#MeetIronGalaxy – Dave Pasciuto

Published by
Keenan Moralicz
May 9, 2024
Dave Pasciuto Blog Header Image

The art you see in the games you play can come from many different sources. Some game studios create everything themselves. Other studios might rely on partners (like Iron Galaxy, for instance). Check out the credits of your favorite game to see how many artists it takes to build those worlds. You may be surprised with what you find.

Today, we’re talking to one of our own artists. If you’re an avid gamer, the odds are very high that you’ve seen his work.


Iron Galaxy: Hey Dave. What’s your full name and what do you do at Iron Galaxy?

Dave Pasciuto: My name is Dave Pasciuto, and my official title is Lead OS Art Manager II (Principal Level). However, I wear many hats. I initially joined the Art Outsourcing Department. Since then, my role has expanded quite a bit. I'm heavily involved in artist career development, and I often lead various teams on different projects. On top of that, I also get to create content such as concept art or do some pitch work, and sometimes I get to art direct projects too. It's a dynamic role that keeps me moving.


IG: The variety must keep your day-to-day fresh. What’s unique about your job, compared to other roles in our company?

DP: In my role at the studio, I get to contribute to different layers of projects and teams. Whether it's supporting leadership or directly contributing to a project, no matter what, I’m collaborating with the great people here. What makes our studio unique and thrive is the opportunity to explore different areas, rather than being confined to a single role forever. It's one of the aspects I truly value about working here.


IG: What’s a skill or lesson you learned growing up that you use the most in your role?

DP: I’d just say the “3 C’s,” - communication, collaboration, and compromise are everything in any role.


IG: What’s the best thing about working at a video game development company?

DP: It’s fun! The people are very talented, passionate, and cool. Compared to working in various other industries, the environment is way more laid back and casual. Particularly at IG, the studio values work-life balance, which is refreshing.


IG: What work have you done outside of the games industry and how did those experiences equip you to work on games?

DP: This is a big question! My professional journey has been quite an adventure. I've been involved in the video game industry off and on since 1992 - my first game was pixel pushing on Home Alone for the Sega Genesis. Since then, I've travelled through many other creative endeavors ranging from designing websites, and flash games to concept art/illustration and even comic book coloring.

While I was in LA, I ventured into the film industry, working on 3D visual effects, lighting, and compositing for several movies like Spiderman 2 (2002), The Grudge, and even flicks like Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. I've also had the opportunity to work on a slew of commercials, videos, and motion design projects. I also got to work on sports graphics packages for the LA Dodgers, LA Angels, Sports Center, CBS, ABC, and even the Super Bowl 38 Jumbotron Stadium open!

Moving back to Chicago, it was an exciting time to transition back into the gaming industry. Working at Electronic Arts, I had the opportunity to contribute to Fight Night Round 3 which was an amazing experience. Unfortunately, a Marvel project I was involved in got cancelled, but those things happen. After that, I moved over to the Tony Hawk Franchise at Robomodo (I designed their logo too), which was a fantastic project to be part of. Each experience was unique and helped me grow as a professional in so many ways.

But one of my proudest achievements was the fantastic opportunity to start-up an award-winning creative studio in the advertising industry, dosepictures.tv, where we created everything from concepts, ad campaigns, branding, editorial work, 3D product renders, tons of videos, experiential design, and pitch work for a variety of clients ranging from Pharma to Tequila!

I even dabbled in the SAAS world, working as a Creative Director at Sprout Social. But one thing that's always been close to my heart is teaching - I've built curriculums for Gnomon School of Visual Effects, CG Spectrum, Columbia College Chicago and Chimirus.

All these experiences have given me a deep and wide understanding of the creative world, not just games. This is what I bring into my work here, providing unique and innovative perspectives or solutions. It's been a wild ride, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I’ve been fortunate to learn so much from so many incredible people along the way.

The Robomodo logo, featuring a robot towering over the text "Robomodo" designed to look like buildings

IG: That’s an impressive set of experiences. What might the typical gamer be surprised to learn about art outsourcing?

DP: It's fascinating how the landscape of game development has evolved over the years, particularly with the integration of outsourcing. Each game project is like a unique puzzle, and sometimes outsourcing is the key piece that brings it all together. However, so much lies in the partnerships and production infrastructure we have with other studios and partners.

Here's an interesting nugget: Outsourcing is a crucial component of most games today. As games have become vaster and more intricate, it's challenging to produce the sheer volume of assets required within the constraints of time, scope, and budget. Aspiring artists take note, many of your favorite games, like Fortnite, rely heavily on outsourcing for a significant portion of their game production.


IG: Anyone who’s followed your annual creations during Inktober can easily recognize your appreciation for robots. How did your interest in robot designs begin?

DP: Thank you! My love for robot art really took off when I was a kid after being introduced to 80's Anime and Comic Books. Shows like Robotech, Voltron, and Mighty Orbots, or comic books like Dynamo Joe and Appleseed were a huge part of my childhood and inspired me to start drawing and designing mechanical things. There's something about the complexity of shapes and the challenge of making them fit together that I find fascinating. It's a passion that's remained with me to this day.

