Design Director

Splash Damage logo
Posted 07 September 2022
Salary Negotiable
Job type Permanent
Contact NameLawrie Brennan

Job description

We’re supporting Splash Damage in recruiting a Design Director as they embark on new and ambitious projects including a new IP, a move into self-publishing and expansion into new locations. As part of this new era Splash Damage have created their own worlds including an original Sci-fi game in Unreal Engine 5, giving them true ownership of their projects.

As a Design Director at Splash Damage, you will be a key member of a leadership team responsible for driving the execution of their creative vision, directing the design teams towards successful delivery of a product. 

Your responsibilities will be…

  • Recognise and solve cross-team project issues
  • Represent and support the needs of the design teams, the players, and the business
  • Ownership of the output and growth of the design discipline on your project and for the morale, alignment, and cohesion of team members across disciplines
  • Share knowledge, improve standards and processes across the studio and disciplines with a design 
  • Support the Creative Director in communicating the design vision throughout the studio and oversee the creation and maintenance of documentation including the GDD and wiki pages
  • Ensure the team have bought in to the vision can see the progress they’re making and appreciate how their work fits in to the wider project vision
  • Communicate with the Studio Senior Leadership Team and external partners or publishers, managing relationships, presenting creative achievements of the team, and negotiating feature or change requests
  • On occasion communicate to the media, communities, and fans from live appearances to pre-recorded interviews to forum engagement
  • Manage, mentor, and develop Lead Game Designers
  • Collaborate with Production to plan your project and create roadmaps, hiring and succession plans, and scoping exercises
  • Set and lead the tone on the project and ensure studio values are embraced by your team; including ensuring your team have autonomy and don’t feel dictated to

The skills and experience you’ll bring to the role…

  • A passion for making and playing games
  • Extensive industry experience
  • Shipped at least one current or last gen AAA title in an equivalent role and through the full development cycle
  • Shipped multiple titles in a leadership role, including running a multi-person design team; people-management, mentoring, line-management
  • Experience of delivering project goals, translating high-level vision into actionable tasks across all disciplines within a team
  • Familiar with being the champion for a product and presenting at conferences or events, including media
  • Comfortable collaborating across disciplines and experience levels and being part of a leadership group
  • Excellent verbal, presentation, and written communication skills
  • Experienced with design documentation, diagram, and flow-chart creation, including wiki-based design documentation and spreadsheets
  • A deep and detailed understanding of all aspects of design including signs and feedback, controls, balancing, narrative, game-feel, retention, usability, on-boarding, social mechanics
  • Deep player empathy and an understanding of player psychology and motivations
  • An understanding of systems, systemic design, emergent gameplay, and the place of procedural content generation in development
  • Knowledge of industry trends in regard to genres, gameplay, development models, and financial models
  • Dedicated attention to detail and strong problem-solving skills including lateral thinking

Desirable but non-essential… 

  • One or more shipped titles featuring post-launch monetization beyond simple DLC packs
  • Strong maths skills; formulas, probability, statistics, and balancing
  • Highly experienced with Microsoft Office Products
  • Experience with source-control applications e.g., SVN, Perforce, AlienBrain
  • Experience in creating first or third person shooters
  • Experienced in running the live phase of a game as a service, including using telemetry / metrics to inform design and content decisions
  • Familiar with parsing the results of, and acting upon market research e.g., focus groups, qualitative and quantitative surveys
  • Experience of prototyping gameplay mechanics using UE4, UE3, Unity, or similar

The studio has been recognised with several best employer awards over the years, most recently being awarded the coveted 3-star ‘world-class employer’ accreditation by Best Companies.

Splash offer a host of perks and benefits including… 

  • Private Medical and Dental Cover for you and your family, mental health support and a 24/7 digital GP service
  • Employee assistance programme
  • Industry-leading fully paid 30 weeks maternity leave and 10 weeks paternity leave 
  • Enhanced company pension contributions and a group life assurance scheme 

And not forgetting the famous Splash Damage social events are open to you and your family to help you build friendships and have some fun along the way.