Thiago Klafke
Blizzard Entertainment

The power of simplicity - How I learned to stop worrying and love my blockouts

I was always fascinated by the power of games to transport me to other worlds. One of my first memories is of being mesmerized by my parents playing Enduro on Atari. Those black and white pixels felt like a real place in my head. Back in 2001, when being an angsty teenager was cool and everyone raved about Counter-Strike, I discovered that anyone could download a free level editor and create their own virtual worlds. That set me out on a long journey of discovery, experimentation and spending countless nights making Half-Life mods with friends until I landed my first job in the industry.

Before joining Blizzard Entertainment, where I currently work as a Senior Environment Artist on Overwatch, I worked for Ubisoft Sao Paulo, New World Interactive and Southlogic Studios. Some of the games I worked on include Starcaft II: Legacy of The Void, Heroes of the Storm, Insurgency, Deer Hunter, Imagine Detective and even a Michael Jackson game.

I’m deeply passionate and intrigued about immersion. How can an illusory experience temporarily transport you to another realm? This is what I’m trying to figure out and apply to my work.

I’m really excited to be in Poland and Europe and share some of the things that I learned over the years. It’s my sincerest hope that you will find some of this information useful!

 

Speech description:

 

My talk will focus on the power of simplicity, repetition, self-containment and propagation, and how by using these tools you can tackle complex tasks more easily and not go crazy in the process. I’ll demonstrate how I clean up a level design blockout, simplifying my work early on, and taking the entire space to art completion.

While I’ll use examples from my FPS work, these concepts can be applied to any style or discipline.

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