Chad Orr (DreamWorks) joins Retro Studios as a lighting artist

We can exclusively report a new hire at Retro Studios. Chad Orr, a Lighting and Compositing Artist, has joined Retro as a Senior Lighting Artist. Orr has an impressive collection of credits to his name, having worked on projects by Disney (Moana, Zootopia), Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Santa Monica (God of War) and DreamWorks Animation (How to Train Your Dragon 3, The Croods: A New Age). He’s even received awards for his work on God of War and How to Train Your Dragon 3. We can’t wait to see his contributions to Metroid Prime 4!

It’s worth noting that since our last post on job openings at Retro, the postings for environment and lighting artists have disappeared. This may suggest that Retro has all of the artists they’re looking for. There is still an opening for a concept artist, however.

Source: LinkedIn (must be logged in)

Updated job listings at Retro Studios

Throughout the development of Metroid Prime 4, Retro Studios has sought to hire talented developers from across the game industry to work on engineering the gameplay, concepting cutscenes, write the story and fulfill other responsibilities. The Nintendo careers page has been updated with new positions. In addition to these, Retro is currently still seeking more Concept Artists and Contract Environment and Lighting Artists. The new positions added are as follows:

  • IT Engineer (Level 1 and 2, Contract)
  • Level 3 Environment Designer
  • Level 2 System Designer

As of December 2020, Retro was looking for a Boss/AI Designer and a Lead Technology Engineer. These jobs have disappeared from the careers page, suggesting they have been filled. As always, we will keep you updated about any new hires at Retro while we await a true unveiling of Metroid Prime 4.

Source: Nintendo Careers

Feature: The Pottery Pieces

Our feature for March has been almost a year in the making, and I am thrilled to finally be able to share it with you. As a lockdown project, I turned a broken flower pot into Metroid art. I was inspired by the Six Fanart Challenge that swept social media last year, and took it even further by painting 101 Metroid characters, enemies and items suggested to me by other members of the Shinesparkers team. In the turbulent year that was 2020, and after experiencing a traumatic layoff, this was one of many activities that kept my creative juices flowing and reinvigorated my love for Metroid. You can check out my paintings, and my thoughts on them at the link below.

Click here to check out the feature

Community Spotlight: Damian Merazzi

Our third Community Spotlight of 2021 is now live! This month we are featuring Damian Merazzi, an aspiring product designer with a passion for complex action figures. He is also a fan of Metroid who used a 3D printer to bring toys based on some of our favorite bosses, including Metroid Prime and Quadraxis, to life. These incredible figures even received attention from a designer of the Metroid Prime saga. We hope you’ll check out his designs, and should you have access to a 3D printer yourself, use them to make your own real-life Metroid bosses!

Click here to check out the spotlight

Megan Fausti (Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order) is writing Metroid Prime 4

It seems that a pretty major hire has evaded our attention for a long time! We have learned that a writer for Metroid Prime 4 was hired in July 2020 according to LinkedIn. Her name is Megan Fausti, and she has previously written games such as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which was published by Respawn Entertainment, and Battle Chef Brigade, which was published by Adult Swim Games.

In previous posts, we’ve shared that Retro was hiring a storyboard artist. One of the responsibilities of this position was to “Help define emotional scenes that will resonate with audiences.” This, along with a former Star Wars writer being brought aboard to pen the next Metroid’s story, tells us that Metroid Prime 4 will have a larger narrative focus compared to previous games in the series.

Best of luck to Megan in her role!

Source: Reddit/NeoGAF

Feature: Interviews

Today, Shinesparkers has an exciting new feature to share with our readers: an exclusive translation of four interviews that were shared on in 2003! The people interviewed include Yasuo Inoue, the director of the Japanese commercial for Metroid Fusion, Tadashi Konan, the founder of apparel brand The King of Games, Michael Mann, Mark Pacini and Karl Deckard from Retro Studios, and Japanese author Miyuki Miyabe. The interviewees discuss their interest in the Metroid series and the merchandise or work they have done for the franchise. This feature would not have been possible without Vectrex28, who generously translated these interviews for us. We hope you enjoy them!

Click here to check out the feature

Samus Helmet statue coming from First 4 Figures

Not one to be outdone by their amazing Meta Ridley statue, First 4 Figures have revealed a massive replica of Samus Aran’s Helmet. Unfortunately, it can’t be worn since it is a statue. It appears to be based on its incarnation in the original Metroid Prime. At this point, all that First 4 Figures have shared is a brief teaser video, but they’ve said they will reveal its price, availability and release date in a livestream (embedded below) on Tuesday, March 2nd, which is next week. They are also giving away one of these statues on their website, which you can access here.

Source: F4F on Twitter/YouTube

Community Spotlight: Dana Nicole

Our second Community Spotlight of the year is live! This month, we are sharing the work of a talented illustrator and digital artist, Dana Nicole. Dana’s work focuses on who Samus is underneath her Power Suit, and also includes Adam Malkovich, who is often neglected in Metroid fanart. We were amazed by the drawings of Dana, and felt she deserved a Spotlight.

We are always looking for new Community Spotlights, so if you or someone you know is a cosplayer, artist, musician, speedrunner, YouTuber or has an interesting Metroid project that you feel could use a bit more attention, don’t hesitate to share it with us via social media!

Click here to check out the feature

Metroid fan album “The Last One in Captivity” available now

Musician Danilo Ciaffi has released a Metroid fan album titled “The Last One in Captivity” a post-rock tribute to the series. The album features four tracks, which are the main theme from Metroid, Red Soil from Super Metroid, and two tracks from Metroid Prime: Phendrana Drifts and Sunken Frigate. Guitarist Mark Autumn is also credited on the album, along with the amazing artwork by Alessio Ciaffi. We really love what we have heard, and the world could always use a bit more Metroid music!

Quote from Danilo:
This album was quite a comeback for me on the Metroid+post-rock combo, and it features a mix of new and old arrangements that I think portrait the beginning of my post-rock journey. I am proud to finally present it to the world 🙂 The biggest of thanks to Mark Autumn for lending me his buttery guitar skills all along this project and ultimately making it possible.

The Last One in Captivity is available via Spotify and iTunes right now, and you can check out the opening track on Danilo’s YouTube channel, and by clicking the video below.

Episode 12 – Metroid Board Game Concepts

Episode 12 – Metroid Board Game Concepts
Shinesparkers Podcast

00:00 / 32:35

Our twelth podcast is now available! We kick off 2021 with a discussion on Metroid board games, and how an original game could look, in addition to a Metroid themed game based on existing properites already made, such as Monopoly and Frustration. This podcast features host Amanda, with team members TriforceGuy, RoyboyX and Dalagonash.

1:07 – Main Topic: Metroid Board Game Concepts
30:23 – Outtakes & Bloopers