Sony Bend’s Mysterious PS4 Game Gets New Info; Studio to Explore New IP for Future Games

on December 16, 2014 6:37 PM

Very little has surfaced about Sony Bend’s upcoming PS4 game that was teased during the launch ceremony of Sony’s new console. Basically all we heard was through career development ads, and  Sony just published three more.

Apparently the studio is working on strengthening its animation department, hiring a Senior Animation Programmer and a Senior Staff Animator.

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Description

We are looking for a senior animation programmer to help develop next generation animation systems for a current working title being developed by Bend Studio. This is not an entry level position and applicant must be able to demonstrate current working knowledge in the field of animation development for recent game applications. This role is closely related to both a physics and animation engineer.

Responsibilities

Key contributor to the development of state-of-the-art animation systems, influencing improvements to engine architecture, performance optimizations, and supporting production animation staff through improvements to tools and pipelines.

Develop robust animation frameworks that will interface with physics and AI character behaviors, such as IK,procedural / physical animation, and facial animations.

Maintaining a strong collaborative work relationship with programming peers, animation artists, and design staff.

Key Skills

Strong 3DMath skills.

Strong C++and software engineering skills.

Working knowledge of current animation tools and middleware.

Strong interest in researching and developing new animation related technologies.

Excellent communication skills.

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Description

Sony Bend is looking for a Senior Staff Animator. The developer will need to animate characters, weapons, vehicles and everything else that moves in a game. Create sophisticated character performances for in game and cinematic sequences including acting, facial animation and lip-syncing. Expert understanding of human, animal, object motion, weight, and timing applied to 3D animation. Help develop and drive the look and feel for the all animation within a game that matches the artistic style and gameplay defined by the studio leads.

Principal Duties/Responsibilities:

Help drive the implementation of all in-game animation

Work with programmers and leads to develop game animation pipelines and processes.

Create high quality animation content, primarily characters, objects, and creatures.

Collaborate with designers on solving gameplay problems while maintaining artistic vision.

Collaborate with other animators and programmers to solve technical issues and in-game limitations

Work with character artists and environment artist to develop proper models with animation considerations.

Contribute to the creative process with original ideas and inspiration.

Maintain the high quality expected of the studio,fostering the same level of quality in the other team members.

Work with the Project Manager/Coordinator to understand the assignment deadline and scope of work.

Research, analyze, and shoot reference as needed to plan for each animation assignment.

Address feedback from the leads and director in a timely manner, communicating time needed and understanding of the feedback given.

Work with the Leads to mentor and guide more junior artists.

Required Knowledge/Skills:

Expert understanding of all animation and motion capture workflows.

Expert knowledge of Motion Builder, Maya, Max and other animation applications.

Intermediate to expert knowledge in 3D rigging and some modeling is desirable.

Utilize traditional art training and knowledge of animation and computer graphics software to produce animations, thumbnails, storyboards and blocking animation.

Excellent reading and comprehension skills in order to fully understand complex process description documents, design documents, and written assignments.

The ability to communicate effectively one-on-one with all team members and within group settings.

Excellent problem solving skills with the ability to take complex design documents and create achievable plans for converting to animated assets.

Excellent 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. Work independently and conscientiously with minimal supervision.

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.

Excellent data management skills, with the ability to manage and track large amounts of data as they go through the art pipeline,with minute attention to naming conventions, directory structures, and other processes.

Able to write up short, clear documents that explain various art processes.

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The two ads (especially the first) indicate that the studio is seeking to achieve outstanding quality in animation for its game, developing “state-of-the-art animation systems.” Interstingly, the animation framework will also interface with the characters’s AI, presumably to get more natural character behaviors.

The second ads mentions a few of the elements that will be animated, giving hints on what will be in the game, namely characters, weapons, vehicles, objects and “creatures.”

And there’s more. On top of the two animators, we also get an ad seeking a Senior Staff Concept Artist, and that’s where things get really interesting:

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Position Overview:
The senior staff concept artist will be the director’s collaborator and an important driving force in the studio art department. Helping to define and conceptualize our studio’s vision for multiple projects on multiple platforms. The Concept Artists is expected to learn and understand how game-play and architecture issues can affect content creation and successfully develop workflows to compensate for such limitations on artistic content. The right candidate will be a studio leader and will help drive the vision of our future titles through their creative and conceptual talents.

Principle Duties/Responsibilities:
Create concept art that drives the artistic goals and vision through all phases of the game development cycle from pre-production through final product release. This entails creating concepts for art assets that are of the highest artistic quality, uphold the integrity of the games design and artistic vision of the game as a whole.

Responsible for creating concepts that dictate the lighting and color palette throughout the game. This is integral to the entire game, and includes lighting the environments, characters, and cinematics. Developing color palettes that match the emotional intention of the game design and story beats.

Responsible for visual development of all game worlds and locations, working with the Creative Director to conceptualize world building, creating fictional consistency and a visual language that helps tell the story and reflect the game play moments. This also includes incorporating vistas throughout the game providing opportunities for moments of pure visual splendor.

New IP visual explorations for the future game titles, which includes developing multiple artistic styles and options to choose from during pre-production.

Keeps aware of industry trends and techniques,evaluates competitive products, and determines areas to improve or innovate into best the competition, communicates artistic innovations in a convincing way,and collaborates with the leadership team to develop plans for implementation.

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Looks like the studio is already looking at ideas for its next projects (possibly on multiple platforms), and into exploring new IP. It’s worth mentioning that this shouldn’t be related to the game currently in development, as it should be well past its concept phase.

It’ll definitely be interesting to see what Sony’s Bend studio will announce in the future, even if we’re still on hot coals waiting to know what they’re working on now.

 /  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.