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Gameplay Animation Director

Sumo Digital

With a rich history of developing multiple AAA franchises such as Little Big Planet and Crackdown, as well as contributing to genre-defining titles like the Forza Motorsport and Hitman series, Sumo Sheffield’s vast development experience spans multiple genres and platforms.
 
As winners of the TIGA Star Employment Award for 2021, recipients of the GI Biz 2020 Best Places to Work Award and listed as one of the UK’s 100 Best Large Companies to Work for in 2021, Sumo Digital has enjoyed 18 years of stability and growth since its formation in 2003 and continues to strive for excellence across every single project.
 
The team have a track record of working on some of the world's biggest and best games and received two BAFTAs for their work on Sackboy: A Big Adventure. As the scale and exclusivity of projects continues to grow, there’s never been a more exciting time to join the Sumo Sheffield family!

The role @ Sumo Sheffield

Sumo Sheffield is looking for an experienced Gameplay Animation Director, who can display a broad range of animation styles with the ability and experience to direct teams completing dynamic and compelling gameplay animation (including hand-keyed and/or motion capture based) as required by each of the projects.
 
We require someone who understands gameplay animation production and its idiosyncrasies. The role will cover all projects at the studio working with our Cinematics Director and the animation teams to produce and integrate animations into the game, ensuring technical constraints are met. Working alongside other teams and discipline directors, you will bring characters to life that are directly related to game mechanics, ensuring quality animation and player experience.
 
This is an exciting opportunity to lead, develop and grow the gameplay animation team at Sumo Sheffield. The post holder will work at a studio level to support 4-5 projects simultaneously alongside the Central Art Leadership team.
 
This position is open to remote, hybrid and in-studio working (within the UK, international remote working may be considered on a case by case basis).

Within this role you will:

    • Work with game engines, state machines and have a solid knowledge of modern gameplay approaches.
    • Have a passion for gameplay and how it can enhance the player experience.
    • Have an eye for the future and how we push gameplay animation forward at the studio. Directing innovation and keeping up to date with the latest techniques and innovations.
    • Review the implementation of animations in engine with a focus on quality.
    • Direct the production of high-quality key-frame animation (great sense of weight, timing, and strong posing).
    • Have a strong understanding of Motion Builder and mocap data editing techniques for games.
    • Lead in creating and mentoring others to craft appealing animations, across a broad range of styles from dynamic stylisation to realistic body mechanics.
    • Support in the Direction of the design and execution of complex gameplay systems.
    • Communicate effectively within a large group/multiple project environment.
    • Coach and mentor, the Animation team and wider Art teams.
    • Have a strong body of work demonstrating a solid understanding of body mechanics, animation fundamentals and gameplay systems.

We need you to have:

    • Be part of Sheffield's Central Art Leadership team.
    • Have shipped a number of AAA titles as either a Lead Animator or Director.
    • A highly responsible, self-directed, detail-oriented problem-solving mindset with a desire to contribute to a creative environment.
    • Outstanding organization, communication, and exceptional management skills/leadership.
    • The ability to give and receive constructive feedback when interacting with team members, keeping the focus on making the best game possible.
    • Experience and understanding leading implementation for core gameplay systems and mechanics, keeping up-to-date on current industry practice.
    • Expert understanding of both Maya and Motionbuilder.
    • Mentoring skills, helping junior staff to grow and improve their skills.
    • Superior attention to detail.
    • Good Leadership aptitude and the ability to work under pressure across multiple projects.
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, we want to enable everyone to bring their full, authentic selves to work every single day. We acknowledge that the games industry is far from perfect and a global organisation with people all over the world, from all kinds of backgrounds, we know it’s part of our duty to provide everyone at Sumo with a safe, accepting and affirming working environment.
We encourage and welcome applicants from all backgrounds.
 
More about Sumo Sheffield
 
Sumo Sheffield is located just outside the city centre in Sumo Digital’s HQ, just off J34 on the M1 and a stone’s throw from the city’s primary shopping and leisure complex. With a multi-building campus comprised of industry-leading facilities, an onsite gym and subsidised canteen, Sumo Sheffield provides everything needed for all teams to create the world’s best games.
 
Sheffield is the fifth largest city in the UK and is easily accessible by road and rail from Leeds, Manchester and the Midlands. The city enjoys a wealth of facilities to suit a wide array of interests, including:

o   World-class sports facilities
o   Iconic theatres and galleries
o   Multiple retail and shopping experiences
o   Diverse and renowned restaurants and eateries
o   The award-winning National Video Game Museum

More about Sumo Digital
 
Sumo Digital is an award-winning international family of studios. Recent releases from Sumo Digital studios include: BAFTA-Award winning Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Hood: Outlaws & Legends, Control Ultimate Edition on Google Stadia, Apple Arcade Award-winning Little Orpheus, Hot Shot Racing, WST Snooker and Spyder.
Apply for this job
Location: Sheffield
Date found: 2022-11-06

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