Hiring: 3D Art Lead

Title: 3D Art Lead
Focus: Pipeline development, 3D modeling
Type: Full-time, permanent
Last day to apply: 8th of September 2019
Location: Sweden, applicants residing in European countries welcome

A door swings open, a dim light beckons you to come step further, pick up the dusty items, give them a long look before venturing forward, the architecture leading you ever deeper. Frictional’s games are filled with intrigue and emotion, the art subtly guiding  the players. To keep up the illusion of a living world, the execution has to be consistent across the board.

This is where you come in.

What will you work on?

We are looking for an experienced 3D Art Lead to join Secret Project #2. This is a senior position, meaning you will have responsibility over foundational elements of the project. You will work closely with other team leads, such as the creative lead and art lead.

Right now Secret Project #2 is in pre-production, which means that you would find yourself working on establishing pipelines and practices for a good workflow.  On the creative side you will be working within the established style of the game – creating art, researching and documenting. The 3D art you would work on include architecture and complicated props, as well as putting everything together into functional and beautiful environments..

Once the project shifts into production, your role will involve more lead work. You will find yourself communicating with other employees and outsourcers, making sure tasks get assigned and done, and giving feedback. Alongside you will still be able to participate in creating art.

As a small team, everyone in the company has a wide variety of responsibilities as well as rights, but we consider that our strength – no day in development will look the same!

What are we looking for?

You have to be a European (EU/EEA) resident to apply. We cannot consider other applicants.

The person we’re looking for is creative, self-motivated, and comfortable in a lead position. We need you to fulfill the essential requirements, but are flexible with how you have acquired your experience.

We welcome applicants regardless of background, situation, sexual orientation, religion, and similar, so don’t let anything like that hold you back from applying!

Here are the essential requirements:

  • Knowledge in 3D asset creation pipelines in digital games
  • Being up to date with the latest trends in 3D art tools and techniques
  • Not being afraid to give feedback to coworkers and outsourcers
  • Substance Designer skills in creating procedural textures
  • Ability to adjust artwork based on an established art style
  • Major role in at least one released title (not as a student/intern/trainee)

And here are some more technical skills:

  • Experience with face weighted normals
  • Experience with trim sheets and tiling textures
  • Experience in Medium Poly Modeling
  • Knowledge in Modo, or willingness to learn it as a main 3D modeling tool
  • Some technical art knowledge (you will not have to create anything from scratch, but you should be able to communicate your needs to the programmers, or have suggestions such as saving performance on assets)

If you want to impress us:

  • Experience with character art and/or organic art
  • Knowledge in blendshapes
  • Knowledge in motion capture
  • Experience with scripting tools in Modo
  • Experience with Marvelous Designer
  • Experience in  setting up lighting and doing basic level set dressing
  • Love for hard sci-fi
  • Penchant for bold design

What do we offer?

We at Frictional make games, because making games is what we love. But we know that’s not all there is – there’s also playing games, doing sports, or spending time with loved ones. We believe that a healthy balance between work and life creates positive ripples throughout, which is why we discourage crunch.

We also offer:

  • Variety in tasks
  • Opportunities to influence your workflow and workload
  • Flexible working hours
  • Participation in internal Show & Tell sessions for both projects, meaning giving feedback to and receiving feedback from all members of the projects
  • An inclusive and respectful work environment

We welcome remote applicants from European (EU/EEA, UK) countries. However, you are welcome to join us in our office in Malmö if you live in the area, or would be willing to relocate after the trial period.

Apply!

If all of the above piqued your interest, we would love to hear from you! Send us your application 8th of September 2019 the latest – but the sooner, the better! Please attach your:

  • Cover letter
  • Why should we hire YOU?
  • CV
  • Portfolio (link and/or PDF)
  • Answers to preliminary questions (see below)

Send your application to apply@frictionalgames.com!

Please note that we require all the attachments to consider you.

Preliminary questions

Please provide a document answering the following questions:

  1. When is the earliest you could start working?
  2. Tell us about the daily work you did on your last finished game project.
  3. Name two games you think have high quality 3D art. Explain why.
  4. Imagine you are in charge of the 3D art pipeline for a new sci-fi game. Name the top 3 things you think need to be included.

If you are not living in Sweden, please also answer the following:

  • Do you have the ability to invoice?
  • What kind of hardware do you have?
  • What kind of internet connection do you have?

Hiring: Audio Lead / Sound Designer

Title: Audio Lead / Sound Designer
Focus: Creating and implementing sounds, managing audio content
Type: Full-time, permanent
Last day to apply: Monday 15th of April 2019 /CLOSED
Location: Malmö, Sweden (Doing remote work from EU/EEA countries welcome)

You remember it: a faint rustle in your periphery, dragging footsteps around the corner, a raspy breath. You still break in cold sweat when you hear that high-pitched screech that means a monster is near. All the iconic soundscapes that make Frictional games what they are.

We are now looking for an experienced audio designer to work in-house and continue this tradition of keeping a new generation of gamers on their toes with lovingly designed, eerie and memorable soundscapes.

What will you work on?

We are quite a small team, but we consider that our selling point. As a sound designer you will get to work on everything from small effects to the overall mood of the project. This means your contribution will greatly influence how the final game sounds, feels and evokes emotions.

Here are some of the things you will be working on:

  • Collaborating with designers to create soundscapes, taking both artistic and gameplay aspects into account.
  • Being a part of designing the overall mood of the game.
  • Creating some of sounds used for our monsters, machines and other otherworldly noises using libraries, or from scratch if possible.
  • Creating sound effects timed with specific events and animations.
  • Refining events by working with both our map editor and scripting tools.
  • Researching various technical features needed to achieve certain effects.
  • Handling the music, either by creating it or working with a musician.
  • All in all, helping the game world come to life.

We also encourage working outside of your area of expertise, and always learning new things. The more areas of development you are willing and able to  take part in, the better! For example you are encouraged to participate in our fortnightly testing and leave feedback on other aspects of the game.

What are we looking for?

You have to be a European (EU/EEA) resident to apply.

