Facebook Friday Week 8 – Matt Rhodes

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by Evil Chris Priestly

Let me start off by thanking Derek Larke for posting the past 2 weeks’ Facebook Friday updates. I was on vacation and Derek valiantly stood up and got the blogs out to you readers while I was away. Now, not to complain, but he didn’t get them 100% right in that he forgot to include pictures of the 2 staffers, Nick Thornborrow and John Winski, who contributed their updates. So, just so you know who you were reading about (in case you meet them at a convention or something), here are Nick and John.

Nick Thornborrow










John Winski










OK, on to this week’s Facebook Friday where we have stolen Matt Rhodes away from his art tablet for a few moments to provide you with his thoughts and experiences here at BioWare. Even if you haven’t met Matt in person, if you are a fan of our games, or the lithographs available on the BioWare store, you have probably seen his work at some point. Matt’s latest lithograph, The Kirkwall Gate, is currently on sale if you are looking to decorate your room or cubicle with some awesome Dragon Age II art.

Matt Rhodes

Where are you from?
Calgary Alberta

Favorite movies:
At the top of my list are The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen, The Prince of Egypt, Dark City and The Fifth Element.

Favorite TV:
Hands down it’s The Venture Brothers.

Favorite books:
Bought used for the awesome Frazetta cover art, The Moon Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs has become my favorite book of all time.

Favorite pizza toppings:
Meat, with some meat stuffed in it.

Job or title at BioWare:
Associate Art Director

How long have you worked for BioWare?
It’s getting close to six years.

What does an Assistant Art Director actually do:
I’m a concept artist but I help out any BioWare project that needs me, rather than working on a single title.

What is your average day like at the office?
Coffee, draw, coffee, draw, coffee, draw…etc… Occasionally it’s broken up with meetings about drawing.

Favorite BioWare moment Game related/thing you are most proud of at BioWare:
I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in the design of some high profile BioWare characters. It is always great to see those designs take on a life of their own. Fan reaction is particularly inspiring, from fan art to cosplay.

Favorite BioWare moment not game related:
During my first week I overheard a conversation in the halls. While waiting outside a closed office to speak with the occupant, the waiting employee said “I’m just camping his spawn point.” It was then that I fully understood I worked in a tree-house making videogames with a bunch of fellow nerds.

What do you do to relax/do you have any hobbies:
I draw a lot. It’s my day job but I love it too much to leave it at the office. If I can find the time my favorite thing to do is head out to the mountains with my lovely wife.

What game are you losing sleep for right now (that you are not working on)?
I don’t get a lot of time for games these days, there’s just too much to draw. The last game that really kept me up was Fallout 3. Since I don’t have a PC at home (or any consoles) I was staying late at the office to play it. How sad is that?

What is the most “nerdy” thing about you?
I get paid to draw spacemen, dragons, aliens, wizards, etc… Also, I’ve read The Lord of the Rings over a dozen times.

If you didn’t work in video games, what would you be doing?
I’d have to choose between film and comics. I can see the allure in both.

What do you want people to know about you?
I want people to know that I really care about the visuals in these games. We all do here.  The videogame industry is still young and exciting and in many ways we are still learning and experimenting with what can be done. In my opinion, the best art in the industry is the stuff that gets out of the way of the story. If we are doing our jobs right, you shouldn’t be distracted by visuals because you’ll be so invested in the narrative. You won’t even notice that you’re watching the story unfold. We stress over this stuff every day because we care.