Days Gone

Mar 28

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Santa Monica Studio Creatives: Connecting the Craft

Richard Greenspan's Avatar Posted by on Mar 28, 2016 // Lead Technical Artist, Santa Monica Studio

When I think about my history at Santa Monica Studio I see it as the past 15 years condensed into a cerebral photo album filled with remarkable moments.

I am talking about both happy occasions and situations where we overcame struggles and surpassed expectations as a team. Santa Monica Studio exists and thrives due to the contributions of every individual who has ever been a part of our family. Every line of code, brush stroke, and character motion lives on to drive and inspire future talent to create unique games which have elements that seem familiar.

As a technical artist I interact with every individual on the team. I remember their faces, their names, and ultimately their personalities. When you work on a large team it is crucial to find the right approach for each individual. Some people are quirky and others are known to be grumpy before lunch. I really enjoy meeting new team members, particularly those who are fresh out of school. They tend to bring so much positive energy and enthusiasm, and they tend to surprise me with their proficiency and professionalism. I certainly don’t remember being that sharp when I first walked through the Santa Monica Studios’ doors.

In 2009 I made the tough decision to leave the studio, and after being away for almost a year I found myself with the urge to come back. On occasion I think about why I came back, and there are many intricate reasons, but a few stand out. Simply put, I was drawn back to the people and the studio culture.

Santa Monica Studio Creatives Episode 3Santa Monica Studio Creatives Episode 3

When I started working at Santa Monica Studio the team was small but we already had grand aspirations. This meant that we had to work efficiently, which resulted in boundless communication and the need for individuals to be involved beyond the boundaries of their discipline.

At first it seemed strange, but then I found myself (a junior technical artist at the time) having discussions with the likes of David Jaffe, Tim Moss, and Mark Anderson. These guys were already industry legends and there I was, learning from them and collaborating on God of War.

They were approachable and always made me feel like I mattered. This was my first exposure to a professional environment where I truly felt like I was part of a team. I grew up with this studio and quickly learned that successful game development is not about pushing pixels to the screen, it’s a reflection of the journey and soul of the team. The game industry is always changing and the team has grown both in size and talent. We’ve had tremendous success and learned from failures. People have come and gone but all of them contributed to establish an environment which encourages inclusion, communication, and respect for every individual on the team.

Santa Monica Studio Creatives Episode 3

I would like to leave you with some advice which can come in handy for some of you who are just starting out in your career. Game development is exciting but does not come without challenges — remember to have fun along the way. Take care of your teammates and treat them as if they are an extension of your family. Set people’s expectations and make sure to follow up if the expectations can’t be met in any way. They will understand and appreciate your professionalism.

Please visit sms.playstation.com/creatives or follow @SonySantaMonica to learn more. Santa Monica Studio Creatives is a series focusing on 4 unique individuals of our family whose journey to our studio is as inspiring as their creative talents within. While their stories are candid, raw, and anything but normal, their expert crafts and collaboration within our creative walls hits the heart of what matters most to our studio culture – the team is everything.

//Add Your Own

18 Comments

1

+ Amnalehu on March 28th, 2016 at 9:05 am said:

What an incredible studio!


     

    + CommandingTiger on March 29th, 2016 at 2:38 pm said:

    Can’t wait for the next God of War.


2

+ helbertpina on March 28th, 2016 at 9:26 am said:

Oh come on, just announce the first original PS4 God of War game already! REALLY looking forward to it! :D


     

    + SpooNManX on March 29th, 2016 at 1:52 am said:

    E3 is coming up. Maybe we’ll get an announcement as it gets closer to that.


3

+ D-Squad3 on March 28th, 2016 at 11:17 am said:

Yo Santa Monica Studio, I’m really happy for you. Imma let you finish but where the heck are the games?!! We’re almost 3 years into the PS4’s life and not a single game announced from the team. Makes me really upset.


