Good morning, you beautiful perfumed Internet ducklings and welcome back to the Conan Exiles community newsletter. We hope you all had an amazing weekend and was able to relax and forget about your troubles for a while. Given recent events we wouldn’t blame you!
Last Friday was our regularly scheduled stream day. Lead designer Oscar and community manager Jens Erik sat down for an extended Q&A stream on our Twitch channel. Questions were taken from the forums and the community came through in a big way, with tons of great questions about the current state of the game and what we’re looking to do in terms of future development.
We covered everything from the updated bow mechanics, potential future weapons, AI fixes, future dungeons, and how we’re tackling thrall AI and behavior.
We’ll most likely use this format going forward in future Q&A streams, but if you have any feedback please give us a shout on social media.
You can catch the VOD below. If you’re unable to set aside an hour and 21 minutes to watch it, community member Multigun has written an extensive summary of the stream. You can find that on the forums by clicking here.
Two weeks ago, we asked for your feedback about our livestreams and what you wanted to see on our Twitch and Mixer channels in the future. The feedback we got was very enlightening and the community team is working out a streaming plan that aims to incorporate as much feedback as possible and combine it with some of the things that we want to do on the streams as well.
For this week’s newsletter we’re going to try out something different again. We’re calling it “Meet a dev”. The name sort of sums it up, really: it’s a quick interview with someone from the development team about what they do, how long they’ve been at Funcom, and some of the things they enjoy about their work. We figured it would be a good way for the community to get to know the members of the Funcom family.
This week we’re talking to Gavin Whelan, our fantastic art director and Funcom veteran:
Gavin Henry Whelan
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
I spent 5 fantastic years at the Irish School of Animation, This was back before there were any colleges offering game development/design courses. I was lucky to have a lot of great teachers who demanded professional standards and discipline from their pupils. Hard work, long hours and being creative under stress.. perfect for the games industry!
WHEN DID YOU JOIN FUNCOM?
I have actually had the pleasure of working for Funcom twice in my life. The first time was way back in 1995, and only for a year, (I joined back when Funcom had an office in my home town of Dublin). I rejoined in 2004 after working for a few different studios around the UK and have been here in Funcom Oslo ever since.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE GAMES INDUSTRY?
Back in the early 90’s you had to be able to do it all.. Concept, level design, animation etc.. I was an artist (indie developers will know what I am talking about).
WHAT DO YOU DO DURING A WORKDAY?
My first coffee of the day is at 7.30 am at my desk.. The first few hours of the day are my most productive, I try to do all my planning/direction before anyone else arrives in the office. Then I have a series of meetings with management and individual art teams (concept, Environment etc). This usually lasts ’till lunch time. Lunch is spent with a bunch of the artists, then more coffee (I drink way too much coffee). After lunch I have one on one meetings with any artist who needs further direction or wants feedback. and then maybe, just maybe, at the end of the day I get the chance to be an artist again, put on my headphones and do some concept work.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
It’s a secret, sorry.. stay tuned! I honestly cant say any more.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT WORKING ON CONAN EXILES?
The same thing I enjoy about working on any project: It’s the people I work with. Game developers, despite all the bad press, can be some of the nicest people you will ever meet, no matter their age, sex, or color of their skin. No matter where you are in the world they are all the same: Open minded, fun loving, argumentative gamers who wanted to spend their lives doing something they love.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT MAKES IT INTO THE GAME AND WHAT DOESN’T?
We always try to see the game from the players perspective. We listen to what the players are saying because you never know where the next great idea will come from. We also try to make the games we ourselves would want to play, we are gamers too. And while we don’t always get to add the things we all want to, we do try our hardest to make them work.