Design Director

DesignRemote, Austin, Texas


Description

Would you like to work on some of the greatest franchises in gaming history? What about working on our new original IP? Certain Affinity is the largest independent developer in Texas, based out of Austin, and we have a growing presence in Toronto, Canada. Our culture reflects the values and the vibrant nature of the cities we call home. This includes a commitment to evolution, diversity, excellence, and work-life balance. We are also excited to be the latest recipient of the Canadian Studio of the Year award. We're best known for co-developing numerous AAA FPS games, though now we are creating compelling new games of our own. We're always on the lookout for amazing talent to join our team.

As the Game Director, you will establish and drive the creative vision for our original IP first-person shooter. You will work collaboratively with our Design, Art, Audio, Narrative, Engineering, QA, and Production teams to ideate, iterate, refine, and hone the game content and systems into a unified and compelling experience. You'll use industry best practices, collaboration, and your skills and breadth of expertise to help craft and launch a critically and fiscally successful new game. This is a high-level position, a member of the company's senior leadership team, with impact and influence on the current and future projects and a voice in product and company strategic direction setting.

You will report to the CEO and partner with the game's Executive Producer to lead the project. You will use your expertise to drive and champion a world-class shooter GaaS experience from Prototype through Production and into Live Operations. You'll also be responsible for crafting and regularly presenting the vision and strategy of the game to senior company leadership, the publisher, the media, and any other relevant partners.
The best candidate for this role is a multi-talented, creative, experienced, collaborative, and successful developer. You are a leader at the core who enjoys growing people and teams and a good person at heart, with a healthy mix of confidence and humility and a passion for building compelling worlds and making great games.

Responsibilities

  • Responsible for defining and guiding the entire player experience and finding the fun
  • Consistently champion the game's vision, ensuring broad internal alignment on the game team and amongst the company at large
  • Define, align stakeholders around, communicate, and be accountable for the project's creative vision, including the core loops, metagame, social features, and IP development
  • Direct all aspects of creative game development to ensure they're working together well and supporting the creative vision, from design to UX to art to audio to narrative and beyond
  • Ensure key game pillars and features support the strategic vision of the game
  • Partner with the Executive Producer to drive and evolve the product vision and development strategy for the game
  • Develop and maintain clear frameworks and rituals for quality measurement, feedback resolution, and game development iteration
  • Work closely with the Executive Producer, company management, and the publisher to align the product strategy and game direction with business goals
  • Participate as a member of a company-wide creative strategy leadership group, supporting peers and offering expertise on where the company should focus its player-facing efforts
  • Ensure alignment of product goals to broader department and company objectives
  • Build positive relationships and promote a culture of openness and respect across all teams at Certain Affinity
  • Foster a collaborative team environment aligned with company values, with healthy communication and respectful discussions
  • Ensure the project backlog is well-defined and understood in all creative areas
Requirements
  • 15+ years overall design experience
  • 5+ years leading a AAA design team as Game Director, Creative Director, or Design director with a proven track record of creating and maintaining direction and bringing it to fruition
  • A leadership role on at least three shipped AAA console and PC action-based multiplayer games
  • Experience developing and operating games as a service (GaaS) titles
  • A strong eye for and deep understanding of the fundamentals of creating fun and engaging gameplay, with an ability to critically but respectfully dissect work and suggest meaningful ways to improve it
  • Strong knowledge of gameplay design principles, metagame systems design principles, and narrative in games, and a proven ability to apply them effectively
  • Extensive experience identifying, mitigating, and resolving risks on projects and within teams
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented, self-directed, and capable of instilling that characteristic in others
  • Understanding of technical and resource constraints and time and monetary budgets in games and proven ability to work within them to maximum effect
  • A diplomatic leader who can have crucial and, at times, sensitive conversations
  • An inspirational leader who can "rally the troops"
  • A strategic thinker with excellent analytical and implementation skills
  • Strong at providing feedback that empowers and inspires team members to produce their best work
  • Expert at presenting and communicating a game vision and its various features to the team, other stakeholders, partners, and press
  • Skilled at developing productive relationships with peers and senior leaders, able to work through complex situations and disagreements to drive projects forward
  • Well-versed in the new IP and GaaS development process and timeline, including empathy and understanding of the various departments, partners, and stakeholders' perspectives and goals at different stages
  • A consummate professional and pragmatic problem solver
  • A desire to work and support a diverse and inclusive environment
Extra Credit
  • Experience building and fostering productive working relationships with established brands and IP holders
  • Deep understanding of world design, systems design, cinematics, and narrative design
  • Development experience with UE4 and/or UE5
  • Avid gamer on multiple platforms
Certain Affinity or its partners or affiliates run background checks on candidates or employees with the written authorization from the candidates or employees. These may be done for the purposes of offering employment or determining eligibility to work on a specific project. Multiple searches may be required.

Certain Affinity is authorized to do business in many, but not all, of the states in the US and the Canadian provinces. If you are not located in or able to work from a state where Certain Affinity is registered, you may not be eligible for employment as a fully remote employee. Please speak with your recruiter to learn more about where we are registered.