Let’s talk about Sunghoon who is Chief Creative Officer of BiNAREE. He is in charge of creating the characters of Zap Zombies. I was wondering if there were any interesting stories he had since he started to work as an artist.
Vicky : Sunghoon, I know you have been worked as an artist more than 15 years. why did you want to become an artist?
Sunghoon : To be honest, I studied in industrial design in university and wanted to be car designer. However, when I graduated, it was during an economic recession in Korea so I could not get a job. After a while, one of my friends had offered me a job, and I started as an intern at an animation company called Cinepix. At first, it was tough because I have had only drawn cars during my university years. It was 3 months of internship, and my first job was to draw the main character of the animation. Luckily, the design I made was chosen as a main character of the animation.
Vicky : Interesting! which character was it?
Sunghoon : It is Cubix, and I am not sure you know about it because it was on the air on 1999.
Vicky : I have read the articles about the successful character created by Korea and aired for two seasons in USA, UK and Japan. Also, the series of Cubix have been the theme of three video games.
Sunghoon : We were pretty lucky. Thanks to the success of the animated television series, the company grew rapidly, and I was able to get a permanent job.
Vicky : I got how did you start working as a designer, but what brings you to work in the Gaming Industry?
Sunghoon : It is a fascinating thing that people can enjoy the world, which I created. That is why I have always wanted to be a game artist to create different worlds in gaming. After quitting working at the animation company, I’d moved to United States and started the game-related study. Luckily, I had an opportunity to work at one of the game companies in the states.
Vicky : So, which company was it that you started to work as a game artist? What did you do?
Sunhoon : I worked as a concept artist and character artist for the console version of Ratchet and clank and Ratchet and clank. and now I am Chief Creative Officer in BiNAREE.
Vicky : As I know of, you were in charge of creating the characters of Zap Zombies. what is most important thing when designing new characters?
Sunghoon : As we already know, a bunch of other similar characters are out there. And among those, good characters always have unique traits with their personalities. I have been trying to design them to be different and interesting to get players’ attention. Also, I have to think about where the character design will be seen.
Vicky : All right, then how did you come up with characters in Zap Zombies?
Sunghoon : The process of bringing up concepts and ideas usually starts the same way. I need papers, pencils, sketches and other sketches. In the beginning, I focused on designing a distinctive Zombie Character in my own style. Surprisingly, a decent design came out sooner than I expected. Ever since the character style was fixed, I was trying to find ways to create a wide variety of morphological changes based on the first prototype.
Vicky : Those are not horrible but creepy. who it’s aimed at?
Sunghoon : It is not only for hardcore zombie fans, but also for others who do not particularly like the zombie genre.
Vicky : Aside from clean lines and easily readable features, what are some other important aspects about character design?
Sunghoon : I think the interaction between the player and the game characters is important as well as the interaction between the game-play and characters as intended by game design . For example, goblins should be a typical monster, but it is a whole lot different story in Clash of Clan because they are charming thieves.
Vicky : Which characters is the most you like among them made so far?
Sunghoon : Hmm, I could not help telling you I like all of characters I’d designed. But if I had to choose one, it would be the ‘Cubix’ because it was my first character.
Vicky : What kinds of characters do you want design moving forward in your career? Any specific ideas?
Sunghoon : I want to improve quality of Zap Zombie characters. especially, the process of 3D modeling based on 2D image. I was unsatisfied with the characters in Zap zombies because I didn’t have enough time to polish them.
Vicky : Thank you for your time. and hope to see another incredible characters like Zap Zap Zombies!
Read more about Zap Zomebies.