Oddworld's Inhabitants: Gautam Babbar, Production Designer [Hosted by Oddworld.com] Date: June 2003 Interviewer: Oddworld.com Interviewee: Gautam Babbar
Oddworld’s Inhabitants are as diverse as the world they’ve worked together to create. Here’s where you’ll find interviews and other informative articles spotlighting the many creative folk that work at Oddworld Inhabitants. Be they headline players or behind-the-scenes heroes, the Inhabitants profiled here all share Oddworld’s ceaseless dedication to bringing you the best worlds and games that you’ve ever experienced.
Gautam Babbar, Production Designer
Q: What’s your background?
Gautam Babbar: I grew up in Maryland. During High school I was very interested in medicine, economics, runway modeling, and aeronautical engineering. I learned that no college in their right mind would accept me for any of those, and the runway modeling didn’t pan out either (if you saw a picture you would understand why). So I decided to go to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. My major was Product Design. After graduating, I freelanced in the entertainment industry.
Q: Who are your biggest influences? Why?
Gautam Babbar: Well, like every one else in this line of work, I’d have to say Star Wars is a big influence. Lord of the Rings and Hayao Miyazaki’s movies influence a lot of my work too.
Q: Why did you decide to go into the video game industry? Why Oddworld?
Gautam Babbar: The game industry is a great place to be creative. It is a relatively new medium and open to new and original ideas. I feel Oddworld is one such place that is full of new and original ideas. That is why I decided to come to Oddworld.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Gautam Babbar: In my spare time I like to sit at home, watch movies, and play games. I try to read at times, but that usually never works out.
Q: What CD are you currently listening too?
Gautam Babbar: Masters of the Power ballad, Monsters of Rock 1980-88, Best of Night Ranger, Warrant’s Greatest Hits.
Q: What kind of a place is Oddworld?
Gautam Babbar: Oddworld is a place I can be part of a great creative team that is consistently trying to push themselves to do their best.
Q: Do you have any stories from the early days of Oddworld that you could share?
Gautam Babbar: My first assignment at Oddworld was to help put these tiny stickers on E3 brochures. Why you ask? What happened was that someone, who shall remain nameless, put the wrong specs for Munch’s Oddysse in the fine print of the brochures. So bunch us stayed around till 4 in the morning putting these stickers on, to correct the mistake. Needless to say we learned our lesson!
Q: What is a typical day like for you?
Gautam Babbar: After going through all my “morning rituals” (use you imagination on that one) I go into work around 9:30. Usually I have a task list that I start on. Half of my day is spent drawing and the other half is spent in meetings, writing, or doing research (also known as an excuse to surf the web).
Q: What do you like best about coming to work? What’s the worst part?
Gautam Babbar: Best part is coming up with a design and seeing it realized in the game. The worst is starring at a blank page trying to think of ideas. It can be intimidating.
Q: If you could change jobs with one of the other Inhabitants who would it be and why?
Gautam Babbar: I would switch places with a programmer. I know very little about programming and that would be a great opportunity to learn about it.
Q: What at Oddworld are you most proud of?
Gautam Babbar: I am proud of the fact that we try to tell stories throughout he games that might educate as well as entertain.
Q: Many fans are still upset with Oddworld’s decision to develop for the Xbox exclusively. Any comments?
Gautam Babbar: It’s a tough choice to choose one system but the Xbox provides us with the best features for our games. The system is powerful and opens doors for us that would other wise be shut.
Q: What advice would you give someone trying to break into games? What type of education does someone need to do your job?
Gautam Babbar: First and foremost you need passion for art and drawing. If you have that you are half way there. Also Art school will help in developing the fundamentals of art and design.
Q: Who is your favorite Oddworld character? Why?
Gautam Babbar: Abe, for the obvious reason, he farts a lot.!
Q: Can you tell us anything about the new game or what you are working on right now?
Gautam Babbar: Right now I am working on Storyboarding and Design for the new game.