Maxis

Maxis is renowned for its deep simulations, powerful creative tools and open sand-box style of gameplay. Founded in 1989, Maxis is home to some of the world’s most beloved videogame franchises including The Sims, Spore, and SimCity. With studios in Emeryville and Redwood City, California, Maxis is currently working on the next generation of The Sims, as well as unannounced games. Maxis invites the world to Play With Life. Join us…

Job Description

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Creative Director

Req. Number: 32583
Location Information: Redwood City, CA

For over 30 years, Maxis games have been known for their deep simulation, creativity, imagination, and unique style of gameplay. Maxis has created some of the world's most popular franchises, including SimCity, Spore, and The Sims—the best-selling PC franchise in history. Playfish, also a part of the Maxis family, leads the social gaming industry in innovation and creativity with award-winning, category-defining games across a number of platforms and networks. Playfish games are amongst the most acclaimed and popular online, including The Sims Social, Pet Society, Restaurant City, Hotel City and Country Story.

Here at Maxis, we foster a fun and creative environment, filled with people who have a strong passion to make great games. Maxis, a division of Electronic Arts, operates in Emeryville (California), Redwood Shores (California), Salt Lake City (Utah) with international sites in the UK, India, China and Finland.

Role Overview

Creative Directors/Game Designers are responsible for creating games played by millions of people around the world. Game design is a highly creative and specialized craft. Some games can be developed relatively quickly, while others can take many years to go from an idea all the way into the hands of our consumers. Like many other jobs in gaming, game design is becoming increasingly specialized. On the most basic level, it’s the responsibility of the game designer to make games fun. A game designer defines the game and outlines its progression in a game design document, which is a blueprint for game design that includes information about the game’s characters, worlds, story, and more. Holding the attention of millions of gamers for many hours, is a real challenge.

The Creative Director plays the key role during the game development process of overseeing any high level decisions that affect how the game plays, looks, or sounds. The Creative Director is responsible for the overall look and feel of a game. Their focus is ensuring the quality and style of the gameplay, artwork, music, and audio assets that make up the final product. In many cases, the Creative Director is also the creator of the original game concept and characters, and so acts as the visionary who makes sure the finished game fulfils his or her initial goals. At the start of a project, the Creative Director works with a small core team defining the framework of the game, with special attention placed on the artistic styling and any technical obstacles that need to be overcome. As development continues and as the team grows, the Creative Director works closely with the lead programmers, artists, and designers to ensure all the code and art assets produced, as well as playable versions of the game, meet the initial vision at a high quality. The most important skill for this position is the ability to inspire artists, programmers, producers, marketing staff, and others involved in the development and marketing of the game. They also require the ability to make tough decisions that affect the game's schedule and budget as well as the look and feel of the final product. Creative Directors must have a good understanding of the bigger picture of game development, including the impact of their decisions with respect to financial and managerial outcomes.

What skills does EA look for? A Creative Director must have a passion for games and a good understanding of what makes a game appealing to different audiences. They must possess imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills, as well as excellent communication and presentation skills. Perhaps as important as anything else, they must have the ability to inspire a team. As the leader of our design teams, the Creative Director will be responsible for mobilizing talented junior designers and grow them into creative forces for our future. The Creative Director must also have a solid understanding of the financial and managerial aspects of game development. Creative Directors at EA normally achieve this role after successfully shipping previous AAA titles.

We are looking for a Creative Director for the Redwood City studio. The Creative Director is responsible for developing and communicating an actionable creative vision for a large game project. The Creative Director will lead the design process, direct the development of features, and collaborate with the entire team to perfect the final product.

REQUIREMENTS: 

Minimum 8 years game development experience; with 4 years experience as a manager 

Excellent written and verbal communication skills 

Experience designing for single player and multi-player online games 

Experience as a Lead Game Designer or Creative director on shipping games 

Experience directing on and off-site developers 

Management skills including the ability to clearly communicate performance expectations and provide regular feedback to improve employee performance

UNDERSTANDING AND INTERESTS: 

Excellent knowledge of video game design processes and project management practices 

A deep understanding of market trends and customer preferences across all genres, platforms, territories and demographics 

Able identify and develop talented game developers 

Clearly understand creative processes; how to communicate product vision and how to align creative vision with an intended market 

In-depth industry knowledge; clearly understands the competition and market

RESPONSIBILITIES: 

Build and manage a team of game designers 

Motivate and energize people and teams to pursue and support project goals 

Develop an actionable creative direction and useful game design specifications 

Provide day-to-day supervision of direct reports; continually communicate and provide feedback to improve employee performance; provide challenges and developmental opportunities to ensure that all employees reach their potential. 

Work with team and business leaders to plan the project and achieve project development milestones 

Communicate creative direction throughout the company, to external partners and to the press.


Job ID: 32583
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Location Information:
Redwood City, CA

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