The job

Kingdoms of Heckfire is a highly popular free-to-play Kingdom Builder/SLG game with market leading metrics. We are looking for a Lead Game Designer to join this team as we prepare for a year of explosive growth. You will be working with a full team of developers, artists, and community managers, along with support from our user acquisition and data science teams. The game is a fresh take on the popular Kingdom Builder/SLG genre, with a passionate community, accessible gameplay and memorable characters. We are looking for someone who can drive the vision of this game to the next level, and be a part of our world-class team as we scale this game into the top of the charts.


The team

You will be working on Team Kraken which is home to the team that created Kingdoms of Heckfire from the ground up. The team leads the industry in creating high quality, scalable games that have led to the best game metrics we have seen at ATA. We are all passionate about the genre, and are looking to release new features to push the game to the next level.


Things you will work on:

  • Create new features that you feel will help take Kingdoms of Heckfire to the next level and improve on existing ones to increase retention and monetization
  • Balance virtual goods, game economies, in game currencies and game assets
  • Analyze user data and feedback to pitch and develop new content and game mechanics
  • Build relationships with development and creative teams to facilitate idea generation and feature implementation
  • Develop flows and processes to improve our content generation pipelines
  • Champion new features by finding the best ideas, getting support from the team, and executing on a launch strategy that includes iteration and improvements


Who you are:

Above all else, you are someone who can drive a vision forward. You have experience working in games and in the free to play business model. You understand the complexities of driving growth through leading game metrics and user acquisition. You understand the power of Kingdom Builder games and how they operate in the market. You are passionate about creating communities and excited to build a community in the SLG/Kingdom builder genre.

The perfect candidate will also be a passionate, high level player in the free-to-play Kingdom Builder/SLG genre. You play them daily, understand how they monetize, and have a strong desire to be involved in creating one yourself. You understand how to coordinate a clan and have participated in high-level events. You enjoy end-game PvP and how to balance it in a way that is not too punishing for newer players. You have a keen understanding of what it takes to have a thriving, healthy player community within a server or shard.


  • Worked on a free-to-play Kingdom Builder game and have a strong understanding of the game mechanics and monetization in this genre
  • Driven the vision for a game and worked together with a team of designers, artists and engineers to bring it to reality
  • Deep knowledge of systems design, combat balance and economy design
  • Developed and launched new features, evaluated their success and iterated in a live environment
  • Experience with live event creation and management
  • Experience with data analysis, KPI impact analysis and metrics based decision making
  • Experience working with customer feedback and growing game communities
  • Understanding of mobile UX design including creating wireframes and user flows
  • Understanding of prioritization of features and content including risk assessment
  • Experience managing a team of designers
  • You are a master at working with spreadsheets


Tell us if you have experience in:

  • Marketing/user acquisition
  • Working with a large community on a live game
  • Previous game design experience in other genres
  • Basic finance (P&L)
  • Visual design/art
  • Narrative design


While everyone on our team is different, to thrive here you should:

  • Be self motivated, take pride in your work and enjoy huge amounts of ownership
  • Set aside your ego and have wonderful arguments with your coworkers in order to create something better than any one person could individually
  • Challenge your own assumptions and use data to make decisions whenever possible
  • Be passionate about teaching others what you know and continuing your own growth every day
  • Not be afraid to fail–you experiment and learn from your mistakes


About ATA

A Thinking Ape is an independent mobile games developer with big ambitions. We are a team of 65 people + 5 dogs 🐶 (depending on the day), growing in the heart of downtown Vancouver 🏔️. On Wednesdays we all eat catered lunch together. So far taco bars 🌮 are our favourite, but we're open to new suggestions.


Our years of success comes down to our belief in people: both our team and our players. We build games that foster communities and provide our players with tools to interact in deeply strategic and passionate ways, creating something that becomes a part of their lives. But building games of this quality is challenging, so we work hard to find the smartest and most talented people in the world, then give you the freedom to do your best work.


We champion a culture of ownership, based on exploration and debate regardless of position. Our team is supported with an open concept studio space, movable standing workstations and employee-determined work schedules. We keep communication flowing with quarterly State of the Ape all-hands meetings, mid-quarter updates with our leadership team, monthly Ask a Founder Fridays, and regular 1:1s with your lead.


Looking for more information? Check out our story to find out how we got to where we are today, and learn about our culture by following #thisisata on social. You can also listen to Kenshi Arasaki, ATA Co-Founder and CEO, talk about what it’s like to work here.


We value passion and diversity and believe that our differences make us better as a collective. If you’re ready to make the next generation of top grossing mobile games, we’d love to hear from you!


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