At Pingle Studio we believe that technical artist skills are absolutely essential to any quality game production, big or small, across all genres. But why are Technical Artist roles in game development so critical to a prosperous production and release of quality content and what does a technical artist do that makes them so vital?
A technical artist role ultimately is the culmination of many skills and capabilities that add up to provide a talented contributor to production.
At the core of a technical artist tasks are to ensure that workflows and production cycles are uninhibited by barriers and they achieve this by optimizing environments and creating in-game confines, as well as creating custom software in industry-standard scripting languages that is specific to the game’s needs no matter what they may be.
Providing research and overseeing the general implementation of rendering techniques whilst being actively involved in the performance of frame rate and memory means that a Technical Artist plays a pivotal role in not just the creativity behind the production, but the performance of it too – the list of a technical artist’s tasks are broad, but that is what makes them sought after and incredibly beneficial to production.
Nowhere is performance more important than in the instance of porting game titles across platforms, which can make or break the success of a title. At Pingle Studio we’ve successfully helped studios like tinybuild release the hit Hello Neighbour on mobile platforms, as well as supporting Mooneye with ensuring the wonderful game Lost Ember could grace multiple platforms on launch
With an average of 200 AA and AAA games released on platforms every year, there is great importance on making a good first impression in such a large pool of options for the modern gamer, and with that comes ensuring that titles can function appropriately across as many platforms as possible.
Technical artists have a deep understanding of the pillars of game production, a professional hybrid of creative and technical, and they are able to effectively bridge the gap between the hurdles of creative, programming, and engineer teams in your game production. At Pingle Studio we are able to offer many types of assistance with your production, however, providing technical artist activities is among the beneficial offerings we can deliver for your project.
Technical artist requirements aren’t just about having a diverse understanding of Unreal Engine, Programming Languages, and other software suites, it’s about being well organized, level-headed, and proactive when approaching problems and developing solutions. Being able to liaise between heads of the programming and design teams as well as supporting artists and engineers is among the Technical Artist’s greatest assets.
Technical Artist working on optimization solutions
Technical Artist Job description aside, the profession itself is challenging, and yet dynamic, allowing the technical artist to engage in a wide range of content that ultimately leads to them being fantastical all-rounders in a production environment and well sought after professionals that can effectively join any team throughout any stage of production.
A lot of studios sourcing staff often wonder what do technical artists do that can benefit their production, and the answer simply put is to offer you a solution-orientated expert that is equal parts programming competent and creatively adept – delivering you the best of both worlds that can effectively make optimization of a title across different platforms a breeze.
Technical Artists offer performance-based solutions whilst maintaining the visual fidelity, they’re essential in creating that performance/visual equilibrium.
Defining what is a tech artist is often difficult because the skillset can vary due to the vastly different productions the particular artists have been involved in. On one project they may be more code-centric and on the other, they may be assisting to bring the environment up to the art department standard.
In laymen’s terms, Technical artists work with programming structure and in-engine content to ensure the aesthetic of the art design is not only present but performs consistently and efficiently and in our case, allowing it to port effectively without issues.
Technical Artists provide the knowledge required to dictate essential and non-essential elements to deliver a consistent gaming experience for a title across multiple platforms. The image above is Wolfenstein II on both a handheld console and a traditional console.
Pingle Studio has been a pivotal part of the gaming industry since 2007 and is responsible for not only hiring but developing hundreds of talented Technical Artists. Since our inception, we’ve worked closely with industry giants like Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Disney, Skydance Interactive, Annapurna Interactive, Zynga, and Iron Galaxy.
During our collaborations, we’ve been responsible for customized materials, textures, and particles, as well as dazzling VFX, light arrangement, environments, and much more.
Whilst we have provided elements from all parts of the production pipeline, we are renowned for providing effective optimization that consistently allows games to be ported effortlessly across to other platforms.
- Absolutely essential to the success of multiple titles across multiple platforms, Pingle Studio has worked tirelessly to develop a robust reputation for assisting with porting. Hit game The Survivalists by team 17 was successfully able to transition to apple arcade after less than four months of assistance from our team and that isn’t the only occasion we’ve provided priceless support.
- tinybuild required a mobile port of their brilliant title Hello Neighbour, and after collaborating with Pingle Studio for just one quarter, received their optimized and effective mobile build that went on to build even more success for the title.
- Experts when it comes to porting, more recently we were approached to assist skyhook games with their addictive game - lawn mowing simulator, as they required it to function across multiple game platforms, including those of last gen. After putting our experience into practice, we were able to deliver a stable build that runs flawlessly across not just 3 platforms, but 2 generations of platforms, which is a testament to what is the role of a technical artist.
- Our technical artists aren’t just responsible for straight ports, but we’re also capable of providing improvements and augmentations during the porting process, elevating the traditional paradigms of what is a tech artist. When approached by Annapurna Interactive to port Donut country to android devices, we were able to deliver a fully functional android version of the pc released title and fill it with brand new seamless features.
As you can see, at Pingle Studio we’re able to deliver exactly what you need for your production, because we’ve got a wealth of knowledge in our expert staff that redefines what is the role of a tech artist with each project effectively completed.
The role of a Tech artist is dynamic, with the needs and requirements shifting as the industry changes and evolves, however, there are a set of foundational requirements that all successful tech artists need to be equipped with. When assessing what is the role of tech artist, we can break down the specific requirements of abilities into two main categories, soft skills, and hard skills.
Soft skills required include but aren’t limited to:
- Strong Communication
- High-Quality Time Management
- Ability to Prioritize
- Problem Solving
- Understanding of General CGI Fundamentals (modelling, animation, etc)
- High attention to detail
Hard skills required include:
- Rigging and Animation Skills
- Shader developmental skills
- Data management and Pipeline Understanding
- Deep Knowledge in Houdini, C++, Java, Python, Lua, MaxScript, Perl, Maya, 3D Studio Max, Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, Substance Painter and Unreal Engine
As you can see, defining what is a technical 3d artist is actually quite broad as the needs of the production can fluctuate, they’re effectively a creative all-rounder that can bridge the gap between your creative team and your developmental/production team and are among the most important members of a production team due to their vast knowledge and ability to communicate effectively with all the different departments involved.
Their deep knowledge of the software suites and coding languages allows them to be next-level contributors to the porting process of titles because they can approach problems from multiple angles by using their wealth of knowledge to best seek out the most resource-efficient and effective way to address any issue or hurdle. To sum up, Technical artists are equally proficient creatively and practically and provide a problem-solving outlet that is priceless throughout the porting process.
We believe that technical artists are ultimately fantastic problem solvers, with their deep knowledge of different software suites and ability to code in different languages, they can dynamically adapt to your needs making them essential assets to any team. If you are looking to port your game onto multiple platforms, they are vital in the process and can make that progression not only seamless but prompt too.
At Pingle Studio we are proud to be able to provide development teams with professionals that are not only technical marvels when it comes to production and specifically porting but are effective communicators and team players that regularly provide a strong morale boost to any team they are a part of.
Technical artists are essential to game development and multiplatform implementation and we’re happy to be able to develop and provide talented and professional tech artists to production teams across the globe and help deliver quality content time and time again. Whilst they aren’t the only creative staff we can provide for companies to utilize, they are among our most well-equipped professionals to ensure fluent and seamless porting across platforms.