Animation Programmer

About Sumo Digital, Newcastle

Located in the heart of the Northeast, Sumo Newcastle is a studio with a proven track record of delivering projects to a high standard, specialising in creating new IP with a focus on multi-player action games – including the 2021 release Hood: Outlaws & Legends. 

Our team is built around its own unique cultural fit, with a welcoming mix of industry veterans and up-and-coming stars 

Day in the life of an Animation Programmer:

As an animation programmer you will collaborate closely with animators, technical animators, and gameplay programmers to implement, iterate, and refine animation features, playing a pivotal role in the development of high-quality gaming experiences. Your contributions will extend beyond conventional programming, as you work collaboratively to explain engineering implications and contribute to the creation and enhancement of animation tools and systems tailored to project requirements.

Your expertise will encompass a spectrum of animation technologies, including Unreal Engine's animation system, rigging, state machines, physics ragdolls, inverse kinematics (IK), compression, and facial animation. Your strong C++ programming skills and profound understanding of 3D mathematics will be key assets in this role. Leveraging your experience in multiplayer game development, you will seamlessly integrate animation features into multiplayer settings, elevating overall player experiences.

What you need to do this job:

• Experience with Unreal Engine's animation system
• Experience working on multiplayer games 
• At least one shipped AAA game in an animation programming role
• Experience with animation technologies such as rigging, state machines, physics ragdolls, inverse kinematics (IK), compression, facial animation, etc.
• Strong C++ programming skills
• Excellent 3D mathematics knowledge
• Excellent communication skills and the ability to share complex technical information with both programmers and non-programmers
• A degree in Computer Science or related discipline, or equivalent industry experience

The Interview Process:
At Sumo Digital, we take a holistic and engaging interview process that allows us to get to know you, your skills and your potential. For our Animation Programmer role, we have a two stage interview process:
1st Stage: 30 minute interview with our Technical Director and another senior member in our programming team. During this time we'll tell you a little about our studio and our expectations of the role, have a brief chat about your career history and give you an opportunity to ask any questions!
2nd Stage: Our second stage is 3 separate interviews completed in the same day, either onsite or online. This is broken down into a technical interview with two of our programmers, an interview with different members of the programming team to go through your CV in more detail, and a final 30 minute conversation with members of staff across different disciplines which gives you the chance to meet some of the talented people that you would be working closely with on an informal basis!
What’s in it for you?
Sumo also offers a highly personable benefits package which has something for everyone, no matter where you are in your career.  
Financial: Annual bonus, flexible benefits allowance, salary sacrifice pension, benefits hub, payroll giving, an employee referral scheme (up to £3,000), financial/home buying consultations, workplace ISA and other schemes for tech loans, car loan and bicycles.   
Work-life balance: Flexible working, 21 free choice days holiday (increasing to 22 with service), bank holidays, birthday day off, a duvet day (increasing to 4 with service), Christmas shutdown (Christmas Eve to New Year) and options to buy or sell up to a week of annual leave*. 
Health and Wellbeing: Dental insurance, income protection, life assurance, BUPA private healthcare*, leading EAP programs (remote GP, mental health, physio, nutrition, lifestyle coaching and second opinions (medical)), critical illness cover*, health cash plan*, flexible gym (in-studio or discounts) and funded flu vaccines/eye tests. 
Personal Development: Structured Personal Development tool, regular appraisals, annual salary reviews, access to Udemy learning platform, 5/8 learning days per annum (1 can be used as a volunteer day), award-winning L&D team and yearly attendance to the Sumo Developers Conference (link to video).
Extra Perks: A variety of in-studio perks, regular care packages, studio days out (family welcome), studio-led social activities (game jams, yoga, quizzes, life drawing and more), sabbaticals (at 10 years’ service) and an annual gaming subscription. 
*These benefits are part of our flexible benefits options and are opt in selections. 

Inclusion and Belonging at Sumo Digital:

We are dedicated to growing a sustainable business that provides security to our people while delivering a first-class experience to our partners and players.

As a people business, the success of our people is the success of our company. We prioritise taking care of them with a focus on supporting them, nurturing their talent and providing a healthy, friendly, enriching, creative and safe environment in which to work.

Sumo's employee diversity group, PRISM, exists to promote diversity, inclusion, equity, equality & wellbeing across the company and plays a key role in Sumo's ongoing goal of fostering environments where all employees feel safe, welcome & represented.

Our charitable and community initiatives provide support for meaningful causes that matter to our employees, clients and partners.

We continue to work to improve diversity in our recruitment and promotion processes, and to actively encourage people from marginalised groups to consider a career in the games industry.

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