Clear As Mud

A new game design and development podcast from the folks at mudstack. Tune in as we talk to people in the video game industry to learn about their journeys, challenges, successes and failures.

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Thursday Aug 10, 2023

Enveloped in an aura of creative brilliance, today's guest on the Clear As Mud Podcast is the illustrious Vani Balgam. A luminary in directing, writing, and producing, she's the founder of Dancing Atoms—a visionary creator studio forging connections between Asian and North American storytelling, birthing authentic narratives for a global audience.
Vani's career gleams with achievements, including her role as Head of Creative Management at Dreamworks Animation in Shanghai and her executive directorship at the award-laden animation and VFX studio, Rhythm and Hughes Asia.
In this episode, Vani unwraps the genesis of her VFX journey, offering insights into her wellspring of inspiration and the birth of Dancing Atoms. The Himalayan backdrop becomes a canvas for her filmmaking audacity, while her personal philosophies and guidance light a path for aspiring artists and creators.
This episode stands as a treasure trove of insight, and is certainly one that we believe will stay with our listeners throughout their entire personal and professional journeys in the world of VFX, animation, and the game industry.

Thursday Jul 27, 2023

In this episode of Clear as Mud, we are joined by David Tucciaronne, the Director of Development at VR Vision. David is an exceptionally fun guy with an impressive background in both leading startups to success and innovating on the most cutting-edge VR technology.
We explore his personal philosophy of having a life-work balance and the importance of keeping a lean and dependable team of artists and developers to nurture success and satisfaction. 
We also delve into the latest trends in VR technology, discuss the impact the rebranding of Meta has had on the VR industry, and what the future may look like in a world that is rapidly adopting the use of VR beyond the game industry. This epidote is packed and we hope that you enjoy it!

Tuesday Jul 11, 2023

Today’s guest is James Adkins, Senior VFX Artist for Sony Playstation at Santa Monica Studio. James is a brilliant and talented artist who has worked on some amazing games and most recently the critically acclaimed God of War Ragnarok. We take a deep dive into his creative process, exploring how he finds inspiration across different media, and deconstructing what it is like to work on one of the most beloved franchises in gaming history. Also some fun facts about the Draupnir Spear (if you know, you know)!

Thursday Jun 08, 2023

Get ready for an incredible guest on the Clear as Mud podcast. We had Dan Fadness, Art Director at Terraform Studios, sharing his valuable insights on mentorship for aspiring artists.
He stressed the need for strong foundational knowledge before diving into mentorship, and he gave us a glimpse into the crucial role of an Art Director in the game industry.
Dan also talked about the importance of communication and problem-solving skills in art direction, shedding light on the challenges artists face. And he didn't shy away from discussing dealing with rejection, offering advice and encouragement for navigating the sometimes unforgiving landscape of artistic endeavors.

Monday May 22, 2023

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller.
Dave Branco, the Community Manager for the Game Development World Championship, shares his journey from working in finance to taking a bold leap, moving halfway around the world to Finland to pursue a career in the game industry.
We discuss the importance of creating a positive and engaged community around your game, using creative early marketing strategies to promote your game, and the trends Dave sees emerging from the most successful games submitted to the GDWC.

Thursday May 04, 2023

Brad has worked as a 3D artist since 2008. He has been a character artist on multiple games in the Call of Duty franchise including Vanguard, Black Ops and Cold War.Brad delves deep into the process of creating characters from a technical and order of operations perspective that shines a light on what it takes to make character models for one of the most high profile franchises in the world. 

Tuesday Apr 25, 2023

Have you ever watched one of those CG cinematic trailers for a game online and wondered how it was made? Well, look no further. Pierre has had a hand in creating trailers for the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Rainbow 6 Franchise and working on the cinematics for Call of Duty Vanguard. 
We get into all that and more in this episode of Clear As Mud. 

Thursday Apr 13, 2023

Ian has what every producer needs and not what every producer has- the personal touch! Throughout his work at Mythical Games, Zynga, Bioware, and 343 Industries, Ian puts his team first by getting to know them personally and professionally which in turn dictates his production style. 
We talk about he does this, his experience with crunch and the trials and tribulations of production in the industry.

Friday Apr 07, 2023

Seth has worked in VFX on the film and TV side on Spider-Man 2 and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. On the game side, he’s worked on Star Wars- The Force Unleashed, the Battlefield franchise, the Dead Space franchise, Dante’s Inferno and was also on Amy Hennig’s canceled Star Wars game before the plug was pulled.
He's had an incredible career. This episode is fittingly technical given Seth's technical background. We dive into these subjects and a whole heck of a lot more in a full to the brim Clear As Mud. 

Wednesday Mar 29, 2023

William’s career has been built around working on mobile and casual games for companies like Ubisoft and Zynga, but now he’s at a bit of a career crossroads in the sense that he wants to work on independent titles in different genres.
We dive into the reasoning behind his career change, the challenges of marketing himself to indie developers and in a rather sweet story, how he created a project at a game jam to propose to his girlfriend. 

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