Liz Du, senior artist at Sledgehammer Games, tells us about her route into the games industry, and why having a positive and supportive team is crucial.
What is your job role and how would you describe your typical day at work?
I’m a senior artist at Sledgehammer Games, working in the Guildford Studio. My typical day starts off with reviewing work from outsource partners, which ensures that the project we are working on remains on track and progresses smoothly. Once I’ve caught up on the latest developments, I dive into the heart of my role – crafting and texturing weapon art for Call of Duty. It’s a mix of precision work and artistic flair. The best part is seeing my creations come to life and becoming an integral part of the gaming experience for millions of players all around the world.
I work closely with very talented teams, including tech artists, riggers, animators, and designers. Together, we brainstorm and share ideas to ensure that the weapons we create seamlessly blend into the game’s wider world. It’s like crafting a masterpiece together.
What qualifications and/or experience do you need to land your job?
Having a degree in games art has been valuable for me, but it’s not an absolute necessity to break into the industry. It does offer a head start by providing you with the right knowledge and skills and connecting you with like-minded students who share your passion.
In my case, I started my journey as an intern artist at Creative Assembly. That was my golden ticket moment. Starting as an intern allowed me to get my foot in the industry’s door and proved to be a vital stepping stone for my career growth. It provided me with the opportunity to learn and expand my skill set over the years.
While a degree in Games Art is beneficial, there are other ways to gain the required skills. Showcasing your passion, creativity, and adaptability is essential. The gaming industry is always evolving, so being open to learning and keeping up with the latest trends and technologies will make you stand out.
If you were interviewing someone for your team, what would you look for?
At Sledgehammer we look for people who value teamwork and collaboration. A positive and supportive team dynamic is crucial for a productive and enjoyable work environment. Being able to communicate effectively, share ideas, and offer support to fellow team members can all make a world of difference in how smoothly projects progress.
I also value a strong portfolio that showcases not only technical skills but also creativity and artistic vision. I would specifically look for evidence of a solid understanding of art fundamentals, as it forms the foundation of any successful artist. Proficiency in 3D modelling, texturing, and lighting are vital, as these are essential skills for creating captivating and immersive game assets.
What opportunities are there for career progression?
At Sledgehammer Games, the opportunities for career progression are plentiful, with a strong emphasis on personal and professional growth. The company provides various options for training, empowering employees to enhance their skills and expertise continually. Regular one-on-one sessions with line managers play a crucial role in setting individual goals for improvement and charting a clear path for career advancement.
Working with the best talent in the industry provides a fast-paced learning experience, offering valuable insights and fostering a culture of excellence. Employees have the chance to collaborate with highly skilled colleagues, gaining knowledge from their expertise and contributing to ambitious and innovative projects.
Whether it’s honing technical skills, aspiring to leadership roles, or exploring different aspects of game development, Sledgehammer Games offers a supportive environment that encourages individuals to reach their full potential and take their gaming careers to new heights. It is a fantastic place to work at.