Every few months or so a new job listing surfaces on Electronic Arts’ official website giving clues about the development of the next generation Sims Game. Or, how we like to call it until the game officially gets announced – The Sims 5.
We’ve already made several reports about the current plans of the next generation Sims Game, which has already been confirmed to be in development by EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson way back in early 2020. The development of this Sims Game seems to be primarily done by the team from Maxis in Redwood Shores. However, just recently there’s been a confirmation that Maxis is opening up a new Remote Studio in Europe – called Maxis Europe. At first this studio was only looking for developers to work on The Sims 4, but now new job listings have surfaced that confirm that Maxis Europe will also be covering the development of The Sims 5.
Three very strong job opportunities have been published on Maxis Careers, including Character Artist, Animator and Senior Environment Artist for “The Sims”. Since all 3 listings are talking about a position for “The Sims” with all 3 mentioning that the work will be done using brand new tools (including Unreal Engine) we are certain that this is about the next generation Sims Game.
Check out what the job opportunities are looking for. Important parts that talk about responsibilites for the next generation Sims Game have been bolded:
Character Artist, Remote in Europe
Maxis is looking for you to be a part of the creative team. We ask that you are motivated and can work well with a cross-disciplinary group.
The Character Artist works closely with the Art Director and Technical Leads to define visual standards and technical specifications of characters for the project. In addition to creating high quality character models and materials, the Character Artist guides junior members of the team and external partners to deliver work that meets the project standards. The ideal candidate proactively seeks opportunities to elevate the game, embraces constructive feedback, and thrives in a highly collaborative environment.
You will report to one of the Maxis Development Directors within the studio.
- Work with the Art Director and technical partners to define and refine the look and feel of characters for the project.
- Work with Technical Art, Engineering and other artists to develop the character creation and integration pipeline.
- Create high quality character models and materials/shaders including in-game and high-resolution assets.
- Update style and technical documents for the character art team.
- Collaborate with Technical Artists to create and improve tools and workflows.
- Actively participate in milestone planning and reviews.
- Work within deadlines and display strong time management skills.
- Provide mentorship for junior team members.
- Review work from external partners and provide feedback.
- Minimum of 5 years of production experience as a character artist.
- Have served as a Lead Character Artist on a published title and have shipping experience on multiple game titles.
- Strongly proficient in industry standard software like Maya, ZBrush, Substance Painter/Designer and Photoshop.
- Strong understanding of scale, proportion, surface properties, and human anatomy.
- Demonstrated ability in character stylization
- Knowledge of character setup and rigging.
- Ability to create shaders/materials using painting and node-based techniques (e.g. Substance Painter and Designer)
- Knowledge of high-poly to low-poly surface baking
- Strong written and oral communication skills
- Passion for making and playing games
Nice to have:
- Experience working with Unreal Engine and implementing 3D work into the pipeline
- Work with Animation Lead and Director to create high-quality keyframe animation with heavy emphasis on full body character acting.
- Produce content under tight game development deadlines.
- With guidance from your Lead, collaborate with other essential contributors of the Production process to fulfill Design Goals. Essential contributions include:
- Work with different technical and art disciplines to solve implementation challenges.
- Estimate and provide scoping options for content to ensure we can meet production deadlines.
- Design animation assets and state machines using our proprietary engine.
- Present implementation strategies alongside other contributors.
- Use both Maya and art tools to implement animated characters and objects in a proprietary engine.
- Use proprietary engine and pre-vis tools to technically verify animation content for self and others.
- Work with other essential disciplines to solve complex game bugs.
- Maintain and track animation assets related to your implementation designs.
- Create technical documentation of your implementations.
- Hold focused discussions concerning technical implementations you have contributed to, to spread knowledge across the animation team.
- 5+ years of experience as a Gameplay Animator working with and designing animation state machines in a game engine such as Unity, Unreal or similar.
- Exceptional skill creating keyframe animation with a primary emphasis on full body character acting.
- Proficient understanding of both game animation and in-engine state machine design.
- Excellent technical comprehension regarding game animation implementation.
- Excellent collaborator with a passion for working across diverse groups to find creative solutions.
- Passion for learning new workflows, processes, and technology.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Experience in the Simulation genre of games
- Comfortable creating entertaining acting performances for reference for your animations or others.
- Experience working with motion capture processes
- Experience with Atlassian Confluence, Jira software, Shotgun or similar tools
We are looking for an experienced Environment Artist. Though your passion is creating beautiful settings, you aren’t afraid of working within a technical pipeline and are comfortable problem solving with Producers, Designers, and Engineers. You are confident enough to run with a task with little oversight but are open to feedback from Art Direction and love collaborating with your peers.
- Work productively with a small environment art team to deliver quality content on schedule that meets technical requirements.
- Perform as a key contributor of the world production process to create believable and engaging environments for Maxis Studios.
- Thorough knowledge of and experience with Zbrush, Adobe Photoshop, and Maya or Max
- Ability to take direction and feedback well
- Self-Motivated towards solving creative problems
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Strong work ethic and positive attitude
- 5+ years of professional environment art experience in a gaming studio using a World Editor
- Solid understanding and experience using Substance Painter
- Ability to render stylized textures
- Experience with terrain sculpting editors
- Background or education in traditional arts or architecture
- Shipped at least one AAA title
Your portfolio must demonstrate the following:
- Experience at creating Environment Art
- Examples of textured, clean, efficient, low-poly assets
- A great eye for detail and composition
Now we know that Electronic Arts and Maxis are planning to make this game stylized, yet high in detail when it comes to characters and animations.
Of course for now we only know vague technical details regarding the development of the next generation Sims Game, and that now more than 1 Studio is working on it.
Since the development for a brand new AAA title takes time (and a completely different team), this will have no impact over the current development of The Sims 4 and its upcoming content.
You can catch up on everything we know so far about the next generation Sims Game in our The Sims 5 News Category!