Boyarsky in 2004/2005
|Occupation||Video game designer, artist|
|Notable work||Fallout, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, Diablo III|
After he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Illustration (at Cal State Fullerton) and a bachelor's degree in Fine Art (at Art Center College of Design), he worked as freelance artist for Interplay and Maxis in 1992.
Interplay Entertainment (1992–1998)
Boyarsky join Interplay Entertainment as employee number 88.
His first work was as lead artist in 1995 was Stonekeep. He was in charge of the conceptualization and implementation of 2D and 3D sprites.
While at Interplay, Boyarsky met Tim Cain and Jason D. Anderson, the future co-founders of Troika Games. Indeed, the three met after work hours to play Dungeons & Dragons and GURPS. Cain eventually send an email around, proposing colleagues to met after work hours over pizza to discuss making a video game based on an engine he had built. The 5 people who showed up, including Boyarsky and Anderson, would become the core team working on Fallout (video game).
Boyarsky recalls suggesting the post-apocalyptic setting, as him and Anderson were both huge Mad Max 2 fans. Boyarsky was adamant about not making a fantasy game, due to the large number of fantasy RPGs in the market.
Two years later, in 1997, he finished his work as art director on Fallout, where he set the recognizable 1950s future graphics style, the humorous Vault Boy Traitcards and also the unusual ending. He also did some polishing on the dialogs for the game. Before leaving Interplay to form Troika Games with Tim Cain and Jason D. Anderson, he designed the overall gameplay refinements and main story arc/quests/areas/characters for Fallout 2 in 1998.
Troika Games (1998–2005)
On their first project, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, which was released 2001, he filled similar positions as in Fallout, doing the art direction, dialog writing/editing and story/quest design. He was the project leader and art director on Troika's last released game in late 2004, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. He worked also on an untitled post-apocalyptic game which was never released due to financial trouble. Though, a demonstration video of the engine was later released for the public.
Blizzard Entertainment (2006–2016)
Boyarsky worked as Lead World Designer on Diablo III and its subsequent expansion Diablo III: Reaper of Souls at Blizzard Entertainment. His role included fleshing out the lore, dialogue and quests in the game. He found it important to build upon the story elements of the Diablo franchise, and covey its intricacies in a more compelling way.
This emphasis marked a shift for Blizzard, who had previously focused less on developing the story elements of the Diablo franchise. This shift was exemplified at 2011’s BlizzCon, where Chris Metzen chaired the first-ever lore panel, with Boyarsky as the main presenter.
Subsequently, Boyarsky would go on make several public appearances and became somewhat of a spokesperson for the lore and story aspects of Diablo III.
Boyarsky was affectively known as ‘LeBo’ in the Diablo fan community. A legendary gem called ‘Boyarsky’s Chip’ can be found in Diablo III as an homage. Its item description contains a reference to Fallout (video game).
Obsidian Entertainment (2016–present)
In April 2016, Boyarsky joined Obsidian Entertainment. Although the game Boyarsky is working on remains unannounced, Feargus Urquhart has confirmed that him and Tim Cain are working together. Urquhart also stated that the duo are not working on current Obsidian projects such as Tyranny (video game), Pillars of Eternity nor Armored Warfare (video game). Boyarsky has described the project as his “dream game”.
When later asked why he left Interplay, Boyarsky commented that
|“||Interplay had been a great place to work, and we felt that it was losing a lot of what we felt was great about it, and that they were making a lot of bad decisions that would destroy the company. We were about five or six years early on that, but we saw the writing on the wall. If Baldur's Gate hadn't hit big, Interplay might well have imploded much earlier, but we left about a year before BG was even released.||”|
|“||To be perfectly honest, I was extremely disappointed that we did not get the chance to make the next Fallout game. This has nothing to do with Bethesda, it's just that we've always felt that Fallout was ours and it was just a technicality that Interplay happened to own it. It sort of felt as if our child had been sold to the highest bidder, and we had to just sit by and watch. Since I have absolutely no idea what their plans are, I can't comment on whether I think they're going in the right direction with it or not.||”|
|Castles (video game)||1992||End screens|
|Unnatural Selection (video game)||1992||Assistant Artist|
|Fallout||1997||Art Director, original game design|
|Fallout 2||1998||Main story arc/quests/areas/characters|
|Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura||2001||CEO, Project Leader, Art Director, Designer/Writer|
|Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines||2004||CEO, Project Leader, Art Director, Designer/Writer|
|Diablo III||2012||Senior World Designer|
|Diablo III: Reaper of Souls||2014||Senior World Designer|
- on YouTube
- Nunneley, Stephany (April 13, 2016). "Diablo 3, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines dev joins Obsidian Entertainment". VG247. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
- The Escapist : The Rise and Fall of Troika
- Interview with Duck & Cover
- Official website
- Leonard Boyarsky's profile at MobyGames
- Developer Profile at No Mutants Allowed Fallout Fan-Site
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