Level Artist (Contract)

  • San Rafael, CA
  • Contracted
  • Art (Contract)
  • Mid Level

Ascendant Studios is looking for a talented and creative environment artist to help bring our first title to life. Prior work on an AAA title, or in the Unreal Engine, is a big plus, and our ideal applicant will be able to work independently alongside design to come up with and execute fantastical level ideas.

This position can be remote or in-person. Our new office, set in an old bank (yes, we kept the vault, aka our game room), has just opened after a 2 year renovation, steps away from shops, restaurants, and San Rafael’s vibrant downtown. 

Founded by industry veterans, Ascendant Studios is a fully independent AAA game studio committed to making richly detailed, visceral, narrative-driven action games of the highest quality that players will never forget. We are currently working on our first title, an imaginative and original new IP, which we have complete ownership and creative control of. 

What you'll do:

  • Prototype and grey block assets and environments, collaborating closely with level designers to uphold gameplay and flow as well as aesthetics
  • Populate and decorate in game environments with organic and inorganic assets
  • Work with the Environment Art Director to maintain artistic style and quality in the environments (including asset and material creation, lighting, and level build out)
  • Maintain a balance of art quality versus performance in the game engine
  • Work with the Environment Art Director and designers to come up with new level concepts and gather reference
  • Give, receive, and make changes to your work based on constructive feedback

Who you are:

  • 5+ years experience as an Environment Artist or other role responsible for creating game-ready assets in a full-cycle game development studio
  • Understanding of modularity and environment systems used in fast, iterative, and efficient production
  • Experience in building worlds in engine. (lighting, time of day, fog/skyboxes, palette control, and post process effects)
  • Understanding of modern materials and shaders and a high level of proficiency with Maya/3DSMax, Zbrush, and Substance Designer/Painter
  • Strong traditional art fundamentals, including the function of form and color, proportions, shape, etc.
  • Excellent problem solving skills, ability to identify and resolve issues, and understanding of technical dependencies

Bonus points:

  • Familiarity with Houdini, Gaea, SpeedTree, or other industry standard software.
  • Previous work with Unreal Engine
  • Previous experience working on an AAA, 1st person, console title

More About Ascendant:

Located in beautiful San Rafael, California, in the heart of the San Francisco Bay area, Ascendant is founded by Bret Robbins, creative director and visionary behind the original Dead Space, as well as the campaigns for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, Advanced Warfare, and WWII. The studio’s leadership has assembled a team of industry veterans with more than 600 combined years of BAFTA and Game of the Year award-winning experience on beloved franchises such as Telltale's The Walking Dead, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Borderlands, The Wolf Among Us, Mafia, Tomb Raider, Gears of War, Metal Gear Solid, The Elder Scrolls, Call of Duty, Dead Space and Bioshock. 

At Ascendant, everyone on our dispersed, 90+ person team is encouraged to contribute ideas to our new IP. We value creativity, inclusivity, equality, collaboration and professionalism, and we are fostering a fun, mature and ego-less studio culture built on a foundation of respect and an earnest top-down belief in a healthy work/life balance. 

We believe that teams with varied backgrounds and life experiences make better games. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of age, disability status, gender expression or identity, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, race, religion, veteran status, or any other category protected by law. 

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