Meet the Team: Tramell, VP of Art.

If you’re a Predator fan, or if you’ve had your character’s skull ripped out by one at the end of the round, you’ve probably noticed the love and detail that went into making the Predators menacing and movie accurate. Well, leading that team of really awesome artists is our very own Tramell Isaac, VP of Art.

Hi Tramell! First, what’s your role here at IllFonic?

I am the Vice President of Art here at IllFonic.

Can you share a little bit about your background?

I’ve been in the games industry for just over 26 years now. I started in the industry as an animator and worked my way up, performing just about every art function in the production pipeline. I’ve worked in lots of different genres: RPGs, FPSs, MMOs, and sports games. I joined IllFonic in 2018 at the beginning of the production of Predator: Hunting Grounds.

‘87 Jungle Predator. Female Predator. Alpha Predator. And now Samurai Predator. Your team has done a great job of bringing both classic and new Predator designs to life. What has it been like to turn these designs from movies, sketches, and figures into playable characters?

It’s been a blast. Each of the Predators you listed came with its share of challenges and rewards. ‘87 Jungle Hunter was actually the first Predator model that we created, and we worked with the IP holders to make sure we got all the details right. And creating a female Predator for the first time in a video game was an honor. We created something that had never been done before and the players really appreciated that we brought something new to the franchise.

(Photo courtesy of NECA, TM & © 2020 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)

The Alpha Predator was a unique experience in that we re-created a brand new, unseen Predator that was created by NECA as an action figure. I think the fans were really amazed to see that kind of collaboration shown off in Predator: Hunting Grounds.

Lastly, the Samurai Predator gave us the opportunity to create our own ‘themed’ Predator. Unlike the IllFonic Predator design, which was designed to be a bit more universal, the Samurai visuals were born from the looks of Japanese Samurai warriors with the Predator mix of what I call ‘techno-primitive’. I really feel this describes the basic look of Predators’ high-tech metals combined with leather. When it’s all said and done, I really like the fact that the fans really appreciate the look of the Predators in the game and we are looking forward to showing what else we have in store.

What part of the Samurai Predator’s design do you like the best?

I like how the design works as an ensemble but I think the bio mask stands out as its most defining feature. 

What was the hardest part of the Samurai Predator design to get “just right”?

I would have to say the bio mask again. It’s extremely important to the Predators’ look so we had to get something that was just right. Finding that look required a lot of iterations to find the bio mask that spoke to the essence of the character.

Besides Predator: Hunting Grounds, what are some of your other favorite games?

Of course, the Fallout series is in my top 10 as well as the X-COM series. I am also a fan of Watchdogs, Torchlight, and the Uncharted Series. More recently I’ve played Death Stranding, The Last of Us 2, COD:MW, and Doom Eternal.  

What’s your favorite part about being here at IllFonic?

I was initially attracted to the vision that Chuck (CEO) laid out in my first conversations with IllFonic. When I came on everyone welcomed me with open arms and allowed me to feel comfortable doing my job. The people that I worked with are amazing and honest. They speak their mind and the company listens. The nature of the company is growth and improvement and I have seen over the last two years a tremendous amount of change for the betterment of the people (first) and the company. 

 When you play a game for the first time, what level do you play on – story, normal, hard, expert?

Normal, no one cares that you died a lot while playing a game 😉

Looking to get your very own Samurai Predator, or even play as Dutch himself?

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