Gameplay Designer / Programmer

Posted: about 1 month
Possible for exceptional candidates
Giant Sparrow’s next game is all about interactions between humans and urban wildlife. As a gameplay designer/programmer you'd be the one responsible for making those interactions come to life. You'll be coming on early as part of a small, senior team (4-5 people for the next year) with a focus on building lots of short, experimental gameplay prototypes.

The primary goal of these prototypes is creating an illusion of life through interactions that feel fleshy and vulnerable enough to be mesmerizing. Here's a tone reference video that hopefully makes those aspirations more concrete, though our approach will be less realistic than what’s in the video, closer to Jim Henson or Fantasia.
You’ll be working on traditional gameplay challenges, like character controls and physics tuning, but with a non-traditional emphasis on making that gameplay feel emotionally expressive. If we’re doing it right these interactions would help players evoke personal experiences they’ve had with wildlife, as a way to explore and reflect on their own relationship with the natural world.

This is a hybrid design + programming role working in Unreal. Ideally you'd have experience with character and camera controls, physics and animation systems, and a healthy programming background. If you've done mostly programming or mostly design in the past that's fine, just be ready to expand your skills.
We’d prefer folks who can join us in Los Angeles but we’d be open to considering remote options for exceptional candidates.

  • Collaborate with the team to decide which interactions to prototype next.
  • Single-handedly develop that idea into a playable 3D prototype. We're normally big on collaboration but there's so many unknowns at the prototype stage that we’ve found it’s more efficient creatively if you can get something up and running (mostly) on your own, so you've got a cohesive thought other folks can react to. It doesn’t have to be beautiful, just emotionally expressive.
  • As we move into production you’ll collaborate with a larger team of specialist animators, artists, and programmers to refine prototypes into gloriously strange and memorable moments.
  • Watch regular playtests and discuss feedback to decide what needs improving.
  • Be able to make gameplay prototypes that have a playful sense of life to them.
  • That's it.
If you think you'd be a good fit, contact us. Please include links to projects you've worked on along with a short description of a memorable experience you've had with a wild animal and a note about where you found our listing.
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Giant Sparrow

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United States of America

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