Train2Game News NaturalMotion hiring spree

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CEO Torsten Reil says the tool maker and games studio wants to recruit a ‘sizeable’ number of staff as it aims to create ‘something truly amazing’ on mobile platforms

NaturalMotion has begun a “sizeable” recruitment drive intended to help the studio expand its offering of console-quality mobile games.

The games and tool maker is hiring for numerous positions at varying levels, ranging from game design to producers and product leads for its Oxford, London and Brighton studios, CEO Torsten Reil told Develop.

“We are attempting to create console-quality games on mobile that go way beyond what people have seen before. For that we need to have the best people in the industry,” Reil said.

“We’re looking to grow our teams with designers, programmers and project managers in order to achieve those goals. But we’re also looking to fill some of the gaps we have in our teams, some of which are already fully functional, but some of them aren’t yet.”

NaturalMotion is best known for its animation middleware Euphoria and Morpheme, which have been in used in the likes of GTA IV and BioShock Infinite respectively. Its in-house development teams have created successful mobile hits such as My Horse, Clumsy Ninja and CSR Racing.

While its middleware is built to handle the demands of console game development, Reil says its team sizes are unusually slim by comparison.

“Our team sizes are quite small compared to a console studio, usually 20 to 25 people. But the output is quality high-end, so we need to have the best people to achieve that.”

Reil said the reason devs should choose to work at NaturalMotion is because “we have ambition”.

He explained: “We try to do something truly amazing. And hopefully people can see than in our games – it’s not lip service.

“We really try to push the boundaries all the time. And that means that, working here, there’s a sense of purpose. This not a job just to earn money or to make a few nice games. This is a job to move millions and millions of people. And that is what drives us. And if we find people or talent who are hungry and who want to do that, I think it’s a great combination.”

In addition to display and online advertising, the UK developer also visits game events and hosts some of its own, such as one recently held for data scientists, where attendees gave talks and shared knowledge.

The studio, which currently employs more than 200 staff, is headquartered in Oxford and has studios in London, Brighton and San Francisco. It was acquired earlier this year by social game maker Zynga for £317m ($527m).

Train2Game News Train2Game attends TIGA Seminar

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Train2Game attended, 22 April 2014, the first TIGA seminar explaining to senior figures in the gaming industry of the impact the new Games Tax relief law will have the games industry.

Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, started by sharing the news that when the tax breaks start it will generate “4,000 new jobs” in the sector.
The panel, explaining the new law, includes representatives from Rebellion, the BFI, Grant Thornton, Three River Studios, Pinewood, and Eden Films.

The film industry panel members explained to a packed audience, in the Dolby Labs Cinema in central London, how the very similar tax breaks law impacted on the British Film Industry and further how many new opportunities arrived in the UK rather than going to other countries.

Two of the key factors for the Tax breaks are that projects must be for commercial purposes and equally not for games that include gambling. Also advertorial apps generally do not qualify for the tax breaks – avoiding tax breaks being given out to significant high street outlets purely for advertising purposes.

Another key factor is that studios do not need to rush to make applications. There is NO CAP on the amount of qualifying applications. This is a law and not a grant based system.

Applications can be and will be made online and studios can qualify for the tax breaks under several criteria. It could be that a tax break is issued on the basis of Cultural Content or the level of contributors, with many other categories.

Also it should be noted that the tax break applicants could be awarded points towards the tax break as a result of any/ALL EU citizens involved in the UK project.

The HMRC (tax office) still have further clarification interpretations of the new law therefore, there will be further briefing to the games industry in the future.

TIGA, an awarding body of Train2Game, were complimented on their continued efforts to reach this conclusion which started over a decade ago.

Train2Game’s Digital Media Team were complimented by Richard Wilson for the massive contribution they played in publicising the campaign which lead to such a positive outcome.

Train2Game News: Games Industry Jobs – 24.01.13

This week’s Train2Game jobs is a special one, Train2Game have teamed up with games industry recruitment agency Aardvark Swift to deliver some top graduate developer position directly to Train2Game students.

For those of you that are unaware of Aardvark Swift, they are the premier recruitment agency in the games industry and also recruit across mobile, digital, toys, nursery and licensing.

Junior/Graduate Gameplay Programmer

North West

£Excellent + Benefits

Our client is one of the UK’s Premier Games Developer. They have a stack of awards and an unrivalled sales track record to back their claims up. Based in the North West, the studio regularly features in the top 10 of the Develop 100 “World’s Most Successful Games Studios” (2007, 2008) and consistently produces AAA titles across all formats. They are seeking a Graduate / Junior Programmer to join the Gameplay team.

