In the past half a decade or so the ever-increasing complexity of traditional game development has prompted the emergence – and subsequent mainstream acceptance – of the “technical artist” as a fully legit and often sought-after position.
Typically these individuals have a strong art foundation, but for one reason or another their interest extends beyond the aesthetic impact of their work into the technical as well: they become very mindful of performance, memory and scalability issues, knowledgeable in various setup techniques, optimizations, art-asset management and maintenance practices.
Some of them acquire considerable scripting or programming skills and end up writing shaders, effects, tools or even entire applications.
Coming from a similar background myself, but having spent a good amount of time in Flash development I can’t help but think that a large-scale adoption of a similar role in the Flash development community is just about overdue.
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