Game Director

Design Austin, Texas


Description

Would you like to work on some of the greatest franchises in gaming history? Certain Affinity is an exclusive, independent Austin developer comprised of a tightly-knit group of experienced, no-nonsense veterans committed to solid work/life balance. We’re best known for co-developing numerous AAA FPS games, though we are also creating compelling new games of our own.

As a Game Director at Certain Affinity, you’ll be responsible for the overall look and feel of a game, overseeing high-level decisions and strategy that affect design, art, audio, and creative. You will ensure outstanding quality through innovative and addictive gameplay, compelling visuals, engaging music, immersive audio, and the creation or expansion of the rich fictional universe the game lives within. If you have the requisite skills and leadership experience, you’re passionate about all aspects of the player experience, are eager to make an impact, motivated to support the needs of both internal development teams and external partners, and are open new challenges and business models, we’d like to hear from you. 

Responsibilities

Oversee development of the fictional universe the game lives within. This may be original IP or expansion of existing IP.

  • In the case of original IP, work with stakeholders and perform market and strategic analysis to inform IP goals and success metrics.
  • In the case of existing IP, lead the creative team and their partner interactions to evaluate the IP and identify opportunities to expand upon it.
  • Supervise the game’s IP development team, providing direction, inspiration, goal setting, and performing quality control, including representing the various internal and external stakeholders’ viewpoints and ensuring their needs are met.

Define and drive the overall look and feel of the game and all supporting assets. Oversee development of the game’s visuals, audio, and gameplay to ensure the entire project tracks to a consistently fun, immersive, and compelling vision.

  • Oversee the development of gameplay and game experience pillars and ensure the design and implementation of all related systems and content are aligned with and supporting these pillars.
  • Oversee the development of audio, visual, and narrative pillars, providing the team with inspiration and examples, and ensuring that all aspects of the game’s audio, visuals, storytelling, and cinematics are aligned with and supporting these pillars.
  • Codify the above pillars into a high-level game experience document and ensure that all new team members are introduced to it and that all stakeholders are aligned with it and kept apprised of progress towards achieving the high-level goals outlined in it.
  • Partner with the project’s Development Director and Executive Producer to define shared project goals and success metrics aligned with company strategy; ensure the finished game achieves these goals, including meeting or exceeding the agreed-upon metrics.
  • Present game and game experience vision in pitches and to external stakeholders and other external parties (e.g., press) as requested and as needed.

Lead development of the game in partnership with the game’s Development Director (or equivalent leads) and Executive Producer, providing vision and direction for the internal dev team and support groups, and visibility to the project for both internal and external stakeholders.

  • Understand the development cost and risks associated with each game feature and prioritize features for the team based on what’s aligned with the game’s pillars, what’s best for the game as a business, and what’s achievable with the available resources.
  • Provide leadership and direction for the team in a challenging and sometimes ambiguous environment, including driving for quality regardless of team composition, schedule or budget.
  • Serve as a resource for designers, artists, audio developers, and other creative staff, assisting in the mediation and resolution of complex problems.
  • Support the company and business unit leadership by contributing to strategic short and long-term planning and decision making for the game and business development.
  • Serve as an extension of the PR and marketing team by acting as a spokesperson for the game and coordinating support of their efforts through oversight of and assistance with the creation of related assets, facilitation of access to specific developers, etc.
  • Generate excitement about and enthusiasm for the game by evangelizing it internally to the team and more broadly across the company.
  • Partner with the QA, Customer Service, and Community Relations teams to understand the player reaction and reception to the game; be the voice of the players as it relates to the game experience, clearly articulating their desires and expectations and providing actionable guidance to the development team in response.
  • Collaborate with the games Development Director (or equivalent leads) and Executive Producer to provide top-level leadership for the development and online support teams.
  • Cultivate a positive team dynamic, and be a positive professional role model, by demonstrating a good balance between creativity and practical flexibility.

Requirements

  • 12+ years industry experience developing AAA titles.
  • 8+ years of experience leading high-functioning game development teams and defining game design and IP direction.
  • Broad, in-depth knowledge of game design and game art. Additional expertise in technology, production, business, online game operation, etc. are all a plus.
  • Comfortably collaborate with creative developers both on and off site.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills; must be able to successfully evangelize the vision for a game and the company at large, both internally and externally to a wide array of audience types.
  • A strong collaborator who welcomes feedback and criticism, and thrives in a fast-paced, iterative, agile environment.
  • Highly organized with a knack for breaking down complex problems into manageable and actionable pieces for others.
  • Able to conceptualize, create, and implement game concepts using various tools and technologies.
  • Experience working with a wide array of departments to define tests and interpret data to iterate on design effectively.
  • Experience in a senior leadership capacity on at least two major AAA console and/or PC games from concept to completion.
  • Experience iterating the design and supporting an online community after launching a product.
  • An absolute passion for games and game development.

Extra Credit

  • Experience developing online multiplayer games and/or shooters; FPS development experience a strong plus.
  • Co-development experience and/or outsourcing experience.
  • Familiarity with Agile and other traditional project management methodologies.
  • College degree in a related and relevant field.
  • Deep understanding of the free to play and/or games as a service business models.
  • Shipped one or more AAA titles as a Game Director or equivalent.

Certain Affinity offers relocation for this position to Austin, Texas where we make it all happen.