Get a job: Monolith Productions seeks a Lead Designer, Narrative

Award-winning Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor devs are hiring a lead designer for the narrative on its next project -- to take the game's story from conception to execution.

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Lead Designer, Narrative, Monolith Productions

Location: Kirkland, Washington

Summary of Position 

For over 20 years Monolith has been obsessed with delivering unique gaming experiences for our fans. Combining innovative gameplay, cutting edge technology and AI, inventive narratives and stunning visuals to create award winning and best-selling games. Starting with our first game, Blood through to our most recent title, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor which has been awarded with numerous Game of the Year Awards, including Gamespot, Joystiq and IGN as well as Best Action/Adventure Game at the 2014 Game Awards.

We are dedicated to ensuring that our next game is our best yet, and to achieve that we need the best and brightest talent the industry has to offer.

WB Games Inc. seeks a Lead Designer for the WBG Monolith Design department. The Lead Narrative Designer is responsible for the delivery of high quality narrative content and systems in the game. This involves designing and development of characters, story and narrative systems as well as the writing and implementation of content. The Narrative Designer will work with the design team to create compelling paper designs that fit within the required narrative structure. Then implement these designs through the use of proprietary and 3rd party tools. The Narrative Designer is responsible for collaborating with producers, writers, the audio team, the design team, outsourcing partners, artists, and engineers to ensure their content is engaging, and fits the goals of the project and the requirements of the license. They should also be the evangelist for Story and Narrative Systems within and outside of the team.

Job Responsibilities

  • Design, Write and Implement systemic and scripted story focused dialogue and text content throughout the game.
  • Lead the writing team in areas of narrative feedback, script creation, VO direction, and narrative design.
  • Help design the (non-linear) narrative systems in the game – e.g. chatter, character, conversation, mission and tutorial.
  • Collaborate with the team (Creative Director, Design Leads, Cinematic Director and Director of Art) on cinematics, world storytelling and setting.
  • Focuses the design on interactive storytelling by finding the strongest balance of player engagement (autonomy, competence, relatedness, volition) with player immersion. Constantly try to find ways to minimize “non-interactive” storytelling in our games (cut scenes etc.).
  • Ensures that the narrative quality of the product meets the project goals and exceeds defined competitive benchmarks in terms of writing, performance, implementation and features.
  • Integrate comments from editors, designers, and development team members into various revision drafts of material, working collaboratively as a member of a team. Edit dialogue for other shared writers as needed.
  • Drive the Design of “Action-Storytelling” throughout the game – using gameplay systems to present the story to the player (e.g. environment design, chatter systems, level design and collectables).
  • Collaborates with the Creative Director and Design Leads to ensure that the universe and narrative vision are coherent with the game design.
  • Collaborate with the audio / engineering team on implementation of story systems.
  • Edit other writer’s content as necessary – and provide feedback to facilitate improved efficiency in future.
  • Analyze competitive products and make recommendations to surpass them, or differentiate our design from them.
  • Works with both internal and external writers to ensure a consistent high quality bar in our narrative content.
  • Help organize written and VO content for localization efforts.
  • Participates in regular, hands-on interaction with Creative Director, Leads, Engineers and Level Designers to ensure that the concepts and content of the narrative meet design requirements.
  • Coordinates and liaises with all necessary departments to facilitate execution of the projects and materials in a professional and client-centric manner. This includes keeping the Producer and Leads appraised or the projects status.

Job Requirements

  • B.A. degree preferred in English, Communications or similar major, or equivalent game writing experience.
  • A minimum of 5 years game writing and or design experience, including dialogue, characters, treatments, and cinematics.
  • Experience with “sandbox” or open world game design a plus.
  • Preferably shipped at least two titles.
  • Published Author a plus.
  • Passion for action and role playing games.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work well under pressure and with deadlines.
  • Knowledge of Non-Linear / Sandbox game Dialogue and Story Systems.
  • Superior writing ability including dialogue, major story beats, and cinematics.
  • High level of flexibility with regard to change in direction or rewrites.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a team of writers and with a development team.
  • Understand techniques to elicit player emotion.
  • Strong research skills and extraordinary attention to detail.
  • Excellent knowledge of writing tools and script formatting (final draft or other script writing software, word, excel, various database solutions for content)
  • Familiarity with a variety of editors and scripting languages preferable.
  • Experience directing voice actors and rewriting lines on the fly a plus.
  • Passion for Action-Adventure games.
  • In-depth knowledge of industry trends in interactive storytelling.

The Warner Bros. Entertainment Group of Companies is an equal opportunity employer and considers all candidates for employment regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, marital status, military or veteran's status (including protected veterans, as may be required by federal law), sexual orientation or any other category protected by law.

Interested? Apply now.

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