Associate Director of Design – Racing
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At NaturalMotion, we make games that wow people. We innovate to create experiences that previously were impossible and that would not exist without us. We take pride in making titles that reach a large audience and in creating communities that last. For the past three years NaturalMotion Studios have been named as one of the Best Places to Work in the UK games industry by gamesindustry.biz.
Our Racing Studio – responsible for the CSR Racing franchise and the #1 Racing Game on Mobile CSR2 – is one of the most ambitious, successful, and creatively inclusive studios in the UK. Based across three locations – London, Birmingham and Bangalore – the team loves welcoming diverse, humble, straightforward and ambitious talent, aspiring for award-winning excellence. People who want to find a place where they will be supported and encouraged to do the best work of their career.
Hiring Update: The safety of our candidates and team members is our top priority. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our workforce transitioned to working from home, with all interviewing and onboarding being conducted virtually until further notice.
We are seeking an Associate Director of Game Design to join our Racing Studio to lead the design of an unnanounced, in development, cross-platform racing title. You will be responsible for both the ownership and execution of a number of the game’s core features as well as how they combine holistically into an interconnected, rich, but accessible experience.
You will ensure all features are executed to AAA standards, and support the game’s core pillars. You will also have an excellent understanding of how to design for a game that is live, working to a roadmap of content that keeps players engaged for several years.
Finally, you will mentor your team members, giving them the line-management support and the framework to do their best work and achieve their professional goals.
As Associate Director of Design, you will report into the Racing Studio’s Director of Design and will be accountable for the design leadership of the studio’s new title.
Key Roles & Responsibilities
- Design Feature Execution: You will lead the design and execution of core game features ensuring they are embodying the core pillars of the game, are introduced into the experience with care, are narratively integrated into the experience, are well-balanced and connected wit other systems and can deepen over time as players progress.
- Live Game Collaboration: You will build a strong relationship with the Lead Live Game Designer, working in tandem to deliver new features and live content like events, seasons, and leagues in a predictable and compelling way that deepens the experience and retains our players for years.
- Team Leadership: Lead a team of designers, giving them mentorship and support, having regular one-to-ones and working closely with them to ensure they are delivering high quality design work. You will take pride and ownership in helping them become more skilled and capable in their game design career.
- Cross-Discipline Collaboration: Working with other disciplines, particularly Product Management, UX Design, Art, Marketing and Data Science to ensure the features you are responsible for are loved by players, deliver on the needs of the business and create marketable opportunities to attract new players.
- Support Director of Design: You will be the first point of contact for design on the new title and will be adept and skilled in representing the design group both internally in the studio and across the business.
Required Skills & Experience
- Design Acumen: Knowledge about both mobile and console games and the key design trends and opportunities that will shape the industry in the future.
- Live Operations: You will have demonstrated ability in executing best-practice Live Operations and Games as a Service approaches, which deliver vibrant, performant content on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual cadence.
- Roadmap Planning: You have experience building feature and content roadmaps that keep players happy with great content, whilst also ensuring the business meets its targets.
- Line-Management & Leadership: You are able to mentor and support a varied team of designers with different areas of specialty and experience.
- Cross-Platform Design: You have an appreciation for how to design features that excel on different platforms, allowing players to make progress seamlessly on their platform of choice.
- Emotional Intelligence: You will be a confident, independent worker that is able to quickly integrate yourself into a large, multi-cultural team.
- Communication: An elegant, straightforward and confident communicator, you can articulate how to work effectively in both remote working and office setups.
- Genre Knowledge: A demonstrable interest in cars and racing games, you can speak with clarity about CSR2’s strengths and opportunities.
- Gaming Passion: A real passion for gaming, and an awareness of future trends and industry opportunities in different sectors.
What Do We Offer?
- Competitive salary, discretionary annual bonus scheme, Zynga stock allocation and Employee Stock Purchase Plan
- Contributory pension scheme
- 25 days holiday, plus public holidays and Christmas shutdown
- Private medical care, dental and healthcare cash plan
- Life insurance, critical illness insurance and income protection
- 6 months fully paid maternity leave or 3 months fully paid paternity leave
- Discounted gym membership and free weekly (virtual) fitness classes
- Annual season ticket loan and cycle to work scheme
- Flexible working hours
- Summer and Christmas parties
We are an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to building a diverse and talented workforce. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, colour, national origin, gender, gender identity, 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 to join us!
We will consider all qualified job-seekers with criminal histories in a manner consistent with applicable law.
We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with physical or mental disabilities in order to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us at accommodationRequest@zynga.com to request an accommodation associated with your application for an open position.
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