A collage of inspirations of Dave's, including snapshots of Darth Vader, BattlestaR GALACTICA, Dragon's Lair, Dynamo Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Saber Rider, ROM, Buck Rogers, huriken, and more
Dave’s Inspirations
Original artwork by Dave, featuring a robot, worm-like creature with scales and multiple eyes, another robot holding a flower, and a futuristic city
Dave's Artwork

IG: Picture a death battle situation between two robots from popular media. Which two do you choose, why, and who clinches it out in the end?

DP: That's a good question! Oddly enough, despite my interest in robots, I'm not a big fan of big robot movies like Pacific Rim or Transformers, but I loved the 80’s cartoons. Weird right? I find it more intriguing how different mediums explore the concept of robots and mecha. I lean more towards Love, Death, and Robots. Since I don’t have a great answer on this one, here is the opening for Robotech. It was so different than any cartoon of that era and really started it all for me.


IG: That’s a great answer with a nice peak into your childhood. Aside from playing video games, what is a favorite hobby of yours?

DP: When I'm not working on games, I'm usually out being active with our pups, Barley and his “brother” Karl. I play competitive volleyball and I enjoy trying to keep healthy with CrossFit, yoga, and meditation. I love to create and have lots of personal projects that involve art. I also have been doing music production too. It's a fun and creative outlet for me. And of course, I love to travel and food. There's nothing like experiencing new cultures and landscapes to keep life interesting! Check out my website, Robot Envy or my Instagram!

Images of Dave's personal life, featuring a dinner plate, pictures of Dave's two dogs, and a snapshot of Chicago with Dave's partner in the foreground

IG: A healthy mind and body help keep those creatives juices flowing. Etsy shop followers incoming! What’s something you feel everyone must do once in their life?

DP: Have dinner with our Head of Art, Roger Yuen. It’s quite an extraordinary experience, haha. A recent winter activity would be to try snow tubing! You basically slide down a snow hill really fast on an inflatable donut. That’s it. Plain and simple, but it’s fun and exciting child-like activity!


IG: We’ll take that as a nomination for Roger to be interviewed for the blog. Thanks for the recommendation. What’s your favorite travel destination?

DP: Japan immediately pops into my head. I've been there twice and it's so cool. Tokyo's all about that rush and buzz, but then you've got places like Kyoto that are just so serene and peaceful. The people are so polite, the country is so clean. So, if you ever get the chance to go, go. Just do all the things, try all the things, especially the food! Oh yeah and go to Mandarake (Nakano Broadway)! Crazy stores filled with all things anime!

Images of food/desert in Japan and Dave posing next to a robot holding a thumbs up pose

IG: Noted. Now what’s one place that you haven’t been that you hope to see one day?

DP: Italy! Since it is part of my family heritage, I must go there. I haven’t been yet. There is a plan to visit later this year. I’m excited!


IG: What is your favorite book?

DP: This is a tough question. I recently saw Dune Part 2. I was truly compelled by watching it and really got into the world. So, I have been researching that story more.

A favorite book that really helped me in my life, career, and business is Essentialism : The disciplined pursuit of less. The bottom line is to focus on what is absolutely needed and bring more meaning to those things. So, more meaning with less things.


IG: One for fun and one that gets down to business. What was the last concert you saw?

DP: The one that I remember most recently is Kraftwerk. They are the pioneers of electronic music and were ahead of their time. The show was so fun! They were so retro future that their music became what pop music is now, all electronic.

Dave and a friend wearing box shaped eye protection at a Kraftwerk content

IG: Your love for robots shows even in your music tastes. Staying on music, What’s the one song most likely to earn you a speeding ticket?

DP: This is a fun question. When I was living in LA, I used to fly down the 5 freeway while rocking out to a song called "The Road" by Hednoize. It just had this sense of freedom and adventure that made the ocean drive feel exhilarating.


IG: Sticking with media, what has been your favorite TV series to binge?

DP: I liked the Amazon Reacher series; I have binged those, and the Netflix/Max Warrior series. Dare I say it, but my partner recently started watching House of Villains. It is ridiculously dumb, but fun. In general, I do not really binge or watch much tv though. I tend to have random movies playing in the background while working on my projects.


IG: What’s one superpower that you’d like to have?

DP: Teleportation, for freedom of movement. It would be so much cheaper and easier to travel! I would have to be able to bring others along though, can that be a thing? It could also come in handy for getting things home from the store too, like appliances, or even picking up dinner on a freezing day in the crazy city of Chicago!


IG: You get one wish. You can’t wish for more wishes. What do you wish for?

DP: So many things, but I wish that everyone born, living, or reaching the end of life had basic human amenities and equal rights. Is that two? Those should go together.


IG: Alright, you get two wishes. Given a time machine, which historical period would you like to experience first-hand?

DP: This is another fun question. I'd hit up the Renaissance period in Italy. Imagine wandering around Rome or Florence, watching da Vinci or Michelangelo create their masterpieces that have lasted centuries.


IG: It’d be cool to compare that version of Italy to what you’ll experience later this year too. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would you invite?

DP: It’s hard to choose just one. What keeps popping in my head are the people who made the most impact in my life, and how amazing it would be to have them all seated at a table for one epic dinner, at an epic restaurant, in an epic location.

Thank you so much for this opportunity. This was a lot of fun!


Thank you, Dave. We had a blast reading your responses and learning about your professional journey so far. We can’t wait to see what artistic greatness you’re cooking up next for Iron Galaxy and your personal side projects. We appreciate your time and your curation of images too. They gave extra meaning to all your creative responses.

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