The person we’re looking for is creative, driven and self-sufficient. With a remote team such as ours, the ability to organise your own work is a fundamental skill.

We have recently set up a central hub in Malmö, Sweden, and will help you move to our seaside city if it suits your situation.

Here are some essentials we require:

  • Hardware and equipment to work with.
  • We don’t expect you to have a fully equipped home studio, but enough to work on most of the sounds. Additional equipment can be provided if needed, but it is important that you have the hardware needed to start working.
  • At least one year of experience in audio production for games.
  • Good understanding of sound and music, and how they affect the player experience.
  • Ability to challenge yourself, make bold creative decisions, and try non-conventional things.
  • A critical approach to your work, with the ability to take a step back and reflect.
  • A strive for structure, efficiency, and clarity.
  • Strong self-drive and ability to organise your own work.
  • Interest in and ability to do research for interesting sound and music solutions.
  • Love for working on a variety of tasks.
  • Fluency in English.

And here are some more techie skills:

  • Familiarity with FMod or Wwise.
  • Basic knowledge in programming.
  • Basic knowledge of creating maps in a level editor.

If you want to impress us:

  • Love for horror, sci-fi, and narrative games.
  • A major role in completing at least one game.
  • Experience in level design.
  • Strong game design skills.

What do we offer?

We make games, because that’s what we love. But we know there are other things we love, like playing games, taking part in sports, or spending time with our families. We believe a healthy balance between work and life reflects positively on your work, which is why we don’t encourage crunch.

We also offer:

  • Flexible working hours.
  • Opportunities to influence your workflow.
  • Variety in your work tasks, and ability to influence your workload.
  • Participation in our internal game Show & Tell sessions, so you’ll have input into all aspects of the game.
  • Social security and holidays that are up to the Swedish standards.
  • An inclusive and respectful work environment.
  • An office in central Malmö you can use as much as you please.
  • Fun workmates, game and movie nights, and other outings!

Apply!

If all of the above piqued your interest, we would love to hear from you! Send us your application 15th of April the latest – but the sooner, the better!

Please attach your:

  • Cover Letter 
    • Why should we hire YOU?
  • CV
  • Link to your portfolio site
  • Link to a video reel demonstrating sound design abilities
  • A document describing a game soundscape you have worked on. Please write about the following:
    • What you worked on.
    • What you were going for with the design.
    • What went well in the project and what you would prefer to change in retrospect.

Please note that we require all the attachments to consider you.

Wonder how we hire? Read our blog on How we hire at Frictional Games.

What kind of application are we looking for? Read our blog on Writing the best application for a Frictional Games job.

Want to know how sounds were made in the days of Amnesia: The Dark Descent? Check out the video starring our old sound designer Tapio Liukkonen below.

Miguel Nogueira: Concept Artist

Hi. My name is Miguel Nogueira and I am a concept artist and designer at Frictional Games. My job is to create art for concepts that we might or might not add to the game. The point of concept art and design is planting creative seeds in others through the means of art, to spark debate on the suggestions, and to bring the concepts to life from sketch to product.

I love horror and fiction, so when the opportunity to join Frictional as a freelancer game in August of 2017, I was too flattered to say anything but yes. And in October of 2018, I joined the company as a full member.

As a video games maker, I naturally played a lot of games when I was younger – almost to an unhealthy point. As a 7-year-old kid, this box that I could play on without going outside, or without touching physical toys, was like black magic or voodoo to me. The first game I played was the very first Wolfenstein 3D, released back in 1992.

I wanted to reverse engineer the game. While trying to do so, I broke the computer and got grounded so many times that it wasn’t even funny. Fixing a computer or operating system error was not only hard in the early 90’s, it was also expensive… But I was fascinated by it. The 7-year-old me had a plan to one day master video games.

Besides that, like any true 90’s kid, I owned many cheap consoles that ran Super Mario, Bomberman, Duck Hunt and all that other fun stuff. But they weren’t that inspirational – I thought of them as merely a hobby or a fun way to pass time. It was only when I got back into computer games that the immersion really kicked in. Eventually, I got the desire to be a part of the vanguardist front of the current game making age.

While in college, I was still playing a lot of games. I was studying graphic design and multimedia arts, so video games actually inspired me to come up with shapes, colors and designs. Around that time Dark Messiah and the Metal Gear Solid series were what glued me to the screen. There was something about Dark Messiah specifically, its environments, ambience and designs, that was so magical, but at the same time so haunting. It really drew me into the tales of primordial myth – the ones that make you ask what if?

I got into horror way late. I was just looking for ways to relax with films or, so didn’t get the hype of media that would scare me or stress me out instead. But later on, I realized that there was also good horror out there, like there is in any other genre, full of mystery that unveils slowly. And then there’s, you know, the cheap stuff.

Getting into concept art

Ever since I was that 7-year-old, a part of me had subconsciously wanted to break into the creative field of concept art. I first found out about it when I was 15, and it was thanks to DeviantArt. Back then, around 2005, the site was at its prime, and the only good place to discover and share art. All the art there was mind-blowing, but there was something about concept art that I really loved.

Then in and after college I experimented a lot with fine art, graphic design, graffiti, typography, and other design fields. But it wasn’t until I saw some robot designs by Darren Bartley and Nivanh Chanthara that I stopped and thought: “This is what I want. These people look like they’re having a lot of fun doing those. I want in.”

College itself was tricky for me. When people ask me if it helped me to get a career in games, I’m still on the fence. There was a love-hate relationship going on. On one hand, college provided me with inspirations that I will keep my whole life. It taught me about the European vanguardist artists and how their approach changed the art world, about the importance of the industrial revolution in arts and crafts. I learned about how public installation artists draw attention to their work, and so on. There were classes on graffiti and expression, typography, fine art… and those lessons are priceless. They were a nudge in the right direction. Without someone to teach me about them, I would not have found out about these topics for years.

On the other hand, to get any jobs, I had to lock myself in a room and put hours upon hours into practicing art. It’s something you just have to do to get to the next level of art, and it’s something college just doesn’t quite nurture.

