Sony Bend Goes On a Hiring Spree for its Unannounced AAA PS4 Exclusive; More info on Graphics and Gameplay

on March 23, 2015 2:43 PM

It’s hard not to be curious about Sony Bend’s unannounced PS4 exclusive. What little we know about it, came only through career opportunity ads and rumors, after Sony teased it back at the launch ceremony of its console.

Today a series of career development ad show that the studio is going on a hiring spree for the game, hiring six new developers for its relatively small team, possibly indicating an acceleration in development.

First of all, we have ads for Three Associate Programmers (one, two, three):

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Position Overview:        
  
Responsible for the implementation of gameplay code systems that have been architected and designed by a Lead Sr. Staff Programmer.
 
Principle Duties/Responsibilities:
  • Contributor to the development of technology, game code systems and tools that support game design needs. This includes, but is not limited to game logic, character behaviors, state based animations selection, motion systems, scripted mini-games, physics systems, collision systems, rendering, particle effects, entities systems, camera logic, sound support.
  • Maintain a thorough knowledge of the games design.
  • Collaborates with the production team to develop all aspects of the specified game-play experience from a technical perspective.
  • Provides input into the technical design and vision through all phases of the game development cycle from pre-production through final product release. This entails ensuring products are of the highest technical quality and uphold the integrity of the games design.
  • Maintains a clear understanding of personal task lists and project milestones to ensure set goals will be met from a scope, schedule or game-play perspective.
  • Clearly communicating updates and concerns to their manager.
  • Manages requests or information needs regarding any aspect of the technical creation process with the appropriate members of the development team.
  • Actively maintains skill-set and knowledge base by keeping track of the latest innovations from the industry.
 ___________________

 

Then we get two positions for Associate Artists (one, two).

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Position Overview:    
       
Contribute to the artistic vision and development of a AAA product with a specialized focus on creating environment/level assets utilizing a combination of traditional fine art and technical art skills.  Responsibilities includes creating and painting environment 2D texture maps, 3D modeling/sculpting, material setup/UV layout, shader setup and some lighting according to defined quality standards,artistic styles, conceptual designs, development pipelines, technical parameters and production goals.  Must poses ability to collaborate at a high level with a wide-range of development team members outside of direct discipline such as Directors, Designers,Technical Artist, Animators, and Programmers to achieve the highest artistic goals with the fastest implementation as they relate to game design and technological considerations.
 
Principle Duties/Responsibilities:
  • Model and texture 3D assets including props, collision and shadow proxies.
  • Create high quality color, normal, specular texture maps, and shaders that follow established direction, engine guidelines, and parameters.
  • Use baked and real-time lighting to enhance the look and playability of the environments.
  • Independently undertakes research and information gathering prior to the commencement of a new task to ensure game design needs,reference materials, artistic direction, and technological considerations are effectively managed to meet defined goals.
  • Actively advances skill set, and abilities, keeping aware of industry trends and techniques, evaluating competitive products, learning new software packages and traditional art methods.
  • Possess good time management and prioritization skills.  This entails collaborating with the Production group to manage responsibilities to ensure set goals will be met from a scope, schedule, and artistic perspective
 
Required Knowledge/Skills:
  • Proficient in the use of Photoshop CS to manipulate photo source and create realistic,tillable, textures that match the artistic style of the defined art direction.  This requires good 2D art skills like composition, drawing, sketching, and color theory.
  • Proficient in the use of 3D modeling software to create and texture optimized props and other environment assets within the defined specs and guidelines. This requires a basic knowledge of 3D software and the ability to analyze photo source or concept art and turn 2D images into 3D objects.
  • Z-Brush/Mud box experience desirable.
  • Good reading and comprehension skills to have complete understanding of complex process documents,design documents, and written assignments.
  • The ability to communicate effectively either individually with team members, or within group settings.
  • The ability to write short reports and process documents when needed
  • Good time management skills, with the ability to break down tasks and assignments and prioritize them into workable pieces on a daily, weekly, and project length basis.
  • Able to manage long-term projects, creating and following a comprehensive schedule for the creation of complex assets such as game levels, animation systems, character systems, etc.
  • Able to complete tasks and assignments quickly with little need for iterative rework.
  • Good data management skills,  with the ability to manage and track large amounts of data as they go through the art pipeline, with attention to naming conventions, directory structures, and other processes. 
    

