AVAILABLE POSITIONS Lead Level Designer (Star Wars)

Zynga is proud to announce the opening of a brand-new game development studio in Austin, TX. The studio will partner with NaturalMotion, a Zynga-subsidiary, to develop a premiere mobile action game set in the Star Wars universe.  The new Austin studio will collaborate closely with BossAlien, a division of NaturalMotion, and an award-winning games developer based out of Brighton, England.

If this sounds like you, we want to hear from you! Your passion and experience for building original games will be instrumental as we bring together a brand-new collective of developers to take on next-generation thinking and innovative products. As a studio leader, you will act as a key bridge in tight and effective collaboration with your UK-based counterparts.

This is a rare opportunity to play a part in the foundation of Zynga’s first action games studio in North America and to make your mark on a brand-new franchise in the Star Wars universe and the future of mobile gaming.

About the position

The Lead Level Designer will be a founding member of the Austin, TX studio, working closely with their counterparts both locally and in Brighton to build the next blockbuster mobile franchise, and setting the studio up for sustainable delivery and future growth.

We are looking for someone who can autonomously drive level creation for a large part of the game with the team in Austin, while working closely with creative leadership in Brighton to ensure consistent game and level vision across both teams. The ideal candidate is a proven level designer with firsthand experience creating engaging and vibrant levels, as well as leading a team of level designers and providing constructive feedback.

You are a proponent of designing through constant playtest and iteration, and are an evangelist for this process not only within the level design team, but across the entire studio. You are a natural storyteller, not with words but with the game environment itself. You know that storytelling is a function of visual elements, emergent gameplay moments, and the interaction of systems and environments in novel ways that continually surprise and delight the player.

As a studio leader, it’s also crucial that our Lead Level Designer not only shares but exemplifies our values of determination, trust, excellence, and celebrating the diversity of people and ideas.

This role will report into BossAlien’s Creative Director in the UK. As a core member of the Austin leadership team, the Lead Level Designer will have significant autonomy and a high level of impact on the studio’s design culture, and play a key part in building the studio’s team.

In this role, you will

  • Help to build and lead a level design team in Austin that works well autonomously, as well as in conjunction with designers and creative leadership in Brighton.
  • Develop and mentor your team, earn their trust, advance their skills and their careers.
  • Advise studio leadership and contribute positively to the development culture within BossAlien.
  • Design, iterate, and shepherd maps from concept to blockout to polish in Unreal Engine 4 alongside your team and in partnership with environment artists.
  • Make smart use of analytics, heatmaps, and other data to inform level design and find and solve problems.
  • Observe and analyze user testing and game analytics to recommend design solutions, and improve design features.
  • Respond to emergent design problems and ensure these are addressed to meet product goals and release plan targets.
  • Solicit, organize, and distill feedback from within the team and the broader organization.
  • Grow with the business; stretch yourself and learn new skills and domains.
  • Have fun; we’re making games!

What we offer you

  • Competitive salary, bonus plan, Zynga RSU’s, RRSP Match
  • Extended Health coverage as well as life Insurance
  • Goodlife fitness annual membership
  • Commuter benefits , daily lunches, snacks & drinks
  • Vacation: Open vacation policy
  • 26 weeks fully paid pregnancy leave for delivering mothers
  • 12 weeks fully paid parental leave for fathers/partners and adoptive parents
  • Zynga happy hours and frequent employee events
  • Casual dress every single day
  • Culture of diversity and inclusion
  • Work with cool people and impact millions of daily players

Zynga is an equal opportunity employer. We are proud of our broad community; we do not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, disability, or any other class or characteristic protected by applicable law. We welcome job-seekers, players, employees, and partners from all backgrounds. Join us!

We will consider all qualified job-seekers with criminal histories in a manner consistent with applicable law.

Zynga is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need an accommodation during the interview process, please let us know

Careers region: North America

Careers Category: Game Design & Production

Careers location: Austin, TX

Careers Type: Full-Time