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Lead Game Designer

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Splash Damage

Negotiable

London, United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Games and Level Design

ASAP

16/07/2020

Mid-Senior Level

Permanent | Full Time

No

Description About Splash Damage

Come join us!

We founded Splash Damage with a mission to create lifelong friendships for our players and our employees by building the world's most engaging multiplayer experiences with world-leading partners. Our teams have just celebrated the launch of Gears Tactics and we're currently working on several exciting unannounced titles.

Our people always come first, and we acted swiftly to ensure that we moved all our employees to a work from home model during the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK, and this will continue for the foreseeable future. With our first-class virtual onboarding programme, we're able to get you up and running remotely during this time and we're maintaining our relaxed and welcoming culture with digital social events, daily company communications and much more. With the relaxing of travel and quarantine restrictions in the UK, we are now relocating new team members from outside the UK to London prior to starting their employment with us. This gives new Splashers the opportunity to establish a home in the local area, before joining their teams in working remotely until such time as we return to the studio. We will continue to monitor the situation in line with government advice, and look forward to having all of our amazing staff back into the studio as soon as it is safe to do so.
We're advocates for work-life balance and offer flexible working arrangements to suit individual needs and a comprehensive benefits package which focuses on family and mental well-being. Together with this we've been running a formal Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme for nearly two years and are committed to increasing diversity across our studio.

The Role
As Splash Damage's Lead Game Designer you will be responsible for the complete game design of an entire product or, for bigger projects, a large 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 including the GDD and wiki pages, 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 will 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.
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
  • A deep 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 and 2 shipped AAA current gen (PS4 / XBOX ONE) console or PC title that featured a multiplayer component, worked on from beginning to end; preferably a first or third-person shooter
  • Fierce attention to detail
  • 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
  • Experience writing high quality and thorough design documentation; including wiki-based design documentation, flow charts and spreadsheets
  • Knowledge of industry trends in regards to genres, gameplay, development models, and financial models
  • Experience of prototyping gameplay mechanics using UE4, Unity, or similar
  • Experience with source-control applications (SVN, Perforce, AlienBrain, etc.)
  • The ability to work collaboratively with other disciplines and experience of being a key part of a leadership group
  • Highly experienced with Microsoft Office Products and other business software including: Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, Visio, Adobe Photoshop or similar
  • An understanding of systems, systemic design, emergent gameplay and the place of procedural content generation in development
  • Deep player empathy

Preferred Skills and Experience
  • Experience in F2P / Games as a Service
  • 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 3DSMax, Maya, or other professional 3D modelling software
  • Strong maths skills; formulas, probability, statistics and balancing
  • Experience with scripting or programming languages
  • Undergraduate degree in Video Game Design, Computer Science, Marketing, Entertainment or a form of technical training


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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