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Finally, we find a sixth position for an Associate Technical Artist:

___________________

Position Overview:
Contribute to the technical development of AAA products with a specialized focus on creating art tools,techniques, and processes for game development. A Technical artist will be responsible for creating tools and processes that assist in all areas of art creation from the rendering engine to tool development to achieve the highest artistic quality with the least amount of overhead.  Responsibilities may include animating all types of assets or creating and painting 2D texture maps, 3Dmodeling/sculpting, material setup/UV layout, shader setup, and lighting.  Must poses ability to collaborate at a high level with a wide-range of development team members outside of direct discipline such as Directors, Designers, Technical Artist, Animators, and Programmers to achieve the highest artistic goals with the fastest implementation as they relate to game design and technological considerations.
 
Principle Duties/Responsibilities:
  • Contribute to the development of artistic techniques and processes to define and achieve a product’s visual style and encourage artistic technical evolution within the studio.  This entails expanding methods to improve the production pipeline, tools, and processes to create the desired quality as efficiently as possible.
  • Create prototypes that demonstrate technical production goals and help define the technical quality standards.
  • Create high quality color, normal, specular texture maps, and shaders that follow established direction, engine guidelines, and parameters.
  • Keeps aware of industry trends and technical techniques, evaluates competitive products, and determines areas we can improve or innovate in to best the competition, communicates innovations in a convincing way, and collaborates with the leadership team to develop plans for implementation.
  • Provides input on the technical methods to achieve the artistic goals and vision through all phases of the game development cycle from pre-production through final product release.  This entails ensuring animation/characters/level assets and FX are of the highest technical quality and uphold the integrity of the games design and artistic vision as a whole.
  • Serves as a technical resource for all phases of production and other studio art needs.  This includes, but is not limited to conducting general research, developing cutting-edge tools and techniques, and testing new systems or tools. Providing training, transmitting industry related information and conveying concerns in a constructive way by providing solutions to those concerns.
  • Independently undertakes research and information gathering prior to the commencement of anew task to ensure game design needs, reference materials, artistic direction,and technological considerations are effectively managed to meet defined goals.
  • Actively advances skill set, and abilities, keeping aware of industry trends and techniques, evaluating competitive products, learning new software packages and traditional art methods.
 
Required Knowledge/Skills:
  • Knowledge of Mel scripting, some knowledge of python,java, C++,  and max scripting is a plus
  • Proficient in the use of 3D software to create and animate all types of assets both organic and none organic.  This requires mastery of 3D software and the ability to analyze photo, video, or concept art reference, turning 2D images into real time scenes.
  • Good reading and comprehension skills to have complete understanding of complex process documents, design documents, and written assignments.  The ability to communicate effectively either individually with team members, or within group settings.  The ability to write short reports and process documents when needed
  • Good time management skills, with the ability to break down tasks and assignments and prioritize them into workable pieces on a daily, weekly, and project length basis.  Able to manage long-term projects, creating and following a comprehensive schedule for the creation of complex assets such as game levels, animation systems, character systems, etc.  Able to complete tasks and assignments quickly with little need for iterative rework.
  • Good data management skills,  with the ability to manage and track large amounts of data as they go through the art pipeline, with attention to naming conventions, directory structures, and other processes.
___________________
Interestingly, the first ad talks about scripted puzzles, so can expect to find some of those in the game. Which will also use a mix of baked and real-time lighting.

In addition to this, we learn that the studio aims to have use high quality color, normal and specular texture maps (basically the elements that define the look of materials before shaders are applied), and animation, characters, level assets and FX of the highest technical quality.

Most interestingly, all of the positions above require no experience (even if it’s preferred, obviously), so if you’re a young artist fresh out of school, this might be a good chance.

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.