So I cannot give a definitive answer on college. I was either fascinated by the subjects presented at classes or hated myself for being there instead of sitting at home and practicing drawing.

After college, I took a year off to work on and perfect my craft: drawing, painting, designing… After that I took on whatever freelance job I could find, then found work at indie studios, and gradually ended up at more known studios. This was a turning point in my career, because I realized I was playing in the big league now. One day you’re someone’s groupie and the next day you’re working with them.

Every time I connect with a studio or professional I’ve respected for a long time, my energy meter is filled for a long time. I feel the burst of stamina and will to work out of nowhere, like an energy blast. It’s my muse, really. It is the reason I’m fortunate to say that every day may turn out better than yesterday.

And then one day Frictional contacted me because of an email I had sent a long time ago, saying they wanted me for a work test. I passed, and so the journey in Secret Project #1 began. I didn’t know it yet, but it was about to be a wild ride!

My life at Frictional

I started at Frictional as a full-time concept artist. All the briefings were cool, interesting and creatively demanding. Working full-time meant I could work on what I liked all day. There was never a day where I thought gee, I wish I could work on something else instead. Soon I was working on props for pretty much all the levels on the project, then moved to characters, then environments – and now I do pretty much anything that comes my way.

When it comes to my work, I try to bring my sense of graphic design into the aesthetics and my experiences into storytelling. I also like to think in analogies, metaphors and jokes, which I like to sneak into the designs. I feel like every concept has capacity to be something more than just itself or what it looks like at first glance. So I try to add some substance, work on aspects of what the concepts stand for, and make sure they’re not too literal or easy.

Besides that, I love studying and getting all into different subjects, as there is more chance of finding valuable things the deeper you dive. I draw diagrams, study anomalies of human DNA that can be used in monster designs, consume culture and subculture, capture accidents to use in a different context, experiment and drift, love my experiments as I would an ugly child, delay criticism and judgement.

I do a lot of work where I’m focused on details and injecting story elements into the props, environments and other bits of the world. While working, I have recalled some of my memories related to Dark Messiah. In the game there was a statue in a haunted necropolis that you could choose to interact with. It read something like: “Here likes cursed so and so. For his crimes against the king, let his torment be eternal.” It is a really trivial detail and I am probably among the 1% of players that noticed it, but it just added a lot of believability to the world.

A lot of these romantic ideas and memories I have about games are blurry at best and inaccurate at worst. But they are something I gravitate towards when making my art. I study what other games have done well, find out why these things work, then adapt the formula to my own work.

I could go on about my favorite comics, films and games. But to be honest, every time I pick up a new book, game or film, there is a possibility that it will leave me with a long-lasting memory. And for me, that is very exciting.

Like most people at Frictional, I work from home – and in my case it happens to be the sunny Porto in Portugal. Here I have my work sanctuary, aka my office, where all the art making process happens.

My desk and setup are something I’m proud of. It’s just tech, but because I built it myself, there’s another level of affection I have for the tools. It must be a nerdy thing. Besides the obvious hardware my setup sometimes has a book or a magazine on graphic design, a ball or a fidget spinner to play with while I’m analyzing references or trying to focus mid-brainstorming. Simply reading a couple of paragraphs between drawings or throwing the ball at a wall for a few minutes is enough to get all the parts of my brain working again.

Which leads me to my last point: I want to close this with advice to aspiring video game artists. Sometimes us industry people are too serious and forget to have fun. We forget we’re making games. A lot of times artists tend to copy what is popular in the industry, which is fine, but there is also a whole world out there to get influence from. Following in line with the entertainment industry will only get you so far. I find that the art that I actually stop to look at for more than three seconds is the kind of art where the artist is communicating something unique to them, something only they can say – not a copy of a copy of a copy.

The bandwidth of the world is much broader than what you can get through your internet connection or TV set. Get some inspiration from unlikely places: graffiti, typography, furniture design and fashion, nature, travel… Everything has the power to amplify what knowledge you already have and show you entirely new avenues of exploration.

That’s it! Thanks for reading!

If you’re interested in following my work, you can find me here:

insta: https://www.instagram.com/miguelnogueira.art/
twitter: https://twitter.com/ignitionchemist
site: www.miguel-nogueira.com
artstation: https://www.artstation.com/migno

Hiring: Project-based 3D Artist

Title: 3D artist
Focus: Polishing environments and props
Type: Full-time, project-based (approx. 1 year)
Last day to apply: 4th of November 2018

After 3 years of hard work, we are now close to finishing one of our new games. We want it to look amazing, and to accomplish that we need more (hu)manpower.

This is where you come in.

We are now looking for an experienced 3D artist, who will focus on environments and props for our upcoming horror game. Our ideal person loves horror, and is able to convey atmospheric environments and terrifying scenes through 3D art. The position is full-time and project-based, lasting for about a year until the new game is ready to be shipped.

What will you work on?

We are quite a small team, but we consider that our strength. As an environment artist you will get to work on every level of the game, ranging from small props to whole levels. This means your contribution will greatly influence how the final game looks, plays, and evokes emotions.

Here are some of the things you will be working on:

  • Creating basic models that make up the levels, such as walls and floors
  • Modelling props of various complexity, both with and without the help of concept art, and often having to take gameplay concerns into account
  • Constructing particle systems, both by drawing textures and using parameters in our editor
  • Combining various techniques to create special effects, such as flowing water or fire.

If you want to know more about Frictional work practices, you can check out the introduction post of Rasmus, who will be your closest teammate.

What are we looking for?

You have to be a EU/EEA resident to apply.

The person we’re looking for is creative, driven and most importantly self-sufficient.

Since the position is project-based, we are looking for a person who can start as soon as possible, end of November the latest.

Here are some essential skills we require:

  • Excellent skills at adapting to a style and taking it to a finished state
  • Strong self-drive and ability to organise your own work
  • Interest in and ability to do research for interesting prop and environment solutions
  • Love for working on a variety of tasks
  • Fluency in English
  • Team communication skills
  • Knowledge of game design
  • A Windows PC that runs recent games (such as SOMA) that you can use for work (unless you live in Malmö and will work from the office)
  • A fast and stable internet connection.

