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Design Director



Date posted

7th February 2024

Important: For this role you must be based in Europe or on Universal Time Coordinated UTC +/- 2 hours. Unfortunately, due to a high, recurrent volume of such applicants, all applicants who still submit themselves despite being out of the required time zones will be ignored.

*At this time, we do not offer visa sponsorships, the candidates must be eligible to work where they currently reside.

About Us:

Since 2015, ZA/UM Studio has been at the forefront of artistic achievement within the video games industry. Driven by a commitment to video games as an art form and endless intellectual curiosity, we are now a studio with a portfolio of projects and a team of around 100 individuals.

We are committed to creating narrative-driven games that challenge the boundaries of art and storytelling. We do not shy away from social commentary or challenging industry conventions. The foundation of our artistic pursuits is collective creativity, we view teamwork and camaraderie as essential.

We are here to make meaning and are currently searching for a highly experienced Studio Design Director to help us in this endeavour.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Lead the development and ongoing refinement of the studio's overarching design vision, ensuring alignment with our creative goals across all projects.
  • Your guidance will help the studio to shape memorable and impactful storytelling, supporting narrative directors across each of our projects.
  • Manage the design department's budget, allocate resources efficiently, and make informed decisions regarding hiring or outsourcing design talent to meet project needs.
  • Offer clear and inspiring direction to design teams, overseeing the development of gameplay mechanics, level design, and interactive elements that reflect our studio's creative vision. Champion creation of user-friendly interfaces, controls, and player interactions to provide players with a smooth and intuitive gaming experience.
  • Provide mentorship, guidance, and leadership to our talented design teams, fostering their professional growth and ensuring they deliver their best work. Your role includes nurturing the skills and creativity of our design professionals in collaborative cross-discipline teams.
  • Foster seamless collaboration with other departments, including narrative, art, engineering, audio and publishing, to ensure that design and gameplay elements merge harmoniously into the overall game experience.
  • Encourage innovation in game design, mechanics, and storytelling, constantly exploring new ideas and technologies together with your colleagues from other disciplines to captivate and astonish players.
  • Gather and analyze player feedback through playtesting sessions and user research, translating insights into actionable design improvements that elevate our games. Collaborate closely with QA teams to identify and address design-related issues, bugs, or gameplay imbalances during development, ensuring top-notch quality in our releases.
  • Proven experience as a Design Director or highly experienced Senior Lead Designer in the video game industry.
  • A portfolio showcasing innovative game designs and successful projects.
  • A deep understanding of narrative-driven role-playing games and the ability to create gameplay experiences that resonate with players.
  • Strong leadership and communication skills with a focus on mentoring and nurturing design teams to work collaboratively with other disciplines.
  • A passionate commitment to exploring art as a form of social commentary and pushing the boundaries of interactive storytelling.
  • Knowledge of the latest design tools, trends and technologies in the industry.
  • A collaborative spirit that thrives in a dynamic and creative environment.
Why Join ZA/UM?
  • Be part of a studio with multiple projects, offering a variety of creative opportunities and an unorthodox approach to the medium.
  • Help shape the studio’s design vision and contribute to meaningful storytelling.
  • Play a critical role in mentoring and managing our design teams to achieve their full potential.
  • Engage with and learn from an intellectually diverse team with a variety of fine arts backgrounds and non-industry experiences.
  • Help us discover the radical new and make the next ZA/UM game an event which changes the industry.
We Offer:
  • Competitive salary - Living Wage Accredited employer.
  • Excellent career development opportunities.
  • Flexible hybrid work model - the ability to work remotely or from the office, with occasional required in person meetings.
  • Private medical and dental cover.
  • Full studio closure over Christmas.
  • Industry-leading parental leave.
  • Childcare support.
How to apply

To submit your Design Director application: Please send your CV and motivation letter here.

ZA/UM is committed to encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion among our workforce, and eliminating unlawful discrimination. The aim is for our workforce to be truly representative of all sections of society and our customers, and for each employee to feel respected and able to give their best. The organisation - in providing goods and/or services and/or facilities - is also committed against unlawful discrimination of customers or the public.