Required Skills:

Strong C/C++

Good A levels preferably maths or physics.

A 2:1 degree or above in either computer science or maths/physics degree.

A strong candidate will also have one or more of the following:

  • Experience programming consoles at a low-level on PS3, 360, Wii or PC.
  • Strong 3D math skills.

For more information, please contact Mark Hope at Aardvark Swift on 01709 876877 or Mark@aswift.com

Graduate Programmer

South

£Excellent + Benefits

Our client is a successful UK independent developer. They enjoy excellent relationships with a number of high profile publishers and company growth means they are now looking for Graduate Programmers to join there team

Key skills
• Strong C++
• Object-oriented design
• Good communicator
• Team player
• Passion for games

Desirable skills
• Flexibility (programming teams are generally small so the candidates will likely be asked to work on a variety of different areas during a typical project)

• Extended experience in one or more areas (dependent on seniority – more junior candidates will of course have less experience), in particular:
o Graphics
o AI / Game-play
o Networking
o Tools

In return the company offer an excellent Salary and Benefits.

More details are available by contacting Mark Hope: mark@aswift.com or 01709 834777

Graduate Programmer

Yorkshire

£Excellent + Benefits

Are you looking to join a creative games studio? Then look no further…

My client offers a relaxed and creatively charged atmosphere where talent can flourish. They pride themselves above all on the games they create and their appreciation of the people who create them.

Due to their recent success they are looking to add to their talented team with the addition of a Graduate Programmer.

Responsible For:

  • Writing, debugging and maintaining computer code, often in, but not limited to, C/C++.

- Writing code in a human-readable style, using descriptive and accurate class, function and variable names, and comments where necessary.

  • Carrying out other technical aspects of a project (for example running and maintaining build processes, setting up installers, providing technical information)

- Clearly and accurately communicating progress on, and problems with, your assigned tasks, and the project in general, to your lead programmer and / or producer.

  • Assisting in the production of project milestones and schedules

- Carrying out assigned tasks within the time scheduled for them as agreed with your lead programmer / producer.

  • Ensuring that your work integrates well with the work of other team members, and functions correctly as a part of the whole project.

Standards of Performance:

  • All work should be performed accurately and in a timely fashion

- Producing good quality human readable code as noted above.

  • Being pro-active with regards to problem solving

- Communicating progress accurately

  • Taking an active interest in a project so as to ensure a smooth and error free development process.

- The improvement of the quality of the content required for Team 17 software, including but not limited to iterative play testing, reporting problems and addressing any quality shortfalls as requested.

Key Skills:

  • Having the ability to solve technical problems

- Having an excellent working knowledge of programming language(s), particularly C/C++

  • Have the personal skills and the desire to work as part of a team

Be able to communicate clearly especially when relating to technical issues

How to Apply
For more details please contact Mark at: mark@aswift.com or 01709 834777

Tools Programmer and Graduate Tools Programmer

North West, UK

£Neg + Bonus

Our client has been making games for more than 15 years. They now employ more than 150 people and have released games on major platforms like PS3, Xbox 360, Wii and Nintendo DS. They also work with some Great IP’s and a variety of game types.

They are seeking a Tools Programmer or Graduate Tools Programmer to join their team developing technology at the core of all their productions, from AAA games on every major console and handheld device (over 100 million units sold to date), to their award-winning TV shows, broadcast around the world.

If successful, you will play a significant part in shaping the way art, animation and designs are produced across new projects, as well as keeping our technology up to date with the state of the art in the industry.

They are looking for candidates with:

• A good degree in Computer Science, Maths or Physics or related subject (2.i or above)
• Fluent in C++ and object oriented programming
• Experience of Direct X, OpenGL or similar graphics APIs Experience of writing user interfaces using one or more common UI libraries (Win32 GDI/wxWindows/Qt/…)
• Ability to interact with non-technical disciplines (such as artists and designers), understand their needs, deliver solutions they find intuitive and helpful
• A real desire to make users’ day-to-day work easier, simpler and more productive

A strong candidate will also have one or more of the following:

• Experience of writing plugins for common 3D and 2D packages (Autodesk Maya and Adobe Photoshop preferably)
• A confident grasp of the mathematics involved in CG rendering and animation
• The ability to analyse and optimise algorithms for efficiency
• Experience developing products for one or more non-PC gaming devices

For more information or to apply for the role, please contact Mark Hope at Aardvark Swift on +44 (0) 1709 834777 or e-mail mark@aswift.com

Graduate Gameplay Programmer

Cambridge

£Excellent + Benefits

Our client, the developer of award winning titles, are seeking highly skilled graduate to join their programming team as a Gameplay programmer working on a AAA title for next gen.