And here are some more techie skills:

  • Excellent skills in 3D software. Modo preferred
  • Familiarity with Zbrush/Mudbox/similar
  • Excellent skills in Substance
  • Excellent skills in Photoshop or similar software
  • Familiarity with issue-tracking software
  • Experience in classic/non-PBR workflow.

If you want to impress us:

  • Love for horror and narrative games
  • A major role in completing at least one game
  • Great free-drawing skills
  • Experience in level design
  • Strong game design skills
  • Experience kitbashing/working with modular sets.

For this position you can work from home. We have a central hub in Malmö, Sweden, which you can use if you wish.

What we offer:

  • Flexible working hours, a no-crunch approach
  • Opportunities to influence your work flow
  • Variety in your work tasks, and ability to influence your work load
  • Participation in Show & Tell of games, having a say in all aspects of the game making
  • An inclusive work environment
  • A possibility to become a permanent employee.

How to apply?

If all of the above piqued your interest, we would love to hear from you! Send us your application 4th of November the latest – but the sooner, the better.

Please attach all the following:

  • Cover letter (why you should work with us, what do you bring to the table)
  • CV
  • Portfolio (link or PDF)
  • Examples of works that have inspired you or blown you away.

Please notice that you need to send all of the applications to be considered.

Hiring: Tools Programmer

Title: Tools programmer
Focus: Engine
Type: Full-time, permanent
Last day to apply: 30th of October 2018

Tired of the constraints of Unity, Unreal and other big engines? Want to be in control and get down into the nitty gritty of engine coding? Come join us at Frictional Games, one of the few companies that still makes their own tech, and get all up in our HPL engine!

We are now expanding our tech team and looking for a tools programmer who will help make the HPL engine better, prettier, and more intuitive. Your work on the engine will be crucial to the rest of the team, but it will also be seen by our modding community.

The position is full-time and permanent. Ideally we would help you relocate to Malmö, Sweden to be close to our core team, but this is not a necessity.

What will you work on?

As a tools programmer, you will be working together with a small tech team that is mainly responsible for our HPL engine, but also tech support for the games.

Here are some of the things you will find yourself working on:

  • Creating and maintaining the level editor for our proprietary engine
  • Making intuitive user interfaces
  • Creating small specialised tools
  • Working with low-level systems such as IO, AI, rendering, sound, and physics
  • Working with Xbox and PlayStation versions, as well as possible future platforms
  • Internal support for a team of developers
  • Post-launch support.

We also encourage working outside of your area of expertise, and always learning new things. The more areas of development you are willing and able take part in, the better!

If you want to know more about Frictional work practices, you can check out the introduction posts of Peter and Luis, who will be your closest teammates.

What are we looking for?

You have to be a EU/EEA resident to apply.

The person we’re looking for is creative, driven and self-sufficient.

Here are some essential skills we require:

  • Well-versed in C++, C#, Java, or similar
  • Knowledge in AngelScript, Python, Lua, or similar
  • You have created an engine or tools for development for at least one game
  • Strong low-level programming skills
  • Familiar with linear algebra
  • Knowledge in working with Widgets / Custom GUI
  • Fluency in English
  • Skills in team communication and support
  • A Windows PC that runs recent games (such as SOMA) that you can use for work (unless you live in Malmö and will work from the office)
  • A fast and stable internet connection.

These will be considered a plus:

  • Experience in engine development
  • Skills in 3D modelling or texture applications
  • Knowledge in UX design
  • Lover for tech and messing with the low level parts of the engine
  • Excitement for creating fast pipelines and making it easy to create awesome art
  • You live in Sweden.

What do we offer?

We are a small team, which means you will be able to work on a wide variety of things and contribute to our future games in a meaningful way.

We also believe a healthy balance between work and life reflects positively on your work. We offer a variety of perks for our full-time employees, especially who live in or relocate to Sweden. We also don’t encourage crunch.

Here’s what we offer:

  • Flexible working hours
  • Opportunities to influence your workflow
  • Variety in your work tasks, and ability to influence your workload
  • Participation in our internal game Show & Tell sessions, so you’ll have input into all aspects of the game
  • Social security and holidays that are up to the Swedish standards
  • An inclusive and respectful work environment
  • An office in central Malmö you can use as much as you please
  • Fun workmates, game and movie nights, and other outings!

How to apply?

Did the position pique your interest? Are you the person we’re looking for? Then we would love you hear from you!

We will be looking at applications until 30th of October 2018.

Please send us your:

  • Cover letter (why you should work with us, what do you bring to the table)
  • CV
  • Portfolio (or links to your works)

Hiring: Project-based programmer

Title: Gameplay Programmer
Type: Full-time, project-based (1 year)
Last day to apply: 8th of July 2018

Frictional Games is famous for its immersive, atmospheric first-person games; games created by a small team working closely together. For our next game, we need to expand that team! We need a gameplay coder who can support the rest of us, taking on responsibility for game-wide systems such as inventory, AI, first-person body, and other features that the player’s experience will depend on. Join us, and help us transport our players to strange and terrifying new realms.

The position is full-time, and project-based for the period of 1 year. After that period there may be a possibility for the position to become permanent.

What will you work on?

Here are some of the specific gameplay systems you will find yourself working on:

  • Inventory management
  • AI behavior
  • Physics interactions
  • User interface
  • Game-specific systems (think Sanity system in Amnesia: The Dark Descent)
  • Inverse kinematics

It is a big plus if you have already worked on most of these before. While we value experience, it is more important that you are willing and able to dig into challenges and learn new things. We are interested in playing to your strengths, so the things listed will not be the only ones you will be working on.

What are we looking for?

The person we’re looking for should have a solid understanding of different gameplay systems. You need to be able to see the big picture and have a firm grasp on how information flows between modules, and how complex behaviour can be reduced into simple rule sets.

We use our own engines, so you need to be able to adapt to the existing system and code base. We also value the end user experience, so we hope you can step into the players’ shoes instead of only focusing on the nitty gritty technical stuff.

You have to be a European resident to apply!

