We are looking for exceptional people who share our mission: to reinvent how we measure human potential. At Imbellus, we build simulation-based assessments that evaluate how people think instead of what they know, for use by the education system and employers. We believe our society must prioritize developing minds that do what computers cannot. Eventually, we'll replace standardized tests like the SAT, ACT, SAT II, and AP. By changing assessments, we can reorient the education system & employers towards measuring what matters.
We love this challenge. We're an interdisciplinary team of learning scientists, game developers, artists, AI/ML engineers, and data scientists, looking for others who want to tackle this difficult problem. We know that what has worked for decades in other contexts, might not work in ours, so we don’t default to expertise. Instead we test every assumption with logic, each idea with reasoning, and all conclusions with “prove it.” We choose learning over ego so that our product and our people become the best.
We’re looking for a Game Designer (Prototyper):
Imbellus is a strange company - we make games that are also tests. We need someone who can design games that are not games. Someone who can take an idea from a vague concept to a working interactive experience, then help turn that experience into a full game (that is also a test). Someone who doesn’t just work with people of diverse fields and perspectives, but embraces those ideas, balances them against each other, and champions them. Someone who finds a massive list of requirements and constraints to be an interesting challenge rather than a burden. Someone who wants to use their skills at game design to not just amuse, but also to save the world.
What you’ll be doing at Imbellus:
- Turn ideas into prototypes. The goal of a prototype at Imbellus is to test out an idea in the quickest and most efficient way possible. Gather ideas from many sources and translate those into meaningful player actions that engage and measure.
- Create paper prototypes that elicit the types of thinking we want out of the simplest components, using trickery and smoke and mirrors to get a response to an idea within days of the idea’s birth.
- Code digital prototypes that test out ideas in formats that resemble their final digital assessments.
- Work with the rest of the team to turn the best prototypes into final products.
- Daily coordination with the rest of the team, gathering information on what they need and providing it.
- Write the data that goes into the builds. Edit endless streams of text files and spreadsheets to make the code do what the design needs.
- Participate in many playtests, guiding random people through early versions of the task to see what works.
- Documents! Ranging from pitches to feature designs to data structures to exec presentations.
- Meetings! Brainstorms and problem solving and build reviews and exec presentations and more!
- Any other tasks related to game design that come up.
Game design at Imbellus is weird:
- Imbellus makes interactive assessments. We need to turn player clicks into scientifically valid statements about how that player thinks. At most game companies, fun always comes first. Here, it sometimes comes second.
- That said, we don’t avoid fun. The game designer is responsible for making assessments engaging and interesting and more than just a multiple choice test.
- Most of our assessments are experienced by each player once, for 30 minutes, and never touched again. This puts strange pressures on many points of the design.
- Our assessments need to be strictly equivalent from student to student which doesn’t sound bad until you realize how much game design relies on randomness.
- Our educational clients have high expectations regarding accessibility, so all students regardless of any limitations can be assessed fairly.
What you’ll need to succeed at Imbellus:
- An interest in our mission to reorient the education and assessment landscape
- A bachelor’s degree. Game development degrees and advanced degrees preferred but not required.
- Experience in game development. At least one shipped title, preferably a range of titles.
- Experience with prototyping: At least two cases you can point to where you took an idea from nothing to a prototype mostly on your own
- Experience incorporating lots of outside perspectives and needs into your game designs.
- Low ego. The game designer is not the auteur at Imbellus - everyone is a team player.
What will make your application stand out:
- Experience with non-traditional game design. Educational games, training games, advocacy games, or anything where entertainment is not the only goal.
- Experience with systems design - creating games with lots of interwoven systems.
- Experience with economic design - balancing and wrangling data to best showcase the features.
- Familiarity with educational assessment practices.
- Familiarity with academic approaches to AI and formal system specifications.
- An embrace of the principles of agile design.
- Comfort working with many people all over the globe. We spend a lot of time in video conferences even when the world is open.
- Showcase your best prototypes and how you used them to efficiently answer design questions.
- Demonstrate an understanding of and a passion for our mission at Imbellus.
Our name comes from the Latin word “Imbellis,” a breed of Betta fish. Betta fish don’t swim in schools. Welcome to our fish tank.