Senior Environment Artist-Materials

Last updated one month ago
Location:Santa Monica, California
Job Type:Full Time

The Initiative is an early stage first-party game development studio located in Santa Monica and part of Microsoft’s XBOX Game Studios. Our studio is about craft, creating story, innovating, and looking ahead to the next big thing.   

At the Initiative, we are looking for collaborative problem solvers who want to dive into something new and create groundbreaking experiences for our players. Join us for this once in a career opportunity to help build the studio, define our culture, and create an environment to attract world-class talent.   

The Initiative has an immediate opening for a Senior Environment Artist to create inspirational artwork to help us define the artistic vision and development pipeline. You have extensive artistic and technical expertise and ability to create immersive, living and fully realized environments. We need someone with expertise in both world building and high-quality materials creation. We're looking for a passionate, talented, and driven artist, who enjoys collaborating with others to create rich and immersive game experiences. You are versatile, have strong development and production-sense, and the expertise to inspire and mentor others to do their best work.  

As an experienced Senior Environment Artist, you will work directly with the Art and Design team and other key stakeholders across disciplines to deliver the following:   


  • Collaborate with the art, design, and engineering teams to define environment art pipeline and workflows; R&D new techniques and best practices to implement into production pipeline.  
  • Work closely with the Art Director and leads to establish artistic style and ensure unified look and consistent quality across game environments.
  • Actively contribute to growth of new start-up studio. Lead by example, including demonstrating a willingness to give and receive feedback, collaborate with others to share techniques, ideas, and contribute to a positive working environment.  
  • Visualize environments from concept to completion with minimal direction. 
  • Provide mentorship, feedback, and training to others on the team.   



  • Bachelor's Degree or equivalent practical experience.  
  • 6+ years of experience in designing, developing, and shipping major game systems in a published game or entertainment with market or critical acclaim.  
  • Demonstrated exceptional visual and technical understanding in sculpting, 3D modeling, texturing, materials creation, baking maps, lighting, and post effects.
  • Expert in Material creation using Substance Designer, Quixel, and Substance Painter.
  • Preferred experience with Unreal game editor.
  • Strong 2D and 3D artistic skills, with demonstrated excellence in compositional and visual storytelling skills.  


  • Strong technical knowledge to ensure assets are optimal for performance and memory.  
  • Leadership and Management experience.   
  • Strong communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills. 
  • Technical experience, profiling, scripting knowledge, shader knowledge.

Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via the Accommodation request form.

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