Earlier this year we posted an open position for a talented animator to join Team Zed. A few short weeks later, we deleted it. Since it was rare for us to post a position on our website in the first place — most of us at the Lab have been working together for years — we immediately received questions about why we had removed the job post.
Simple: Reid Johnson had found us, and we’d found Reid Johnson.
Reid is a talented industry veteran who has been animating top-tier video games for more than a decade. Reid is most well-known as the animator responsible for animating Sly Cooper in Sucker Punch’s Sly Cooper and the Theivius Raccoonus, for which he won a “Best Animation” award from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. Before joining us at the Lab, Reid was at Zipper Interactive for six years creating the more realistic animation for the SOCOM and MAG franchises
Creating motion-captured — or “mocap” — human animation for military shooters like SOCOM and MAG is one thing, but Reid made a freaking raccoon look fluid, graceful, and full of larcenous intention. And he did it all by hand. Turns out, they don’t make mocap suits for raccoons. They do make mocap suits for zombies — and we’ll be putting them to good use in Class3 — but Reid’s got the talent to inject that just-over-the-top coolness you get from hand-built key-framed animation, so we’ll get the best of both worlds.
I can’t wait to see what he can do with a zed horde, a desperate survivor, a lead pipe, and a proper dismemberment system.
One final note: Reid is the coolest character I’ve ever met. I don’t mean cool like celebrity-snowboard-god cool, or hipster-coffee-snob cool, either. I mean cool as in, well, chill. I just don’t think the guy can be rattled, stressed out, or even surprised. He just exudes a sense of “Relax people, I got this shit.”
When Z-Day comes, I’m with Reid.
P.S. Don’t forget to check out Reids’s welcome to his fellow survivors!