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APB's lead character artist opens new start-up

Jimmy O'Ready sets up Montynero Characters and Montynero Concept Art

Jimmy O'Ready, lead character artist at Realtime Worlds before the company went into administration, has set up two new art companies in Dundee: Montynero Characters and Montynero Concept Art.

O'Ready directed the art team which created APB's much-praised character customisation, before which he worked at Electronic Arts on SSX and Need For Speed.

"The character art for APB was praised by the industry, thanks to a strong team effort over many years," said O'Ready. "For my part I'm interested in basing this company in Dundee, which is a great city full of talent, and collaborating on the next generation of game art with companies across the globe.

"Art customisation systems or character design are things I've enjoyed orchestrating at Realtime Worlds and Electronic Arts, on SSX and APB, and prior to 3d and management I worked on the concept side for years. Montynero is positioned to provide the highest quality of characters, concepts, and expertise for all game types, anywhere."

A number of new studios have been touted in the Dundee area since the collapse of Realtime Worlds, as well as an inpouring of investment.

Whilst investors have picked up Realtime World's unpublished title, Project MyWorld for development, MMO APB recently shut down when time ran out to find a buyer.

O'Ready's take on the collapse was pragmatic, although he felt that the creation and customisation tools for the title where one of its strongest points.

"It was a shock, even for a ground-breaking high risk project. Personally I felt delays in a couple of crucial areas meant APB simply missed its moment."

I salute all the developers involved though, we had some superb people working incredibly hard. On the character side we can only provide the best art possible for the product. There was maybe some scope for using a stand-alone character tool to build a larger online community purely through the expressive fun of customisation and socialising.

"That type of technology has a lot of attraction for anyone using personalised avatars to represent online personalities - in any medium. We evaluated every other system prior to creating our own characters, a fascinating period of development, and I felt our collective solution was strong, attractive and fun - a real boon to the project."

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Dan Pearson