Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ben Walker: Concept Artist

So, I'm a Concept Artist now. As often happens in life, there have been some twists and turns for me and I've ended up living in the San Francisco Bay Area, working for a Facebook game company. (Don't worry, the paint brushes, T-shirts, etc. haven't been put down completely! I'm still chugging away on some new art projects).

The game I'm on is called Ravenwood Fair and it's created by a guy who is well known in the video game world, John Romero. If you haven't heard of him, I'm sure you have heard of the games he has spawned: Quake, Doom, Wolfenstein? yeah.

Yes, John has good taste in clothes. No we are not holding hands.

I was hired by LOLapps and brought onto the Ravenwood Fair team about halfway into it's development and it's been really cool to see it launch and grow so quickly! The idea of the game is that you are clearing away a scary forest (in a fairy tale, Black Forest style) and building a fun fair. But the creepy forests are still around you so there's a bit of a dark edge to this mostly cute game. It's been compared to Zynga's Frontierville, which is fair of course, but Ravenwood Fair is definitely it's own thing and not just another clone (as can happen with so many games these days). I don't think I'm being biased when I say the artwork really stands out on this game! The small but kick-ass art and animation team really made this a top-notch game (they were knocking it out of the park well before I showed up). Big props to Christine Macternan for overseeing it all (and for helping me get my size 10 Chuck Taylor in the door).

So yeah! I've been working hard for the last few months on concept art and other assets for this game. which means digitally painting various, buildings, rides, food items....lots of logs. Some stuff I just do as line art, then someone else will take over from there. Some stuff I will see through to final paints. There is a lot of passing artwork around, which is very different from the way I work on my own art and illustrations. But as long as one doesn't get overly-attached to random pieces or have an ego about stuff, the collaborative approach isn't a problem. I'm just happy to be paid to draw and paint all day! Here are some samples of my work.

Yes, you can show this to your Art Director friend.

My contract is almost up with LOLapps, so it looks like I will be moving on to other things. I've definitely learned a lot and had boat-loads of fun working with this team! I'll be sure to let you all know what happens next for me.

Thanks for reading,

Ben Walker


  1. Ben, these look great! I like the concept work for Ravenwood a lot!

  2. i love ravenwood!! the art work is just too cute!