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The Chinese Room

Senior Animator

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The Chinese Room
πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Brighton

The Chinese Room has established a reputation as one of the most creative and exciting studios in the UK. We’re proud to be internationally recognised as pioneers of storytelling with a flair for creating atmospheric, rich and imaginative games.

As a Sumo Digital studio, The Chinese Room is built on passion, on finding amazing people and letting them shine. It’s an exciting time to be part of Sumo, winners of the Develop: Star Awards 2019 Best Studio and GI Biz 2020 Best Places to Work; big things are on the horizon and we want you to be part of our continued journey. Join us!

The Chinese Room is made up of a diverse mix of fantastic people, although sometimes, some groups are still under-represented. We are working to remove obstacles that can make it difficult for those groups to progress their careers in the games industry. We welcome applications from under-represented people in the gaming industry, including, but not limited to BAME, LGBQT+, women, people with physical disabilities, neurodiversity or mental health issues, and parents or carers.

The role @ TCR

The Chinese Room are looking for a talented and experienced Senior Animator, who is skilled in a broad range of animation styles and capable of creating dynamic and compelling animation (including hand-keyed and/or motion capture based) as required by the project. We are looking for someone who understands game animation production and its idiosyncrasies. That person ideally would be an established Senior but we would also consider someone with the right skills who is looking to advance their career and transition into that role. The ideal candidate will enjoy being involved in a friendly, hard working environment and be able to communicate well within the art team as well as with other development disciplines.

The successful candidate will report to the Art Director but must be able to take responsibility for managing their own work and schedules.

The Chinese Room has a wide variety of projects in development and for an Animator that means working on something that could vary in style from stylised to realistic and any point in between. We require someone who is flexible in both talent and mindset. Experience working from console to mobile would be an advantage.

Within this role you will:

  • Have responsibility for the production of high quality hand keyed animation
  • Work with and understand Motion Capture data
  • Be able to adapt to a variety of styles as the project demands
  • Exhibit a strong understanding of the fundamental principles of animation
  • Perform research and reference gathering to acquire the necessary knowledge to perform assigned animation tasks
  • Meet production schedules and deadlines
  • Assist in Lead responsibilities such as mentoring, scheduling and R&D into new features
  • Contribute to the conceptualisation of character behaviours and abilities
  • Provide detailed input during the character creation process, from concept to modelling to final rigging, identifying character performance and functionality requirements
  • Communicate effectively with peers
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the pipelines and procedures within the project/company
  • Able to direct MoCap talent during character rehearsal and motion capture shoots

We need you to have:

  • Industry Experience: 5+ years experience.
  • Thorough understanding of animation fundamentals for human and non-human characters.
  • Understanding of Character creation process from concept, to modelling and final rigging.
  • Demonstrable experience in creating animation of a high standard while maintaining visual and functional specifications for game mechanics.
  • Excellent knowledge or at least one major 3d package (ie Maya or 3DSMax).
  • Basic knowledge of Maya and Max essential.
  • Good understanding of the game development process.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

We'd also ideally like you to have (although it's not a deal breaker):

  • Game engine experience (UE/Unity ideally).
  • Interest in playing games and current technical trends in the medium.
  • If you have worked on first person games as an animator would be beneficial but not essential.
  • If you have experience in using MoCap hardware and software although not essential
  • Experience in motion builder a plus

Our titles include the ground-breaking Dear Esther (2012), cult horror Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs (2013), the VR fairy-tale So Let Us Melt (2017) and the open-world adventure Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (2015), a PlayStation 4 exclusive that won major awards across the world. This included an amazing 10 BAFTA nominations and 3 BAFTA wins.

We bring our passion and commitment to creating exciting original games to a network of studios renowned for quality and expertise. Being part of the Sumo team enables us to expand and grow in ambition and confidence, taking our reputation for storytelling into new genres. Our most recently announced game, Little Orpheus, is an Apple Arcade exclusive and we’re working on other unannounced β€˜AAA’ titles that will further establish our award-winning style and reputation.

We offer a superb benefits package including generous holidays and flexi-time. We care about our people, with an emphasis on the work/life balance and out of office events such as our legendary Sumo β€˜Big Day Out’, plus epic Christmas parties and much more! Our regular studio Game Jams are a highlight - winning concepts can go on to commercial release, so far including Snake Pass and the upcoming Spyder for Apple Arcade.

The Chinese Room is located in Brighton in the south of England, home to an amazingly vibrant game development scene and a cultural hotspot with fantastic food, arts, music, shopping and sports. The studio is in the city centre, near the beach, and close to the South Downs National Park. Gatwick Airport is only half an hour away from train, and you can be in central London in just over an hour. It’s an easy place to love!

Our environment is relaxed, friendly and built upon the basis of every team member having the opportunity to shine and have a realisable input into the games we create. We’re in the amazing position of building a brand-new team, and creating a studio culture that’s all about passion, respect, diversity, fun and togetherness. We’re looking for people that love what they do and love to share their enthusiasm with each other.