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Games Oculus Published by J. Doe

Celebrating Women in VR: Q&A with Anastasia Ovchinnikova

The talented team at Martov Co brought us Chiaro and the Elixir of Life, which won an Nvidia Edge Program Prize for excellence in aesthetic achievement.

How did you get your start in the tech industry?

Anastasia Ovchinnikova: Art and storytelling have always been my passion, and when I found that in the game industry I could create not only just walls and murals but the entire world, I quit my full-time job as an interior designer to embark on a whole new career. After a few years of working for different big companies as a senior concept artist, I realized that I was getting bored—the job I was doing wasn’t challenging enough for me.

At that time, I started to work on my own projects (we all have a dream to make our own game, right?)—but at some point I realized that I needed a team of professionals (3D artists, animators, programmers) to make my dream come true. Around this time, I was introduced to VR and that just blew my mind! The VR industry is very young, and not that many companies are working in this direction.

Tell us about your current role.

AO: I’m an Art Director at Martov Co, currently working on our new VR game FORGED. My main strengths are in environment and character art, but I direct all aspects of game art in my current role. I’m not only involved in creating aesthetics for the game, I also work on the story and design as well.

Who’s your favorite figure from women’s history?

AO: I have always admired Frida Kahlo; she is my inspiration. I think Frida Kahlo was, is, and will always be an inspiration to a lot of young minds, giving them hope and courage to be the best always.

How do you see yourself making history?

AO: Honestly, I don’t want to prove anything to anyone. I just want to create games that I can be proud of.

If you could give one piece of advice to a young girl considering a career in tech or the arts, what would it be and why?

If you have a rough time, just keep doing what you like to do, even if it’s only five minutes a day. And remember: It’s not speed that makes you an asset; it’s about whether or not you’re able to persist through difficult, long-lasting problems without giving up. The process of problem solving is arguably one of the most effective places to learn, and if you give up too soon, you’ll never reach your full potential.

How do you see women pushing the state of the art forward in the fields of augmented and virtual reality?

It’s so rewarding to load into the campaign of FORGED and see the tadpole twins, Flo and Jet, two of my favorite characters, running around in VR. I always have a certain idea of how they will act in my mind, but it’s amazing to see her bring them to life. Now she’s making mixed-reality avatars of our characters, which is even crazier!

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Mar 31, 2020 at 11:09

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