What technical skills for this role are key to highlight?
Nate: We're a ZBrush heavy studio, certainly a deep understanding of that tool is key. When we design our worlds, our levels, we usually don't base everything on real-world photographs. It's a very top down design approach. The creative vision for our environments starts with a high quality asset (ideally a strong piece of concept art), which our team then interprets into a game ready level.
Sukru: You should have an understanding of normal maps, ZBrush, solid modeling skills and texturing. That should also amount to having a burning desire to try and match the quality of the best looking PlayStation 4 visuals that have been done. A solid background in design and traditional art skills definitely helps that.
The studio is also willing to bring in passionate artists who have potential and the desire to further their abilities. We have tricks and techniques, from simple ways we break up the edge on a model, to environment textures, to complex environments in our game that we can teach. Over the years, Senior artists here have mentored the newer, or more junior, artists on the team. A couple years ago we had a young artist on our team, whose talent was undeniable, but he had a lot of room to grow. He's now a Senior Artist managing his own level, with a team of people working with him to bring it to life. It's been extremely satisfying to watch the growth of this individual and to see the significant contribution he makes to our games today. When it comes to the Environment Artists we're looking for…if the talent is there, we'll do everything in our power to evolve them.