Lead Technical Artist

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Type: permanent (Full-time)

Location: Gateshead

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About Sumo Newcastle

We build ground-breaking games and content for some of the world’s biggest publishers including Microsoft, Sony, Apple and Sega. Sumo Newcastle joined the Sumo Digital family in January of 2018. As a former CCP Games studio, we have a solid history of cutting-edge development, and now with Sumo, a spectacular future of ‘AAA’ game development for some of the biggest and best publishers in the world.

It’s an exciting time to be part of Sumo, winners of the Develop: Star Awards 2019 Best Studio and GI Biz 2020 Best Places to Work; big things are on the horizon and we want you to be part of our continued journey.

Sumo Newcastle is made up of a diverse mix of fantastic and talented people, and we embrace all the elements that make our team unique! We are an inclusive studio and welcome applications from all qualified applicants of any background, regardless of race, age, disability, gender identity or neurodiversity.

The role @ Sumo Newcastle

Sumo Newcastle is looking for a Lead/Principal Technical Artist, capable of being the bridge between the Art and Programming teams. You will be well versed in various areas of the game development process from creating and maintaining pipeline tools to directing and supporting optimisations.

With our new IP Hood: Outlaws and Legends and other unannounced games in development, Sumo Newcastle are undertaking some very ambitious projects, so as a growing team it’s an ideal time to join and make your mark on something big!

We are starting to build an in-house Technical Art team here at Sumo Newcastle. This is an exciting time to join, leading a brand new in-house team, working with our Head of Art who has a Technical Art background.

Reporting to the Head of Art you will play a fundamental role in supporting the art team, enabling them to push for the highest quality visuals based on the resources available. This role will cover all areas of art production from tools and pipelines through to engine and platform specific profiling and guidance.

The ideal candidate will enjoy being involved in a friendly, hard working environment and be able to communicate well within the art team as well as with other development disciplines. If you are looking for a role that gives opportunity to make a difference and a drive to help push for the best, this is the job for you!

This position is open to remote, hybrid and in-studio working.

Within this role you will:

  • Work closely with Art Leads to deliver artistic vision within the project requirements
  • Proactively use knowledge and experience to identify & solve problems before they affect the development team
  • Implement new techniques that increase the quality and efficiency of the art created
  • Direct art optimization efforts, informing best decisions, ensuring content remains at high visual fidelity on a wide range of platforms
  • Be the bridge between art and programming teams and collaborate effectively with both
  • Creating and testing any new tools before deployment into production
  • Document and knowledge share
  • Regularly communicate technical constraints and their reasons to the art team

To be successful you will need to have:

  • Have 5/6 years plus production experience working within the games industry
  • Ideally at least 3/4 shipped titles (preferably AAA)
  • Experience of production level shader work and optimisation within Unreal Engine 4
  • Strong understanding of the creation of shaders within Unreal Engine 4
  • Be highly experienced with blueprints and their implementation
  • Knowledge of platform strengths and limitations
  • Experience with performance profiling tools such as PIX/Razor/In-Engine tools etc.
  • High levels of aesthetic attention to detail
  • Familiarity working and developing in a multi-platform, multi-project environment.
  • Experience with other programs such as Substance Painter / Designer. Zbrush etc
  • Strong communication and organizational skills
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Coaching skills
  • Self-motivated and agile

It would be beneficial if you have:

  • Experience using 3dsMax as a Technical Artist. Maxscript programming would be viewed positively
  • Experience in other scripting and programming languages
  • Experience using Houdini
  • Experience with data management
  • Positive influence and leadership skills

What we offer:

  • . Defined Annual Bonus Scheme
  • . ULEV car scheme
  • . Monthly allowance to spend on enhancing benefits
  • . Salary Sacrifice Pension
  • . Flexible Working
  • . 21 days free-use holiday
    • your birthday off
    • 5 learning days including 1 volunteer day
    • a duvet day
    • Christmas shutdown from Christmas Eve to New Year
    • Bank Holidays
    • extra allowance accrued for longer service
  • . Free dental insurance
  • . Life Assurance 4x Salary
  • . Income Protection of 75% for 5 years
  • . Enhanced Mat/Paternity & Adoption pay
  • . Employee Assistance Programme:
  • . Help at Hand - Remote GP, Mental Health & Physio appointments
  • . Free financial & home buying support consultations
  • . Cycle to Work Scheme
  • . Payroll Giving Scheme
  • . Access to 4,000 Udemy Courses
  • . Career Development Pathway
  • . Wrap Parties.
  • . Project Completion Awards
  • . Game/Creative Jams
  • . Big Family Events
  • . Studio social activities, e.g. running, board games, film, yoga, life drawing…
  • . Prism – Sumo’s employee diversity focus group
  • . Free fruit and drinks in our studios
  • . Employee Referral Bonus

Where do we stand on diversity?

At Sumo Digital, we know that diversity and inclusivity will make our teams (and the amazing work that they do) better! We encourage and welcome ALL applications.

More About The Sumo Newcastle Studio:

Sumo Digital is one of the UK's most prolific game developers, enjoying over fifteen years of stability and growth. We have UK studios in Sheffield, Newcastle, Nottingham, Leamington Spa, The Chinese Room in Brighton and Red Kite Games in Leeds, along with Sumo Video Games in Pune, India.

We offer a superb benefits package including generous holidays and flexi-time. We care about our people, with an emphasis on the work/life balance and out of office events such as our legendary annual Sumo ‘Big Day Out’, plus epic Christmas parties and much more! Our regular studio Game Jams are a highlight - winning concepts can go on to commercial release, so far including Snake Pass and Spyder for Apple Arcade.

We are proud to be in the North-East of England, in our new, purpose-built, state-of-the-art facilities in Riga. Newcastle was voted the number one place that travellers should visit in 2018 by Rough Guide and has everything that a major European city has to offer; culture, heritage, lively bars and fantastic retail. It is an exciting cosmopolitan city while also boasting plenty of beautiful outdoor space including several beaches less than an hour’s drive away.

Our environment is relaxed, friendly and built on every team member having the opportunity to shine and have real, meaningful input into the games that we create. We pride ourselves on our positive atmosphere and sociable team who regularly partake in shared interest groups, lunchtime and after-work clubs, and charity fundraising events.

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