3 min read

Get a job: Giant Sparrow seeks a Game Designer/Programmer

Are you a programmer/designer interested in "translating feelings into randomness and back again" within the constraints of Unreal Engine 4? Unfinished Swan developer Giant Sparrow has a job for you.

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Game Designer/ProgrammerGiant Sparrow

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Giant Sparrow is a small studio focused on creating surreal experiences people have never had before. Our first project was The Unfinished Swan, a first-person painting game set in an all-white world. Our next game, What Remains of Edith Finch, is a collection of short stories about a cursed family in Washington State.

We're looking for a hybrid designer/programmer to prototype and then polish a wide range of character controls and interactive systems. Each of the short stories in our game is about a different family member and each has its own controls (two examples: in one story you're flying a kite at the beach, in another you're controlling a wind-up frog in a bathtub).

Given the short length and relatively large number of stories you'll need a good sense for which elements matter the most to the player experience so you can focus on making those parts sing. We're combining traditional designer / gameplay programmer roles to help speed up iteration times and replace the need for detailed planning with just trying things out and seeing what works.

You should be able to look at reference footage of a kite flying on a blustery day and have a sense for how to start creating that feeling: the fluttering of the kite, the way the string bends, the occasional tug on the kite's spindle, etc. At this point maybe you're already thinking about how you'd create just the right randomness, because of course the randomness of gusts of wind on a beach has its own particular feeling. That's the job in a nutshell: translating feelings into randomness and back again.

Our goal is for each story to convey how that family member felt at the moment of their death, so beyond the usual challenges of making interactions that are intuitive and satisfying we're also trying to make them expressive. We want players to feel like they've had a chance to see and explore the world through new eyes.

We're working with Unreal 4 so you'd be writing a lot of things in C++. Obviously it'd be ideal if you had experience in C++ but a very solid background in any C-like language would be fine.

This is a full-time but temporary position, with work expected to wrap on June 1, 2016.

We're looking for someone who:

  • Has a portfolio that's idiosyncratic enough to show us who you are and what you care about
  • Has some experience in C++ (or is super comfortable in C# and would like to learn C++, quickly)
  • Wants to experiment with strange and underexplored game mechanics
  • Unreal experience would be helpful but isn't required

Interested? Apply now.

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