Ah, nothing like a good job listing to help you peck at a publisher's implacable fašade. EA is hiring for positions at Visceral Games, best known for the Dead Space series, including a multiplayer designer with extensive first-person shooter experience. Those rumours about a Dead Space FPS? They're starting to look like more than rumours.
The listing in question bills itself "a major opportunity to contribute creatively to an exciting IP". The ideal candidate "must be an avid FPS gamer" with "previous experience as a Multiplayer Level Designer on shipped shooter/action titles".
Desirable qualities include a taste for "believable real world multiplayer level designs" and "some artistic background, formal or otherwise". Atmosphere and embedded backstory are crucial to Dead Space; if Visceral intends to transform its corridor-crawling sci-fi chiller into a multiplayer-heavy blaster, hiring map designers with an eye for moody, suggestive architecture makes sense.
There are echoes here of another Visceral job listing from last month, which called for a lead multiplayer designer with "architectural knowledge and experience making realistic world levels" to work on a "thrilling online action shooter game". Plots, eh? They have a way of thickening.
Disappointed as we were by Dead Space 2's multiplayer, we can't deny it did an admirable job of retaining the single player's vibe. Here's hoping Visceral can manage the feat twice, and build a compelling, properly balanced online experience to boot.
If the idea of a Dead Space FPS prompts feelings of despair, take heart - according to rumours, the unannounced Dead Space 3 is built along broadly the same lines as its predecessors. It reportedly takes place on an icy planet, Tau Volantis, stars Isaac Clarke for the last time and features Dead Space 2's Ellie Langford. In a bizarre twist, a possible logo showed up last year on Israeli TV.
Visceral is also looking for an environmental artist, specifically for the Dead Space franchise. Applicants are expected to have four years experience and a "strong foundation in the traditional arts, including but not limited to figure drawing and environmental and/or architectural illustration". Jolly good.