Senior Level Designer
About Splash Damage
Located in the London borough of Bromley, Splash Damage is all about crafting the world's most engaging multiplayer experiences. Our recent projects include our multiplayer shooter Dirty Bomb as well as Gears of War 4. We're growing our studio for exciting new projects on PC and console, and are looking for talented and passionate developer to help create them.
We look after our staff with a comprehensive package of perks and benefits, and have been awarded The Sunday Times’s Best Companies accreditation three years running.
We believe our teams create better experiences when they have a range of perspectives and opinions to draw from, and we are committed to increasing diversity across our studio to consistently enable that.
As Splash Damage’s Senior Level Designer, you will be responsible for the level design of larger, more challenging areas of the product. You’ll own multiple levels from concept to completion. Along with other Design leads, you’ll help establish core Level Design pillars, ensuring the game vision is upheld, maintaining constant alignment across all disciplines.
You will need to work closely with other disciplines to create and maintain fun, memorable and visually stunning levels. You will regularly review feedback from playtests, enabling the team to drive quality in all areas of the game. You will know where to prioritise focus when iterating upon your layouts, ensuring the game’s needs are always met.
You will facilitate constant communication between team members, ensuring they understand their goals and how they feed in to bigger picture. You will coach and mentor more junior staff, making sure they have what they need to do their jobs effectively. You’ll have excellent written and verbal communication and be are able to clearly and enthusiastically communicate your design intentions.
You will have a thorough understanding of the core gameplay mechanics and how the levels will deliver/showcase them, taking in to account project goals, and the target demographic. You will need to maintain up to date Level Design documentation, ensuring Level Design guidelines, best practises and metrics are thoroughly documented.
You will be expected to have a clear understanding of the technical constraints of the game engine, the capabilities and workflow of the game editor and level design pipeline. You will also drive ideas to help improve them.
You will maintain a focus on the gameplay aspects of the maps and ensure that focus is shared by the Level Design team and respected by the Environment Art team.
You will be expected to present your vision for the levels and your work to the team, upper management and the wider company at various stages and be happy to accept positive critique from all sources.
You will pro-actively work with the other level designers to share knowledge, review content and ensure consistency both on the immediate team and across the studio.
You will manage, mentor & coach Junior & Regular Level Designers. You will verify task estimates provided by junior staff and in turn work with your lead 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 level design to the developers on your team.
You will be expected to regularly monitor the bug database and fix issues in a timely fashion to maintain stability and ensure that your team’s levels remain playable at all times. You will work with technical artists and engineers to ensure all levels are performant, and have a strong understanding of performance metrics and development/platform restrictions.
Where necessary 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. You may be required to 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.
Essential Skills and Experience
- A passion for making and playing games
- A deep understanding of all aspects of level design with mastery in many areas including; visual language, architectural composition, sign-posting, combat and encounter design, flow, game balance, delivery / support of game mechanics, on-boarding, difficulty tuning and pacing.
- Significant experience working in a senior position and 1 shipped AAA current gen or last gen (PS3 / Xbox 360) console or PC title that featured a multiplayer component, worked on from beginning to end
- Experience of people-management, mentoring, line-management, ideally of a small team under you
- Fierce attention to detail
- The ability to work collaboratively with other disciplines and experience of being a key part of a leadership group
- The ability to work independently without close supervision
- Experience in creating first or third person shooters
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- A passion for environment design and architectural concepts
- Experience of level-building using 3D level editing tools (Unreal 4, UnrealEd, Hammer, Radiant, etc.)
- Experience of prototyping maps and gameplay mechanics using UE4, UE3, Unity, or similar
- Experience writing high quality and thorough design documentation including diagram and flow-chart creation
- Experience with source-control applications (SVN, Perforce, AlienBrain, etc.)
- Experience in multiplayer level design
- Strong problem-solving skills including lateral thinking
- Deep player empathy
Preferred Skills and Experience
- Presentation skills and experience with PowerPoint
- UnrealScript, Blueprints, Flow Graph, or other visual scripting software
- Knowledge of gameplay event scripting and entity setup
- Experience with UnrealEd/UDK and Kismet
- Traditional art skills
- Experience with 3DSMax, Maya, or other professional 3D modelling software
- Experience with Adobe Photoshop or similar
- Experience with scripting or programming language
- Experience with wiki-based design documentation
- Undergraduate degree in Video Game Design, Computer Science, Marketing, Entertainment or a form of technical training
- Experience of being the flag-bearer / champion for a product including giving presentations to press and at conferences / events
- Experience running the live phase of a game as a service, including using telemetry / metrics to inform design and content decisions
Splash Damage offers a fun, friendly and relaxed working environment. Everyone here shares a passion for video games and that shows in daily office life. We also regularly get together for social events like pub quizzes, cinema nights, football, and company parties.
Find out more on our Culture page.