Greetings Citizens! Time for another episode of Meet the Devs, this time featuring Eric Kieron Davis, Senior Producer @ CIG Santa Monica.
Meet the Devs: Eric Kieron Davis
Meet the Devs – James Pugh, with Eric Kieron Davis
EKD – So, I mean… it’s a long process man. I’m not gonna lie.
JP – How do you start? I mean you wake up… but where is the first…
EKD – How far back do you want to go?
JP – As far back as it goes!
EKD – This has been an 11 year in the making process. I’ve gotten it down to a science. In the morning, right, shower… do my thing. Let it dry. You gotta let it dry. If it’s not dry… *raspberry* it’s flat, okay? Once it’s dry and fluffy, then jump in there… get in the mirror. Grab the wax, dry wax specifically called Fiber… I’m not going to drop any products here but…
JP – I think you just did.
EKD – Well, that’s not the name, it’s the… and it’s dry… because I have very thin, fine hair so I want it to be nice and dry.
JP – You do, you have hair like mine… except you actually have hair, so that’s the difference.
EKD – Not touchin’ that one.
JP – So, how did you first hear about the project?
EKD – Go back many years, I think I heard of the Kickstarter right after it broke records. That’s when it first hit my radar. Then I actually met Chris at an E3, he was doing a demo of Star Citizen and I got talking to him and just seems like a really cool project and I was very excited about what you guys were doing.
JP – We brought you on as a Senior Producer a couple of months ago, what was your role before that over at your previous company?
EKD – I was a cinematic producer. So, my last project was the Lords of War project for Blizzard Entertainment and it was a lot of fun. I’d been focusing on assets and film creation – I have a very large film background, I have been focusing a lot on film in my life. So, then they brought me in here it was to focus on the art side.
JP – That’s cool… Lords of War?
EKD – Lords of War. Not to be confused with Nic Cage and Lord of War that Chris produced. That’s why we were destined to come together right there.
JP – What exactly is Lords of War? I’m confused…
EKD – It was like an online-0nly buildup for Warlords of Draenor.
JP – That makes sense.
EKD – So it was like these 5 episodes, 2.5 D surrounded by machinima pieces that were just trying to tell you the story about these bad guys.
JP – The Hellscreams?
EKD – The Hellscreams… and the Kargaths and… yeah, all those guys.
JP – So, you say you have a film background, can you go a little bit into that?
EKD – Yeah man. So, I got started… probably in college was when I figured out what I want to do in life. I had no idea before then. And a big thing for me I realized was… I didn’t really know what I wanted to do until I was going through the college process and when I found out I wanted to work in 3D of some kind, I found that I needed to get out of that college as fast as I could because they didn’t have a program for me. So, I got a degree in Theater and a minor in Film Production and that’s where I got my passion for film production. So, then I got into school and started doing animation and production and then I quickly realized, ‘Oh, the reason I love this and why I wanted to be here was because it takes my passion of video games and cartoons and brings them together.
JP – Dude. Those are two awesome passions. What’s your favourite cartoon?
EKD – Dude, let’s go all the way back. TMNT, probably the original one.
JP – For sure dude. *fist bump* Remember the one where Shredder opened up a pizza place and the turtles had to go there and they tried to get pizza and they found out it was opened by Shredder and it turned into this whole brawl and the pizza place got blown up in the end?
EKD – Probably.
JP – That was a good episode.
EKD – I think you just made that up.
JP – No dude, I think it’s called… trust me… I think it’s called ‘Pizza by the Shell’
EKD – *laughing* Alright, alright I’ll check it out. And then… you know, you’ve got Darkwing Duck, Duck Tales, and on and on and on. I mean, we can go all the way back to George Jetson and all of that group in the 50s and 60s. Looney Tunes!
JP – Yeah, I grew up with that stuff watching Cartoon Network, like the old Looney Tunes cartoons like the Tex Avery stuff and all that. I love all of that stuff.
EKD – He has a museum actually down in SoCal.
JP – Really? Where at?
EKD – I don’t know… outside of Irvine somewhere. It’s nice. It’s very cool. I like it.
JP – ‘I don’t know it is, you should go.’
