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Professional Bio:

Kelly Snapka’s fascination with computer graphics ranges from the technology itself to the breadth of its application, in particular the interactive narrative.  This passion drove Kelly from a young age to pursue art, science, and math.  This ultimately landed him a job at Volition Inc., a AAA game development studio that pushes the boundaries of available technology with industry acknowledgments including the first fully 3d shooter, Descent, and pioneering realtime arbitrary destruction simulation with the GeoMod(tm) engine.

While at Volition Inc., Kelly filled a variety of roles.  He began as a Cinematic Artist on FreeSpace 2,  later expanding to create vfx and game levels for Summoner 1 & Summoner 2.  As a production artist, Kelly learned the valuable skills of working with and supporting a team. It was also during this period that Kelly taught himself 3dsmax maxscript which opened the door to numerous productivity improvements for himself and the team(s) he worked with, all the while growing as an artist.

In September 2002, Kelly Snapka was promoted to the position of Studio Art Director at Volition, Inc. To meet the needs of higher quality and more ambitious projects, he helped grow the art department from a staff of ~27 to ~90 with hands on involvement with recruiting, personnel management, training, and career development.  Additionally, he spearheaded building relationships for Volition, Inc. with vendors and outsource partners in the US, Europe, and Asia.  In his tenure in this role, Kelly presided over the successful game titles “The Punisher,” “Saints Row,” “Saints Row 2,” “Red Faction Guerrilla,” and the pre-production & early production phases of two unannounced products in development.

Also as Studio Art Director at Volition, Inc., Kelly recognized the need for and championed the establishment of a strong art culture at Volition and its owner, THQ.  To this end, he established an internal Volition Art site/gallery, resource libraries, and an Art Council within Volition which meets monthly for each art discipline to share recent accomplishments across projects and discuss upcoming short & long term obstacles and goals. Furthermore, Kelly fostered communication and sharing with the other THQ studios via Studio Art Newsletters, regular participation in THQ Developer Summits, and encouraging cross studio collaboration when possible.

Beyond immediate work obligations, Kelly has been active in the game industry and community in a number of ways.  In addition to regularly attending industry conferences including GDC and Siggraph, he has taken an active role by presenting game art topics to schools, clubs, and events.  Most recently he presented a day long tutorial at GDC:Shanghai’09 on the topic of Building Efficient Art Pipelines.  Kelly has also participated as a judge for several years in the annual AIAS Character Performance awards panel.