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Principal Technical Designer (Combat)

Undead Labs
Seattle Washington
10 days ago

Undead Labs is looking for a Principal Technical Designer, focusing on Combat, to join our State of Decay 3 team. We’re seeking a passionate designer who relishes our systems-based gameplay and wishes to partner with us to develop the future of our combat mechanics. Our ideal candidate is comfortable empathetically tailoring their design decisions to our players while simultaneously working on the most minute details of interdependent systems. You'll work closely with a team of programmers and animators to craft visceral, moment-to-moment gameplay to give our players a killer experience and help grow our fan-base and franchise.

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

  • Design, prototype, implement, and balance gameplay systems that support and expand our combat mechanics
  • Work with animators to create fun and responsive gameplay through iterative attention to timings and distances
  • Create measurable evolution of our game’s combat experience through tune and polish of your work
  • Partner with Game Directors to realize broader franchise and story goals
  • Document and communicate your vision to the rest of the team
  • Script gameplay abilities and integrate animations into Unreal
  • Define and measure combat progression and difficulty with our analytics team
  • Support our UX designers to ensure systems are well-understood by our players

Skills, Knowledge, Experience

  • Deep experience with combat/movement (melee, range, stealth) design approaches/models
  • Experience working collaboratively with other disciplines to create highly polished and responsive systems
  • Strong, interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to write clear and effective design documentation
  • Thorough knowledge of progression and reward systems, covering both short-term and long-term player goals
  • Passionate about developing and following high-functioning development processes
  • Ideally brings 8+ years of video game experience, with 5+ years direct, combat systems work

Bonus Traits

  • Experience implementing content in a third-person, systemic game
  • Shipped at least one AAA title as a combat designer
  • Strong technical scripting skills with experience in modern engines (Unreal, Unity, etc.)
  • Thorough understanding of animation systems
  • Deep understanding of the survival-fantasy gaming landscape
  • Familiarity with Unreal Engine (Gameplay Ability System, Blueprints)

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 Design Manager.

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 cover letter, resume, and a link to your online portfolio to We look forward to hearing from you!

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