Here are our other essential requirements:

  • You have worked on a game that uses 3D environments.
  • Well-versed in C++, C#, Java or similar.
  • Strong linear algebra skills.
  • Major role in completing at least one game.
  • Strong self-drive and ability to organise your own work.
  • A critical approach to your work, ability to reflect.
  • Confidence in implementing your own designs.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Team communication skills.
  • Knowledge of game design.
  • A Windows PC that runs recent games (such as SOMA) that you can use for work (unless you live in Malmö and will work from the office).
  • A fast and stable internet connection.

For this position you can work from home. We have a central hub in Malmö, Sweden, which you can use if you wish.

What we offer:

  • Flexible working hours, a no-crunch approach.
  • Opportunities to influence your work flow.
  • Variety in your work tasks, and ability to influence your work load.
  • Participation in Show & Tell of games, having a say in all aspects of the game making.
  • An office in central Malmö you can use.
  • An inclusive work environment.
  • A possibility to become a permanent employee.

Apply? Yes!

Did the tasks above sound like your cup of tea (or other beverage)? Are you the person we’re looking for? Then we would love you hear from you! The last day to send the application is 8th of July 2018 – but the sooner the better.

Please send us your:

  • Cover letter
    • Tell us why we should hire YOU!
  • CV
  • Portfolio
    • PDF or links to your works

Please note that we require all the attachments to consider you.

Hiring: 3D Artist

Title: 3D artist
Focus: Environment design
Type: Full-time, permanent
Last day to apply: 17th of June 2018

Frictional games are filled with terror, intrigue, mystery, and emotion. We want our environments to reflect that, from the shape of the landscape to the smallest rock, while subtly guiding players and helping to enhance the gameplay.

This is where you come in.

We are now looking for an experienced 3D artist, who will focus on environment design for our upcoming games. This means working closely with our gameplay programmers / designers, and using modelling, texturing, and design skills to create memorable, interesting, and functional environments for our players to experience.

What will you work on?

We are quite a small team, but we consider it our strength. As an environment artist you will get to work on everything from props to high-level design. This means your contribution will greatly influence how the final game looks, plays, and evokes emotions.

Here are some of the things you will be working on:

  • Collaborating with designers to create level layouts, combining both gameplay and an artistic perspective.
  • Taking levels from whitebox to a polished product.
  • Creating basic models that make up the levels, such as walls and floors.
  • Modelling props of various complexity, both with and without the help of concept art, and often having to take gameplay concerns into account.
  • Constructing particle systems, both by drawing textures and using parameters in our editor.
  • Combining various techniques to create special effects, such as flowing water or fire.

We also encourage working outside of your area of expertise, and always learning new things. The more areas of development you are willing and able take part in, the better!

For some examples of our environments, please check the video above!

What are we looking for?

The person we’re looking for is creative, driven and self-sufficient. We have recently set up a central hub in Malmö, Sweden, and hope you can move over to our seaside city sometime in the future.

You have to be a European resident to apply.

Here are some essential skills we require:

  • Good understanding of composition and player guidance.
  • Ability to challenge yourself, make bold creative decisions, and try non-conventional things.
  • A critical approach to your work, with the ability to take a step back and reflect.
  • A strive for structure, efficiency, and clarity.
  • Strong self-drive and ability to organise your own work.
  • Interest in and ability to do research for interesting prop and environment solutions.
  • Love for working on a variety of tasks.
  • Fluency in English.

And here are some more techie skills:

  • Excellent skills in 3D software. Modo preferred.
  • Familiarity with Zbrush/Mudbox/similar.
  • Excellent skills in Substance.
  • Excellent skills in Photoshop or similar software.
  • Familiarity with issue-tracking software.
  • Experience in classic/non-PBR workflow.
  • Basic rigging and animation skills.

If you want to impress us:

  • Love for horror, sci-fi, and narrative games.
  • A major role in completing at least one game.
  • Great free-drawing skills.
  • Experience in level design.
  • Strong game design skills.
  • Experience kitbashing/working with modular sets.

What do we offer?

We make games, because that’s what we love. But we know there are other things we love, like playing games, taking part in sports, or spending time with our families. We believe a healthy balance between work and life reflects positively on your work, which is why we don’t encourage crunch.

We also offer:

  • Flexible working hours.
  • Opportunities to influence your workflow.
  • Variety in your work tasks, and ability to influence your workload.
  • Participation in our internal game Show & Tell sessions, so you’ll have input into all aspects of the game.
  • Social security and holidays that are up to the Swedish standards.
  • An inclusive and respectful work environment.
  • An office in central Malmö you can use as much as you please.
  • Fun workmates, game and movie nights, and other outings!

Apply? Apply!

If all of the above piqued your interest, we would love to hear from you! Send us your application 17th of June the latest – but the sooner, the better! Please attach your:

  • Cover Letter 
    • Why should we hire YOU?
  • CV
  • Portfolio 
    • Link or PDF
  • Preliminary work test
    • See the test below
  • Examples of works that have inspired you or blown you away 
    • PDF, screenshots preferred.

Please note that we require all the attachments to consider you.

Preliminary work test

After 3 years of failed experiments, Professor Kim finally managed to reverse gravity. However, the professor died just as he succeeded, and the whole thing ran amok.

The player enters the research facility where the experiments took place. As they go through the level, they gradually learn about what the professor was trying to achieve. At the end they’re met with a revelation, and see the disturbing results of the experiment. As they reach the end, the level must loop in a way where the player finds themselves near the entrance, where they first started.

We are looking for a simple design, done as a rough 3D sketch/white box. You are free to write notes and do paint-overs on top of the 3D.

This test is a first step in the evaluation process, showing us your basic skills, so we are not looking for you to spend a lot of time on it. Imagine this as a quick proof of concept you would present before doing a pitch or a design.

We will evaluate your artist vision, creativity as well as level design skills.

Put everything as a collection of images into one folder on Dropbox, Drive or similar, and send the link to us.

Gregor Panič: Gameplay Programmer

Who am I?

