Lead Game Designer
You’re a creative, hands-on game designer with solid experience in Unreal, comfortable being the vision keeper for each project placed in your care, but value collaboration and teamwork.
You can take a game from early concept to vertical slice to launch, helping your team find the fun and advocating for the players’ needs. You’re ready to lead and mentor others, passing on the design principles and best-practices that have shaped you as a game creator.
4J Studios Ltd, developers of Minecraft Console Edition based in Dundee, Scotland, are looking for a creative, motivated, hands-on Lead Games Designer with solid, proven experience in video games as both a creator and player. This position will place the successful candidate in a design leadership role on one or more PC and console game titles, collaborating and problem solving with peers from art, code, production, and audio departments. As Lead Games Designer, the successful candidate will be the vision keeper for each game placed in their care, reporting directly to the studio Creative Director & Executive Producer. The Lead Designer will ensure the game adheres to its creative pillars, meets our studio values and quality expectations, is relevant to current trends and player expectations, and results in a game that is both fun for the player and profitable for the business.
The Lead Designer is responsible for creating a game’s systems, mechanics, and narrative content; communicating design mechanics and systems to the other department leads; advocating for the player/end user to ensure the game respects and values their patronage; creative problem solving with your team when encountering design or technical setbacks; reviewing builds and providing actionable feedback to the development team; and maintaining and curating all design materials (GDDs, story treatments, design wikis, etc.) Likewise, the Lead Games Designer will manage a team of game designers at various levels of experience and skill, providing mentoring and career development by passing on the best-practices and design principles that have shaped you as a game creator.
- Work close with the studio Creative Director to maintain the game vision and creative pillars while being accountable for the overall quality of game play.
- Serve as the main point of contact for all game design issues on assigned projects.
- Collaborate with the Producer and other team leads to ensure the project meets deadlines without compromising the integrity of the game design or product vision.
- Prioritize and delegate day-to-day game design tasks to your team and assign ownership of game systems and features.
- Provide mentoring, skill development, and career development to more junior designers
- Write and edit game design documentation, world-building materials, narrative content, and other design materials.
- Conceive, develop, and communicate pitches for new game concepts and participate in studio game jams.
- Advocate for the player when communicating market and feature expectations.
- Remain current with industry trends, specifically through competitive product analysis and strong knowledge of best or emerging practices.
- Provide clearly communicated editorial feedback and actionable feedback on game builds and prototypes.
- Cultivate a positive team dynamic and collaborative atmosphere.
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Demonstrated knowledge of game development processes and production pipelines.
- The ability to work well within a collaborative creative environment, working closely with producers, artists, programmers, and senior management.
- The ability to design and communicate core game systems, concepts, and mechanics and effectively communicate them to teammates and studio leadership.
- A track record of designing, developing, and shipping high-quality PC, console, or VR/AR/XR games.
- Excellent creative and technical writing skills.
- Able to conceive and articulate new game concepts based on market trends, new technologies and platforms, and emerging audiences.
- Detail oriented and able to manage multiple projects at different stages of development.
- Passion for the latest PC and console video games and game hardware (must be a Gamer).
Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Practical experience using Unreal.
- Creative, dynamic presentation and pitching skills using PowerPoint or Keynote.
- Ability to create paper prototypes for validating and balancing game mechanics and loops.
- Experience creating content for games-as-service/live service games.
Education & Experience
- University degree preferred, or demonstrates through portfolio or credited titles an industry standard level of professional video game design experience.
- Graduate of an academic video game program and/or professional internship is desirable.
- 8+ years experience in the game development industry, preferably in a game design, narrative design, level design, or production role.
- 3+ commercially released game titles on console, mobile, VR/AR/XR, or PC.
- Must have unrestricted work authorization to work in the United Kingdom.
- Must be willing to work onsite in Dundee, Scotland.