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Claiming to be allergic to cameras, Rhia prefers to be represented by a personal avatar. Image created in Picrew, template by @lawful_awful on Twitter.

Call me Rhia


Michigan born and raised, Rhiannon grew up with a controller in one hand, and... whatever Michigan is known for in the other, I don't know. Wait, fishing? I guess that makes sense. Not a huge fan of fish though. I mean, most fish is alright, but salmon, the fish most Michigan natives go for when possible? Eugh.


In all seriousness, she was very interested in the inner workings of games from a young age, opting to stay inside, working on and playing different Half-Life mods with her online friends, rather than do much outside. She wasn't an "outdoorsy kind of kid," she would say to one of her Boy Scout troop leaders. With time, and as games and their communities came and went, she eventually found an opportunity to take a spot within the New Blood Interactive family, where she's been working ever since.

And yeah, Boy Scouts, not a typo! Rhiannon's a trans woman, kind of a late bloomer, and still worried about the ramifications of coming out to particularly elderly family members. It'll happen eventually, but that's why LinkedIn still says "Logan Thomas", she's got family on there and she's not quite ready to take that step yet. At least that ought to help explain who her earlier credits are attributed to. C'est la vie!*


*Rhia does not know how to speak French. Don't let her fool you.



For a bit more backstory; though her first exposure to video games was most likely spending time mashing buttons on the NES before she was old enough to know what the hell she was doing, she attributes her first coherent experience with a game to Doom; as irresponsible as it may have been for a 4-year-old to play such a demonic and violent game (with god mode on, mind you), it made her thirst for more.


Onwards she marched, through Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, Dark Forces, and Unreal. While she did enjoy the occasional detour through an RPG or platformer, the first-person shooter was her home. She was comfortable, but restless. She desired to make her mark on the genre, even though the act of doing so felt so far out of reach. Then came Half-Life, and during a curious night she decided to take a look at what was in this "Worldcraft" folder that sat on the disc. An inoccuous install later, and she loaded into Valve's own toolset for building levels.


Rhia was never the same.



It started with a few empty boxes with hallways connecting each other, rapidly turning into city streets with furnished buildings, a destroyed subway tunnel filled with zombies, and a monument to her childhood in the form of a painstakingly recreated N64 and controllers, all in BSP. Level design was never much of a challenge, in fact it was fun!


She tried coding some things to go with her levels, but no matter how many times she tried to pick it up, it always got on her nerves, best left for the passionate programmers. On the other hand, she took to making 3D models well enough, though she'll be the first to admit she's still got quite a bit to learn about the craft of digital sculpting.

Above all else, graphic design seemed to be what grabbed her attention the most. It helped that she was often complimented on her designs, the concepts of color, shape, space, all coming very naturally. With each new game she played came a deep analysis of their UI, in some cases in the form of a personal redesign in Photoshop, usually intended as a love letter to her time spent with it and a dream that one day it might get the polish it deserves.

Valve's Hammer Editor, previously named Worldcraft. Image taken from the Valve Developer Community Wiki.



Eventually Rhia got the opportunity to give a game that polish firsthand, but opportunity came knocking for a different reason to begin with. She had known a number of people associated with a fairly new independent publisher family, and they were in need of QA testers for their (at the time) latest project. Being in a pretty loose transitional period at the time, no job, no income, it made sense to keep herself busy with something in hope it led to more.

And it did! From testing, to building levels for the multiplayer portion of the project, and finally taking over UI design, rebuilding all of the existing menus and creating any additional elements that were needed. The game was completed, released on December 10th, 2018, and was met with critical acclaim, some even saying that DUSK was "shooter perfection."

Since then, Rhia has been New Blood Interactive's UI/UX Designer, tasks ranging from simply consulting on an existing design, all the way up to completely redesigning and implementing new UI. She also constructs much of the promotional materials for the company, including the general design of the very popular poster-styled cover art for the various games under the New Blood label, and participates in community management as well.