Hi there! I’m Gregor and I’m a designer and programmer at Frictional, which means I’m responsible for all the fun events in our levels. Okay, maybe they’re fun just for us.

It’s me! And the sign on our door, printed on an A4 and a little crumpled…

I’m a more recent recruit, having joined around September 2016. My job description, gameplay programmer / designer, is purposefully vague. While I mainly work on level scripting, I also spend time on AI, gameplay systems and level design. I also worked on our collaboration with the Tobii Eye Tracker, which I will talk about later. The great part about this is that my work never gets stale and almost none of my days feel the same.

I’m originally from a little known country called Slovenia, but I’ve recently moved to the land of the vikings to become one myself. Or, in other words: I moved to Malmö around two months ago and now work from our fairly new office.

My setup at work – right next to the fanart wall! No deskmate yet, though. :'(

I absolutely adore our office and go there pretty much every day to socialize with and get inspired by my co-workers. I’m also the one who nags everyone with occasional movie and gaming nights, where we usually grab some snacks, relax and watch a horror movie (obviously), or games like FIFA and Jackbox Party Pack!

Background

I can’t really remember the time when I first started playing games. I do know that around the late 90s my dad brought home an Intel 80186 PC one day, thinking he would use it for work. He was wrong. After he showed me a couple of MS-DOS games and I realized I could make things move by pressing buttons, I became glued to that PC. My parents didn’t manage to pry me from it, so I’ve been playing games ever since. Not on the same machine, obviously.

I played a lot of games, but didn’t touch the horror genre for the longest time. I still remember having vivid nightmares and being unable to sleep whenever I saw something remotely scary on television. When I was older, however, a friend of mine bought me Amnesia as a “gift”. It was a dare, of course, but because I didn’t want to disappoint my friend, I played through it. It was just as scary as everyone was telling me, perhaps even more so.

But while I was playing it I also realized that it was about more than just scaring the living hell out of me. It managed to fully immerse me in its world and story, which I had not experienced to this degree before. This is how I got introduced to the horror genre, and to Frictional, which would later impact my life more than I could have possibly imagined.

Making games has been my dream ever since I can remember. Given how much fun I had playing them, I thought it would be great if I could make my own – which is why I always liked messing around with settings, seeing what I could do with cheat codes, and figuring out damage formulas so I could get an advantage. It wasn’t until I got sucked into a game called Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, however, that I actually made my first array into creating my own content. I made lightsaber hilts, maps, and even modified some scripts to make the game play like I wanted to.

Unfortunately, growing up in Slovenia there was no real game dev scene there, so I forgot about my dream. It simply never occured to me that I could make games for a living. However, since I was already using my computer so much, I thought it would be fun to work in IT. So I learned some basic C++ programming in high school, then went to a computer science university where I learned a lot more about programming and software in general.

For a long time I resigned myself to becoming a web developer, taking some summer jobs and part-time work in that field. The job became more and more mundane and boring, until I finally realized that I couldn’t do it long term, and that I had to find something more fulfilling. That is when I remembered my dream of making games, how much fun they brought me and how great it would be to be able to help someone else have the same experience. I already had a lot of programming experience, so I became determined to join the games industry.

I immediately quit my part-time job and started working on my first small game. I wanted to do everything on my own so that I would learn all the intricacies of game development. A year or so of studying and work amounted to Welkin Road, a little puzzle platformer with grappling hooks.

In Welkin Road you use your two grappling hooks to solve movement-based puzzles.

While I was in the process of finishing Welkin Road, I started looking at potential studios I could join. That’s when I saw a tweet from Frictional, mentioning that they were looking for a designer / programmer. I didn’t think I was ready, but I figured this was my only chance to work with the company, so I sent my resume in anyway.

To my big surprise they offered me a work test, to see whether I was suitable for the role. I gave it my best, but after I sent in my project I tried to prepare myself for the inevitable let-down. Instead I got a positive reply and an invitation to an interview. The final decision came a couple of weeks later.

Spoiler alert: I got the job.

Given that I was a big fan of Amnesia and SOMA, the decision to accept was a no-brainer. However, it took me quite a while to properly register that I had fulfilled my lifelong dream. A year and a half later I realize how lucky I am to be one of the few people who can wake up on Mondays with a smile on their face.

After joining, I immediately started working on my introductory tasks aimed at learning the new tools. I joined at the same time as Max, so we bonded over struggling to understand all the new stuff. When those tasks were done, I started working on my first real project: designing and implementing eye tracking features in SOMA, which I will talk about in more detail in the next section.

A while after I was brought on, the company started looking to set up a studio in Malmö. I already knew that if I wanted to make games, I would most likely have to move, so the decision to move to Malmö didn’t take me long to make. Finding a place to stay took a while, but I eventually managed to find a nice apartment and settle in, in no small part thanks to my incredibly kind and welcoming co-workers.

The setup in my new home in Malmö!

FIRING LASERS (more commonly known as Eye Tracking)

As promised, I will now spend some time talking about my adventures in eye tracking. After receiving a unit from Tobii, I first tested it with a bunch of games that already had eye tracking support. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was a particularly useful use case study, since it had a robust implementation and used the eye tracker in interesting ways. I was initially very surprised at how well the eye tracker worked in that game, and how seamless and intuitive it was to use without putting any strain on my eyes. This gave me the confidence that we could use this to enhance SOMA.

Once I got a feel for what the technology was capable of, I read through Tobii’s SDK documentation and code samples to figure out how it all worked. In simple terms, the Tobii eye tracker provides a continuous data stream of screen coordinates that represent the location on the screen the user is looking at. Think of it as firing 60+ laser beams per second from your eyes to your monitor. Bring it on, Cyclops!

After I was done feeling like a superhero, I looked into how we could use this in our own engine, HPL3. Since Tobii’s SDK was easy to use, integrating it into HPL3 wasn’t too difficult, especially with the help of our engine programmer Peter.

With the technical aspects more or less dealt with, I started thinking about the design of our eye tracking features, and how we could best make use of this technology to enhance the game. This included brainstorming sessions, quick prototyping and a lot of feedback from the rest of the team.

