Senior Pipeline Artist

Cambridge /
Development – Art /
Permanent
About Frontier
Frontier is an established, market leading independent developer and publisher of videogames for PC and consoles. Founded in 1994, we are based in the world-leading technology cluster and historic city of Cambridge, England.
 
With a growing team of over 600 talented people, we are passionate about creating innovative genre-leading games and authentic worlds for our communities of players.  

We have achieved serial successes across a wide variety of titles including Elite Dangerous, Planet Coaster, Jurassic World Evolution and Planet Zoo.

We are continuing to grow our team to support our existing portfolio and an exciting and ambitious future roadmap, which includes the development of both own-IP titles and licensed-IP titles. Our IP-license partners include Universal (Jurassic World), Formula 1 and Games Workshop (Warhammer).

We are also growing our team to continue the growth of Frontier Foundry, our games label for publishing games developed by carefully selected partner studios. 

A Pipeline Artist sits between Art and Technical Art, in an environment where there are large team sizes it's important to have a single figure who understands and directs the creation and improvement of the art pipeline and tools. The Pipeline Art Lead is not necessarily the person to directly create the pipeline or fix it, they use their experience and understanding of both sides to work with Art and TA to develop a path forward. This person could be seen as a "technically minded Artist". While an Art Director deals with the pure visual style and quality of a project and an Art Lead deals with managing the team it is the role of a Pipeline Lead to ensure that artists know what technical requirements they have to adhere to as well as ensuring that these requirements are met. Conversely they are also responsible for ensuring the TA's know which areas and working practises are inefficient, where staff knowledge could be improved, where tools don't deliver the clarity or adhere to the working requirements needed. A Pipeline Art Lead is in many ways is the person who ensures "things get done" that problems are smoothed out and priorities are clear and issues are tracked and resolved. Due to the nature of the role it could be seen that a large portion of the responsibilities lie with OS and while this is true it's important to visualise that both internal and external teams have the same basic requirements; to be aware of technical constrains, how to create assets and how those assets end up in the game. While on the OS side you'll be working to direct the more Junior pipeline Artists on the team to integrate and check work those same processes are needed internally as well. It's key that asset quality both technical and visual is the same for internal and external assets alike, time is indeed money and the role is focused around ensuring artists are spending more time making art and less time fiddling with exports or setting things up in game, those issues should be feedback to the TA/tools team to address. During the early phase of a project the Pipeline Art Lead is going to be blocking out assets to ensure we understand the requirements from multiple disciplines, this could be working out how modular scenery/pieces fit together or white-boxing levels/ideas so there are test assets to develop the pipeline around as well as bench marking performance and visuals.

Responsibilities

    • Be the bridge between Technical Art and Art. It's your role to help the two sides better understand each other with a single clear voice.
    • Work with the Technical Artists to build and define the pipeline. Using your experience and knowledge you're ideally placed to help the TA's understand the art issues and where time and efficiency can be lost. Likewise your able to feedback to the art team what technical requirements/limitations they need to be aware of.
    • Be a "power-user", as the face of the pipeline you should be able to understand all of the workflows and pipelines allowing development to build on known practises and understand where process can merge or diverge as needed. This goes for both TA and Tools processes.
    • Run the weekly Technical art catch-ups, manage action points and chase up issues. Your the owner of making things better!
    • Build test assets to road test visual, technical or design requirements, this could be white-boxing, understanding meta data needed for assets or looking at design layouts.  You have the skills and knowledge to help guide how things should be done that span multiple disciplines.
    • Drive, enforce and review best working practise both internally and externally. It's your responsibility that assets meet the technical specifications and are built well, this includes physically checking work where appropriate and dealing with issues that arise.
    • Asset management; work to ensure assets are located sensibly and a clear structure is agreed and followed, things like naming conventions and understanding asset usage are key here.
    • Work side by side with the "pipeline & performance" TA's it's your role to help feed priorities, issues and decisions back to the core TA team on a project. You should be aware of project decisions and issues and their impact on building the art as well as meeting technical requirements.
    • Managing OS throughput: work with the OS team to ensure that outsource have the relevant data and working practises, this includes reviewing and approving documentation so there's one point of truth for the project. You'll be directing the wranglers in terms of work integration and expectations of technical deliveries from OS
    • Advise on staff training: understand the knowledge of the art team in terms of technical working knowledge and help address deficits. Do artists require more formal training in certain tools and procedures to ensure work is completed smoothly and correctly?

Skills

    • Excellent communication skills.
    • Prior knowledge and experience of using game asset pipelines, preferably including setting up/directing their usage/creation
    • Good artistic background
    • Solid understanding of the technical principles involved in game development
    • Excellent leadership skills
What we can offer you
We offer the chance to work with talented and passionate people, developing and publishing sophisticated and enduring games in a creative and collaborative environment. We love what we do, and we work hard to provide outstanding experiences for our player communities. Frontier rewards this passion and determination by sharing in the company’s success and by supporting our teams to keep doing what they love.

Well-being is a big focus at Frontier and we are continually evolving how we can support our staff. We encourage a healthy work/life balance and host a range of well-being activities, initiatives and sessions to support both mental and physical health.

We offer a competitive salary and benefits package, which includes a success-based annual bonus, share option schemes, pension, life assurance, private family healthcare, flexitime working hours, enhanced maternity/paternity package, in-house subsidised catering, support with relocation, a Cycle to Work scheme and free bike servicing, and social events.

We welcome and encourage applications from qualified candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, religion or belief.