Zach Schläppi is currently art directing “Age of Empires: IV” for Microsoft Publishing Group at Relic Entertainment in Vancouver, BC. His previous focus was consulting with various independent, eSport and mobile game development projects for clients such as Agni Interactive, Turbo! Studios – in which their game “Super Senso” garnered Apple’s “Best of App Store” for 2016 - and Execution Labs.
From August 2011 to December 2015, Zach worked at Avalanche Studios in both Stockholm, Sweden and New York City to art direct “Just Cause 3”, Square Enix’s third installment of its open world sandbox action shooter game in the “Just Cause” series. It received over 10 awards at E3 and Gamescom and was met with good reviews and strong sales. Zach was also tasked with building and managing the art department at Avalanche’s new SoHo location.
Zach’s career in the video game industry began in 2003 as a Senior Lighter at Electronic Arts Los Angeles on the first-person shooter franchise "Medal of Honor". While at EA, he worked his way to lighting lead on "MOH: Rising Sun" and "MOH: European Assault" and then Art Director for "MOH: Vanguard" and "Gunhero". When "Gunhero" was cancelled in 2008, he joined Ubisoft Montréal to help complete its open world first-person shooter "Far Cry 2" and then to Art Direct "Far Cry 3".
Zach applied to the MFA Computer Arts program at the School of Visual Arts, and graduated in 2000 with a focus in Lighting and Compositing. His award-winning short-titled film, “Pasta for War,” led him to a Technical Director position with Blue Sky Studios’ feature animation “Ice Age.” In 2002, Zach’s next feature was with Big Idea Productions in Chicago titled “Jonah: A Veggietale’s Movie.” He returned to New York that summer to work with Darren Aronofsky’s digital FX studio Amoeba Proteus on a pitch project.
In 1995, Zach Schläppi received his Bachelor of Art at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and moved to New York City to pursue a career in advertising. He spent the first couple of years working in direct marketing, b2b and pharmaceutical advertising and sales before he discovered his passion for feature animation.