This week's Media Consumption talks to Dan Paladin, the Art Director at independent developer The Behemoth, about his favorite movies, music, games and books.
Paladin is particularly known for creating nearly all of the art for The Behemoth's first title, 2004’s Alien Hominid
(O~3 Entertainment/Zoo Digital, for PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance). His first job in the gaming industry was with Presto Studios, doing a majority of the animation (and one character voice) for 2002’s Whacked!
, an Xbox Live title of the oft-forgotten “dangerous game show” genre.
During his time at Presto, Paladin co-created the very first version of Alien Hominid
with programmer Tom Fulp, as a Flash game on Fulp’s website, newgrounds.com. From there, Paladin went on to create multiplayer maps for Gratuitous Games’ Soldier of Fortune 2
, also on the Xbox. While there, Paladin met a fellow named John Baez, who was so impressed with the concept of Alien Hominid
that he formed his own development studio, The Behemoth, to produce a new version of the game for home consoles.
We caught up with Paladin, who is busy working on The Behemoth’s next title, to find out what media has been fueling him.
: Paladin has been rocking out to some relatively obscure foreign music. “I can concentrate a lot better if I can’t understand the lyrics,” he says. Recent favorites include Oleg Kostrov's "Caucasian Lego" and Russian group Ne Zhdali, who have been described as a "blend of minimalist ska with Estonian folk and crazy polyrhythms.”
: “I like any movie with battles consisting of 8 million people or more,” says Paladin. “My favorite movie of all time is Willow. I must save Elora Danan personally.” He’s also become a bit of a documentary buff lately, particularly those focused on important historical figures. “I keep meaning to check out lots of film festivals, but rarely show up,” he says. “Animated shorts are rad.”
: “If you ever happen to catch me reading anything recently, it’s usually Game Developer
Magazine,” says Paladin, likely fueled by the magazine’s recent Postmortem on Alien Hominid
. “I’m a nerd like that.” [Gamasutra is part of the CMP Game Group, as is Game Developer
, but we did not pay Dan to say this.]
: Though he admits that his free time to play games has become rare, Paladin’s recent buffet of titles vary in genres and generations, and include Firefly Studios’ PC strategy game, Stronghold 2
, Sony Computer Entertainment of America’s action game God of War
on the PlayStation 2, Criterion/EA’s Burnout 3
, and, for nostalgic reasons, the classic River City Ransom
for the NES, courtesy of the now-defunct American Technos. Paladin’s also been spending a lot of time with the upcoming Game Boy Advance version of Alien Hominid
, and is looking forward to Ensemble's upcoming Age of Empires III
, due this October.
[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.]