Visceral Games

Location: http://twitter.com/visceralgames

Founded: 1998

Website: http://www.visceralgames.com

Visceral Games is a division of Electronic Arts, formerly known as EA Redwood Shores. The game development studio is best known for the horror third-person shooter series Dead Space.


Notable Products

  • Dead Space
  • Dead Space Extraction
  • Dead Space 2
  • Dante’s Inferno
  • Army of Two
  • Army of Two TFD

What to Expect

Visceral Games is located within the EA Games compound in Redwood City, Calif., and is a member of the action games division at Electronic Arts. In addition to the Redwood location, Visceral also has studios in Montreal and Shanghai. The decision in 2009 to rebrand the internal studio came out of the desire to distinguish the unique culture and approach to game making. Like the name suggests, Visceral gathers inspiration from the instinctual, emotional, and primal creativity of its team.

The internal structure of the studio is divided into project-based teams, each working solely on one game title in development. When hiring new staff or assigning current employees, Visceral looks to fill specific needs in the team and development pipeline with talents and personalities that are well suited to the theme and mission of the game. For example, every member of the Dead Space development team shared an affinity for horror films. In the level design area, an extensive horror flick library was maintained to provide inspiration during design. Just as important as having skilled animators and programmers who know how to bring the game to life is recruiting a team that works well together; personality cohesion is vital to game production, as communication and collaboration are the foundation on which the development process will succeed or fail.

Speaking of skills, there are a few key pieces of advice to consider when applying for work at Visceral Games. The first is that applicants should have a specific job in mind when submitting a portfolio. If you are an artist, consider carefully if you are better equipped as an environment artist, technical artist, or character artist. Then, when you submit your reel, highlight only the best examples of your work within that specialty. The hiring managers at Visceral appreciate generalists who may be talented in many areas, but they are more interested in how a candidate can benefit the team within his or her specific role. For programmers and artists alike, tools are an important competency to note but not as much as core talent. Like most studios, Visceral employs many of its own proprietary tools and software. New hires to the team must have the background knowledge to quickly master in-house software, but training in the tools is far easier with a solid base of talent.

Those interested in seeking out career opportunities with Visceral Games can find a listing of current openings on the company’s official website, as well as through the career section of Electronic Arts’ website. Applicants must create an online profile and submit all application materials online. For those that land a gig with Visceral, you will benefit from the many perks of the EA main campus location. The compound of offices in Redwood City includes several development studios and also many recreational distractions; the compound houses a soccer field, gym, arcade and game room, Starbucks, lounges, two cafeterias, and many more amenities that seem more suited to a resort hotel than a business office—just another perk of working in the game development industry. Oh, and no sneaking into the EA Sports bar; that is for VIPs and star athletes only.

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