Lead Game Designer
10 days ago
ABOUT SPLASH DAMAGE
We believe that games play better with friends. For more than 20 years, we’ve been creating team-based multiplayer experiences that have entertained tens of millions of players all over the world and forged countless new friendships along the way.
Our studio culture is rooted in our open, friendly, and collaborative environment. Our games are made by people from all over the world, from our entry-level Fresh Talent hires to industry veterans, and we believe that fostering that diverse culture is the best way to build both our games and our studio. We have won numerous awards, including a ‘World-Class’ accreditation by Best Companies and being named one of the UK’s 100 Best Large Companies to work for.
While our offices are based in Bromley, UK, our people have access to progressive working patterns that give them the flexibility to decide how to do their best work.
We offer a comprehensive benefits package for you and your family, including:
- Work your way with access to progressive working patterns including hybrid and fully remote
- Substantial performance-related pay system on top of your basic compensation, along with enhanced pension contributions and our life assurance scheme
- Bespoke VISA and relocation packages for you and your family, with support from our team throughout the whole process
- 25 days of holiday and 8 Bank Holidays a year, plus our annual studio closure between Christmas and New Year’s
- Private Medical and Dental Cover for you and your family, along with a 24/7 digital GP service
- Extensive Mental Health support, with Line Manager Mental Health training, a group of Mental Health First-Aiders, and on-site or remote counselling
- Our bespoke Learning and Development course framework to help you grow as an employee, manager, and leader
- Industry-leading fully paid 30 weeks maternity leave & 10 weeks paternity leave
As Splash Damage’s Lead Game Designer you will be responsible for the complete game design of an entire product or, for larger projects, a major area of that product, driving end to end implementation across the team. Alongside the Creative Director, you will help to establish and evangelise the game vision, defining quality targets and validating the quality targets of others.
You will work to create and realise a unified game experience, and help to communicate the game vision throughout the studio, ensuring alignment across all disciplines. You will create and maintain documentation, though you will largely communicate verbally; spending time with each team member, at their desks, ensuring they understand the vision and design, are “bought-in” and have what they need to do their jobs.
Working closely with the Creative Director, you will regularly and effectively communicate with any external partners or publishers; managing those relationships, presenting the creative achievements of the team, negotiating feature / change requests as necessary. You may be required to communicate outwards to press, communities and fans in various formats from live appearances to pre-recorded interviews to forum engagement acting as both an evangelist and representative of the product and as an ambassador for Splash Damage.
You will manage, mentor & coach Senior & Regular Game Designers, including working with Production and your direct reports to schedule tasks. You will regularly be part of peer-reviews and give honest constructive feedback to team members.
You will regularly communicate out progress against quality, scope and game vision alignment expectations. You will discuss and explain the rationale behind your decision making and listen, iterating on feedback from other disciplines or Designers. You will regularly present the areas of the game you are responsible for to the studio. Where necessary you will act as the deputy to the Creative Director.
You will define and implement feature optimizations and tuning plans, demonstrating a strong understanding of metrics and development restrictions; you will own the tuning for accountable features or levels. You will lead focus group sessions, generate feedback reports, deliver them to the product team and integrate relevant feedback into the product design.
You will verify task estimates provided by junior staff and in turn work with the Creative Director to give your own accurate estimates for work as well as logging work in management software. You will provide input to Production / Management on project schedules throughout development to prioritise tasks / workload for the developers responsible for their assigned feature-set, in alignment with the product vision. You will articulate the impact of changes to the game-design to the developers on your team.
Essential Skills and Experience
- A passion for making and playing games.
- Deep player empathy, and an understanding of player motivation and behaviour.
- Strong understanding of all aspects of design with mastery in many areas including: feedback, controls, balance, narrative, game-feel, retention, usability, on-boarding, social mechanics, and player motivation.
- Industry experience in a lead position.
- Experience of full product lifecycle from inception, through prototyping to launch and live support.
- The ability to work independently without close supervision and strong problem-solving skills with the ability to think laterally.
- Leadership experience, including the running of a multi-person design team; people-management, mentoring, line-management.
- Experience of being the vision holder for one or more key elements on a project, communicating that vision out and getting buy-in from your team and external stakeholders.
- Excellent verbal and presentation skills.
- Strong written communication skills, with experience in using visual communication tools.
- Knowledge of industry trends in genres, gameplay, development models, and financial models.
- Experience of prototyping gameplay mechanics using UE4, Unity, or similar.
- The ability to work collaboratively with other disciplines and experience of being a key part of a leadership group.
- An understanding of systems, systemic design, emergent gameplay and the place of procedural content generation in development.
Preferred Skills and Experience
- Experience running the live phase of a game as a service, including using telemetry / metrics to inform design and content decisions.
- Experience of being the flag-bearer / champion for a product including giving presentations to press and at conferences / events.
- Experience of parsing the results of, and acting on, market research e.g. Focus groups, qualitative and quantitative surveys etc.
- Experience with 3D modelling & layout software (e.g. Maya, Max)
- Applied maths skills to support systems design, analysis & balance.
- Experience with scripting or programming languages.
- Undergraduate degree in Video Game Design, Computer Science, Product Design, Psychology or similar field.
Splash Damage is an equal opportunity employer. We believe our teams create better work when they have a range of perspectives to draw from, and we are committed to creating an inclusive working environment that celebrates diversity.
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