Karen Laur


Fat Pony Games LLC April 2014 - present
Founder, Designer, Artist

I founded Fat Pony Games with angel funding to create Lascaux: The Journey and have done everything except code. Much design was collaborative with my excellent partner, Bill Wright. Included in"everything" are the original concept, art style, research, art and animation, UI, Q/A, all legal and banking matters, management of distribution, documentation, website content, and video production.

Subutai Corporation Jan 2011 - Dec 2013
Founder/Art Director/Producer/VP of Game Development – Neal Stephenson’s Transmedia Venture

As a member of the founding team I wore many hats, with projects ranging from game engine evaluation, art direction, environment and texture creation, aspects of game design, UI design, documentation, scrum management, website design, branding, out-source hiring/management, video editing, budgets and financial projections, mocap set construction, lunch procurement, creation of funding pitch docs, work with lawyer on term sheets and so on.
I worked closely with Neal to translate his vision into the language of game development, UI, and combat design.

Forterra Systems Inc (an offshoot of March 2002 - Dec 2010
Art Director- Virtual Worlds for Serious Games

Worked closely with producers, marketing and clients to develop project plans that reconciled feature and asset needs with our technical capabilities, time constraints and budget
Managed art team, including off-site employees
Set look and feel of environments within constraints of the engine
Maintained art team schedule
Contributed heavily to asset development
Worked closely with eng team on new features and tools
UI Design

There, Inc Feb 2001- March 2002
Senior Texture Artist

Art directed small teams on project level.
Engaged heavily in tool and process development.
Created textures for buildings, vehicles, clothes and other objects under extreme texture budget constraints.
Perfected existing mapping on 3d Max files.
Layout of 3d assets in world.
Lighting of interior and exterior scenes.
Conception and development of StyleMaker, a modular clothing tool.

Simbiotic Games Inc Sept 1999- Feb 2001

Developed comprehensive Game Design, Business Plan and Budget for independent game company.
Pursued funding through alternative (non publisher or VC) channels.
Developed web demo and sample levels.
Did contract work assisting Solus Studios with business and game design development.

Contract Texture Artist Feb 2000 - April 2001
Texture Artist for Disney's "Atlantis

Did level, character and texture work for bid to obtain contract for Zombie from Disney.
Contributed to game design.
Created textures to closely reflect the look of the movie.
Worked with level designers on texture placement and architecture.

Valve Software Kirkland, WA Jan 1997 - Mar 1999
Texture Artist

Solo Texture Artist for Half-Life and some of Team Fortress 2
Creation of over 3,500 textures for all environments in the game
Lead direction toward realistic look of game
Extensive use of Worldcraft for final texture passes as well as creation of architecture examples for level designers
Directed level designers in use of textures, lighting and architectural integrity
Created skyboxes combining photographic and generated elements
Collected over 3 GB of photographic reference material

Starwave Seattle, WA Aug 1995 - Jan 1997

Assembler on Castle Infinity
Responsible for arrangement of all sector art in editor
Creation of art and animations
Assistance in development of SP4K assembly tool

Starwave Seattle, WA March-August, 1995
Animation coordinator/ background artist for "Eastwood "

Design and production of menus, animations and intro
Design, specs and work with audio lab on mixes of audio for animations

Rainsound Seattle, WA 1994-1995

Assistant Art Director for pre-production of "Zork Nemesis" for Activision
Research, scanning and production of resource material
Development of Materia Prima texture library for publication by Rainsound/Valis Group
Creation of original textures
Manipulation of images for seamless tiling

The Maya Romanoff Corporation 1992-1994
Head Designer (New Product Development)

Designed handmade high-end wall coverings
Developed new methods and technologies for original product designs, including purchasing of all new materials Formulated colorways and researched current market color trends
Instructed production staff in processes of new product manufacture within budget requirements
Custom designed wall coverings to meet needs of individual clients, including matching color and texture of existing design parameters

Cairo Nightclub Chicago, IL 1994

Design and execution of new decor for The Pyramid Room

Black Cat Enterprises T/A Dante's Restaurant Washington, D.C. 1989-1992

Worked as Assistant General Contractor on a 50-seat restaurant, including conceptualization, design, and construction, work with blueprints, structural and lighting design, interior decor and faux finishes
Managed staff of 25-30, including payroll, sub taxes, personnel scheduling, hiring and firing, purchasing of materials and supplies, supervision and training of staff
Handled public relations and special events with local theaters and night clubs
Functioned as creative consultant for menu design, ad layout, and art curation

1984-1987 University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Major: Anthropology/Equine Studies

1991 Architectural Digest/Smithsonian Institution Interior Design Seminar

Skills/Technical Competencies

Extensive use of Photoshop, 3DS Max, Word, Excel, Hammer, and Source Safe, Perforce, Subversion, Scrumworks and many proprietary tools.
Experience in Unity, Unreal engines
Especially adept at critiquing artwork and maintaining vision throughout project.
Effective in collaborative design environment.
Strong verbal and written communication skills with both technical and non-technical teams.
Experienced with all aspects of Production Management —including technical, workflow, and business development.

Horses, cooking, lampwork bead making.