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Lead Game Designer - Star Wars IP

Game Design & Production London, London

Position at NaturalMotion

At NaturalMotion, we make games that wow people. We innovate to create experiences that previously were impossible and that would not exist without us. We take pride in making titles that reach a large audience and in creating communities that last. In 2018 & 2019, NaturalMotion Studios were named one of the Best Places to Work in the UK games industry by

One Team: Three Epic Games.

NaturalMotion’s Action Strategy Group is a BAFTA-nominated team developing an exciting new Star Wars™ game and running live operations on Dawn of Titans and Star Wars™: Commander.

The team have a tight-knit, sociable culture and a strong team identity whilst demonstrating all the benefits that come from being part of NaturalMotion and Zynga. The team create world-leading, action strategy titles on a foundation of trust and camaraderie, with weekly team show and tells, frequent social events and kudos sharing on our ‘Awesome Wall’.

Job Purpose

We are seeking a Lead Game Designer to join our Action Strategy team. You will ensure that features are executed to AAA standards, and support the core pillars of the projects you are working on. You will mentor your team members, giving them the support and the framework to do their best work.

Key Roles & Responsibilities

  • Design Vision: Delivering the game design vision for features and projects. You will lead the design and execution of bold beats - new features that boost the game’s performance, and give marketing great opportunities to expand the reach of the game.
  • Design Leadership: Lead your design team day to day, giving them mentorship and support, having regular one-to-ones and working closely with them to ensure they are delivering high quality design work. 
  • Have a clear and concise communication style, able to easily share and evangelise the product vision, design approaches and requirements to team members, product owners, leads and other key partners.
  • Cross-Discipline Collaboration: Working with other disciplines, including Data Science and Product Management as well as Art, UX and Engineering to respond to opportunities in the game.
  • Leading a level design team that creates fun and engaging strategic battles, that are well-balanced, and make best use of the game’s features
  • Design, prototype and balance a roster of vehicles, troops and heroes that players want to collect, deploy and use in fun and diverse combinations 
  • Post-launch, you will lead a content team that designs, implements and balances a roster of new units and heroes, based on delighting a large live community of players
  • Understand the impact on key KPI’s; work closely with the team to get them smoothly into content releases that drive value to the player.
  • Keen interest in the current market and what players want. Observing /  analysing user testing and analytics to recommend design solutions and improve or fix design features during the life of the product as a service.
  • You will lead design reviews / evaluations on a regular basis. Respond to emergent QA and design issues and problems in development. You will these are addressed to meet product goals and release plans

Required Experience & Skills

  • A seasoned game design lead, with experience leading a design team, directing work and mentoring  / coaching staff.
  • Understand that we can only create outstanding games as a team and have the experience and energy to together turn visions into fully developed game mechanics.
  • Have a strong attention to detail and understand the importance of balance and strong system design.
  • Great experience at writing design specifications and building and iterating playable prototypes.
  • Line-Management & Leadership: You are able to mentor and support a varied team of designers with different areas of specialty and experience.
  • Design Acumen: Knowledge about both mobile and console games and the key design trends and opportunities that will shape the industry in the future.
  • Communication: An elegant, straightforward and confident communicator.
  • Genre Knowledge: A demonstrable interest in Action Strategy games.
  • Gaming Passion: Real passion for gaming, especially mobile. You can speak with assuredness about what make games special and where opportunities are to deliver fantastic player experiences.

Desirable Experience & Skills

  • A deep understanding of Star Wars
  • Shipped a successful strategy game and have hands-on experience of developing a battle game populated with fun vehicles, units and troops

What do we offer?

  • Competitive salary, discretionary annual bonus scheme and Zynga stock allowance
  • Contributory pension scheme
  • 25 days holiday, plus public holidays and Christmas shutdown
  • Private medical care and healthcare cash plan
  • Life insurance and critical illness insurance
  • Discounted gym membership and free weekly yoga class
  • Flexible working hours
  • Free fruit, snacks & soft drinks provided daily, as well as free lunch on Fridays
  • Annual season ticket loan and cycle to work scheme
  • Summer and Christmas parties and Happy Hour every Friday

NaturalMotion is an equal opportunity employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, pregnancy, marital status or veteran status.