Arkadia’s CEO (Dave Dobson) has struck gold once again in connecting with another of Entropia’s major talents. Does he have a special built-in radar for these things, or could it be that he leaves his options open and recognizes that our Entropian community is a wealth of untapped creative energy. Whatever the case, he clearly has a respect and appreciation for talented individuals who have a potential for bringing something new and fresh to Planet Arkadia. This is clearly a further demonstration of Arkadia’s engagement in the community and giving developing artists a chance to see their art in a game. The latest Entropian artist to share his creativity with Arkadia is Parell “Ori” Losira who hails from down under in Australia and has been involved in Entropia Universe since December 18, 2007. That means Ori has a five year anniversary coming up, and I would say a respectable amount of time to experience the ebb and flow of our universe. I’ve known Ori just about all of those years and we fast became friends. He’s an immensely talented individual with great depth and vision, and it shows in the results of his efforts. I was able to spend some time with Ori and learn more about his journey in Entropia over the years, as well as how it came about that he was offered an opportunity to design for Planet Arkadia. I generally do recorded interviews, but Ori felt more comfortable doing this the old-fashioned way – in print – so I readily accommodated his request. What follows is an actual question and answer session where you will get the responses in Ori’s own words which actually adds to the character of who he is. However, before getting into the interview, the following photos give a clearer visual of the plants that Ori has designed that were implemented in the most recent planet update. Mushroom-Like Plant This plant is located just outside of the Arkadia Quarry area. Artichoke-Like Plant This plant is located just off from the Celeste Outpost area. It’s also where you will find Nusul, and some who even like to get in on the photo action. View attachment 6882 (not Photoshopped – this Nusul just joined the party) Question & Answer Interview with Ori What is the origin of your avatar name? Not entirely certain, though it most likely came from a role-playing NPC character as I was playing a lot of sci-fi pen and paper RPGs at the time. Did you gravitate toward any one profession? I believe I started out hunting mostly with mindforce, then slowly moved into mining and became a full time miner, still using mindforce for protection as I don’t use guns or any other weapons. Mining was the only profession I found that was self-sustaining, and it allowed me to run all over the planet examining the environments. In the old days, I always liked mining in the most faraway and strangest places I could find, like on tops of mountains, etc. I still do this, but unlike the old days, if you fall off a mountain there is a good chance your avatar could die – a little more risky now. What have your real life artistic interests been over the years? Drawing obviously! I really like drawing nature, and I will often go to the botanical gardens and sketch the plants and various other natural structures that I find interesting! Also game modding, I enjoy building maps and helping people develop mod projects based around the unreal engine/cryengine or the elder scrolls construction set/GECK. I’m also crazy about synthesizers, so I dabble with creating chiptunes and synthetic music. What motivates you from an artistic perspective? Nature! I get a lot of inspiration from just observing the aspects of the natural world, and I also find fascinating the movements created from wind or someone walking and the human body. The female form is an amazing work of art created by nature so I like drawing aspects of that, but music also motivates me to create. What is it about Entropia Universe that artistically captures your attention? The one thing that captured me when I first started playing EU was the overwhelming variety of plants and their designs! I spent many weeks running all over the place looking at every plant I could on Calypso. I also like the sci-fi themes EU presents, so from an artistic standpoint, that captures my attention. When was it that you first met up with Dave Dobson? I was doing a lot of modding for various projects using the CryEngine2 and I started a map based around EU. I was trying to recreate an EU-type environment of my own! I succeeded in doing this and then posted my results on the Arkadia Forum just really to show people what was possible with the engine. It was after this that I first communicated with David. What was the progression that led to an invite to design for Arkadia? The progression was slow, basically over a month or more. We spoke about the games industry, what skills I had related to that and if I was thinking of a career in the industry. We covered many other interesting topics relating to game development and it was a very insightful time for me! I’m grateful to David for his insights. We also discussed what modding projects I was working on, and at some point, I did a few concept sketches and built some basic 3D models. This led to discussions about the possibility of doing some work for Planet Arkadia. How did the decision come about that you would first design plants? That was purely accidental I believe. I had done some fast and nasty alien plant sketches and made a few basic models of them in 3D max and decided to share them with David. Then I was asked to do more plant sketches as the studio liked the basic concepts, so within about a day, I did up many more plant conceptuals and it all just snowballed from that. Were your plants presented as art sketches only, or were you able to be involved with any 3D modeling of them? Currently, I just do the conceptual art pieces. Zhang Chi (John) at Arkadia Studios is the current 3D artist that builds the models of my concepts. John has quickly become a close friend and has also helped with expanding my knowledge of working with 3D assets and environments, so that aspect has also been very rewarding. I am grateful that John/Eric/David and others at Arkadia Studio have been so friendly and welcoming towards me, and have answered my many questions relating to 3D modelling and various other development insights. I think it says a lot about the character of Arkadia Studios and the fantastic group of people that work so hard for the community to make Planet Arkadia a reality. Also, were you able to give your input prior to the final rendering going live? Yes! I work with John, so I will do a concept and John will build the asset and show me periodically as the model comes together, giving us both a chance to change aspects about the concept. Is there anything that you are able to share with us about potential future work with Arkadia? At this point, I can only say that there will be more new plants coming based upon my conceptual art, and built by my close friend John. In ending, I would like to extend my appreciation and gratitude to all at Arkadia Studios for giving me the most wonderful opportunity imaginable, and I will be forever grateful. Do you still have your band “Pure Energy” together, or are you flyin’ solo these days with your musical creations? Solo! I can’t find anyone in my city that likes or wants to create the same type of music as me, but I may do something with Onciest at some point. Once the formality of the interview was out of the way, Ori and I had some fun with the photo shoot, and I actually took him on his very first boat ride. I love Celeste Harbour, and especially Celeste Harbour Island, so we started from there. Being the musician that he is, he suggested that we had to listen to a certain tune, and that he always wanted to take a boat ride and play this track. We had been on Skype voice chat the whole evening, and when we were in the boat and the track started playing, we both lost it – too fun. I had never heard that tune before, but then Ori has been my music guru for years and he has introduced me to not only some pretty spectacular artists, but some out of the ordinary as well – this was a great time. Once we returned to Celeste Harbour Island, Ori went for a swim to exam the underwater plant life (of course), so I joined him. It’s an incredibly beautiful environment, especially at night when the plants are illuminated. Ori was off doing his thing, and I was at peace just enjoying the aqua moment when all of a sudden I heard strange noises. Apparently, Ori had decided to play above the water (and I do mean above the water). Ori is an explorer and adventurer at heart, so this didn’t surprise me in the least. However, something that I did discover in all of this though, was that even in moments of exploration and adventure, Ori can still present us with an artistic canvas. At the end of the day and the delightful time we spent together, the moment had come to say our goodbyes, but not before Ori gave us another scenic offering complete with mindforce. And a new photo for the friendship album … Red Dust - By Ori (this is an original track created by Ori showcasing keyboards only) Your user agent does not support the HTML5 Audio element.