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Sumo Digital

Narrative Director

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Sumo Digital
🇬🇧 Sheffield

With a rich history of developing multiple AAA franchises such as Little Big Planet and Crackdown, as well as contributing to genre-defining titles like the Forza Motorsport and Hitman series, Sumo Sheffield’s vast development experience spans multiple genres and platforms.

As winners of the TIGA Star Employment Award for 2021, recipients of the GI Biz 2020 Best Places to Work Award and listed as one of the UK’s 100 Best Large Companies to Work for in 2021, Sumo Digital has enjoyed 18 years of stability and growth since its formation in 2003 and continues to strive for excellence across every single project.

The team have a track record of working on some of the world's biggest and best games and received two BAFTAs for their work on Sackboy: A Big Adventure. As the scale and exclusivity of projects continues to grow, there’s never been a more exciting time to join the Sumo Sheffield family!

The Role @ Sumo

We are looking for a Narrative Director to help us reshape a remarkable AAA open-world action franchise. This is a fantastic opportunity to play a major pivotal role in re-envisioning this celebrated franchise from the ground up and to build a team that can deliver it at the required standard.

As Narrative Director, you are responsible for defining the direction of our narrative strategy. You will work closely with the Design Director to determine the narrative elements of the game’s creative vision. You will help to re-establish the narrative universe of the franchise and set the narrative tone of the game, while overseeing a narrative team comprised of Writers and Narrative Designers.

In this role, you will be expected to champion quality across the project and collaborate with all teams/disciplines in the delivery of an exciting new open-world action game. Your role has a major emphasis on people management, creativity, communication, problem solving and mitigation.

What Will You Do?

  • Establish, define and communicate the game's narrative direction and framework based on the creative vision.
  • Build a robust understanding of our characters, worlds, and narrative gameplay experiences, serving as a key resource for others on the team.
  • Lead the development and presentation of the main characters; including casting, voice recording, and mocap sessions.
  • Help define the mission structure of the game; ensure the overall coherence of the storyline/scripted events throughout the game; and author set pieces.
  • Provide guidelines with regards to the development of specific narrative/scripted event features and assets.
  • Ensure the quality of the script, scene-breakdowns and final edits of the scenes and kinematics.
  • Collaborate with the different teams (level designers, game designers, artists, animators, audio designers, etc.) to ensure that all the narrative elements are correctly integrated.
  • Lead the narrative strategy and ensure its constant communication to the development team and the project’s stakeholders
  • Work with the recruitment team to grow Sumo’s team of talented narrative designers and writers.
  • Create a positive inclusive work environment that will grow team motivation and performance.

What Do You Need?

  • 7+ years minimum experience in narrative design or writing experience in game production.
  • Significant involvement in the narrative design of multiple game titles, with preferably a full cycle on a AAA title (or equivalent) at Lead level or higher.
  • A proven ability to present ideas to a wide variety of audiences, both technical and non-technical, in a succinct manner.
  • An ability to collaborate with different disciplines and audiences.
  • Prior experience in leading/managing/mentoring a team will be advantageous.
  • An appreciation for existing games and an awareness of modern gaming trends; particularly in the open-world genre.
  • Bonus points if you have experience in casting actors, and guiding voice-over and motion-capture recordings for video games.
  • A highly creative, collaborative, empathetic, and innovative spirit.
  • Exceptional problem-solving, organisational, communication, interpersonal, presentation, and mentorship skills.
  • A drive to inspire and cultivate talent.
  • A forward-thinking attitude towards inclusivity and mental health.
  • Knowledge of UE4/UE5.

What We Offer:

  • Annual Bonus & Annual Salary Reviews
  • Electric Car Scheme
  • Salary Sacrifice Pension Scheme
  • Flexible Working
  • 27 Days Holiday, including your birthday a duvet day and Christmas
  • Holiday ‘buy and sell’ scheme
  • 5 Paid Learning Days, including 1 volunteer day per year
  • Access to 4,000 Udemy Courses, The Gnomen Workshop, GDC Vault and more
  • Enhanced Mat/Paternity & Adoption pay
  • Free Life Assurance - 4x Salary
  • Free Income Protection Scheme -up to 75%
  • Free Dental Insurance
  • Supportive Employee Assistance Programme with confidential 24/7/365 helpline & app
  • Access remote GP, Mental Health, Physio appointments & medical second opinions
  • Additional flexible benefits scheme
  • Cycle to Work Scheme
  • Mental Health First Aiders
  • Payroll Giving Scheme
  • Game & Book Libraries
  • Long service & project completion awards
  • Wrap Parties
  • Alternative Travel Prize Draw
  • The Sumo GameJam
  • Great family events
  • Studio clubs, inc. running, board games, film…
  • Life Drawing
  • Yoga Classes
  • Free fruit and drinks
  • Employee Referral Bonus
  • Career Development
  • Relocation Support to the UK
  • Visa Sponsorship

Where do we stand on diversity?

At Sumo, we want to enable everyone to bring their full, authentic selves to work every single day. We acknowledge that the games industry is far from perfect and a global organisation with people all over the world, from all kinds of backgrounds, we know it’s part of our duty to provide everyone at Sumo with a safe, accepting and affirming working environment.

We encourage and welcome applicants from all backgrounds.

More about Sumo Sheffield

Sumo Sheffield is located just outside the city centre in Sumo Digital’s HQ, just off J34 on the M1 and a stone’s throw from the city’s primary shopping and leisure complex. With a multi-building campus comprised of industry-leading facilities, an onsite gym and subsidised canteen, Sumo Sheffield provides everything needed for all teams to create the world’s best games.

Sheffield is the fifth largest city in the UK and is easily accessible by road and rail from Leeds, Manchester and the Midlands. The city enjoys a wealth of facilities to suit a wide array of interests, including:

  • World-class sports facilities
  • Iconic theatres and galleries
  • Multiple retail and shopping experiences
  • Diverse and renowned restaurants and eateries
  • The award-winning National Video Game Museum

More about Sumo Digital

Sumo Digital is an award-winning international family of studios. Recent releases from Sumo Digital studios include: BAFTA-Award winning Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Hood: Outlaws & Legends, Control Ultimate Edition on Google Stadia, Apple Arcade Award-winning Little Orpheus, Hot Shot Racing, WST Snooker and Spyder.