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…

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Senior Designer

Req. Number: 39370
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.

Maxis is seeking a Senior Designer to own and design many critical systems for a new, unannounced Maxis product being created at EA’s Redwood Shores, California Studio. As a Senior Designer, you are responsible for the innovative design of new game systems in this unique, emerging IP, working with other designers to create a consistent, unified design.

Working closely with the Game Director, Executive Producer, Artists, Engineers and Producers, the Senior Designer will define and flesh out the game’s core systems, including mechanics, player goals and drivers, creativity editors, gameplay progression, extensive multiplayer gameplay mechanics, in-game economies, technology trees, HD, PC, and mobile and tablet companion application integration, and essentially all other systems in the game.

The Senior Designer facilitates and builds upon the game direction by driving the design toward the key creativity and social pillars of the product, pushing for development of uniquely innovative gameplay mechanics, and creatively leveraging technology, art, and audio to expand the design into an immersive experience.

Great verbal and written communication skills are essential as a Senior Designer is expected to present to executives and the overall development team.

Senior Designer


  • Collaborate closely as a member of the Game leadership team to deliver world-class AAA games and experiences that delight users and meet business goals.
  • Design all aspects of game systems, from the high-level brief down to the written specification documentation and finally collaborating directly on the iterative creation, tuning and polish of final systems.
  • Participate as a product owner of systems, working with engineers and artists on the detailed creation and working with quality assurance and the development managers to assess progress and completeness of features and systems.
  • As leader in the design team a Senior Designer inspires and motivates the team to deliver their best work and provides effective and constructive feedback to the design team and others.
  • Proficiency in documentation and communication is essential in sharing information and articulating the rationale behind the game direction decisions among the development team.
  • Advising and directing the creation and user experience of unique Maxis content creation tools and editors designed for internal teams, outsourcing teams, and customers
  • As a master of their craft and one who is experienced in this field, a Senior Designer will help in staff development including recruiting, training, mentorship, and guidance.


  • 5+ years of games industry design experience in shipping AAA titles.
  • The unique nature of this product requires prior experience in deeply social multiplayer games such as MMOs.
  • Deep understanding of principles of game progression design, crafting trees, technology trees, character RPG-style leveling design and mathematical loot progression modeling (i.e. spreadsheet design skills needed)
  • Deep understanding of simulation game design, including simulation loops, wants and needs driven behaviors, and systemic pushback.
  • Ability to weave Free-to-Play game mechanics with monetization in simple, natural, respectful ways (i.e. design monetization that players respect and feel adds a great deal of value for their money).
  • Demonstrated ability to direct internalize core game pillars and propagate/saturate throughout every aspect of design whenever possible.
  • Experience working with teams across multiple locations.
  • Ability to effectively direct and delegate to other designers.
  • Able to give effective critiques and also take feedback & criticism.
  • Solid understanding of popular games, their gameplay, and their art direction.
  • Understanding of Maxis creativity and simulation games, including SimCity, The Sims, and Spore.
  • Understanding playing and understanding other games in the creativity space, including Little Big Planet, Minecraft and its popular mods, Roblox, Disney Infinity, Project Spark, and other upcoming efforts.
  • Passion, energy and enthusiasm for gaming, collaboration, and making things.

Job ID: 39370
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Location Information:
Redwood City, CA

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