About Page

Current status: Available for freelance work

Hello. My name is Steve Rakar. Welcome to my website! As you may have already gathered, I'm a digital artist who is super interested in video games. I graduated with a degree in game development, and I've been fortunate enough to get involved with some very cool projects.


I've tried my hand at nearly every aspect of the game development process, and for better or for worse, I like to consider myself somewhat of a generalist. Whether it's creating realistic environments, animating cartoony characters, drawing 2D sprites, or storyboarding cinematic cutscenes... I just love to experience new things. I've been playing video games since I was three years old, and ever since then I knew that I wanted to pursue a career involving them. It's not an easy dream to follow, but I wouldn't have it any other way.


I'm currently working as a freelance artist, and I am always eager to hear about new projects. I recently finished up the summer as Assistant Director at iD Tech Gaming Academy at Stanford. Now that camp season has ended, I'm available to take on new projects once again. If you're interested in working with me, please head on over to the contact page and get in touch. I'm usually willing to work within indie budgets, so let's have a chat!







Blog

Here you can find my most recent blog posts. To see the full archive, have a look at my official blog.

Click here to view older posts

3D Environments




3D Character Art




User Interfaces




2D Pixel Art




Illustrations and Concepts




Demo Reel

Currently putting the finishing touches on my new demo reel. In the meantime, you can check out the short animation I recently finished



Soup Can Alley from Steve Rakar on Vimeo.





















Resume

Steve Rakar

Education
Shawnee State University
Bachelor's Degree of Fine Arts in Gaming & Simulation (May 2012)
Minor in Art History (May 2012)
Work Experience

iD Tech Game Academy
Assistant Director (2016)
  • Third summer with iD Tech, promoted to Assistant Director at Stanford's Gaming Academy
  • Managed a team of game development instructors
  • Helped run team meetings and one-on-one evaluations of staff members
  • Ran both indoor and outdoor activities for students age 13-18
  • Administered daily medications and first aid to students
  • Managerial tasks such as planning field trips and coordinating with clients through phone/email
  • Created maps and documents to be used by both current and future staff members
  • Fixed both hardware and software issues as they arose

iD Tech Camp
Tech Coordinator (2015)
  • Second summer with iD Tech, promted from game instructor to tech coordinator
  • Ran check-in and check-out of campers every day
  • Fixed both software and hardware issues as they arose
  • Guided and advised first-time instructors whenever they were struggling
  • Filled schedule holes by teaching RPG Maker, Game Design in Minecraft, and Scratch Programming

Not Robot LLC Wave Crash (Released: Sept. 2015, iOS)
Lead UI/UX Artist (2014-2015)
  • Designed the look and feel of various menus across the game
  • Created intuitive icons and buttons to appeal to a wide range of players
  • Followed an Agile workflow (using Trello) to stay on task with weekly sprints

Hyrax Games The Amazing Jungle Rescue (Released: Dec. 2013)
2D / UI Artist (2013)
  • Created hand-drawn backgrounds in a digitally painted style
  • Developed dynamic sprites animations pixel-by-pixel
  • Designed unverisally understood User Interfaces to appeal to a wide variety of players

iD Tech Camp
Game Design Instructor (2013)
  • Motivated aspiring young game designers and helped prepare them for a future career in game development
  • Taught kids how to use various tools including: Unreal Development Kid, RPG Maker, Adobe Photosho, Autodesk Maya, and Multimedia Fusion
  • Supervised indoor and outdoor activities; interacted with children while being a positive role model
  • Presented speeches about campers at the end of each week; engaged in discussion and explanation with parents
  • Worked nearly 80 hours each week to ensure that camp was running smoothly

Brrapp Games Spanda Ganda (Release date: TBD)
3D / UI Artist (2012-2013)
  • Modeled, rigged, and animated the main character; successfully implemented the complex rig into Unity
  • Designed enemy creature concepts and their interactions with the player
  • Delivered whimsical environment assets with hand-painted textures
  • Engaged in game design discussions to help improve the overall direction
  • Developed various aspects of the User Interface, including the HUD and menu designs

Notable Freelance Work

Bright Covers
  • Created 3D animations of patio covers to be used in insallation videos and promotional material
  • Designed 3D character mascots for branding and promotional use

Grimoire Manastorm (PC game on Steam)
  • Improved rigging, weight painting, and APEX cloth physics for an online multiplayer game

Inkhorn Games (Upcoming PC game)
  • Created 3D character models, rigging, and animation for the Order of the Ancients Kickstarter campaign

Kyr Niemi
  • Created UDK landscape textures, character models, rigs, and animation for a fellow indie game developer

Window Nation
  • Created 3D product renders to promote various window cuts to potential clients

KidsPlay
  • Created 3D environment renders to promote a newly opened indoor playground in Avon Lake, OH

Ft. Thomas Walking Tour
  • Illustrated the tour map for the city's historic walking tour

Ninja Pimp.
  • Designed T-Shirts for a local skate boarding label

Terry Head
  • Designed a personal campaign website for a local politician

Project Domini
  • Helped compile 2D animations into spritesheets

Software Expertise
  • Autodesk Maya
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • ZBrush
  • Autodesk Mudbox
  • Adobe Premiere
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe AfterEffects
  • Motionbuilder
  • Matchmover
  • 3DS Max
  • Blender
  • Flash
  • PixPlant
  • Marmoset Toolbag
  • TexturePacker

Also have some basic coding experience using:
  • C#
  • Java
  • HTML / CSS (coded this website 100% by hand)
  • Python

Game Engine Experience

Unreal Development Kit / Unreal 4
  • Importing assets
  • Level Design
  • Landscape/Terrain Editor
  • Material Editor
  • Particle Effects
  • Kismet / Blueprint
  • Matinee
  • Speed Tree

Unity
  • Importing assets
  • 2D / 3D Level Design
  • Particle Effects
  • Coding (both C# and Java)
  • Mechanim
  • 2D Toolset
  • UI Design

Skills
  • High / Low Resolution Environment Modeling
  • High / Low Resolution Character Sculpting
  • UV Mapping
  • Digital Painting & Texturing
  • UI / UX Design
  • Sprite Creation
  • Character Rigging & Animation
  • Operation of PhaseSpace Motion Capture Studio
  • Scene Layout / Level Design
  • Game Concept Documentation
  • Storyboarding
  • Graphic Design
  • Video Editing



Releases

This is where I will list all of the games I've released and the things I've had published. Eventually I will include a whole bunch of projects here, such as game jams and hobby projects. For now, here are the big ones.



Wave Crash
Status: Released October 2015
The game is officially avaialbe for purhcase in the App Store.






Grimoire: Manastorm
Status: Released February 2015
I did contract rigging and APEX physics work on this game. It is currently available on Steam Early Access.





The Amazing Jungle Rescue
Status: Released December 2013
The game is currently avaiable for purchase on IndieCity





Contact Me!

You can view my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts below, or use the form to email me directly.

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