Oddworld's Inhabitants: Silvio Aebischer, Production Designer [Hosted by Oddworld.com] Date: May 2002 Interviewer: Oddworld.com Interviewee: Silvio Aebischer
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.
Silvio Aebischer, Production Designer
Q: What’s your job at Oddworld? What’s your background?
Silvio Aebischer: I’m a Production Designer. Production design here at Oddworld this can vary from character designs, vehicles, environments to storyboards, color comps and whatever else the story and game needs. I grew up in Switzerland, where between cow fields and snowy mountains I came upon Art Center College of Design – Europe, allowing me to follow a career that would combine art and science. There I studied Automotive and Industrial design, which landed me a job at toy company near my home town. A few months later I moved to the U.S.A. to design car interiors for the European and Japanese manufacturers, in Michigan.
Q: What kind of a place is Oddworld?
Silvio Aebischer: The work atmosphere and people allow you to completely immerse yourself into the story…. and nobody seems to mind when you make engine noises while you’re sketching the latest steam driven robot. It’s truly a great gathering of talented minds, and its original intent and intellectual property is a great source to work with for any artist. Having been immersed in European comic books since my childhood, Oddworld provides almost a nostalgia of the weird and rich escapes found in “les BD”.
Q: What’s it like working with Oddworld’s creator, Lorne Lanning?
Silvio Aebischer: You have to be ready to push you limits every day, you’re asked to really understand what your drawing, in the beginning I’ve tried to slip a few unresolved things by thinking he wouldn’t notice, well, I stopped, he always asked about that particular thing right away. His attention to details and global view makes him a great director.
Q: What is a typical day like for you?
Silvio Aebischer: It’s usually pretty self reliant, after you receive a project, “and a deadline”, it’s up to you how you get there, spend time in the office library researching, browsing books or movies, you’re free to ask for critique at anytime. And the work hours are pretty flexible, good for morning and evening folk.
Q: What’s your favorite video game?
Silvio Aebischer: Any game you can play multiplayer and actually some of the Sims games. But there is really no particular favorite.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Silvio Aebischer: Since this summer I’ve been a surf-aholic, with some friends from work we enjoy the freezing shark infested ocean. California’s Central Coast has a lot of natural wonders to offer. I still enjoy sketching random stuff on my own, at coffee shops, or just hanging out.
Q: What do you like best about coming to work? What’s the worst part?
Silvio Aebischer: The best part is that it’s only a 3 block walk to work. The worst is that it’s only a 3 block walk.
Q: What did you create specifically for Munch’s Oddysee?
Silvio Aebischer: I was very fortunate to be able to designed the Vykkers Lab, the Blimp, and other vehicles and robots, sets like the machine room and auction room, and characters too. Perhaps my Swiss roots push me to mechanically and structurally work, things out, and I really enjoy the process, even the mechanical draftings bring me some weird pleasure.
Q: Is it true you can’t eat junk food?
Silvio Aebischer: Well you can get your fix on the street, but it’s sort of true. Actually I have been nearly cured from my sugar intake since I came here, and feel much healthier and have more energy.
Q: What is the longest day you’ve ever had at Oddworld?
Silvio Aebischer: Any day where you seem to run out of ideas or inspiration.
Q: If you could change jobs with one of the inhabitants, who would it be, and why?
Silvio Aebischer: Lorne surely… and probably one of the CG animators/modelers. They work in this incredible “tool shop” where you can build anything and give life to the characters. It takes a great skill that I wish I had.
Q: With the Xbox launching in Europe this month, how do you think Munch’s Oddysee will be received by your fellow Europeans?
Silvio Aebischer: I hope it does well. It has unique characters and a unique look, fun gameplay and involving stories that reflect and question our own world. In my mind it’s a great mix between the European graphic novel, and a Hollywood action movie in its grandeur and production quality.
Q: Where do you see Oddworld in 10 years.
Silvio Aebischer: I think there will be many discoveries made on Mudos (the continent this all takes place on ), new cultures discovered, perhaps even stranger and more intriguing. It will be quite an adventure, to get there… stay tuned.
Q: Who is your favorite Oddworld character and why?
Silvio Aebischer: Abe, his is my favorite ‘underdog’, I just want to root for him, and see him do well, in all his awkwardness.