DG Dev Profile - Tyler LaBelle

09/12/2013 by trixie360

DG Dev Profile - Tyler LaBelle
In our quest to highlight the entire Defense Grid 2 dev team one by one, here is a brief interview with Environment Artist Tyler La Belle.

Thanks for agreeing to this, Tyler. To begin with, are you a Pacific Northwest native? If not, where did you come from and how long have you been in the area?

I've lived in Washington all my life, growing up mostly in the south end.

If you could time travel back to your childhood bedroom, what toy would you bring back with you?

If I could bring back one toy it would be my generation 1 Optimus Prime with trailer attachment. None of my other friends had the extra trailer piece which turned him into an even bigger robot. 


Please name one of your all-time favorite films. b) books/comics c) bands/musicians

One of my favorite films is Bram Stoker's Dracula, probably the best Dracula movie ever! Evil Dead series, Bruce Campbell is the B movie king! 

How about favorite book or comic?

My favorite comic has to be Earth-X. The story is by far one of the best Marvel has produced. 


Favorite band or musician?

I don’t really have a favorite band per say. I’m really into techno and rock but I listen to others as well.  Just no country, sorry but I can’t stand the stuff.  


What video game do you think changed the industry the most in the last decade?

I think the game or games rather, that have changed the industry the most are Skyrim and Rage. The tech they used on the engines alone is mind-boggling and super powerful. They give the artists and designers a lot of freedom in what they can achieve. 


How long have you worked in gaming?  What did you do before?

If you count my internships and freelance stuff I've been in games about 4 years now. Before getting my career in gaming and even much into getting my feet wet I was working retail to pay for school and bills. 

Is there a particular game or experience that led you down this video game development path?

It was probably when I was about 5 that I knew I wanted to be in games. I remember playing Jurassic Park back on the first Sega console and saying this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Of course I didn't realize how much games would change or even how much time and effort actually went into development. 

What do you do on Defense Grid 2?

Currently I am the environment artist on DG2. I take care of the aesthetics of each level providing pieces for our designer to use and implement.


What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?

The most rewarding part in making games for me is knowing that people have seen my work and enjoy playing the game. 


The DG2 team has a ridiculous amount of experience making games. What have you learned from them, and is there a team member who has been particularly instructive?

Working with the guys on the team I've picked up some new pipeline techniques that have helped me iterate my work faster. One person on the team that I look to for inspiration and instruction is Lex Story. He’s the art lead on the team. His vivid and grandiose ideas give me a new way of looking at my work. Overall a great guy to bounce ideas off of and get good feedback from.


Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2