Design Director

Design London, United Kingdom


About Splash Damage 

Splash Damage is dedicated to crafting team-based games that ignite friendships as much as they do healthy competition and teamwork. We’ve forged enduring experiences within some of gaming’s most beloved franchises over the years and are now entering a bold new era fuelled by ambitious projects utilising both established and original IP, a move into self-publishing and expansion into new locations.  

We're advocates for a healthy work-life balance and believe that our teams create the best work when they have a range of perspectives and experiences to draw from. We're committed to increasing diversity across our studio, fostering an inclusive environment to ensure everyone's voices are heard. 

Our efforts have been recognised with several best employer awards over the years. Most recently, we were awarded the coveted 3-star ‘world-class employer’ accreditation by Best Companies and named the 58th best large company to work for in the UK, and the 29th best large company in London. 

Due to the on-going COVID-19 situation, we're all currently working from home. We continue to hire across our projects and will set you up remotely for the time being.  

We offer a comprehensive benefits package for you and your family, including: 

  • Private Medical and Dental Cover for you and your family, along with the 24/7 Babylon digital GP service 
  • Get mental health support from our trained Mental Health First Aiders or via our third-party counselling service 
  • 24/7 employee assistance helpline offering advice and support on a range of topics, including health, relationships, finances, and the law 
  • 25 days of annual leave, plus 8 public holidays and our annual closure between Christmas and New Year’s 
  • Industry-leading fully-paid 30 weeks maternity leave & 10 weeks paternity leave 
  • Enhanced company pension contributions 
  • Our famous social events are open to you and your family to help you build friendships and have some fun along the way 
  • Group life assurance scheme 

The role:

As a Design Director at Splash Damage you will be a key member of a leadership team responsible for driving the expert execution of the creative vision, directing the design and design teams, and successful delivery of a product. 

A natural problem solver you can give examples of cross-team issues on previous projects and how you were able to reconcile them. 

You will represent and support the needs of the business, the player, and team members’ needs on the project. You will be responsible for the output and growth of the entire design discipline on your project and for the morale, alignment and cohesion of all team members, across disciplines. 

Beyond your project you will work to share knowledge, improve standards and processes across the studio and across disciplines, albeit with a focus on design. 

You will support the Creative Director in regularly communicating the vision throughout the studio. You will oversee the creation and maintenance of documentation including the GDD and wiki pages, though you will largely communicate verbally; spending time with each team member, ensuring they understand the vision and design, are “bought-in” and have what they need to do their jobs. You will ensure the team feel the progress they are making and what their work is in service of in the bigger picture. 

You will regularly and effectively communicate with the Studio Senior Leadership Team and any external partners or publishers, managing those relationships, presenting the creative achievements of the team, negotiating feature / change requests. You may be called on 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. 

You will manage, mentor, develop and coach Lead Game Designers. You will be integral to the planning on your project working alongside Production to create roadmaps, hiring and succession plans, and scoping exercises. 

As a leader you will set the tone on the project and ensure Splash Damage’s values are embraced and embodied by you team; including ensuring your team have autonomy and do not feel dictated to. 

 You have: 

  • A passion for making and playing games
  • Extensive industry experience
  • Shipped at least 1 AAA title in an equivalent role (current/last gen) working on it from start to finish
  • Shipped multiple titles in a leadership role, including the running of a multi-person design team; people-management, mentoring, line-management
  • Experience of delivering on the project goals, translating the high-level vision into actionable tasks across all disciplines within the team
  • Experience of being the flag-bearer / champion for a product including giving presentations to press and at conferences / events
  • The ability to work collaboratively with other disciplines and experience of being a key part of a leadership group
  • Excellent verbal and presentation skills
  • Excellent written communication skills, including writing high quality and thorough design documentation
  • Experience with design documentation, diagram and flow-chart creation, including wiki-based design documentation and spreadsheets
  • A deep understanding of all aspects of design with mastery in many areas including signs and feedback, controls, balancing, narrative, game-feel, retention, usability, on-boarding, social mechanics
  • Deep player empathy
  • An understanding of player psychology and motivations
  • An understanding of systems, systemic design, emergent gameplay and the place of procedural content generation in development
  • Knowledge of industry trends in regard to genres, gameplay, development models, and financial models
  • Fierce attention to detail
  • Strong problem-solving skills including lateral thinking

Bonus points for:  

  • At least one shipped title featuring post-launch monetization beyond simple DLC packs; ideally a Free-to-play title.
  • Strong maths skills; formulas, probability, statistics and balancing
  • Highly experienced with Microsoft Office Products and other business software including: Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, Visio, Adobe Photoshop or similar
  • Experience with source-control applications (SVN, Perforce, AlienBrain, etc.)
  • Experience in creating first or third person shooters
  • Experience running the live phase of a game as a service, including using telemetry / metrics to inform design and content decisions
  • Experience of parsing the results of, and acting on, market research e.g. Focus groups, qualitative and quantitative surveys etc.
  • Experience of prototyping gameplay mechanics using UE4, UE3, Unity, or similar.

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.