Senior Pipeline Artist

Cambridge /
Art – Technical Art /
Permanent
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 700 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 DangerousPlanet CoasterJurassic 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 expansion of Frontier Foundry, our publishing label for games developed by carefully selected partner studios. 
 
We have a modern spacious studio located on the Cambridge Science Park in the heart of the Cambridge tech hub. For those who wish to relocate to the Cambridge area and work either entirely in the studio or flexibly between the studio and home, we can provide generous financial and practical support to facilitate your move. We are also able to offer remote working for those who would prefer to work almost exclusively from home or who are unable to relocate. We can discuss your preferences with you during the recruitment process.   

Pipeline Art 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. A Senior Pipeline Artist 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 Technical Art 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 Senior Pipeline Artist 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 Technical Artist's know which areas and working practises are inefficient, where staff knowledge could be improved and where tools don't deliver the clarity or adhere to the working requirements needed.
 
A Senior Pipeline Artist is in many ways the person who ensures "things get done”. That problems are smoothed out, that priorities are clear and that 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 outsource management 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.
 
You'll be working to direct the more junior Pipeline Artists on the team to integrate and check work from both external outsource partners and internal art teams. 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 that artists are spending more time making art and less time fiddling with exports or setting things up in game. Those issues should be reported to the Tech Art/tools team to address. During the early phase of a project the Senior Pipeline Artist is going to be blocking out assets to ensure that requirements from multiple disciplines are understood. This could be working out how modular scenery/pieces fit together or white-boxing levels/ideas in order to have test assets to develop the pipeline around, as well having something to bench mark performance and visuals to.

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, you’re able to feedback to the art team with 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 in place on a project. Knowing the structure allows development to build on known practises and understand where processes can merge or diverge as needed. This is a key skill and applies for both tech art and tools processes.
    • Run the weekly Technical Art meetings, manage action points and chase up issues. You’re 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 should have the skills and knowledge to help guide how things are done across multiple disciplines.
    • Drive, enforce and review best working practise both internally and externally. It's your responsibility to ensure that assets meet the technical specifications and are built well.
    • The Senior Pipeline Artist has the responsibility to give quality guidance to Art Leads to better enable their teams to do things in the preferred way.
    • You will have a responsibility to ensure that Leads on the project are checking their team’s assets. This can mean you are speaking to Production regarding staffing, Tech Art regarding tools and/ or processes, or a range of other proactive solutions to help enable the Leads.
    • Asset management; work to ensure assets are located sensibly and that a clear structure is agreed and followed. Elements such as naming conventions and understanding asset usage are key here.
    • Work side by side with the "Pipeline & Performance" Technical Artists. 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 Outsource: Work with the outsource team to ensure that they have the relevant data and required working practise guides. This includes reviewing and approving documentation so that there is one point of truth for the project. You'll be directing the junior Pipeline Artists in terms of work integration and expectations of technical deliveries from outsource.
    • Advice on staff training: Understand the knowledge level of the art teams in terms of technical working knowledge and help address any deficits. Identify if 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.