In the Employee Spotlight series, we are highlighting the diverse and exceptional talent here at Jam City.
Meet Deborah Han, a Concept Artist for Cookie Jam Blast. Deborah designs the stunningly colorful maps that players navigate as they progress through the game. Below, Deborah explains the creative process behind creating each map and even reveals her favorite location.
What drew you to Jam City?
It was a no brainer for me. Before I began, it was obvious that Jam City was an up and coming mobile gaming studio that was expanding rapidly with games like Cookie Jam and Panda Pop receiving great recognition. The game genre and art style were well suited to what I knew I could offer. These reasons made Jam City a very attractive company.
Describe your role on the team.
I create map concepts for Cookie Jam Blast and am the first base person in the map production pipeline. Besides the actual drawing and coloring of these maps, my work includes contributing ideas for map themes, gathering information on it, and finding reference images that are conducive for creating an amazingly rich dessert map.
Describe Cookie Jam Blast’s map creation process from conception to delivery.
The first thing we do is select a theme for the map (country, fairy tale, era, etc.) and flesh out a 2D concept illustration that gets sent over to our 3D team for it to be sculpted and rendered to a complete finish before it’s submitted for in game use.
What do you think keeps players returning to Cookie Jam Blast?
It’s just a really fun game that’s easy to pick up and play. It’s thoughtfully perfected, has solid game play mechanics, highly polished art, and adorable characters. Each discipline of our game is at optimal level and converge quite successfully. This keeps our players entertained and satisfied.
Where do you draw inspiration for the art you put into Cookie Jam Blast?
I draw inspiration from anywhere and everywhere, though I get a lot of it from my “Art of Wreck it Ralph” book, visual development art on Pinterest, and Mickey’s Toontown theme land at Disneyland, which I use for brilliant and dynamic shape language.
What do you find most rewarding about your role?
I get to create worlds that shape the aesthetics and artistic vision of a product that reaches millions of people on a daily basis.
What makes Jam City stand out as a trailblazer in the gaming industry?
Jam City has a massive amount of collective talent and experience at every level of our development team and the standard of quality is never compromised. Jam City also promotes a healthy work-life balance and I think that effort goes a long way. When you know you’re cared for, you want to do your best even more and that, in turn, produces great results.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned while working at Jam City?
Stress kills creativity. I work on maps everyday. It’s absolutely crucial that I pace myself so that I don’t get tired of what I do or get stuck too long in any part of the creation process. This means I have to master a work flow that keeps the process smooth, fluid, and fun!
What advice would you give other employees about how to succeed in their role?
Sustainability is critical in being your best and delivering your best work possible. To successfully avoid burnouts, do the obvious things that keep you fresh, healthy, and inspired.