4

+ pablikenemy79 on March 28th, 2016 at 12:09 pm said:

Please Games…. Just talk about GAMES ! ( im talking about AAA) Upcomming VITA or Ps4 Games ! Where are the GAMES !? I know, Sony sales are good so they don’t care about what player want, but men is 3 years without GAMES..


5

+ fudgenasty21 on March 28th, 2016 at 2:27 pm said:

WHIS IS THERE NO EASTER SALE SONY??? YOU CANT SHUT ME


6

+ TetsuyaKenshi86 on March 28th, 2016 at 4:03 pm said:

They delete all the comments about the lack of easter sales, nice job sony ¬¬


7

+ VinsanityV21 on March 28th, 2016 at 4:07 pm said:

Santa Monica’s one of the most talented teams in the World, and I love ’em for making a few great God of War titles and for helping out so many original awesome games – everything from Twisted Metal and Star Hawk to Flower and the Last Guardian have had Santa Monica talent touch it before it goes out the door. That’s rad; that adds so much polish to games published by Sony. But man, I hope GOW PS4 feels fresh, because after the last few original entries AND all those collections, it’ll be boring to see more of the same with better graphics.

I would love to see Kratos not return. Criminy, what a terrible character. Like, the first time – and I’ll give him Chains of Olympus too – you can find something in him that’s not horrible. That he was manipulated by the Gods. But by the time he’s murdering heroes like Hercules and Perseus – or heck, when he’s killed Ares, got his revenge, but still picks fights with anyone else – he’s just a huge ****. It would be rad to just move onto someone completely new, with a completely new mythology! Set God of War PS4 in Egypt and have some character pick a fight with Mentu – teach a new generation of kids about a mythology :)


8

+ mikemill on March 28th, 2016 at 6:24 pm said:

Looking forward to finally learning what SSM has been up to the last several years. The world needs a PS4 SSM game!! We really need an unveiling at E3 this year.


9

+ Wingman_SRK on March 28th, 2016 at 6:33 pm said:

Love this studio. Looking forward to seeing what they’re cooking up.


10

+ MauCamper on March 28th, 2016 at 9:50 pm said:

STOP DELETING THE COMMENTS FROM PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT THE LACK OF AN EASTER SALE! WHYYY NO EASTER SALE?


11

+ FeLiPe_MachiN3 on March 29th, 2016 at 10:24 am said:

Seriously, why is there no Easter Sale? Hurry up or my money will go on Xbox!


     

    + pablikenemy79 on March 29th, 2016 at 10:59 am said:

    I change already and believe me is worth the money, from Sony i still have Vita because the confort for mobility but Vita is not a Sony brand anymore, so i think that i dont have a ps console…. Now back to play my 4 AAA Games with the best online service in the world ! Also i have a couple of 360 games to play for FREE in my XBone


12

+ Hooligantuan on March 29th, 2016 at 3:40 pm said:

Kratos is a Greek mythology fanfic Mary Sue and his popularity is a sad commentary on the intellectual void America’s public school systems are creating of the nation’s youth.


13

+ ghandalf666 on March 30th, 2016 at 7:29 am said:

Please SSM studios we all just want a new god of war game.All we as kratos god of war followers want is to see a taste of what is to come.We need only one trailer and that is it.nothing more and a release date :-) .Also it would be awesome to play god of war ascension multiplayer remastered on the playstation4 console.


14

+ Mieszko01 on April 2nd, 2016 at 9:31 am said:

What about games for PS4 & camera as controller from Santa Monica ?


15

+ Welmosca on April 6th, 2016 at 12:09 pm said:

A bit late to comment but whatever.Another great read and great video…damn Santa Monica must be a helluva good studio to work on.Looking forward to the next video.

And I really hope these videos don’t lead us to an announcement of a new GoW,as much as I would like to see a PS4 GoW blowing everything out of water like its predecessors did we don’t need a new GoW y’all at Santa Monica better be aware that Ascension already spoiled GoW’s universe and reputation enough.


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