It quickly became clear that while controlling and moving stuff around on the screen with your eyes is fun, it becomes tiring and uncomfortable really fast. For a good experience, the player must never be actively thinking about using their eyes. Instead, the game should react to the player’s natural eye movements and try to enhance the experience. A negative side effect of this design principle is that unfortunately quite a lot of features become very subtle and hard for the player to notice consciously, despite having an overall positive effect.

The white circle is where the player is looking.

Another interesting aspect of designing these features was how eye tracking could be used in a very immersive first person horror game. Horror games often rely on where the player is looking to trigger certain events, which always means a certain level of uncertainty about whether the player actually registered what was happening on the screen or not. With eye tracking, this uncertainty became very minimal, which meant that the timing of a lot of the events in SOMA naturally improved.

In the end, we ended up with a number of eye tracking features we were happy with. The most noticeable ones are extended view, which makes the viewport pan towards where the player is looking, and the ability to control the flashlight with your eyes. A number of enemies also react to the player’s gaze, such as the flesher monster becoming aggressive when looked at and teleporting when the player blinks, or the deep sea diver stopping when the player maintains eye contact.

Other features are much more subtle and designed to enhance immersion and mood. For example, staring at creepy and gory scenes zooms the screen slightly, giving the impression that Simon is in a trance or shock-like state and can’t look away. When the player looks at enemies, the screen distortion effect intensifies to further discourage players from looking at them.

Additionally there are some really secret ones, such as Ross’ distorted computer messages appearing exactly when the player blinks, to further reinforce how Ross is inside Simon’s head. My personal favorite, however, is a subtle reaction from K8, the incredibly friendly and helpful swimbot, which gives the player a small opportunity to communicate with it.

The developer showcase of eye tracking features.

In summary, working on eye tracking has been an incredibly fun and rewarding experience both because of the challenge, knowledge gained and the creative freedom. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy firing lasers with their eyes? The end result hopefully enhances the SOMA experience, even if just a tiny little bit. So if you have the PC version on Windows and a Tobii eye tracker, consider giving an even more immersive version of SOMA a go!

The official trailer for eye tracking in SOMA.

Eye tracking is just a small part of my work at Frictional though, as I’m currently working on one of our next projects. I’m already really proud of what we’re creating and I’m happier than ever with my choice to follow my dream of making games. We’re all really excited to be able to share more of what we’re doing, but until then we’ll just keep doing our best. This also reminds me it is time for another gaming night, to keep our spirits up!

Quality Frictional Humour™ from a recent Jackbox Party night.

Alex Camilleri: Gameplay Programmer

Who am I?

Hi, my name is Alex and I am one of those people on this planet who make games for a living. I joined Frictional Games almost a year ago as a gameplay programmer & designer, and I am currently working on [REDACTED].

Despite my warm Sicilian blood, I ended up living in this beautiful yet terribly cold place called Sweden, where I obviously work from.

Background

I got exposed to videogames as a kid, watching my dad playing Lucas adventures (that Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis intro sequence will forever be impressed in my memory) and – like most people these days – I just spent a lot of my free time playing games.

I remember that when I was really really young I would draw labyrinths on paper and let my best friend play them as I was adding moving traps and enemies on the go. It was a complete nonsense but I think it’s the earliest somewhat-interactive thing I’ve ever made. It was pretty fun.

During my teenage years it was really clear to me that I wanted to work with games, so I started doing game journalism and with two friends of mine I would spend nights playing games but also making terrible prototypes, studying some programming in our spare time. My first playable game was obviously an extremely generic shoot-em-up with horrible graphics and some keygen music slapped on top.

Figure 1: On the left: me eating while being bored to death with my new programming book. On the right: me probably being overly excited about making something shoot a bullet into something else. I’m also wearing swimming trunks for some reason.

I eventually decided to move to the Netherlands to study and get my bachelor’s degree in Game Design and Production. Living there was a great fun and allowed me to be part of an active gamedev community. I went to gamedev events, met many developers, expanded my network and opened my one-man-company called Kalopsia (hi Josh Homme!). I also joined a lot of game jams, one of which landed me an internship at Guerrilla Cambridge doing some level design on RIGS: Mechanized Combat League for PSVR (at the time the Morpheus prototype was just a bunch of lenses and cables put together with tape).

I ultimately started my own small but very personal project called Memoir En Code: Reissue, which I eventually released on Steam/Humble/GOG (totally not a plug). I worked solo on that project for quite some time, and after the release I felt the need to change gears and work in a team again. A friend of mine told me there was an opening at Frictional Games, and how could I not apply to the company that made SOMA?

Fun fact: after I submitted the work test I travelled to San Francisco for GDC17, and Thomas and Fredrik were there as well. We did not meet in person though, and I ended up spending most of the conference thinking about the test; it was actually a bit stressful and distracting! I found a partner for a new solo project that I was planning to make in case stuff didn’t work out, but I got a positive response from Frictional and I obviously agreed to join the team.

I’m not crazy after all.

What I do

During the first weeks at Frictional I spent my time learning the tools and the overall work pipeline. This resulted in me creating a short psychedelic game where you put out fires by peeing on them, while Slayer music plays in the background. It’s probably the best thing I have made to this date.

At the beginning there was a lot of stuff to learn and take in. But to be honest that was the entire point why I pushed myself into a new environment; you can’t really become a better developer if you don’t expose yourself to new stuff.

After I was done with the intro tasks I quickly jumped into production, working with Aaron (we are officially called the A-Team). He works from the UK, but we have a very clear line of communication; we are fairly independent, but we are always in sync, which is working out very well for us.

I spend most of my days scripting events, moving a door 0.25 units to the left to improve visibility and making that sound play with 0.5s delay because it just feels a bit better. The rest of the day is spent drinking tea with my desk-buddy Max and mostly hoping that nothing breaks. I have also spent some time making small changes to the debug tools we use, just to make the pipeline a bit smoother or a bit more comfortable. I juggle between working from the office and from home, depending on the amount of isolation my brain needs. Being able to do that is a big privilege that has a very positive creative impact on me.

