Meet Mario (Darrak) - Arkheim's UI Artist

Ever wondered how a game like Arkheim - Realms at War is made? What is the journey of an idea before it makes it to the game? How are bugs being fixed? Who creates the beautiful images? How do we keep players entertained? And - who are the human beings behind this project? The Arkheim - Realms at War Team invites you to take a peek behind the scenes. Today we want you to meet UI Artist Mario!

Discord name: Darrak

Hi Mario. First of all, tell us something about yourself. What is your background and how did you end up in the Arkheim Team?
I started my career in 2002 working for the biggest Italian IT magazines company. After 9 years, I decided to chase my own dream of working in the videogame industry. So I started to travel and collect skills and experience in several countries.
My professional path brought me to Munich, where I was contacted by Travian Games' HR team after a couple of years. At the beginning I was sceptical, but once I understood the project Arkheim - Realms at War and its potential, I was extremely excited to join the Travian Games family.

How would you describe the Arkheim Team and your role in the Team?
The Arkheim team is a taskforce of incredible talents. Every single person in the team is extremely qualified and very keen to work together to achieve our goals. Sometimes I feel I’m part of a group of super-heroes.
I take care specifically of the user interface of the game. I work in close contact with the user experience designer, the game designer and the game director. It is a fascinating topic because it involves several disciplines and skills: predicting players’ behaviors, explaining concepts and workflows without using words, guiding players through the game and engaging them with rewarding graphics.

Out of all the creations you made for Arkheim - Realms at War so far, which one is your favorite?
Definitely the intro video. It was very rewarding to animate the artwork of Simon Seene. As a big fan of video games, I am aware of how important the players’ first impression is as soon as they dive into the game. If you can hook them with the right emotional impact, they will definitely be curious to proceed through the game itself.

Are there any other games to which you contributed as an artist in the past?
I had the honour to re-work the UI of Hyperdrome - the sci-fi mobile car racing game. It was a hardcore experience because we had only two weeks before the launch, but we managed to do all in time. And I’m still proud of the quality we ended up with.

Do you have a nerdy or geeky side that you can share with us?
I have played role playing games since I was a kid: D&D, Vampire, Cyberpunk etc.. I’m also a huge fan of boardgaming, and I was raised by video games the same way Tarzan was raised by apes. I even asked an Italian company to manufacture my own arcade machine designed by myself.

And lastly, do you have a message for our readers out there?
Your dreams are the reason why you exist. There’s nothing impossible out there. Stay kind, stay humble, and never stop learning!

Do you have any more question for Mario? Let us know in the comments below!