Meet Michael Cuevas, Principal Animator for Uncapped Games

1. Hello, who are you and what are you known for?

I am Michael Cuevas, a 3D Animator with 25 years of experience. I have worked on games like Heroes of the Storm, God of War 3 and more.

2. What initially attracted you to the industry, and how did you break into the games industry?

I was always interested in video games and animation from a young age. Started out as more of a technical artist doing image processing with light illustration/digital art for the Windows version of Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant.

3. In this notoriously turbulent industry, what qualities do you feel helped you navigate your career path?

Adapting to change, managing stressful situations and genuinely asking yourself every day if you like what you’re doing with the people you’re with.

Warcraft III: Reforged is one of the games Michael has worked on. Copyright: Blizzard Entertainment
4. For those learning about our industry or interested in your role can you explain your job title, its function and what impact do you have in game titles?

Generally handle character/creature movement for whatever project I’m on. Find areas to inject personality through that’s either consistent with an existing, well known character or making something up for a brand new one.

5. What’s your favorite part of your job?

Taking something from start to finish and seeing it come to life.

6. Where do you work? Can you explain more about the studio, it’s culture, size, strengths and why you chose to work there?

Currently at Uncapped Games. We’re a small team under a big umbrella. Team culture is great since we have strong, self-starting and motivated people at our core positions. We have a good balance between being structured and creative and everyone is genuinely excited about the product we’re making.

Michael Cuevas has worked as an in game character and creature animator for Heroes of the Storm.

7. How has COVID after your career, studio and what lasting changes both good and bad do you feel COVID has brought to the games industry?

For me, it’s really seeing the benefits of work from home and learning to be comfortable with uncertainty. WFH made jobs in different locations truly accessible and attractive without having to go through an equally life altering event like relocating.

8. What shall I be doing right now to improve my career prospects?

I got into the industry because I was at the right place at the right time. I started out as a generalist and landed in animation so I never had a set path but instead just adapted and pursued what interested me and what was available.

9. Is there a quote that motivates you?

“Hard work wins. You get out of life what you put into it. You can’t control the outcome, but you are 100% in control of the effort. Before you complain about what somebody did to you, ask yourself what could I have done to change the outcome.” -Randolph Elder

10. Can you share your thoughts about the next 5 years outlook for games?

Video games seems to be constantly growing and doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down. WFH has created a lot more opportunities but it’s also made the pool of competition bigger for people trying to get in.

11. What advice would you give your younger self when looking at the games industry?

1. Save your money and spend it wisely.
2. Physical fitness is better than health insurance
3. People are more important than the project