This job listing expired on May 30, 2024

At Rockstar Games, we create world-class entertainment experiences.

A career at Rockstar Games is about being part of a team working on some of the most creatively rewarding and ambitious projects to be found in any entertainment medium. You would be welcomed to a dedicated and inclusive environment where you can learn, and collaborate with some of the most talented people in the industry.

Rockstar is currently seeking a Senior Animation R&D Programmer with an interest in hair simulation, cloth, soft body, and GPU compute.

We are looking for a talented engineer to help us develop hair, character dynamics, surface deformation, and rigging technology for our character based games. You should have strong initiative, a detailed knowledge of animation techniques, as well as an interest in realistic, high quality facial performance capture. This is a full-time permanent position based out of Rockstar’s unique game development studio in Carlsbad, CA.


  • We develop animation technology, from performance capture to a sophisticated runtime engine, for massive open world games.

  • We are a global team of programmers and researchers who collaborate on pushing the boundaries of character animation on next generation hardware.

  • We support and work closely with art, technical art, animation, and gameplay teams across multiple Rockstar studios.


  • Join our core animation technology team and work closely with animation, rigging, technical art, and tools teams across different Rockstar studios.

  • Research, develop, maintain, extend, and support hair, character dynamics, surface deformation, and rigging technology.

  • Implement well designed, robust, highly optimal new animation features, integrating them into our existing animation, gameplay, and scripting systems.

  • Keep up to date with the latest academic and industry breakthroughs, independently research and develop improvements to continuously push our technology forward.


  • A degree in Computer Science or a related discipline, or equivalent industry experience.

  • Experience developing within a large existing codebase, collaborating or working independently within a large team.


  • Experience writing GPU shaders, or with GPGPU programming (CUDA, OpenCL, compute shaders, etc).

  • Proficiency in C++.


Please note that these are desirable skills and are not required to apply for the position.

  • Industry experience working on AAA character based games, or character based VFX animation.

  • Strong math skills.

  • Familiarity with quaternion (and dual quaternion) algebra.

  • Knowledge of existing procedural secondary motion techniques, hair and cloth simulation/rendering, etc.

  • Strong R&D mindset, adept at taking the initiative on researching and experimenting with new ideas, solutions, and technologies.


Please apply with a resume and cover letter demonstrating how you meet the skills above. If we would like to move forward with your application, a Rockstar recruiter will reach out to you to explain next steps and guide you through the process.

Rockstar is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and we are committed to hiring, promoting, and compensating employees based on their qualifications and demonstrated ability to perform job responsibilities.

If you’ve got the right skills for the job, we want to hear from you. We encourage applications from all suitable candidates regardless of age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, belief, race, or any other protected category.

The pay range for this position in San Diego at the start of employment is expected to be between the range below* per year. However, base pay offered is based on market location, and may vary further depending on individualized factors for job candidates, such as job-related knowledge, skills, experience, and other objective business considerations. Subject to those same considerations, the total compensation package for this position may also include other elements, including a bonus and/or equity awards, in addition to a full range of medical, financial, and/or other benefits. Details of participation in these benefit plans will be provided if an employee receives an offer of employment. If hired, employee will be in an "at-will position" and the company reserves the right to modify base salary (as well as any other discretionary payment or compensation or benefit program) at any time, including for reasons related to individual performance, company or individual department/team performance, and market factors.

*San Diego Pay Range

$119,200—$161,800 USD