Design Director – VR

at Skydance Media
Published December 2, 2023
Location Santa Monica, CA
Category Default  
Job Type Full-time  

Description

At Skydance Interactive, we believe in pushing the boundaries of what is possible in interactive entertainment. Innovation in game design, technology and storytelling is the passion that drives our agile studio of dedicated and talented game creators. Collaboration across all disciplines is vital to our success and is at the core of the inclusive culture we strive to foster every day.

We empower our employees to take ownership of the features they develop and create their own solutions when challenges arise. As our studio grows, we want to bring even more risk-takers, innovators and diverse voices along for the ride as we continue to create the games that will defy convention and define the future of the medium.

Following the success of our first VR titleArchangel, we elevated our ambition and tackled The Walking Dead universe in VR. The result was the 2020 genre-defining hitThe Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners. We are currently working on several highly anticipated VR games for emerging platforms that we can’t wait for you to play.

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We are deep into pre-production on a new, unannounced VR title, and are looking for a Design Director to form part of our core team. The Design Director is team leader who works with the Game Director to define gameplay and level design needs in alignment with the overall creative vision and goals for the game, and manages discipline leads and their teams to execute those elements in close collaboration with Engineering, Animation, Art, Narrative, and Audio.

Responsibilities

  • Work closely with Game Director and team leads to ensure all design elements form a cohesive and fun experience for players based on the creative pillars and USPs of the game.
  • Communicates and drafts detailed briefs for design teams (e.g. level, systems, UX/UI) to understand the creative vision of the project.
  • Oversee and direct the design team in creating overall game mechanics, systems, and features, using internal and third-party developers.
  • Oversee the creation of prototypes and provide feedback to refine and improve game mechanics.
  • Partner closely with Engineering, Animation, and other departments and stakeholders to ensure an efficient and effective game development process and cohesive integration of their work into the game design.
  • Review works in progress and draft comprehensive feedback on game design and implementation with the team.
  • Model a culture of creative collaboration, transparent communication, and respect for all members of the studio team.
  • Establish and maintain best practices to optimize design outcomes.
  • Create design documentation and guides for the dev team to reference.
  • Work with Production to develop scheduling and resource planning to ensure timely and successful completion of the game.
  • Devise and assemble conditions for the design team’s success.
  • Mentor and coach team members to foster their design, technical, and professional development.

Requirements

  • Passion and enthusiasm for VR, broad knowledge of current VR games
  • 15+ years of design experience in PC/console gaming, with at least 5 years’ experience building and managing a design department
  • Must have experience in full development cycle with at least 1 shipped AAA game
  • Has broad knowledge in all areas of game production, introducing new tools, design trends, and workflows
  • Deep understanding and experience with combat systems, level design, narrative design, and crafting and item economies
  • Ability to work well and create consensus within a larger design team
  • Experience providing honest feedback while being sensitive to an individual’s work

The salary range for this position in Los Angeles is $175,000 – $200,000. The salary offered may vary based on the candidate’s location, qualifications, experience and relevant expertise, among other factors. The range indicated is for base salary only and does not reflect the total compensation package, including bonus, benefits, etc.

We realize that skills and expertise can come from many different experiences and paths, and we encourage you to apply even if you don’t meet all of the requirements as written in the job description.

#Interactive #LI-hybrid

Skydance is a diversified media company founded by David Ellison in 2010 to create high quality, event-level entertainment for global audiences. The Company brings to life stories of immersive worlds across its feature film, television, interactive, and animation divisions.

Skydance is proud to be an equal opportunity employer committed to building and fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. We welcome and consider applicants for employment regardless of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy status, military/veteran status, disability, or any other protected category. Diversity in the workplace is not just a commitment, it is who we are and a reflection of what makes our world special.

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