Who we are

A Thinking Ape builds communities through mobile games with emergent social play and original IP. We released our first game in 2009 and have been profitable and growing every year since. We are a bottom-up driven company with small teams that have a big focus on ownership and data driven decision making. Our portfolio of games are growing and we are scaling our team to bring our games to more players. 

 

The job

We are looking for a Lead Game Designer to join our team and help us harness the explosive growth of our games into the top grossing charts. 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. You will help lead the product growth of Kingdoms of Heckfire on our live ops team. You will be responsible for fostering a productive and collaborative team culture that aligns with ATA’s core values and strategic plan.

 

The game

Kingdoms of Heckfire is a highly popular free-to-play Kingdom Builder/SLG game with market leading metrics. The game is a fresh take on the popular Kingdom Builder/SLG genre, with a passionate community, accessible gameplay and memorable characters. 

 

The team

You will be leading our Game Design and Community teams on our world-class live-ops team, which leads the industry in supporting and growing live games. We design, build, release and improve on huge new features and we aren’t afraid to try new things, take risks, and learn. The team is metrics driven and entirely autonomous in its decision making.

 

Things you will work on

  • Work with Engineering and Creative leads to develop goals for the team using the Objective Key Result framework 
  • People management of a team of designers and community leads
  • Motivate and inspire your team through coaching and delegation
  • Manage product roadmap and product vision with other discipline leads
  • Develop and iterate on work processes of all designers on the team
  • Work with UA to grow the games
  • Ensure the right people are working on the right things to achieve team goals
  • Get alignment from team around company goals and strategic plan
  • Establish best practices and processes for the design, implementation, testing and marketing of features and content

 

Who you are

Above all else, you are someone who loves mobile game systems and game economies. You have experience leading teams in the mobile free-to-play business model. You understand the complexities of driving growth through leading game metrics and user acquisition. You understand the power of social games that combine the long term retention of community building and leverage the deep LTV curves of strategy games.

The perfect candidate will also be a passionate, high level player in the free-to-play march battle games like Kingdoms of Heckfire. You play them daily, understand how they monetize, and have a strong desire to be involved in creating one yourself. You understand how these games work and create long term value through content systems. You have a keen understanding of what it takes to have a thriving, healthy player community within a competitive game community.

The primary qualifications we're looking for are

  • Worked on a free-to-play march battle game, life simulation, fashion, home decor, cooking or farming game and have a strong understanding of the game mechanics and monetization in this genre
  • You are a master at working with spreadsheets and understand the advantages of different approaches to organizing design data and getting it in game
  • 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, merchandising and economy design
  • Developed and launched new features, evaluated their success and iterated in a live environment
  • Experience managing a team of designers
  • 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
  • Worked with user acquisition teams to grow a game’s user base

Other things that help are

  • SLGs, Life Sims, March Battle, Kingdom Builders, RPGs
  • 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

 

Remote first 

We have committed to a remote first approach for 2021 with access to in-person collaboration spaces in Vancouver when safe to do so. Our intention is to use 2021 as the foundational year to develop our remote excellence and help shape the future of ATA. This means our roles are currently open to candidates who can work in Canada between the core hours of 11am - 4pm PST. We are open to help relocate the successful candidate to Canada.

 

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

 

What’s in it for you 

At ATA you’re offered a flexible, safe, inclusive environment in which you have the autonomy to do your best work, surrounded by a strong team and with the encouragement of supportive leadership that doesn’t just care what you’re doing, but how you’re doing. You’re trusted, respected, listened to, cared for and valued. You take on thought-provoking projects and tackle fun problems alongside people who are equally invested in making meaningful contributions and seeing new ideas come to life. You know how your work aligns with the company’s goals. Your career is given the space and resources to progress. You accomplish things that make you proud. You are compensated competitively, your health and wellbeing are top priorities and you enjoy plenty of perks. You build communities, take ownership, have wonderful arguments, let the best ideas win and keep growing. You don’t just work for ATA, you are an integral part of ATA.

 

Our commitment to inclusion

At ATA we build communities. But community extends beyond our players: it also encompasses our employees and candidates. We support diversity in the workplace and always strive for inclusion. Part of this is selfish; we believe we’ll make better decisions if we’re able to tap into a variety of different perspectives. But we also care that our employees and candidates feel valued and comfortable being themselves. Please consider applying even if you don't meet every qualification. Experience comes in many forms and we value adding diverse perspectives to our teams. 

 

Discover even more

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



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