Who's this Klanger? An Interview with Hossein Maktoufi
November 28, 2019
Self-described “part-time clown and engineer of love” Hossein Maktoufi is not only Klang’s 3D artist, but also a master of photographic illusion. Pictured here sprouting an onion loosely from his shoulder that wraps down to fit snugly into his waist, Maktoufi, who holds a BA degree in Sculpture, seems to present us with a riddle: Where does the allium start, and where does it end?
How did you begin working for Klang?
Michael Nischt, my long time buddy and co-game developer, mentioned that the team was looking for another artist. I really liked what he told me about the project and what I’d seen of it, so I applied for the position with Micha’s recommendation. The Klang gang liked my work, and I had a chat with Eran, our Art Director. Everything clicked and the right vibe was in the air ... or, at least, I think it was.
Tell me about your role at Klang.
I am the Senior Concept Designer and 3D Artist. I have two main tasks to attend to. Firstly, understand and extend the art style. It’s a constant back and forth between 2D and 3D concepting, due to the very specific characteristics of the art style. While Eran defines Seed’s world visuals and the rules, I help extend those rules and see how they can be further applied to any given element in the game, and which variations can spawn from there.
My other main responsibility is to filter and approve concept work first drafts and the 3D assets created from them. Our art team has some great artists who produce huge amounts of amazing work. It goes through a sketching and ideation stage first, we check them, make tweaks and adjustments, and after all that, the more fleshed out ideas and assets go through Eran for his approval – one could also say, for his blessing – and finally, it enters the game.
Unofficially, I am also responsible for making cringe-worthy and lame jokes, keeping spirits high, and being slightly annoying.
What excites you most about SEED?
The stories that will emerge from the characters, which will start populating the game. My secret excitement is to implement some serious easter eggs and secrets into the game. Pretty much no one in the team knows about this..
Are you into gaming? If so, do you have a favorite gaming memory?
Yes! My best and first memory was going to my neighbors’ house when I was about eight years old to watch him play The Secret of Monkey Island.
What’s your favorite game?
My favorite game of all time is Shadow of the Colossus. And my current favorite game: Katana Zero.
If the world were to end, would you want to migrate to a new planet?
Nah, I think im too grumpy for a “new world.” Although, I also kind of like the idea of being the shouting grumpy old fool in the new world.
Are you reading a good book at the moment?
I did finish The Boys recently and enjoyed it. I’m also, very slowly, reading through Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto Manga.