Person? Cat, and he is ridiculously lazy sometimes.
How do you bounce back from a bad day? I rather watch some HBO shows, or frag someone online in TF2 or MW2 and abuse them verbally.
What is a good day? A rare day when software doesn’t fail you and thus you manage to finish within deadlines.

How did you become an artist and at the time, did you think you would end up being an artist for games?

I remember myself drawing stuff since I was a little kid, but a major CG-breakthrough happened when I got my hands on ZX Spectrum, and using BASIC programming, made a crude picture of a fighter plane cockpit. It was a fantastic experience for a 10-year-old boy, and because of it, I continued drawing vector objects. A while later, I got my first Windows 3.1 PC and experienced the joys of pixel-art in MS Paint. At the time, all these little CG discoveries were just a hobby for me and a way to showoff with my friends - nothing serious. The second major breakthrough occurred when I saw 3d studio 4 for DOS as I then realized the true potential of 3D graphics.  I really had no idea where this little hobby was going to lead me, but I liked it, and started learning 3d studio max and Photoshop. To get started, I found and used some weird tutorial books about spaceships and submarines. Those were the good old days. Third most important step was when I got access to the web, which happened in 1999. I realized there was a huge community of CG-devotees just like me. As I kept practicing on my work, I then got dragged into an indie developers group, which were making a Fallout spinoff game. It never happened. As I look back now, I believe most of us start our careers. Even though it was a failure, it was still an important experience that helped me get a job in a real game developing company.

With artists from over 10 participating forums competing for world champion position in Dominance War IV, why did you come up with your idea for your character? Was there a specific reason for the design?

Reason? Nah, it was pretty random. After a few failed attempts to sketch a tough looking giant robot which could KILL everything in its path, I tried for something more humanoid - an armored cyborg chick. In my case, a final design doesn’t just pop into my head, many additional features were added during the basemesh stage - like a convertible droid-backpack! I can’t deny that inspiring artworks and games influenced my choice for a design. At the time, I was under the impression of a recently released Crysis sequel. What the guys from Crytek did, in terms of futuristic military design, was simply brilliant, especially their nano-suit designs. On top of a form-factor suite, an idea of a winged recon specialist came from GUNNM, an epic masterpiece by Yukito Kishiro, creator of a manga series full of amazing ideas and great visual designs. Aside from inspirations, the second important thing that influenced my design was - functionality. I have always been a huge fan of futuristic industrial designs and technically realistic sci-fi equipment. I mean, for me it’s just not enough to draw cool devices, armor or weapons. Everything should look like it can exist in a real world, and work properly. I know it can be difficult sometimes to achieve functionality in game design and make it so it still looks awesome, but when it happens you get a double set of awesomeness. Take for example, a few of our latest movies: Transformers, Avatar, and District 9. Design-wise, these are perfect examples of how something can be made to look great and functional at the same time.

Why did you enter Dominance War IV?

I overslept DW2: none of my friends told me there was such an awesome competition taking place. I gloriously screwed up during DW3. I made such a detailed model that my PC and brain couldn’t handle the load. DW4 was my chance to prove to myself that I can still can catch up to everyone and make an extraordinarily cool next-gen piece. Plus, my portfolio was sick of oldschool low-poly stuff. It cried for a cool new next-gen piece. So there was no choice really. I had to enter DW4. Choice aside, I should really mention, If you're game artist with a bit of spare time on your hands, you just can't miss such a huge event like Dominance War. More artists join each year and its audience grows as well. It’s a unique chance to learn about great artists, get advice from pros, share some knowledge, and ultimately – boost your skills sky high! I believe people do their best when they are motivated, and a grand art challenge is the second best motivator – first being $$$.

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