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. We are scaling up to grow our portfolio of games and bring them to a larger audience. 

The game

Kingdoms of Heckfire is a highly popular free-to-play war game with the population of a small city, a passionate community, constant events, and years of content. With its goofy style and humorous dialogue, it often surprises people with how deep the strategy and social engineering goes among those who try to fight for dominance of their server. The game has very flexible designer building blocks, meaning that there are endless possibilities for player experiences you can create with the design tools alone..

The job

Kingdoms of Heckfire has a fantastic community of over 100,000 dedicated players who love our game and are incredibly excited for the work we do. In this role you will be given ownership over challenging and satisfying work, as part of an incredible team of designers, engineers, artists, and community managers. You will design, analyze and iterate on a game in live ops, which on any given day could mean working on events, balance, sales, economy design, content extensions, new heroes, new features, or fixes to the NUX. You will have regular 1 on 1 time with your design lead, with a focus on career growth so that you can one day lead a team yourself, and use the skills gained from that to start your own game at A Thinking Ape.

Things you will work on

  • Work with senior designers and design leads to analyze and iterate on features post launch to improve them over time
  • Communicate with our community to understand how our players think and feel about our games
  • Learn to analyze data and design experiments to test out design theories, in cooperation with the data science team
  • Extend or rebalance existing content systems
  • Break old patterns in events, balance, combat and the game economy, and establish new patterns to take their place.
  • Design new live events and improve existing ones
  • Design, balance, test, and launch new features with coaching from a senior designer
  • Work with a team of engineers, artists, and community managers to make feature development and release plans, and champion them within the team

Who you are

Above all else, you are someone who loves mobile free to play games. You have experience working on teams in the mobile free-to-play business model and ideally are a passionate player yourself. You understand the power of social games that tap into underserved market segments like Party in my Dorm as well as the deep progression and social gameplay of strategy games like Kingdoms of Heckfire.

You play them daily, understand monetization and content systems, and have a strong desire to be involved in creating one yourself. 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:

  • Minimum 2 years experience working on a live free-to-play game, ideally on a war game or other game with strong social competition systems
  • Have a strong understanding of the game mechanics and monetization in free to play games
  • Skilled with spreadsheets and understand the advantages of different approaches to organizing design data and getting it in game
  • Developed and launched new features, evaluated their success and iterated in a live environment
  • Have made significant changes to a game without launching a new feature, through use of design tools
  • 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

Tell us if you have experience in:

  • Systems design, combat balance, merchandising and economy design
  • Driving growth through user acquisition
  • SLGs, Life Sims, March Battle, War Games, 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
  • Any other aspect of game development that you have found useful in your career

Remote first 

We have committed to a remote first approach with optional access to our studio in Vancouver. 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 motivated by the challenge of achieving demonstrable positive impact on company metrics
  • Be resourceful enough to try to get around blockers and find creative solutions
  • 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

We build communities. To do this to the best of our abilities, we need a workforce that reflects the diverse player communities we serve. We believe a variety of perspectives and experiences allows us to make better decisions and understand the needs of our players. We work hard to create an environment where everyone, from any background, can do their best work and feel like they belong at ATA. 

Please consider applying even if you don't meet every qualification and let us know if you require any accommodations or support during the recruitment process. 

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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