Tadhg Kelly of Lionhead Studios is likely to be the only person in the game industry with the official title of Scene Designer, a position unique to Lionhead's upcoming title, The Movies
. “I can't really talk too much about what that means,” he told us, “but in short it's a combination design, cinematics, and implementation role.” His games career can be traced back to a seven-year stint at the Irish Games Association, designing games of the non-video variety, such as pen-and-paper RPGs, board games, and live-action role-playing, for use in their conventions.
His first job in the videogame industry was as a Game Designer for Asylum Entertainment, where he did early work on the George Romero and American McGee collaboration City of the Dead
, as well as Galidor: Defenders of the Outer Dimension
, which both disappeared off of the radar following Asylum’s financial collapse. After a brief time QA testing for BBC, Kelly was hired by Lionhead Studios, where he’s been for the past year and a half. We decided to find out just what kind of media a Scene Designer consumes.
: Currently on Kelly’s iPod is Jeff Wayne's “War of the Worlds,” which he attributes both to the recent movie release and the terrorist attacks on London. “You'll never hear a more resonant description of devastation than the 'Dead London' track,” he added. Other favorites include alternative rock sweethearts The Pixies, particularly their debut, “Come on Pilgrim,” and Johnny Cash. “Particularly,” he says of Cash, “the song ‘I Hung My Head,’ which is about a young man who accidentally kills someone with his brother's rifle. It sends chills down my spine.”
: “It's been all about the mainstream lately, meaning Batman and Tom Cruise,” said Kelly, having recently enjoyed both Batman Begins
and War of the Worlds
, despite a self-described love/hate relationship with what he calls “blockbuster-style entertainment.” Kelly has also been glued to the American version of “The Apprentice.” “It’s actually an awful show, yet strangely compelling at the same time,” he said.
: “Practical DV Filmmaking
by Russell Evans is getting most attention at the moment,” said Kelly. “I have a plan to shoot a few short films once The Movies
is out of the way, but I know very little about what that entails,” he added, noting that the book has been fairly educational on the subject. He’s also begun the Bill Hicks biography Love All the People
, and has plans to tackle Don DeLillo’s Underworld
later this year.
: “Add my name to the ‘shorter games please’ list,” said Kelly, who recently enjoyed Resident Evil 4
, Jade Empire
, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
, but not enough so to complete them. “I'm sort of at a loose end with games overall at the moment, as the choice does seem to have narrowed considerably,” he added.
[Frank Cifaldi is a Las Vegas-based freelance author whose credits include work for Nintendo Official Magazine UK, Wired, and his own Lost Levels website.]