We recently learned that Sucker Punch’s next project is most probably going to be another open world game, and today we learn more, thanks to another career opportunity ad seeking a Character Shader Technical Artist.
Sucker Punch is looking for a Character Shader Technical Director to join the Sucker Punch Character Team. Reporting to the Character Lead, the successful candidate will work with Sucker Punch’s real-time physically-based rendering engine and tools pipeline to help create compelling, believable characters.
- Work with the engineering and art teams to improve the quality of character shading, by ensuring that assets are authored with physically-plausible parameters, and identifying new shader features when needed.
- Implement new shaders and shader features using an HLSL-like shading language and C++.
- Ensure that character shaders meet run-time performance budgets (for a 30 FPS game), while maximizing visual fidelity.
- Write tools to help character artists author high-quality assets more efficiently.
- Proven ability to author top-tier content in real-time environment.
- Extensive experience with real-time shading languages such as HLSL, GLSL or Cg.
- Solid knowledge of C++, and experience working in a large C++ code base.
- Excellent grasp of physically-based lighting and shading principles.
- Ability to collaborate with a team and serve their needs.
- Ability to take and implement direction.
- Excellent communication skills, especially in a technical environment.
- Texture and photo manipulation skills, with experience in a production environment.
The technology involved and the level of visual fidelity described most probably point to a PS4 game, and considering the studio’s success on the platform, that’s really unsurprising. It’s quite unlikely that Sony would have them work on a PS Vita game at the moment.
More interesting is the clear mention that the game might be targeting 30 frames per second while maximizing visual fidelity, which is a different approach from the one used on inFAMOUS: Second Son.
30 FPS is proving to be quite the standard for open world games. inFAMOUS: Second Son initially left the frame rate unlocked, running between 30 and 40 FPS most of the time, but feedback from players prompted the developer to provide a 30 FPS lock option. This time around they might decide to just lock the frame rate at 30 to begin with, and use the additional resources to push the graphical quality higher.
The ad in fact mentions improving the quality of character shading (which was good but not always perfect in inFAMOUS: Second Son), utilizing the studio’s real-time physically-based rendering engine, which was already in use in the previous game.
It’ll be interesting to see what sort of game Sucker Punch is working on. Will it be another inFAMOUS? A completely new IP? Or maybe a return to the studio’s older characters? We’ll have to wait for more info on that. Hopefully we’ll hear something at PlayStation Experience.