Combat Systems Designer

Redwood City, CA, United States

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Description

Position Summary:

Reporting to the Lead Combat Designer, Crystal Dynamics is on the hunt for an experienced Combat Systems Designer. This Designer will be responsible for working with the Lead Designer, Lead Combat designer and Game Directors to plan, prototype and build combat systems that directly apply to a 3rd person action adventure game. Design responsibilities include but are not limited to Enemy AI, combat behaviors, player weapons and tools, cover and melee based mechanics. These responsibilities require a high degree of knowledge and experience between code and content, as well as showing demonstrable on screen progress to from concept to ship. Both theory and hands on work will be required.

Essential Duties:

  • Promote collaboration amongst combat designers and directors, objectively breakdown combat design principles and provide feedback when appropriate.
  • Working with the Lead Designer, Lead Combat Designer and Directors to ensure all combat systems related to a 3rd person action adventure meets project needs and have consistent demonstrable onscreen progress through rapid prototypes and routine onscreen deliverables of all systems from paper to ship.
  • Coordinate closely with AI programmers and Combat LD’s to communicate the goals and specific needs of various combat systems and provide regular updates to all related gameplay systems.
  • Under minimal supervision, design, adapt and scope features to the needs of production, the technical constraints of the project and the overall gameplay goals.
  • Evaluate and initiate processes and features needed to improve and streamline any combat related production.
  • Maintain, test, iterate combat system-based features from concept phase to final tuning for an award winning Triple A game.
  • Document game mechanics and features quickly, clearly and concisely in a provided specification format to serve as a resource for other designers in the studio to understand the various design concepts and the decisions made that support them.
  • Work closely with AI Engineers to produce clear, concise and fun enemy behaviors, rules and assault combat systems that a wide variety of players can relate to.

Competencies, Skills & Knowledge:

  • Clear, analytical thinker, with a proven ability to break gameplay design down into regular, reusable systems and articulate and document them.
  • Understanding of combat system constraints as well as an understanding of game engine architecture and custom toolsets and able to deliver assets within the confines of real time engine constraints and programming demand
  • Experience spec-ing and tuning particular combat game systems such as difficulty, weapon aim.
  • Must have the ability to conceptualize, present, and execute ideas within a schedule, while actively participating in technical and design problem solving in engine.
  • Demonstrable organized approach to problem solving and time-management to meet strict production deadlines
  • Current on industry trends as it relates to modern combat design for 3rd person action adventure games.
  • Ability to work closely with all project disciplines to ensure clear communication, troubleshooting and efficiency
  • Excellent knowledge of game design theory and principles of what it takes to make a blockbuster triple A title.

Essential Requirements:

  • 3-5 years of game design experience
  • At least 1 AAA project shipped for current gen consoles in a combat systems design capacity, including primary responsibility involving one or more combat systems
  • Visual scripting experience (Kismet, Blueprint, etc.)

Pluses: 

  • Working knowledge of C++
  • Understanding of Visual Layout Game Editors
  • Any pre-packaged development kit experience such as UDK or Unity
Crystal Dynamics is an EOE and M/F/D/V Employer