Categories: Animation Articles Animator Interviews Honorable Mention

Studio Interview: Inigmas Studios

We recently started branching out to the game development community here in South Africa and as always, we try our best to find good artists and studios to talk about.

Yes, we do focus mostly on the local communities, but we also know that there is a big vast world out there, just waiting to be explored. So it happens now and then that we find a valuable trove of loot and this is an exceptionally valuable trove.

I stumbled upon this team on LinkedIn and I thought it would be a good idea to send a connection request to Graham Smith, Studio Director at Inigmas Studios. I was curious to see what they do and what they’re about and so comes the link between our local gaming community and an international studio – they produce game assets and sell them on the unity store. SCORE!

Without boring you with an elaborate intro speech, I’ll hand over to the best part, the Q&A with Graham.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please enjoy the read and share with your friends.

Please tell us about Inigmas Studios and how it all started.

Inigmas Studios was started when I was the producer of an old game that I was leading. We were making a turn-based RPG, similar to the older generation of RPG’s played on the SNES and PSX.

We got to the point that we were ready to register a company; however, by that time, we all had our own opinions of how the company should be run and eventually the group fell apart.

Leo and myself collected our art and submitted it to the Unity Asset Store. After receiving lots of acknowledgement from friends and family, we decided to keep on making art for development teams to use all around the world!

What is your favorite genre of content to make assets for?

Great question! RPGs, surely! We have a passion for high-fantasy RPG’s, stuff that really brims with fantasy and excitement, such as the Zelda series as well as the Mana series, and even Ni no Kuni!

Who makes up the team at your studio?

Leo and myself, mostly. I am the Studio Director here at Inigmas; however, none of this would have been possible without Leo. I mostly model and art direct; however, I also rig and skin, as well as animate some of our stuff. I also manage our finances by handling payouts each month. Another integral role I play is public relations, I make sure that our art is seen by development teams all around the internet.

Leo mostly textures; however, his role is pivotal and one that bolsters all of Inigmas Studios. While I construct the models, he breathes life into them. It’s never that simple however, a first texture pass is never perfect. As the art director here, I make sure that the life we both give our art stays true to the vision we originally dreamed up when we were talking about this pack.

What’s a normal day like, at Inigmas Studios?

With Leo being in Sweden (6 hours ahead of myself), I typically wake up early so that Leo and I can better coordinate together.

Once I have the spreadsheet done for the current pack we’re working on, I can typically just start modeling.

Leo and I jump into a Skype call when we need to chat, which is often once the modeling process is finished and he’s working on the texturing. We typically work 6~8 hours, sporadically throughout the day.

Do you have any traditions like Friday afternoon beers or Monday morning muffins?

I wish, we both reside in different countries. 🙁

What would you say has been the most memorable achievement that your studio unlocked?

I can say wholeheartedly finishing that damned village pack, it was totally overscoped! There were like 300+ meshes involved in that pack that I modeled, luckily for Leo however, we decided to create it on a rather large texture atlas.

That texture atlas allowed me to keep new stuff that I had forgotten and piece the new model’s UVs into the texture atlas. Once we were done with it, I think we took a two week break!

How does the coffee policy work?

We both reside in different countries and work from home, so we drink coffee at our leisure, which is quite often!

Please tell us about the content that you produce – do you create the content with a set theme in mind or are you making different sets of content for different themes and can we expect regular pack releases?

At the end of each two quarters, we sit down and go over our past two-quarter sales as well as the art packs we released. We ascertain how long they took, as well as the demand for them and decide what art we’ll release for the next two quarters. Being that I’m the Studio Director, I typically come up with what packs we’ll do; however, I give Leo a lot of say in what we’ll both work on together.

For the current two quarters we’re in, we’re working on a Halloween-themed pack, afterwards we’ll work on a Christmas-themed pack. We don’t however want to deter people from buying our packs by theming them solely around holidays, so, our holiday themed pack will have both holdiday-themed art as well as art that’s a bit more generic. In example, Christmas trees lit up with christmas lights and ornaments with presents under whilst also an additional pinetree with snow dustings on it, both of which fit in a snowy holiday set.

When we have a set in mind, we almost always begin perusing the internet for related concept art. Seeing related concept art sparks our artistic flame and truly ignites our passion for the upcoming set. After we’ve gathered lots of related concept art, we’ll begin constructing a spreadsheet of everything we want in the set; we typically try to stick to 50 models, but almost always go over that… We never copy concept art, but instead use it as a reference and change the original design into something of our own. We always honor the original design by crediting them!

What has been the funniest moment as a team for you?

Oh boy, we have lots of them haha! This one stands out among the rest; albeit it’s quite embarrassing and not very professional! At one point, I was talking to a girl via email and I asked her to add me on Skype so we could move out of email. That same day on a more professional level, I was talking to an animator over Linkedin about animating some of our environment props Leo and I had worked on.

A few hours later, the animator added me first and I mistook her for the girl I had been talking to over email! After three not-so-appropriate messages, it quickly dawned on me whom I was talking to, or rather, not talking to! I quickly removed those messages and vehemently apologized!

Needless to say, we laughed it off and I still call her to animate some of our stuff today. Quite embarrassing, but quite funny as well haha!

You mention that you create a lot of content in your signature hand painted style. Please tell us more about this and why you chose to use this style.

As the Art Director here at Inigmas Studios, I’ve been modeling since 2009 using 3ds max. Over the years, I’ve developed a love for “thick-to-thin” shapes; very exaggerative, yet fun to work with. Similar styles can be seen in World of Warcraft, Dota2, League of Legends, some of the 3d Zelda games, and Ni no Kuni.

I cannot explain why I chose this style for Inigmas Studios, I just feel drawn to it. I feel uncomfortable, as if I’m going upstream, when I try to model more realistic art. Creating fun vibrant hand-painted art is where our passions lie here at Inigmas Studios!  

Where can we follow you and your work online?

Inigmas Studios: Facebook
Graham Smith: Sketchfab
Leo Lutecki: Sketchfab

Where can we purchase these awesome goodies?

On the Unity Asset Store

If any artists would like to collaborate with you, where can they get in touch?

All artists or game developers can reach out to us via Linkedin PM’s, Facebook Messenger, or through email at I believe you can also private message on Sketchfab? I am unsure although.

Written by Neal Strydom

Co-Owner of Pixelsmithstudios. Specialising in creating content for digital platforms Working fulltime in marketing & Advertising Always meeting new talent

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