Get to Know the ME Team: Oliver Stephan | Senior 3D Character Rigging & Animation Artist


August 2023

Team Medieval Empires

Step into the world of Medieval Empires, where adventure knows no bounds! As our realm flourishes with fresh gameplay, features, and animations, our family expands too! Join us in welcoming a new talent to our ranks: Oliver Stephan, a skilled Rigging and Animation artist hailing from Berlin. As Oliver immerses himself in the captivating realm of Medieval Empires, we sat down for a quick chat, exploring his craft, hobbies, and passions. Get ready for a journey into the very heart of where Medieval Empires is being brought to life!

What inspired you to join Medieval Empires?

I was recommended by a colleague, after my previous company got shut down. My colleague connected me to Qing, and I learned they needed a rigger. My skills met the requirements of the job and so eventually I was hired. And here I am.  

Tell us a bit about what you do in Medieval Empires team?

I am the rigging and animation artist, which means, I get the 3D model of the character and I make it come alive. I put in the rig, so that it can be animated and then I animate it. For this process, I have to continuously collaborate with other team members.  

Can you share a bit about your past work experience? Have you worked on any gaming project before?  

I have worked on some other game projects like "Drakensang online", which is a browser game. I also released my personal project in 2014 which was very good for my personal learning. But most of my work has been for Animated Feature Films and VFX in TV series in Germany.

What’s your favorite video game? /What was the last video game you played?

I would say I love the entire Doom series. I also love for Indie games, like Inside and Limbo, and I also like the NFS racing games.

The game I used to play most was Left for Dead I & II.    

Oliver loves to collect guitars

Can you explain in simple terms what rigging is and why is it important?  

The rig is responsible for the movement of the character. It is the skeleton to which the model is bound.  It allows the animator to move the character into various poses. The better the rig is, the easier it is to control the character and create strong poses, gestures and movements.  

What’s your guilty pleasure?

I think I am most productive when I go off plan. For instance, if I have to go somewhere at 8, I will start a new project at 7:45. Or if I have to wake up early in the morning, I’ll start something late at night and then continue to work through the night. It’s a funny habit but I do it anyway!

If you were in medieval times, what character would you be, and why?

I could be the King’s evil brother, the mischievous one maybe. Sounds like something fun. 😀 But I don’t think I can be someone who stabs others in the back or fake friendliness. For me a better suited option would be an artist who creates sculptures or paintings. Or maybe a soldier – an archer particularly. Though I would not want to go to war! 😀  

Oliver loves to make small items with his 3D printer

What is the best part about working with Medieval Empires?

I think the best part is that the company allows me to do the things I am best at! Doing rigs and animation. I also decide how I do things as well, the freedom to explore makes it more exciting. I get to learn new things and grow as well in the process, so it’s all very exciting and fun. Working remotely is a good thing as well, though sometimes I miss meeting people in real life. For that, though, I hope I can go to the Berlin office at least one day/week.  

Biggest misconception about your designation?

The biggest misconception about my designation is actually a bit funny. So, I am an Animator. It Germany, people confuse it with the word animateur, which translates to entertainer. So, people mix me up with that. And it takes a lot of time to explain it to people. Mostly I just tell people that I am a designer, which makes my life a lot easier.    

What’s your all-time favorite old/war movie and why?

It is Alien 2. When I was young, it was mind-blowing. Also, Leon: The professional.    

Your favorite pastime/hobby?  

My latest obsession is 3D printing. I just got a 3D printer recently and have been making small items with it and it is so much fun.  

Other than that, I also love to produce music and have a nice collection of guitars. I also designed one of my guitars myself with a guitar maker. I wanted to make a 3D guitar with a 3D printer but that did not work out.    

Oliver's work station

What’s your one hidden talent?  

I can solve a Rubic's cube pretty quickly. My fastest was around 35 seconds, but the average is like 50 seconds, thanks to COVID.  

Your colleagues in 3 words?  

Talented, kind and exciting.  

What exciting new animations can the players expect to see in Medieval Empires in the future?  

At the moment and in the near future, we will be working with a lot of motion capture data. We have a lot of characters and data to animate. Some idling animations might also be added soon. I can’t reveal much about what exactly will be added to the game world, but there are a lot of exciting animations coming up that are currently under process.  

So there you have it - Oliver Stephan from our expanding Art Department! Stay tuned for more updates on our team, what they are working on and what the community can expect in the coming weeks!