With 15 years experience as a 3D artist, Hilde joined IOI with no previous experience in the games industry and immediately began working on HITMAN 2. It was a quick process from interview to first day, but her portfolio and persistence made her impossible to ignore and we’re delighted that she’s been an integral part of our development team since 2018. Today, Hilde is the Lead Environment Artist for Project 007 and she’s loving every minute of working at IOI.
“After working as a 3D artist for more than 15 years, I’m very glad I ended up in gaming, and I’m planning on staying here. It’s the most fun job I have had.”
Hilde has always loved ‘creative stuff’ and was inspired by Toy Story and The Sims at an early age to pursue a career as a 3D artist. Looking back at those 15 years, Hilde’s portfolio and experience is extensive – and varied too! It started at school in her native Norway with courses in graphic design, 3D design and animation. Hilde calls these ‘the very early days’ where she needed a thick 3ds Max book because online tutorials and YouTube guides weren’t in plentiful supply.
Straight from school, Hilde spent 6 years at a maritime and shipping business where she was doing 3D illustrations and animations, including creating a cross-section of a Rolls Royce engine to show how oil flowed through it. A few years later, Hilde moved to Copenhagen and was interested in a job at IOI, but with no open positions for environment art at that time, Hilde got a job at a company that made children’s cartoon series.
“A friend sent me a job opening for an Environment Artist at IOI. It stated that you had to have AAA gaming experience, but I figured it didn’t hurt to apply for the job anyway. I had heard many great things about IOI and working with computer games seemed awesome. It all went very fast after I had applied and suddenly I was sitting at IOI creating HITMAN 2.”
Hilde’s work in HITMAN 2 is most prominently seen in the Hawke’s Bay, Whittleton Creek, Mumbai and New York locations. For HITMAN 3, Hilde took on the role of Primary Environment Artist for the iconic Dartmoor location.
From an isolated beach house in New Zealand to an investment bank in the United States, the locations have been varied. Sometimes though, it’s the little details that make all the difference, like when players find all the little details that Hilde and other artists at IOI put into their locations.
“Somebody noticed some high heeled shoes I put under the CEOs desk in the HITMAN 2 bank map, it’s a small little thing, but I just love how fans notice all the details we put in.”
The locations have been varied and no day is the same as environment artist. As Hilde puts it, “there are so many areas to dig into in an environment art role, so we are never bored.” However, there has been one thing that has stayed consistent across the different projects and universes that Hilde has worked on at IOI.
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Collaboration and Creative Impact
“The team at IOI is the best! We all work hard, and people are easy to collaborate with. The atmosphere at the studio is very relaxed and we have so much freedom when we create the environments – I love all parts of it. There is always somebody to hang out with after work, and people are very friendly.
“The studio culture is such a big part of why IOI is a great place to work.”
It’s most satisfying for me to plan and build something from scratch, then follow it all the way and see how it evolves into something beautiful in the end. Sometimes we stick to the plan, other times better ideas come along the way and we change it up. It’s what makes it so fun to work on. Also, working on games is the first time I’ve worked only in real-time, which means I don’t have to render stuff and I’m very happy to skip that part!”
Career Development and New Challenges
After three years at IOI working on the last two games in the World of Assassination trilogy, Hilde is now the Lead Environment Artist on the upcoming Project 007, a brand new James Bond video game.
With a job she loves, creative freedom and a passionate and talented team working alongside her, Hilde is well placed to continue having an impact on the projects that she’s involved in.