It’s time for today’s Hiveswap development team interview!
Hey there folks! We’re back with our next Hiveswap developer interview, right on schedule. This week we’re chatting with our animation director Angela Sham, who – as some of you may already be aware – was already creatively contributing to the Homestuck universe before she started working on Hiveswap. So let’s jump right in!
Introduce yourself to the fans! What is your specific role on the Hiveswap team?
Hullo!! My name’s Angela and I’m the animation director on Hiveswap. I’m responsible for overseeing the development of sprites, cutscenes, and basically anything that moves. Together with our lead animator Adrienne, I help to make the pictures go. I’m very lucky to be drift compatible with her.
When and how did you get your start on the Hiveswap project?
Two years ago What Pumpkin (WP) brought me on to animate Act 7, and then I transitioned into game work! Speaking of Act 7, you can check that out right here if you’d like.
Tell us a little bit about your career background! How did you get your start in animation? Do you have any advice for others looking to enter this field?
I didn’t ever expect to be an animator, to be honest. I didn’t go to school for art, and animation was a manic sort of hobby that helped me concentrate. When I graduated I decided to give it a shot as a career and happened to start freelancing for Sparkler Monthly, where another WP employee was also working, and that was when I joined the Homestuck team. My advice is, there is no one “right” way to enter the field, so draw what you want and put it out there. In my case, I drew fan art and a Homestuck fan animation called “A Lullaby for Gods,” and… here we are! In fact, you can watch “A Lullaby for Gods” right here if you’re so inclined.
We’re making a video game, so of course the question must be asked: what’s your favorite game of all time, and what games are you playing currently (if any)?
This is an impossible question; how could you ask me this!? You’re gonna have to settle for categories of favorite/influential games, including hits like I Cried for 50 Days (Shadow of the Colossus); Why Am I Doing This to Myself (God Hand); I Have a Mouth and It Is Screaming (Rule of Rose, Haunting Ground); I’m Just RPG Trash (Final Fantasy IX, Okami, Paper Mario, Kingdom Hearts);and Gitaroo-Man (Gitaroo-Man). I’m currently playing through NieR: Automata, and I drive around in Grand Theft Auto V when I really need to relax.
Are there any games that you currently use or have used as inspiration for your own animation work here on Hiveswap, or just in general?
Street Fighter III, BlazBlue, and Skullgirls for sure.
As an animator, you must have some favorite cartoons and/or anime – tell us about them!
Tekkonkinkreet was the film that made me want to animate. Something about it made me realize it was possible, that such an incredible thing was made by people, even though I grew up on a healthy diet of cartoons and anime. Some favorite cartoons include Hey Arnold! and Ed, Edd n Eddy, while Samurai Champloo and Escaflowne rank among my favorite anime. Animators who have been especially influential to me include Hiroyuki Imaishi, Yutaka Nakamura, Norio Matsumoto, and Sergio Pablos. I could talk all day about animation, so I’m gonna do you all a favor and head myself off at the pass.
What’s your workstation like? Do you like to listen to any particular kinds of music while you work? If so, tell us about it!
I work from home, so it gets very… uh… listen, there are a lot of snacks within arm’s reach, between my monitors and just a bit too close to all of my art books. Nobody should be told about this, let’s move on.
Favorite Homestuck character?
HMMM. The beta kids are nearest and dearest to my heart; I can’t rank them because they wouldn’t be great without each other. And their patron trolls. So I guess I have eight favorite characters, and are we only being asked impossible questions now.
Favorite Homestuck ship?
GUESS SO. In the early days, I was really ready for Karkat >3>John to happen, but after all these years, the long-buried ship that I think of every so often when I’m lying awake at night wondering where it all went is… Dave/Terezi.
Favorite Homestuck flash?
Lord. I’ve been going through flashes for like 40 minutes now, and this one is actually impossible. This isn’t an answer, but the first one I checked was Jade:Enter, then Jack:Ascend, then Descend, then Make Her Pay, then…
Do you have a personal message you’d like to relay to all the Homestuck and Hiveswap fans out there?
I know. You don’t think I know, but I know. I’m there too.
Here’s an interesting fact: Canadian voice actors, Matt Hill and Samuel Vincent, arguably most famous amongst this generation for voicing the respective characters of Ed and Double D in Ed, Edd n’ Eddy, also voiced rival characters Kira Yamato and Athrun Zala from the mecha anime Gundam Seed.