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Meet Phyrun Deab of Xzoltar Studios

Today we’d like to introduce you to Phyrun Deab.

Phyrun, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I didn’t know much about video game production until I was introduced to the idea during my time working at GameStop. I coworker mentioned becoming part of the Quality Assurance team for large publishers in the Los Angeles area. I was lucky enough to get into Activision. It was an amazing experience being part of the development process.

I was part of major titles such as Tony Hawk Project 8, Call of Duty: World At War, and Spider-Man 3. I learned more about concept art and video game visual development. Quality Assurance was a seasonal position, and I was looking to become a permanent member of the production team. The process was competitive and I did not get selected. I knew I had to make a major career decision and did not want to be an uncertain place. I decided to go to college, and by doing so I enlisted in to the US Army.

Three years of leadership experience, discipline, and rigorous mental and physical training. I came back with a full ride for my Associates in Arts at Cypress College, and now I am finishing up my final semester at California State University of Long Beach. During my time at both Cypress and Long Beach, I held many positions: retail, contract delivery, graphic designer, even a Disney cast member. With our current health climate, it has gotten more and more difficult trying to find work. So as this summer passed, a fellow veteran, Andrew Barnes contacted me about a passion project he has been working on. He was familiar with my artwork throughout my time at Cypress and Long Beach and reached out to me to be the Lead Artist. Andrew has brought together a team of amazing individuals to form Xzoltar Studios.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Life itself is just filled with obstacles. After not going to college right after High School, I had to essentially start from the beginning. It’s not the most traditional path, but it’s something I wouldn’t take back. My military service was the most frustrating and insightful experience. I had to work various jobs that sometimes did not meet with my schedule, so I was back and forth with multiple positions, which made it difficult trying to stay on top of my school work and making rent. During this time, my father was taken to the emergency room due to cirrhosis and was in the hospital for eight months. It started to become difficult trying to assist my parents at the same time focusing on work and school.

Please tell us about Xzoltar Studios.
Our vision is to lead in the creation of fun and innovative XR game solutions that enable our customers to enjoy a different level of gaming. We are an Extended Reality developer of entertainment software located in Los Angeles, CA. We strive to have an open, diverse, and outgoing culture that’s associated with smaller companies. As part of the team, I develop the look of our games. While our company is still in its infancy, we already have plans to take advantage with the rise of extended reality for multiple applications.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Patience. I’ve had hundreds of moments where I would tell myself about the bigger picture. Even when I was going through terrible customer experiences in retail, or working over a 36 hour long period in the military, I remained patient through it.

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