The Sims 4: Art Direction

As Art Director on the Base Game Enhancements team, I have been working to assess base game assets for areas in need of improvement and working in conjunction with concept artists and object modelers to create new assets that fill in gaps in what the Base Game offers. Areas marked for improvement range from global lighting, weather systems and rendering, seasonal support for trees and plants, assets created in the early days that no longer fit within our WGLL style guides, adding new hairstyles where our existing set does not provide a robust set of options for players, updating skin color palettes and specularity and more.

As Art Director on the Sims Delivery Express team, I focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives within The Sims franchise. The Sims Delivery Express team provides free TS4 Base Game content to create a more robust and inclusive player experience. Some of the new items created for SDX drops have included: multi-cultural food items, clothing and accessories, furniture, decorative items, and “Create A Sim” features such as hairstyles, eyebrows, noses, and more.

As part of the DEI initiative, I have worked with consultants and concept artists to create new assets, establish a back log of assets for future development, and have helped to create guides and training initiatives for developers across Maxis, with the goal of making the player experience more authentic and representative of our player community.

As Craft Lead on the Environments Team I am responsible for:

– The development, motivation and morale of team members, identify opportunities for growth and provide them with hands on mentorship.
– Ensuring that new assets and levels are maintaining franchise level of quality and prevent style drift, while continually raising the bar and developing new solutions.
– Representing the World team at a leadership level to provide risk assessments and assist with staffing requirements, remove roadblocks and advocate for the needs of my team.
– Researching training opportunities for the growth and development of the World Building team.
– Updating and expanding pipeline documentation and training materials.
– Determining staffing needs and taking a hands on role in the recruiting efforts of the craft, including screening, interviewing, final decisions.
– Establishing and maintaining best practices, quality bar, pipelines, and processes for the World Building team.
– Researching and developing new environment focused game tech and processes.
– Working with engineers, artists, and designers to assess game performance and issues and pinpoint areas for improvement.
– Collaborating with Leads in other departments to ensure good communication and solid working relationships between departments.
– Working with the Tools team to improve the pipeline, update tools and streamline processes.