Meet Stephanie Paul

Creative Director/Lead Artist

What is the first thing you do when your alarm goes off in the morning?

I have an alarm that slowly brightens the room over 20 minutes. Usually I hide from it. By the time it is fully bright I have used enough energy from hiding more and more that I am ready to wake up. It also is quite melodious when it reaches its full brightness! After that I cook breakfast. No one in my house gets dressed till after breakfast since we are all clumsy and will spill food on ourselves.

What is your favorite color and how would you describe it to a blind person?

I would describe it as being curled up on your favorite couch in the spot where the sun is shining through the window, while also licking a lemon. Spoilers: It is warm yellow/orange.

What is something most people don't know about you?

I took 5 years of French. I remember very little. I also have a broken metatarsal (a bone in the foot) that has healed crooked. I probably should go get surgery for it....

What is the last book you read?

Dare to Lead By Brene Brown. It is about the power of vulnerability and human connection in the work place. I am also working through Worm which is a web serial By Wildbow. According to Goodreads its 7,000 pages so who knows when I will make it all the way through.

Who is your least favorite superhero?

Probably Martian Manhunter. I don't usually connect with superheroes who I cannot relate to. I am not the last of my kind (sometimes), always in disguise, or have a million powers. I often like powers that are just one thing but the hero learns to use that one thing in a million ways. That's much more interesting for me.

How did you get started working in games?

I really wanted to go to art school. I was getting my associates degree at a community college and trying to decide on a university when I realized most art degrees come from private colleges. Upon researching private colleges I learned about DigiPen. The first 2 years of their art degree are very traditional art based, followed by the more technical aspects for game development. It had not really occurred to me that I could make art for video games until then and I am so glad I applied!

What part of the game development process would you like to know more about?

I would love to learn more about Sound Design. I recently learned that 0 db is the loudest BUT ALSO that some sound designers have started equalizing to 3 db because of smartphone sound chips shifting audio randomly depending on the company. How does that even work?! Also, making music is just amazing. I didn't even learn how to stay in the same key while singing until adulthood!

If you could go back 5 years and give yourself some advice what would it be?

Don't buy nice furniture BEFORE you have kids. Wait till they are teens, or at least potty trained, before buying the couch of your dreams.

What is one of your favorite things you've created for Elo Hell?

I really enjoyed thinking through the layout for Lizzy's house. The group hangs out in her parents's renovated downstairs. It was enlightening to find out why sitcom sets are designed the way that they are and how we could utilize that in a video game. It is not just about atmosphere then, it is also about how could this set be used in almost any situation you could imagine.

What are you most looking forward to players experiencing in Elo Hell?

I hope players feel like they are IN a sitcom. That they get to impact the story, not just by making choices, but also by making jokes! It's sort of a choose your own humor instead of choose your own adventure.

What's your favorite part of your job? What do you most look forward to doing?

I have a lot of favorites! I tend to touch a lot of parts of the game since we are such a small company. I really enjoy that some days I am just in my office in the zone and I feel like I did SO MUCH. But I also love meeting with everyone and making sure they haven't encountered anything that is blocking them. Fixing that pipeline is important for a game that is putting out an episode a month!

From Previous Spotlight: If you could be a master of any skill-set other than your own profession's, what would you choose?

This is a good question and also I LOVE learning new skills. If I could pick anything, I think it would be some sort of fighting or martial arts with the ability to also train someone in it. I have never really punched something, when I do it I want to do it well!

Pay-it-forward: What question would you like to ask to the next person that ends up in the spotlight?

What was your first job and would you still recommend it to people?