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Day in the Life of Mod Joe

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Mod Joe

Mod Joe

Jagex Moderator Forum Profile Posts by user
Hi guys, our awesome Community team asked if I wouldn’t mind writing a short blog about a day in the life of our office.

I guess I should start by telling you a bit about who I am and what I do, so you’ve got some context. I’m Mod Joe (@JagexJoe) and I’ve worked at Jagex for the last 12 years on RuneScape. Since joining the Guardians team last year I’ve been working on creating environment art. If you’ve been in the Elf City, played the Ports expansion, visited the alternative dimension version of Varrock or created your own Aquarium you’ll have seen models I’ve worked on. Since Mod Osborne was recently promoted to the Lead Designer role I’ve recently taken on some of his responsibilities as Product Owner for the Guardians and am finding I’m spending more time chasing things up than doing hands-on modelling these past few weeks…

So I guess I’ll start with Monday morning. This is my first week back since being away for a couple of weeks looking after our new baby. I’m just about adjusting to the lack of sleep as a new parent but it’s great to be back in the office with the team. Thanks to good traffic I arrive at the office just before 8am, and before I even sit at my desk my first appointment is with a super-large cup of tea.

My day starts by catching up with Mod Osborne (Lead Designer) and Mod Rowley (the Guardians Scrum Master) on everything that’s happened while I’ve been away. I hear that the Invention designs are progressing well and we are planning to run a livestream tomorrow. I also got some modelling feedback on some of the art assets I produced for the Myreque 6 project. I can’t go into any more details without spoilers, but basically to cut a long story short, one asset needs to change colour and another one should be made more blurry :). I make notes to write these up as proper tasks for later.

During the meeting I also get feedback about the Falador Graphical update, one of our upcoming projects for launch later in the year. It’s suggested to us that we should add some new content so it’s not just a graphical update. I make notes that we should get the rest of the Guardians together and do a brainstorm for ideas later in the week.

Before I know it the time is 9:45 and we have our daily stand-up for the Guardians. Mod Rowley runs these; we get the whole team into a meeting room and go around telling each other what we’re working on that day. The rest of the team are either producing assets for Myreque 6 or refining the Invention prototype. Everyone seems to be working on something cool. For my part I say I’m checking the hundreds of emails that have piled up from not being in for two weeks :)

After our Guardians stand-up my fellow Environment artist Mod Alex and I have a Show & Tell team meeting with the rest of the Environment art guys. We show what we’ve been working on for the Myreque project and other guys demo the latest on the Goebie homeworld and some of the latest for the new Chronicle project. Our Lead Artist Mod Stead talks through his feedback and we discuss it as a team. Alex and I leave the meeting slightly worried about how awesome the other projects are looking! ;)

When I get back to my desk I check up on some of the animations that were produced last week. They look really good but I got some feedback over email that they might be too violet and have too much blood. It’s my responsibility to make sure we don’t break any rules when it comes to the content we produce, so I contact our legal guys for a second opinion.

I check my to-do list and see that I made a note about chasing up something for Mod Proto, our Technology Manager. He is overseeing work on the new game engine and noticed some issues with some models looking broken in Falador. I said I’d check out the new area improvement in the new engine and see if we have the same problem so I boot up a custom version of our in-house tools running an experimental build of the new code. In this mode I can see a simultaneous view of both old and new engines, and as I rotate my camera both views update simultaneously. I first load the current Falador map and see the issue that Mod Proto is talking about. It looks like some z-fighting of the polygons on all the walls of the town and castle kits. I switch to the updated squares and look for the same issue and thankfully find no sign of the bug. I take screenshots of both issues and send them over to Mod Proto telling him that all is well if the new engine uses the graphically updated map squares.

The new engine is still under-wraps being worked on, but I can show you a screenshot of my current MapEd setup for the updated map squares:



After lunch I see that we are collecting ideas for RuneFest 2015. I immediately email Mod Osbourne volunteering to create a new Oculus Rift demo as I thought the ones we did in 2014 were very popular last year. Mod Chilly (another fellow Environment artist) and I pop over to see Mod Osborne to discuss ideas. We are learning from last year in attempting to get started as soon as possible so it’s less of a rush to get things ready in time for the big day. We talk about areas of the game which are currently popular and brainstorm how we can get them into a short demo that lots of people will be able to experience so there’s hopefully less time spent queuing this year.

After the meeting I head back up to my desk to continue to go through more emails to check that have since come in. After an epic amount of typing I’m ready to go home for the day.

Thanks for reading,

Mod Joe

09-Jul-2015 08:51:22

Zeus

Zeus

Posts: 22,363Opal Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
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17-Jul-2015 13:21:28

Lockhart
Aug Member 2013

Lockhart

Posts: 765Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Thanks for the blog Mod Joe! :D

Firstly congratulations on your newborn! ^_^

Secondly...Tetley or PG Tips? XD

Evironmental art must be oneof the most enjoyable areas of design right? Seeing comparisons of before and after graphical reworks must be pretty satisfying. :P

For new areas are there usually a lot of restrictions as to how much content can fit in an area? Or are you able to design anything off the top of your head and hope it gets the green light?

Keep up the great work anyhow! It's nice to see you Mods enjoying what you do! If only accounting was as fun. Haha. :)

17-Jul-2015 13:32:17

Tiny Pixel
Jun Gold Premier Club Member 2018

Tiny Pixel

Posts: 37Bronze Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Welcome back, congratulations, and thanks for the blog! It's really cool to see a little bit of behind-the-scenes work from you all, and I appreciate it.

If I may ask, what in your opinion has been the best part about working at Jagex over the years? You've probably seen so many things change from your first days there to now.

18-Jul-2015 03:24:26

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