Meet the Team: Ajani Boganey

Today we chat with Ajani Boganey about what it's like to create art for Big John Games. When he's not working on perfecting his latest character design, Ajani is most likely chatting about the best games he's played.

What is your history with Big John Games?

I've worked here about three years. I came right out of college, actually; I was fortunate. I first went to the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and then I took additional classes at Savannah College of Art and Design.

Was entering video game development always your goal?

I enjoyed both computer and art fields, and I happened to discover animation which used both of those fields. Animation is closely related to the gaming and movie industry, so it seemed natural to pursue it.

What is your favorite game you've worked on?

Probably my first game: Thorium Wars. I was kind of thrown in the fire -- in a good way! I was coming in thinking about doing environmental art and I ended up doing more player form, vehicle creations. It was nothing I was expecting. I thought that was great; it challenged my creativity. And I also love sci-fi. I've worked on every game since Thorium Wars.

Do you have a favorite game?

I've played so many different games, so it really varies. I guess one of my favorite games is Baldur's Gate 2 just because of the progression, how you can go through and meet with different characters and how your actions would affect those characters. I enjoyed that environment. I also enjoyed Gunstar Heroes quite a bit. I mean, I could go down the list but we'll be here forever.

Are you playing anything right now?

I want to play a couple of games, but the last game I was playing was probably The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and XCOM: Enemy Unknown. I'm trying to get The Last of Us.

What have you learned at Big John Games?

The game industry is always active. Business is incredibly important, and you've got to be able to communicate ideas to people in ways they understand. A good work ethic and time management are incredibly important, and those are the key elements you need when you get out of school.

Expect the best, prepare for the worse -- especially in the game industry.

What's been a challenge for you working here?

Coming up with universal ideas on the fly is always the most challenging thing, especially when trying to work with clients or co-workers. Backtracking can be time consuming. Also trying to create stuff in a timely manner. Some situations will take longer, so you have to adjust how much time you will put in one feature over another.

What do you do in your free time?

I enjoy playing basketball and watching movies. I'm a big SportsCenter guy. Sometimes I do fine arts stuff on the side, and computer art. I just try to be a little active and do some volunteer work.

What do you think about the industry right now?

I think it's in a flux; the economy is not that great right now.

If you could work on your dream game, what would it be?

My dream would probably change over and over again. I like so many different genres. I would like to see a strategy game with RPG elements that has a little bit of interactive creativity to it -- a game like Dragon Force.