EA SPORTS is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, fan programs, and cross-platform digital experiences. EA SPORTS creates connected experiences that ignite the emotion of sport through industry-leading sports video games, including Madden NFL football, FIFA soccer, NHL hockey, NBA LIVE basketball, and EA SPORTS UFC.
Gameplay Animators are responsible for portraying movement and behavior by owning their animations all the way into game. Gameplay Animators must be able to create emotionally believable characters that allow game players to interact with the game, whether photorealistic or stylized, in a realistic and believable fashion. Think of a game like Madden NFL Football, for example. When the game player intercepts a pass and scores a touchdown, they expect the animated action to be a realistic representation of the action they'd see in real life.
EA Gameplay Animators use specialized software packages, including MotionBuilder and EA's proprietary Frostbite engine, to create the animations for in-game behaviors as well as setting up the blending, tagging, state transitions, compression, expressions, etc. for those animations to work in game. Gameplay animators need a strong understanding of classic animation principles such as staging, squash and stretch, timing, anticipation, follow through, exaggeration, etc., as well as excellent problem-solving skills. Gameplay Animators will work with designers and on their own to create new control schemes and gameplay mechanics in the ANT animation engine.
EA looks for Gameplay Animators who demonstrate a strong proficiency in animation packages including MotionBuilder and game/animation engines like Unity and Unreal; they possess an ability to learn very quickly and work with proprietary animation run-time integration tools; they have an ability to animate the human form, giving the character weight, personality, mood, and believability; they are comfortable animating in realistic and stylized motion; and they can demonstrate a strong understanding of classic animation principles and fundamentals.
Gameplay Animators must be able to work as part a team and on their own, taking responsibility for organizing their work within the production schedule, managing files, and meeting deadlines. It's essential to have an understanding of the production process and the ability to communicate effectively with other disciplines. Knowledge of programming is desirable.
Game animation must be simple and expressive. The Gameplay Animator should know how to reveal attitude, emotions, and mood through a character's movement and behavior, and be able to create memorable characters that will appeal to players. Gameplay Animators are also responsible for how animations feel from a gameplay standpoint, animation must look good and play well in the game. At EA, Gameplay Animators usually possess a degree in Computer Animation.