Team Spotlight: Sophia

Team Spotlight: Sophia

A textile tech artist on the move.

Mark Jessup

Sophia’s creed: No tool is ever finished.

Tell us about your role and what a typical day looks like.

I am a technical artist and I support the character and animation teams. I specialize in cloth and hair simulation and, like every technical artist, help out wherever I can! A typical day is meeting with the character, animation and cloth teams where we update each other on what we’re working on, then usually working on cloth simulations and being available for support.

What’s something people may not know about cloth simulation?

It never stops! You’re always iterating and working on it. Every change in the game changes how cloth reacts. And capes are just annoying because they go everywhere.

What’s one of your proudest accomplishments at the studio so far?

Helping build our cloth pipeline. When I first joined, since we work in our custom engine, [Firebird. – Ed.] cloth simulations hadn’t been implemented yet. Our cloth system uses Havok and is bone-driven, so I worked closely with the software engineer and technical wizard to get our system working in the engine. It was a lot of trial and error, but I’m incredibly proud I was able to help get such an important system up and running.

What do you love most about the Art team?

The art team is such an incredibly diverse and creative group of individuals. Everyone is amazing at what they do and adapts quickly to technical demands, which is especially important when working in a custom engine. Everyone is also great at working together, very team-oriented.

What’s the most important trait someone can have as a teammate?

Dependability. The ability for the team to depend on you to pull your own weight, do your job efficiently and up to a high standard, and also be able to depend on you for support when needed and to be a part of the team.

What advice would you give someone looking to pursue a career in your field?

Be willing to learn new things all the time, especially as a technical artist. You have to put in the time to learn so you can help the team, and also stay up to date on emerging technologies. It’s hard, but something to always try and be better at. And don’t be satisfied with things, always think ahead at how you can make them even better, because no tool is ever really finished.

Why did you decide to work at Monolith?

While I was still at DigiPen, Monolith came for a company day, and I decided to attend it on a whim. I’m so glad I did! I met the Technical Director and felt so excited to apply for an internship just from talking to him and hearing the enthusiasm and happiness at working for this company. After landing an interview and meeting the teams I was set on Monolith being the company I wanted to work for.

What do you see as a core value of our studio?

Everyone is so motivated across all the teams. It’s incredibly inspiring to work at a place where everyone is enthusiastic and determined to make the best game possible. People really want to help each other.

What’s a hopeful trend you see happening in the games industry?

Definitely seeing more women in the technical side of the games industry, there is such a need for it!

What are you excited about with Monolith’s next game?

Having a strong, beautiful, and fierce character in Wonder Woman as the face of an awesome game. She is a beautiful woman who is incredibly powerful and fearless and is such a great role model and inspiration for women around the world. It’s an honor to be a part of the team bringing her to life.

What was one of your fondest moments from quarantine last year?

Last year was when I finally started my cake business, and the year my husband and I found out we were having a daughter! I look back at last year with quite a few fond memories.

If you weren’t in Game Dev, what else would you be doing?

Definitely a business owner with my own custom cake company!

Thank you, Sophia!

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