They currently have several exciting cutting-edge projects encompassing a range of genres, and are recruiting a mix of programmers for various project team areas such as: networking, 3D graphics, shaders, animation, physics, artificial intelligence, as well as general gameplay programming.

They have a reputation for technological innovation and their programmers get involved in all aspects of system architecture, design and implementation, bringing an extremely high standard of professionalism to the development of all their games, and fully contribute to a dynamic, creative and fun environment, working with advanced technology on the leading games consoles.

The ideal person will have:

Either a good degree, or solid track record, in Computer Science, Maths or Physics.
Possible specialisation in one of the following fields : networking, 3D graphics and shaders, animation, physics, AI.
Industry experience is not essential, but passion and enthusiasm are.
Advanced understanding of C++ and object oriented programming.
Well organized, and capable of code design.
Experience of DirectX Graphics, console toolchains, GUI APIs, LUA scripts, or ASM are also useful.
Familiarity with Xbox 360/Playstation 3 development/Networking/Multi-Threading is a plus.
Good communication.

They have in-house platform abstraction libraries, using a PC development environment to target the major consoles. Game programmers write platform independent game code using our in-house game engine and technology, while engine and tool teams work on company-wide technology and lower level target specific, optimized code.

In return the company offer an excellent Salary and Benefits.

More details are available by contacting Mark Hope at Aardvark Swift via email: mark@aswift.com

Generalist Programmer

London

£Excellent + Benefits

This is the London studio of a successful UK independent developer. They enjoy excellent relationships with a number of high profile publishers and company growth means they are now looking for Programmers who are generalists who are happy programming in a number of areas.

Key skills

• Strong C++
• Object-oriented design
• Good communicator
• Team player
• Passion for games

Desirable skills

• Flexibility (programming teams are generally small so the candidates will likely be asked to work on a variety of different areas during a typical project)

• Extended experience in one or more areas (dependent on seniority – more junior candidates will of course have less experience), in particular:

o Graphics
o AI / Game-play
o Networking

Other details

• Depending on the specific role, experience with middleware such as Unity or Unreal may be beneficial

In return the company offer an excellent Salary and Benefits.

More details are available by contacting Mark Hope at Aardvark Swift via email: mark@aswift.com

Train2Game News: King.com creating 40 jobs with new London studio

Train2Game News reported yesterday that Activision plan to create a new studio in the North of England, but that isn’t the only new developer opening in the UK, with social games company King.com announcing it is to set up in London.

The new studio is expected to create at least 40 jobs and will be led by EA and Playfish veteran Catharina Lavers Mallet.

“I am thrilled to be setting up a new studio for King.com. I am excited by the company’s vision to be number one in the casual social games category, and have been very impressed by the team and the original IP they have built.” said Mallet.

King.com has offices in London, Hamburg, Stockholm, Milan, Romania, Malta and San Francisco, and claims 38 million unique players of their social games.

What are your thoughts on the new studio opening in London?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Valve developing own “platform hardware” says job advert

Train2Game students will be aware that Valve have long been innovators when it comes to developing software, with games such as Half-Life and Portal being classed as all-time greats, while Steam revolutionised digital distribution of games.

But now it seems Valve are looking to develop their own hardware, according new job advert for an Electronics Engineer at the company.

“We’re developing hardware to enhance those experiences, and you can be a key part of making that happen. Join our highly motivated team that’s doing hardware design, prototyping, testing, and production across a wide range of platforms,” reads the Valve job advert.

“We’re not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here – help us invent whole new gaming experiences.”

The main duties of the role are listed as “Work with the hardware team to conceive, design, evaluate, and produce new types of input, output, and platform hardware”

Earlier this year, rumours suggested Valve might be building their own PC or console system, which was dubbed by the internet as ‘Steam Box’ The rumours were denied by Valve, but could this be it?

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog for all the latest news from Valve, including our interview with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive writer Chet Faliszek, who offers some great advice to Train2Game students about getting into the industry.

What are your thoughts on Valve’s job advert? Do you think they’re looking to launch a console? If so, do you believe it can be successful?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Engadget]