Back-End Web Developer

Failbetter Games
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June 6, 2022
Full Time

We’re Failbetter Games, an award-winning game development studio and makers of Sunless Sea, Sunless Skies and Fallen London. We’re known for inventive narrative design, hand-crafted worlds and rich, atmospheric storytelling.

We’re looking for a back-end web developer to join our small in-house team. This position is permanent, remote, and full time, which for us means 35 hours a week.  We’re hiring for a single vacancy – the specific title and salary could vary, depending on skills and experience.

About the Role

You’d be working on our narrative browser game, Fallen London, alongside our front-end web developer and our team of writers and artists.

Your responsibilities would include:

  • Maintaining and extending both a public-facing API and an internal content management system, written in .NET Framework
  • Developing business logic and persistence in a .NET Framework back-end application using NHibernate and MS SQL Server
  • Maintaining and modernising the AWS cloud deployment stack that delivers our content
  • Working with our writers to spec out, implement and debug new tools and features

Skills and Requirements

You don’t need a particular degree nor some arbitrary number of shipped titles or years’ experience to work for us. As long as you’re able to do the job well and can demonstrate that in your application, we’d love to hear from you.

Here’s a description of our stack.  You absolutely don’t need to have experience with all or even most of these technologies; we’re very much expecting that a successful candidate will learn some of this on the job.

Fallen London is an API-driven single page application website.  The API is a RESTful web service, developed using ASP.NET.  Our codebase is written in C# and the .NET Framework, and uses NHibernate for object relational mapping to an MS SQL database.  The content management system is an MVC application that makes extensive use of JQuery.

The service runs on AWS EC2.  Individual Windows Server instances running IIS are spawned by EC2 auto-scaling, and run behind an EC2 Application Load Balancer.

The front end makes use of React and Redux.  If you have experience with these, we’d like to hear about it, but among everything this is particularly optional.

To support payments and subscriptions, we use the API of a payments provider called Braintree.  We make use of Jenkins for build deployment, and we have a few Linux servers for other applications (Verdaccio, Sendy, and Discourse).

We think existing experience will be most important in relation to ASP.NET, SQL databases, and AWS or other cloud infrastructure platforms.  Please use your cover letter to let us know how you think your skills and experience might fit in with this – and if you’re not sure whether to apply, we hope you do.

What we can offer

Failbetter is committed to offering employees a safe, respectful environment, a healthy work-life balance, and transparent decision-making. We make our games without crunch and enthusiastically eliminate systemic sources of overtime. We don’t talk over one another in meetings, and we don’t expect all our employees to share the same hobbies and cultural references. We won’s Best Places to Work award in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Further benefits of working here include:

  • Flexible start times, and strong support for other forms of flexible working, like compressed hours
  • Employer pension contributions
  • Twenty-five days of leave in addition to UK public holidays
  • Excellent provisions for parental leave
  • Free games from our friends in the industry
  • Optional multiplayer gaming and virtual hangouts
  • Periodic consultations in which we invite subject matter experts to teach us about topics relevant to our work
  • An annual, expenses-paid trip to a scenic part of the UK for our company gathering

Remote Work

The entire team is remote, and we expect to remain that way.

Our studio is based in the United Kingdom, but you don’t have to be. However, we do require that you be able to work our core hours, which are 11:00 to 16:00 UTC.

We typically find that this arrangement works best for people who live no more than three time zones away from the UK. If you think your personal circumstances might make you an exception, please explain why in your cover letter.

We pay London salaries; whether that works in your favour will depend on your location. In particular, this means that our positions are usually not a good fit for people working from the United States, due to the differences in cost of living and health care.

How to apply

Contact us at by 9:00 BST on 29th June, including all of the following:

  • The role you’re applying for, in the subject line of your email.
  • A cover letter in the body of your email. Please use this to let us know what you think may make you a good fit for the position and why it interests you. If your timezone is more than three hours away from the UK’s, please also tell us about any circumstances that would nonetheless make our core hours practical for you.

If you’re unsure whether to apply, we’re very happy to answer questions, which you can send to the above email address.

About Fallen London

Fallen London is a text based RPG set in an alternate history Victorian London. Launched in 2009, it has consistently grown and developed, as well as being the setting for the hit indie games Sunless Sea and Sunless Skies.

Forty years ago, London was stolen by bats. Discover a dark and hilarious Gothic underworld where Hell is close, immortality is cheap, and the screaming has largely stopped… Welcome. Delicious friend.

Failbetter Games
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SAIL THE STARS. BETRAY YOUR QUEEN. MURDER A SUN. Sunless Skies is a Gothic Horror roleplay game with a focus on exploration and exquisite storytelling.

LOSE YOUR MIND. EAT YOUR CREW. Take the helm of your steamship and set sail for the unknown! Sunless Sea is a game of discovery, loneliness and frequent death, set in the award-winning Victorian Gothic universe of Fallen London.

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