After a stint at EA that tested his patience and passion for game development, Rich joined noted art director Richard Kriegler at Infinity Ward — a young studio fresh off the release of the original Call of Duty. Modeling characters, vehicles, and weapons in Call of Duty 2 (where Rich was immortalized as Private MacGregor) led to his big break: Modern Warfare. The 2007 first-person shooter changed the way people looked at console multiplayer, but it also altered Rich’s impression of big-budget development.
“At Infinity Ward, I learned what it was to be on a good project, a good team,” he remembers. “That kind of understanding is what I took away most of all.”
Infinity Ward was a wonderful home for six years, and a later stint at Spark Unlimited introduced Rich to Cory Davis, John Garcia-Shelton, and Toby Gard — and eventually, the concept of breaking away from AAA development to establish Tangentlemen.
This smaller studio not only puts greater weight on Rich’s work, but also requires a healthy dose of creativity when it comes to how assets are generated. The esoteric, melancholy touchstones key to the first project, Here They Lie, demand a familiar, life-like look that would be too time-consuming to create entirely by hand. Instead, Rich has made use of a technique called photogrammetry to pull objects from the real world and place them into the game.
Photogrammetry is the process of taking a medley of photos of physical things and running them through software to create high-resolution, 3D models rich with coloration and detail. For Rich, learning this technique has been invaluable.