Howdy! My name is Barbera Boone, AKA Dieselbrain. I'm the 2D fx artist on Slave Zero X, though I also handled much of the UI assets and even some character animation as well!. I'm a queer artist who has spent over 10 years working freelance, primarily focusing on erotic art (something I'm still very passionate about).I'm currently living in Toronto Canada (working on immigrating!) but I'm originally from Virginia in the USA. My mediums of choice are primarily digital art and animation, often focusing on themes of body horror, LGBT sexuality, Americana, and big
I was notified of an opening by a friend who felt I would be a good fit for the project, and thankfully it appears the team agreed.
I had been dealing with severe creative burnout from working freelance, and working on SZX gave me the opportunity to change gears for a while so to speak, while still letting me use my primary creative skills. It's helped me heal a lot.
I would describe the world of SZX as bleak and dark, with a little bit of 90s cyberpunk edge. I think that style really encouraged the whole art team to want to lean in and make something that would feel right at home on gaming consoles a few decades ago.
My skills with Aseprite were invaluable of course, but I was also able to do some character animation due to my past experience focusing more on characters on past projects.
Poppy Works has been completely work-from-home since 2012. They are a global company in the sense that they hire anyone qualified from all over the world. What has it been like working with such a diverse group of people?
Barbera: It's been great. my coworkers have been fantastic to work alongside, and I greatly admire their skill and experience. It's been particularly amazing seeing my fellow animators improve and really flex what they can do more and more as the project went on.
Seeing the little jokes team members would come up with or little shitpost memes they'd make with Shou or other characters always put a smile on my face
My favorite piece I worked on was probably FistFucker, as it was both a personal challenge to move on to working with a character rather than fx, but also because the amount of trust the team had in me when I worked on him made me feel appreciated.
I had been on a few false start projects for a few years fresh out of college but the first project that truly put me in the industry was when I was brought on as the Lead Animator on an indie NSFW project back in 2017.
For any up-and-coming artists, I think one of the things that will translate best to a professional game project is the ability to bring your work to a completion. Skill and talent is important but the discipline to look at something and say ""it's done"" is an invaluable one I feel, particularly when others are depending on you.