Download the resume as a PDF or DOC. (updated 9.2021)

2020 – 2021

ART DIRECTOR

FREELANCE

/CONTRACT

/CONSULTING

Art direction + consultation for game development projects, studios, and publishers. Clients include:

  • WB GAMES – Art leadership for WB Boston with focuses on individual mentorship, accelerating team potential, and representing the art discipline in studio leadership endeavors.
  • THOUGHTPENNIES – UE4 prototype development (env, lighting, rigs, anims, UI, FX). Style guides plus branding/ identity and pitch/ presentation materials for AAA IP, original, and pixel art projects.
  • DAYBREAK GAMES – Foundational work reviving a classic RPG franchise on PS5/ XSX/ PC. Created style guides, mockups, and slick bizdev presentations. Concept/ key art direction plus logo design.
  • REDEMPTION GAMES – UI concepts and art for narrative title in development.
  • GAME VISION – Style + content consultation for Asian developers focusing on western audiences.
  • FACEBOOK – Sponsored talk for Asian devs on best practices in developing content for the west.
 

2017 – 2020

STUDIO ART DIRECTOR

FOGBANK
ENTERTAINMENT
(DISNEY/ 21CF)

Storyscape was the high-bar HBO/ AMC/ FX-like play in interactive narrative gaming, lauded for its quality art, writing, and inclusive representation. Original shows aired alongside IPs like James Cameron’s TITANIC and The X-Files. I built the art style, art production pipelines, and art/ cine team. 

 

Developed a look focused on high-quality realistic character art and authentic clothing. Established pipelines for art creation, review, and implementation. Hired, trained, mentored, and managed artists and cinematic directors plus top freelancers/ outsource studios to create art for 10 shows in popular genres – period, romance, comedy, drama, horror, fantasy. Principal production designer for flagship shows. Designed and directed characters, likenesses, and locations plus all show key art and logos. Best practice and IP guides. Hands-on tech art, paintovers. Studio leadership/ management/ tactics.

 

2011 – 2017

STUDIO ART DIRECTOR | PROJECT ART DIRECTOR

KABAM

Art leadership in multi-/ single-project capacities. Grew art team with top talent from Blizzard, Bungie, ILM, EA, CCP, Weta, DreamWorks. Fostered a community noted for skill-sharing, camaraderie, and efficiency. Created style guides, pre-viz, concept art, hands-on with prototypes. Established hiring, mentoring, dev best practices. Worked closely with IP partners, establishing Kabam’s pedigree as a solid licensee. Art Leader in the latter day “Kabam RPG” studio specializing in action & strategy RPGs.

 

 

CREATIVE DIRECTOR, PUBLISHING

 

Creative consultation for 3rd-party publishing partners in China, Korea, Japan, Europe. My strike team of creative directors, editors, and translators handled all content culturalization and reskinning for western markets. Drove UI/UX best practices, reskins, audio (sfx, score, VO) re-recording plus L10N/ editing/ writing, and creative (key art, branding/ logos, App Store copy, CI).

 

2000 – 2010

ART DIRECTOR

PLANET MOON STUDIOS

I grew the role from hands-on art to directing teams with multiple leads to overseeing operations on multiple projects. Established and validated art styles, maintained quality through actionable critique and effective mentoring. Led tools dev for author-friendly pipelines, anticipated issues then pushed for resolutions, built robust network of freelancers/ vendors. Designed avatar systems for 3 games.

 
 

LEAD ARTIST

 

Wore many hats in this 9-person startup – did everything one could do in game art (concepts, UI, models, textures, rigs, environments, lighting, VFX, animation, load screens, &c.) plus marketing/ box/ manual/ site art, technical art (optimization, MaxScripts/ tools, collision/ physics, palettes) and all art production/ management (tracking + version control, scheduling, outsourcing, hiring).

 

2004

SENIOR ARTIST

CRYSTAL DYNAMICS

Built, textured, lit campaign levels and multiplayer maps, designed protagonist for a Deus Ex product.

 

1994 – 2000

LEAD ARTIST | ARTIST | ANIMATOR

ACCOLADE

Led original IP projects to fill out Accolade’s sports-heavy portfolio with “core” action titles. I enjoyed a high level of autonomy over my teams and projects, with direct contact with the game press and use of cutting-edge SGI tech for some of the earliest lip-sync and 3D rendering in games. As a flexible generalist I did ingame pixel/ painted/ 3D art, UI, concepts, cinematics, marketing art.

Objective

To create ambitious and visually appealing RPG, strategy, and narrative games with good people.

 
 

BIO

Ken is a game industry art director and illustrator with over 27 years experience leading art teams and making game art, with proficiency in both creating original IP and servicing top brands across a variety of genres and styles. Ken is a highly technical and multi-talented, generalist “full stack” art director with extensive expertise in every stage of development from prototype through launch and live ops.

 

An expert at art pipelines and getting the most out of engines at any scale, Ken has shipped over three dozen titles on console, PC, mobile, and handheld. He has built out multiple art teams and businesses from scratch and has decades of experience managing outsourcing and directing remote teams.

 

He is noted for his eye for detail, sense of style, actionable direction, and development savvy.

 

  • Shipped award-winning games on most platforms – console, PC, handheld, web, mobile.
  • Microsoft, EA, Sega, Disney, THQ, LucasArts, Eidos, Accolade, Kabam, 21st Century Fox.
  • Long history servicing top IP and franchises – Titanic, X-Files, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Godfather, Hunger Games, Conan, The Sims, Disney's Tangled, Beyoncé, and more.
  • Flexible stylistic range – realistic, stylized, ‘core/ midcore, f/ sf/ horror, casual, family/ edutainment.
  • Wide genre experience – narrative, RPG, strategy, RTS, action, FPS, education.
 
