Location: San Francisco
Position: Exact title and compensation are dependent on experience level
I know what you're thinking,
"Another game developer? Yay… more F2P clones that monetize the worst aspects of human nature. We need another one of those like San Francisco needs another car hailing app"
Actually, we invest into storytellers who create amazing games. We are 10 folks total and we’re crafting 5 franchises already. While each feels pretty different, ranging from Sherlock Holmes recreated as a middle school nerd to tall tales of an "Indiana Jones of the Sea”, what they have in common is none of them end in -Ville, -Clans, -Crush, -War, or -Casino.
The question you have to ask yourself is: do you want to work on sweet, sweet tech that enables stories worth telling? Or do you want to slave away on yet another farming simulator, online slot machine, or PvP clone?
If this job description seems longer than Tolstoy's War and Peace, it's because this position is one of our most demanding in terms of the hats you are expected to wear. You're dual-class role: creative enough to find the fun as a game designer but disciplined enough to be a product manager. Your job is to be a champion for the user but in a way that doesn't bankrupt the company and send teammates packing. You'll need to be detail oriented enough to solve immediate design/pipeline issues but forward looking enough to design the right processes/tools to prevent these issues from happening again.
You're a ravenous game player who can't help but analyze every game you play. In fact you ruin half the games you play from all the screenshots and notes you compulsively take while playing. You understand that a fun core loop is the foundation of great gameplay and but equally important is a deep metagame to make progression fun for the players. We'll need you to be comfortable supporting game design decisions with wireframes, spreadsheets, and market data. The best designers are able to come up with alternative scenarios and be able to discuss the tradeoffs of each approach. You must be able to structure features so that we can test your hypothesis with minimal effort, but have a path for expanding the vision of each new feature. And if a hypothesis turns out to be incorrect, know when to tweak, pivot, or scrap entirely.
We love people that will never stop trying to find solutions; If you prefer to stand on your ivory tower and rant about the evils of free-to-play, rather than find ways to make it better, this will not be a good place for you. You must believe deep down to your core that it's possible to make games that are fun, accessible to a large audience, monetize well, and tell a great story, all without an elevendy billion dollar budget.
- Production and design of accessible adventure & role playing games with free-to-play economies
- Working with narrative designers and artists to advise how core gameplay and metagame can be woven into their game in a multitude of ways with our current systems
- Shepherding multiple game teams from proposal, prototype, production, and launch… all within 6-8 month cycle times
Staying current on freemium game design, competitive products, and customer expectations
- Building and maintaining roadmaps, dashboards, gantt charts, whiteboards; whatever tool keeps us on track
- Being a champion for the user experience; wireframing features, writing specs, costing features, and scheduling them into our roadmaps, and unifying the team so we're on the same page
- Use content tools to enter and script game data
- Designing scalable processes and tools that improve the game development process
- Amazing ability to shift context seamlessly between gameplay, narrative, technical, monetization, and user testing hats (perhaps a hat storage rack as well)
- Infecting everyone with your excitement and passion; no one said game development would be easy
- Spreadsheet level = rockstar ninja pirate. Your family laments you could have been a rich banker but you opted to use your skills for the light side
- 5+ years as a professional game designer or producer with 2+ in free-to-play games in the mobile space (iOS, Android). Bonus for experience with hidden object, adventure, and role playing genres
- Proven track record of shipping quality games; must have had at least 1 title in the top 50 charts
- Intuitive understanding of the major drivers of acquisition, activation, retention, and monetization
- Level design experience required with bonus for puzzle design
- Scripting experience extremely helpful
- Experience in designing UI and UX that has been stress tested through different user types and lifecycle points
- Experienced in tuning game data based on analysis of live game metrics
- You thrive in a flat-structured, startup environment. You're capable of self-management, collective goal-setting, and don't need a manager to be productive