EKD – You should go. Google it. That’s how I work.
JP – So, found out you love video games and cartoons. What was the first thing that you worked on within that space?
EKD – The first thing I actually worked on professionally – I’ll tell you two things here at the same time – one was making assets for an MMO, it was like a Sim City MMO… I don’t remember the name. I made a lot of hot pants.
JP – Sick!
EKD – Yup. Modeled all of those, it was nice. And then I also animation for an Xbox commercial that I don’t think ever saw… anything… ever.
JP – Never saw the light of day?
EKD – Yeah. And then once I got in to Blizzard I started working on all of their projects… so World of Warcraft and Diablo and Starcraft and things like that.
JP – Did you work on any of the trailers they did for like Cataclysm?
EKD – Yup! All of them… Pandaria… The last one we did was the Overwatch one. Heroes of the Storm, yeah I worked on all of those with those guys.
JP – Those are some really good stuff, those are like top in their class for cinematics.
EKD – Yup. Totally.
JP – Blizzard does it pretty well, it’s cool to have you on here doing that stuff.
EKD – It’s great to be here and it was cool because I got to take that passion when I was there and then outside of that I was doing… I kind of started a small production company so I started a lot of small films, web series, novels. I just finished creative directing and producing a gaming novel that was really awesome.
JP – Cool! Was it ‘Ready Player Two’?
EKD – *laughing* It should be! No, it’s called ‘The Holder’s Dominion’. You should check it out. But it’s not ‘Ready Player Two’, no. And then, you know, anything I can get my hands on. And what I found is that I just want to create worlds for people to have fun in and I just want to entertain. I remember a story of when I was a kid, I was in band and played the drums, like a lot of people want to play the drums.
JP – I play the drums.
EKD – Good! Excellent. And I was brought in during some time in the season… my family is always like, ‘Eric, come down, bring your drum, and play ‘Little Drummer Boy”. I was like, “Okay! Time to get in front of people, entertain, I’m in!” I have no idea where that started, but I just realized I want to entertain and have fun and give people a cool experience.
JP – Cool. Well, we’re going to let you out of here but before you go we have a few rapid-fire questions. You ready for ’em?
EKD – Okay, okay.
JP – Favourite movie?
EKD – Do I have to do favourite?
JP – Yes.
EKD – Can I give you a couple favourites?
JP – No.
EKD – Please?
JP – One. Singular.
EKD – Alright… Children of Men, I guess.
JP – I’ve seen Children of Men, it’s a great movie. Favourite video game?
EKD – Oh my… you can’t do this to me. I can do per genre… how about per genre?
JP – No. You pick your favourite genre and your favourite game within that genre.
EKD – Alright, alright… probably Fable. The first Fable.
JP – The first one?!
EKD – Yeah.
JP – Whaaaaaaat?!
EKD – You said one! Alright, Oblivion. I love Oblivion.
JP – That’s fine but Fable II was way better than Fable I.
EKD – How about this? Mutant League Football. Favourite Sports Game.
JP – That’s not bad… No dude… Fable II was so much better than Fable I in every way.
EKD – I agree, I agree… but it was my first foray into that world. I love that universe. And then, I’ll give you one more because we’re still talking… Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy.
JP – Wow, dude I love that game.
EKD – I don’t know why that one stuck out to me as like… “This is it!”
JP – That was a good game! Do you remember that game that came out around that time called Dr. Muto?
EKD – No, when was that?
JP – It was around the same time, it was another PS2 game I remember from back in the day.
EKD – I’m gonna play it now.
JP – Favourite ship in Star Citizen?
EKD – 890 JUMP.
JP – Why?
EKD – It’s a luxury liner and you’re basically flying through space in Steve Jobs’ yacht. Did you get to see it? Looks just like it. But it’s more because of the 85X runabout, that’s why. That’s why I like it… because there’s more wood grain in that thing than I had in my 1989 Oldsmobile Delta 88 – check that car out.
JP – Alright! Well, this is Eric Kieron Davis. I’m James Pugh, and you just met a dev!
JP – See, I did it good that time. Usually I mess it up hard.
EKD – It was good!
JP – Yeah, right?
EKD – You nailed it.