Figure 2: my workstation at home. I have the same desk at the office and the same type of chaos ruling over it.

Stuff that I like

Since designing games is a complete dream-job, I try to keep myself busy by doing other creative things on the side. I spend quite some time doing photography, which I enjoy quite a lot. When I travel I always bring my a7ii with me, practicing and slowly improving over time. Aside from that, I also very much enjoy making music. Some months ago I got a Teenage Engineering OP-1 which I am having tons of fun with, and I am now playing a bit of ukulele.

I guess I won’t be happy if I don’t mention my biggest love. I have a deep (and almost unhealthy) love for anything Kojima makes. Over the years my love for his games went a bit overboard (I am the person behind the Metal Gear Timeline which you should totally check out if you are new to the saga) and now I ended up with a corner of my apartment being completely dedicated to his work. I keep adding stuff to the cabinet and now I probably need a new one after I got some new loot from my recent trip to Hong Kong. I fill my existential void with Metal Gear stuff, I need a doctor.

Oh, and you can find me on Twitter as @AlexKalopsia!

Figure 3: My babies.

Max Lidbeck: Gameplay Programmer

Who am I?

I’m Max, and I do gameplay programming and design. I joined Frictional about a year and a half ago, and I’ve been working on one of our super secret projects since.

Yours truly.

For the first nine months or so I, like everyone else, worked from home. Last summer we got an office set up in the heart of Malmö. Since then the amount of days I spend working from home has reduced greatly, though I still do it from time to time.

Setup at home and at work.

These are my two workspaces, the first one in the office and the other one at home (which is rather bare bones right now, moved in just a couple of days ago!). They’re quite similar; both the computers and the chairs are the same kind. I wanted to be even more consistent and get the same type of desk as the office one at home, a decision that was ultimately overruled by my better half (apparently it doesn’t go with the rest of the decor).

Background

Games have always been a big part of my life. Most of my time growing up was spent either playing games or talking about games. But, for quite a while, my family didn’t have a PC. Which meant I was stuck playing all sorts of old, weird games on rapidly aging Apple computers. One of my earliest gaming memories consist of repeatedly failing at air-hockey, losing to a hideous pig-man in Shufflepuck Cafe on my dad’s old Macintosh.

Eventually I scraped together enough money to put together my first PC, in front of which I would stay rooted for the following years. In addition to playing, I spent a lot of time creating custom content for games with my friends. It was always quite basic though, as I hadn’t learned any programming yet.

For a year or so I studied film and media studies at the university, with a diffuse goal of wanting to work in games down the line. One night my girlfriend gave me a push, and I applied for a three-year game development program at Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH).

My years at BTH were a mixed bag. On one hand, we had a lot of freedom and got to work on tons of small projects, which was very fun and super rewarding. On the other hand, some courses felt like they were only marginally related to game development. Working on side-projects during your spare time was crucial. I got through it all by finding a good group of like-minded students that I stuck to for the entirety of the education. Our final project was a side-scrolling adventure game called Far Away – you can watch the trailer for it on Youtube.

Perfectly in sync with graduating, I stumbled across a job opening at Frictional and sent in an application. Over the following weeks I answered some additional questions, did a work test and finally had an interview. A couple of days before I would hear from Frictional, I got a job offer from another company in software development. I clumsily explained to them I was waiting on another offer and asked for a few more days. Finally, I got an email from Fredrik and Thomas offering me the job. It was a no-brainer, and I happily accepted.

What I do

My first few weeks at the company consisted of completing a list of introductory tasks, to learn more about the tools and the engine. This was a lot of fun, and culminated in the creation of a silly mini-game where I got to put everything I had learned to the test.

After I had completed the introductory tasks I got to work on Safe Mode for SOMA, which was something I was really excited about — contributing to a game I truly thought was great. From the get-go, we felt it was important to maintain the monsters’ threatening presence in order for their new behaviours to gel with the overall tone of the game. We couldn’t just disable their ability to harm you; doing this would end up breaking immersion (imagine repeatedly throwing a toolbox in Akers’ face and him just standing there, taking it). Instead, we tried to focus on how to best tweak each monster’s behaviour in a manner that suited that particular encounter. For instance, some might eerily walk up to you and size you up, and can even bluff charge you if you’ve strayed too close. To further enforce the behaviours fitting with the world, we decided that if you were to actively mess with monsters (like invading their personal space for too long, hurling trash at them and so on), they should still be able to hurt you, just not kill you. Overall it was a very worthwhile experience, and I’m quite happy with how it all turned out.

Now I’m working on one of our secret projects. As the gameplay programmer/designer workflow has already been described in previous posts I won’t go into detail, but my days in general are spent designing and scripting events and scenes, as well as programming gameplay systems.

The office

Additionally, I thought I’d talk a bit about the differences in working from home compared to working in the office. We’re also gonna do a proper office tour later on, so stay tuned!

This is where the magic happens.

This is our office! Currently, we’re around seven people occupying this space, probably with more to come. It’s quite seldom all of us are here at once though, but there are usually a few people around. And on the off chance that you’re here by yourself one day, fear not; there’s always the noisy, seemingly stiletto heel-wearing, tap-dancing travel agency crew upstairs to keep you company (seriously).

So, it really isn’t all that crowded here. But, seeing as most of us don’t work from the office, we often have meetings over Slack. It can easily get annoying for your desk-mates if you keep babbling on and on in various meetings throughout the day, which is why we’ve set up a separate meeting room. It also moonlights as a test room, complete with a TV, some dev kits and a monster webcam.

The fact that the company is split into people working from home and people working in the office could potentially lead to complications, such as communication issues. In order to prevent this we’ve made sure that all important decisions and discussions still happen over Slack, to keep everyone in the loop. So far this policy has worked well, and the transition has been quite smooth.

In the end, a typical day of work in the office is very similar to one at home. There is of course the added social aspect of working in the same physical space as you colleagues, which is great, but if you one morning feel like you’d rather stay at home and work, you can. Having this option every day really is quite luxurious.

Other than this, and the requirement to wear pants, the routines of working in the office and and working from home differ very little.