 

Skills

  • Strong traditional, technical, and 2D + 3D digital art skills.
  • Strong vision plus sense of branding and style.
  • Capable and proven leader, keeps art teams focused, motivated, and improving.
  • Excellent organizational, written, and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent cross-functional production skills, skillfully manages parallel projects/ priorities.
  • Excellent outsourcing relationship and production management capabilities.
  • Proven track record of producing great artwork across multiple platforms and styles.
  • Proven track record of producing great art + content across multiple platforms and styles.
  • XBOX, PlayStation, Wii, DS, PSP, PC, Dreamcast, SNES, Genesis, web, iOS, Android.
 
 

Software

  • 3D Studio MAX, Maya, Spine, Adobe suite, Substance suite.
  • Unreal Engine 4, Unity, XCODE, Havok, Scaleform, PBR pipelines, custom engines.
  • Basecamp, Trello, Miro, MS Project, Smartsheet, JIRA, P4V, Plastic, Sourcetree, Git.
  • HTML, CSS, C, Perl, js, PHP, ActionScript, LUA, MaxScript.
 
 

Education
+ OTHER

BFA Illustration, 1994, Academy of Art College, San Francisco.

Figurative illustration with a focus on comic book art and graphic storytelling.

 

Founder/ publisher @ Puppy Toss Comics Collective, 1992-1998, Berkeley.

Instructor in Sequential Art program, 1993-1994, Academy of Art, San Francisco.

 

Interests: motorcycles, horror, The Beatles, classic illustration, open world games, glitter, old bones.

 
 

PORTFOLIO

Art direction and game art portfolio at https://kencapelli.com.

 
 

See LinkedIn for an extensive list of recommendations.

 

TITLE + EXPERIENCE SUMMARY

 

 

2017 – 2020

STUDIO ART DIRECTOR

FOGBANK

Storyscape – iOS/ Android, FoxNext/ Disney – App Store 4.8★

2019

 

2011 – 2017

STUDIO ART DIRECTOR | PROJECT ART DIRECTOR

KABAM

Pocket Tactics (working title for tactical RPG prototype) – iOS/ Android, unpublished 

2016 - 2017

 

Star Wars: Uprising – iOS/ Android – Editor's Choice Awards

2015

 

Drakonsoul RPG – Web/ Facebook, unpublished

2014 - 2015

 

The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age – Web/ Facebook

2013

 

The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth – iOS/ Android – $100m+ rev

2012

 

Trojan War: Rage of Zeus – Web

2012

 

Final Eden – Web – full reskin, <4 months

2012

 

The Godfather: Five Families – Web/ Facebook

2011

 

Edgeworld – Web/ Facebook

2011

 

Dragons of Atlantis – Web/ Facebook

2011

 

 

CREATIVE DIRECTOR, PUBLISHING

 

The Hunger Games: Panem Rising – iOS/ Android, Kabam

2014

 

Lord of the Rings: Legends of Middle-earth – iOS/ Android, Kabam

2014

 

Creature Academy – iOS/ Android, Netmarble

2014

 

Metal Skies – iOS/ Android, WeMade

2014

 

Divine Might – iOS/ Android, Gfan

2014

 

Blades of Excalibur – web, JoyYou – full reskin

2014

 

Ravenmarch – web, GameReign – full reskin

2014

 

Wartune: Hall of Heroes – iOS/ Android, 7th Road/ Hoolai

2013

 

Reign of Conquerors – iOS/ Android, Minoraxis

2013

 

Runes of War – iOS/ Android, Pearl in Palm

2013

 

2000 – 2010

ART DIRECTOR

 

PLANET MOON STUDIOS

BEYONCÉ: Star Power – XBOX 360 Kinect/ PS3 Move/ Wii, unpublished

2009 - 2010

Disney’s Tangled – Wii/ DS, Disney Interactive

2010

 

The SIMS 3: Life Moments – Wii, EA – multiplayer aspect of console port

2010

 

The SIMS 3 – Wii, EA – full technical evalulation for console ports

2009

 

Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter – Wii, THQ

2009

 

My AMAZING Story – XBOX 360, Microsoft Game Studios (1st party)  – unpublished

2007 - 2008

 

Booty Blocks – iPhone

2008

 

Brain Quest: Grade 3&4 and Grade 5&6 – PSP, EA

2008

 

Battle Of The Bands – Wii, THQ

2008

 

Smarty Pants – Wii, EA

2007

 

After Burner: Black Falcon – PSP, SEGA

2006

 

Conan: Queen Of The Black Coast – PSP, THQ – unpublished

2005 - 2006

 
 

LEAD ARTIST

 

INFECTED – PSP, Majesco

2005

 

Armed and Dangerous – XBOX/ PC, LucasArts – Award-winning

2003

 

Giants: Citizen Kabuto – PC/ XBOX, Interplay – Multiple Award-winning

2000

 

2004

SENIOR ARTIST

CRYSTAL DYNAMICS

Project: Snowblind (Deus Ex franchise) – PS2/ XBOX, Eidos

2004

 

1994 – 2000

LEAD ARTIST

ACCOLADE

Slave Zero – Dreamcast, SEGA

1999

Slave Zero – PC, Infogrames

1999

 

Deadlock – PC – Editor’s Choice Award

1996

 

ARTIST | ANIMATOR

 

Jack Nicklaus 5 – PC – ★★★★★ rating + Editor’s Choice Award

1996

 

Hardball 6 – PC

1996

 

Unnecessary Roughness 95 – PC/ Genesis

1994

 

Hardball 4 – PC/ Genesis

1994

 

Zero Tolerance – Genesis – first and only FPS on classic consoles

1994