Narrative Designer (Contract)

Undead Labs
Seattle Washington
14 days ago

Undead Labs is looking to contract a Narrative Designer to join our State of Decay 3 team. We’re seeking an enthusiastic, mid-level designer who loves our systems-based gameplay and has a passion for Open World storytelling. Our ideal candidate has solid technical skills and experience on non-linear/branching RPGs with an abundance of dialogue. You'll work closely with a team of programmers, designers, and audio developers to create the foundational, emotional connections at the core of our gameplay experience. With a mutually successful engagement, this position has the potential to be converted into a full-time position.

At Undead Labs, we work in highly collaborative, cross-discipline teams because we understand that the best ideas are ones we generate together. We operate this way independently, as part of a network of first-party Microsoft studios. With our rich history of entrepreneurship and empowerment, and the millions of players supporting our survival-fantasy games, you'll collaborate with us as we reach new levels of quality, ambition, and polish.

Core Responsibilities

  • Assist Narrative Director in development/execution of our end-to-end narrative pipeline/plan
  • Champion narrative needs to programmers, designers, and audio for dialogue tool testing and narrative design workflow
  • Participate and bring new ideas to writers' room ideation (including Golden Path, world logic, and character development) and table reads
  • Write inclusively-focused dialogue and scripts to realize our franchise and story goals
  • Lead implementation of our relationship system and character designs using proprietary tools
  • Document and communicate findings and recommendations to the rest of the team
  • Collaborate with our UX designers to ensure content is well-understood by our players
  • Measure effectiveness of content engagement with our analytics team

Basic Skills, Knowledge, Experience

  • Experience with non-linear, relational storytelling with branching dialogue
  • Strong character sensibility, driven by an inclusive perspective
  • Familiar with standard screenplay formatting and/or tools (Final Draft, etc.)
  • Experience working collaboratively with other disciplines to create highly polished content
  • Detail-oriented, proactive, problem solver with strong, interpersonal communication skills
  • Experience working in proprietary dialogue-delivery and VO-management tools
  • Ability to write clear and effective design documentation
  • Passionate about developing and following high-functioning development processes
  • Ideally brings 3+ years of direct, narrative video game experience

Bonus Traits

  • Established skills/credentials as a writer
  • Experience implementing content in a third-person, systemic game
  • Shipped at least one AAA title as a narrative designer
  • Experience collaborating with programmers to design narrative delivery tools
  • Deep understanding of the survival-fantasy gaming landscape

Physical Requirements

  • Close vision to monitors and screens
  • Consistent work on computer equipment, such as keyboards and monitors
  • Long periods of sitting
  • Onsite work (once it begins again) in low-to-moderate noise environments

Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

This position reports to the Narrative Director.

Undead Labs is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations, and ordinances.

To apply, please send a resume and a link to your online portfolio to We look forward to hearing from you!


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