One of the things we are most often lauded for — and one of the things we are most proud of — is the beauty of the world of The Long Dark.
At Hinterland, we strive to create thoughtful places for players to lose themselves in. We want those places to feel real even when visual realism is not our goal, we want our players to feel the presence of previous inhabitants in those spaces even when those spaces are empty, and we want every single screenshot, animated gif, or video clip from our game to be an iconic, recognizable piece of art.
We are seeking a talented, veteran Art Director to help us achieve these goals.
In this role, you will lead a team of artists across multiple areas — environment, characters, user-interface, visual effects, concept, etc. — and unify their efforts behind a clear artistic vision, ensuring the result of their labours communicates a coherent visual sensibility that reinforces gameplay, strengthens narrative, and delights our players. You will work in lock-step with and under the guidance of the studio Creative Director, to execute on their high-level creative vision for the project, bringing your formidable talents as an artist, leader, communicator, and collaborator, to the task.
As Art Director, you should have 10+ years of experience producing game art, and be a strong generalist with a specific hands-on expertise in a major area of art production. You should also have at least 3 years of experience as an art director or art lead, and have shipped a high-quality game in a role where you were responsible for guiding artists, critiquing their work, and mentoring them, within a cross-disciplinary leads team. You need to be able to work in collaboration with other discipline leads to support their goals, and to get support for the art team’s needs.
We are particularly interested in hearing from candidates that have worked at either mid- to large-sized triple-A studios or triple-I “indies”, especially if you have been involved with creating world-class experiences with an emphasis on beautiful and memorable worlds. Experience creating entirely new art styles from scratch is also something we value greatly, but we know not every great art director has had that opportunity and we appreciate the particular challenges of adaptation and evolution within an existing style as well.
For this particular position, you will need to be comfortable working within an established art style, but also be able to creatively and prudently evolve that style over time. We want someone who is able to respect the foundational work that has been done before them, but also has the ability to bring that style forward as it is brought to new platforms and more powerful technologies. Proven expertise in carrying an art style over multiple product generations would be particularly useful for this role! While there is an existing style to work within, we feel there is great scope for creativity in finding the right ways to improve the entirety of our visual presentation so we are looking for an art director who relishes this particular type of creative challenge, and will not feel limited by it.
You should also have extensive experience in providing paintovers of existing work to help communicate visual goals, and although we don’t require that you have a deep sense of traditional storytelling, it is critical that you are a master of visual storytelling techniques and that you are confident using the cinematic language of colour, lighting, staging, etc. to strengthen the presentation of narrative and mood in our games.
Please keep in mind that art directors at Hinterland carry a range of production, creative, and leadership responsibilities. You need to be comfortable interacting with developers of all disciplines, guiding and organizing the efforts of a team of artists across multiple areas, and working in collaboration with other leads to deliver on a backlog of major feature and content areas. As such, we need an art director who is committed to the planning process, is comfortable managing a team, and also isn’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and help out with production tasks whenever necessary.
This is a full-time, salaried position with benefits based out of our historic Gastown Vancouver location. We offer a mature, inclusive work environment with structured on-site time balanced with flexible work-from-home opportunities. We are open to relocating the ideal candidate but will give preference to local candidates whenever possible. Candidates who are legally permitted to work in Canada are preferred, but our first priority is hiring the best people we can find. We are a relatively small team and intend to stay that way, so everyone we hire needs to be exceptional.
If working with other highly talented developers in a small-team environment sounds appealing, we want to hear from you!
Hinterland is an equal-opportunity employer. The studio is comprised of a multi-national, multi-ethnic team. We value a diversity of backgrounds. We also value veteran experience and a strong work ethic that supports the studio’s culture and values. Our work ethic and production methodology is built around a “Getting Stuff Done” paradigm. We embrace a flexible working environment that affords our team members the opportunity to enjoy family time and exercise self-care. We balance this out with very high expectations about the quality of output from everyone on the team. We offer a variety of perks, but do not believe perks are the same thing as culture.
(Also, everyone who joins our team gets a pair of slippers. They are nice slippers.)