What’s your employment history before you came to SQEX?
After graduating with a neuroscience degree, I switched gears to pursue a career in the video game industry, studying CG art at Vancouver Film School and subsequently working at EA Canada. Soon after, I moved to California to work at Naughty Dog on The Last of Us and the Uncharted franchise. My career eventually brought me to Japan when I was hired by FromSoftware to establish their environment art PBR pipeline on Bloodborne.
Why did you want to join SQEX?
Apart from being a fan of Chrono Trigger, and the Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy franchises, ultimately, it was the opportunity of working with the Advanced Technology Division that sealed the deal for me. One of the most exciting aspects of working in games is the ongoing challenge of blending bleeding edge technology with the push for new ways of creative expression, and working as an artist in the technology division at Square Enix seemed like the perfect balance of everything I love about game development.
What do you do now, plus what do you find rewarding, challenging etc, what kind of environment is it?
As chief environment technical artist at the Advanced Technology Division, my role and responsibilities are constantly evolving, and I get the opportunity to work with various projects, art styles, and teams, both in an R&D capacity as well as boots-on-the-ground production. It’s really the people that make the place, and what I most enjoy about working here are my coworkers. The amount of talent and experience that surrounds me is humbling. Additionally, as a member of ATD, I get the opportunity to collaborate with devs with completely different areas of expertise, and in doing so I am constantly exposed to new ways of thinking and fresh discoveries.
Message to prospective hires.
I could honestly go on at detailed length about why Square Enix continues to be a great place to be: working alongside the developers that made my favourite games (as it stands, I’m currently seated next to devs who worked on Xenogears, Kingdom Hearts, FF8, and FF9), the variety of ongoing projects, the constant sense of wonder that life in Tokyo invokes, and the best work-life balance I’ve experienced in my career. But since I’ve only been allowed a single A4 page worth of space, I’ll leave it at this: take a chance, join the team, and experience for yourself what 400 words cannot possibly capture.