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Certain Affinity

Studio Design Director

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Certain Affinity
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Austin, TX

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

Weโ€™re looking for a talented, motivated Studio Design Director with extensive experience building AAA action games on PC and console to manage and grow our design department and help strengthen our company culture. This is a high-level position, a member of the companyโ€™s senior leadership team, with impact and influence on the current and future projects and a voice in a strategic direction setting.

Youโ€™ll be responsible for leading our strong team of designers, directly managing and mentoring our design directors to help them and their teams grow and create the very best products. At the same time, youโ€™ll expand the departmentโ€™s capacity and capabilities and further develop, document, and evangelize sound development processes across the company in furtherance of a gameplay-first development philosophy and methodology. Youโ€™ll do this all hand in hand with the companyโ€™s other top leaders, developing open communication channels and efficient processes that promote fulfilled developers and engaging games.

We are seeking someone organized and empathetic, with exceptionally strong communication skills and a proven track record as a designer and a design leader. Our ideal candidate is an open and enthusiastic collaborator and a creative problem solver who thrives tackling complex multidimensional problems and big challenges. Are you the rare talent that will help us write our next chapter? If so, please apply and tell us why.

Responsibilities

  • Lead and grow a world-class design department to help facilitate the creation of engaging, innovative games
  • Manage the design process and staffing for projects ranging from co-development for existing franchises to new games based on original IP
  • Inspire, motivate, and mentor the design team, and educate the team at large in creative techniques, efficient processes, best practices, and effective communication
  • Work with the design team and across disciplines to clearly define department goals and standards and to articulate these on a company-wide level
  • Work with our internal and partner QA teams to drive the inclusion of ad-hoc feedback, formal user testing, and data-driven metrics and analysis
  • Act as a subject matter expert to the design team, with current industry knowledge of gameplay, level, narrative, UI/UX, and monetization design across a broad range of platforms, genres, and titles
  • Be the primary advocate for the design department and ensure that it has all necessary resources, equipment, tools, and build out to create AAA experiences
  • Provide leadership and strategic vision to determine how the design department will increase its capabilities to support business demands and growth in a cost-effective, scalable manner that promotes company values and preserves company culture
  • Build and manage relationships with external partners to supplement in-house resources
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with publishing and development partners
  • Represent our company online and at recruiting and industry events
  • Play a hands-on role on projects as needed to ensure best-in-class game design
  • Participate as a member of the companyโ€™s business development team, helping formulate strategy, evaluate opportunities, and develop and present pitches

Requirements

  • 15+ years leading design and implementation for AAA action games, including experience across platforms and genres
  • Passionate about gaming and the entertainment industry as a whole, possessing expert knowledge of game design and implementation, with a deep understanding of what makes games accessible and engaging
  • In-depth knowledge of the entire game design process, from early concept to post-launch sustain, for both original IP development and expansion of existing games and franchises
  • Understanding of all design-related aspects of planning, producing, launching, and supporting online games and communities
  • Proven hands-on ability to craft compelling in-game experiences across a diverse range of areas, including gameplay, social systems, level, and narrative design
  • Demonstrated strong design leadership on projects that met financial and strategic business objectives.
  • Experienced design team manager with a strong focus on mentoring and development
  • Strong ability to multitask, self-driven and self-motivated, consistently following through on a wide variety and number of tasks from inception to completion
  • Highly analytical self-starter with awesome work ethic, loads of initiative, strong prioritization and organizational skills, a passion for quality, and amazing attention to detail
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Expert networker, well-connected in the game development industry, with extensive experience with recruiting and speaking to the press and at public events
  • Thrives in a highly iterative and collaborative environment
  • A desire to work and support a diverse and inclusive environment

Extra Credit

  • Relevant hands-on and leadership experience in 1st or 3rd person shooter, action-adventure, or action role-playing game development
  • Experience developing for the latest generation of high-end game consoles
  • Experience working with a wide variety of design systems, tools, and game engines
  • Well-known, highly respected industry figure
  • Intelligent and highly capable, yet humble and down to earth

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 does not accept unsolicited referrals or resumes from any source other than directly from candidates.