Hinterland is growing, and the complexity of our operation as a game developer, IP creator, and entertainment company is increasing. As a result, our CEO -- who is also the studio’s Creative Director -- needs a trusted partner to help with the day-to-day operation of the company.
The ideal partner is an experienced game developer and an expert in operations and logistics, able to complement the CEO’s core creative and product vision for the games and IP created and produced at Hinterland. The COO should be passionate about planning, resource management, change management and risk mitigation, organizational design, production framework, and -- most importantly -- must be dedicated to the preservation of Hinterland’s core high-autonomy, high-accountability work culture.
The COO’s mandate is vast, and covers a wide range of operational areas, including:
Collaborate with the CEO to articulate the company strategy, and take responsibility for executing it in collaboration with a variety of internal leaders and teams.
Communication & Collaboration
Ensure excellent and clear communication channels exist with the CEO, and invest in building rapport and process to ensure that company priorities are communicated clearly and effectively.
Own the internal process and tools to support the Remote-First approach to game development, across all projects and company areas. Create a consistent framework to be used across the company, allowing for the right amount of individual flexibility compatible with the company’s strong humanistic approach to work, balanced against the need to achieve and deliver high-quality experiences for our players.
Champion the tools, approach, and training required to ensure Hinterland continues to be a leader in ethical and sustainable game development in the “Remote First”, COVID era of work. Help strike the right balance in the conceptualization and utilization of the company’s physical studio, including building out a process for supporting a growing number of international team members.
Logistics & Planning
Establish the process framework for planning and logistics in the company. Work with the CEO to create a development framework and production methodology that enables predictability, psychological safety, and risk-taking within the company, its teams, and projects, but also ensures that work is well prioritized and a rigorous process is applied to ensure the right things are being done at the right time.
Pioneer a production methodology for game development that empowers and enables individuals while keeping them accountable to the success of the team and company as a whole, and working to support the product direction provided by the CEO. This includes establishing specific tools and processes for work breakdown, task prioritization, velocity tracking, etc.
Help implement a structure and roles that complement the existing developer-centric approach to game production; we do not want to create a culture where spreadsheet-watchers drive decisions around quality and development priorities, but rather, one where every single person on the team takes ownership and is accountable for their own work and deadlines, with a clear understanding of how their work fits into the bigger picture.
Along with this, own the process and tools to communicate development progress and resource allocation to the CEO so that they can help support the prioritization of effort, and provide clear evaluation and creative direction of all projects over the various phases of development.
Collaborate with the CEO, project leaders, Finance, and People & Culture teams to ensure the smooth and wise allocation of people and financial resources across the company.
Help create staffing and hiring plans, and work with the People & Culture team to establish organic job matrices that support individual growth while remaining compatible with Hinterland culture.
Own the process for allocating development resources and having a long-term plan for growth and resource allocation across the company and its projects.
Help ensure the incubation and prototyping of new game projects and IPs are not unnecessarily hindered by the lack, or overabundance, of development staff.
Steer the flow of resources for the greatest positive impact.
Operations & Administration
Take ownership for the company’s operations and administration functions, including People & Culture, Finance, Facilities, IT, etc.
Collaborate with the CEO to ensure visionary and people-first leadership principles are practiced at all levels of the company organization.
Collaborate with the People & Culture team, and establish the IT/facilities teams to ensure best-in-class onboarding, training, caretaking, and facilities management for team members.
Publishing & Releasing
As one of the areas of the company that has the most inter-departmental dependencies, Publishing & Releasing is also the “lifeblood” of the company as this is where the team’s hard work is taken to market where it can find an audience. With a near future that involves multiple major product launches per year and a range of ongoing live “premium games as a service” titles, all which need to be tested, localized, and marketed across a range of platforms and territories, this is the area of the company that requires the tightest methodology, tools, and processes.
The COO will help establish a framework for this team, and also work closely with the CEO and other company leaders to establish an approach and team organization that ensures the company can execute on its ambitious release plans in a predictable way, that simultaneously preserves and protects Hinterland’s no-crunch culture.
Help the CEO manage key external relationships, particularly as the company grows and our projects and partnerships become deeper and more complex. The CEO may also occasionally ask the COO to step in to directly own a relationship, or speak on the CEO’s behalf at events, partner meetings, etc.
The COO will stand alongside the CEO in leading the company. They must be a humanistic, impressive, kind, thoughtful speaker and “soft power” leader, someone whose words and actions earn them trust and loyalty from everyone in the company. They must use their vast experience in game development, and their expert skills in communication and relationship management, to advocate for the CEO’s priorities, and help nurture and preserve the world-class culture of fairness, decency, and product excellence that exists at Hinterland, especially as the company continues to grow and this growth and complexity puts pressure on the framework and relationships that have allowed the company to succeed to date.
The answers today, or yesterday, may not be the right answers for tomorrow, and the COO’s primary role in the company is to help ask questions, streamline tools and processes, and collaborate with stakeholders across various groups to ensure growth doesn’t degrade quality of life for our team members, and for our players.
The ideal candidate will be deeply passionate about improvement, excellence, and taking care of their fellow humans. In this role, you will partner with the CEO to ensure Hinterland becomes a leader in creativity, innovation, culture, product quality, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement, for the game industry, and the entertainment industry at large. They will also be comfortable working at both the tactical and strategic levels, willing and able to jump in and get their “hands dirty” when needed, and also able to step back to see the big picture. Flexible, passionate, forward-thinking, quality-minded, and a strong advocate for people and purpose -- these are the qualities we are looking for in the COO.
To succeed in this role, we are looking for a candidate with the following experience:
Nice to haves for this role include:
Within easy commuting distance of Vancouver or Victoria, BC, for ease of regular (weekly) face-to-face meetings with the CEO. Immigration and relocation support is available.
In an industry not known for taking care of its people, Hinterland strives to be different. We believe that the diversity, points of view, experience, and individual backgrounds of our team members contribute to a rich mosaic that helps us create better experiences, and helps those experiences reach a wider audience.
Hinterland is an equal-opportunity employer. We encourage applicants from all backgrounds to apply for our positions, regardless of ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation or identity, or religious affiliation. We value seniority and experience for our senior and leadership roles, but are always looking for ways to bring diverse viewpoints and experiences from across the spectrum of entertainment and technology.
We embrace a flexible working environment that focuses on high-autonomy balanced against high personal accountability. All our positions are remote-first, focused on finding the best fit for culture and talent. This remote-first flexibility is balanced with a physical studio in Vancouver, which is optionally available (COVID-permitting) to anyone on the team who wants to use it. We strengthen our team bond through offsite retreats, where we focus on creating memories together. We feel this balance of remote and in-person opportunities creates the strongest alloy for our culture.
We encourage everyone on the team to find balance between work and life, and never ask anyone to compromise one for the other. We are a No Crunch studio. We have high expectations of the level of commitment and the quality of the work done by our team, and trust everyone to manage their own schedule and workload. We offer a generous bundle of benefits and vacation time, and strongly encourage our team members to enjoy the 5+ weeks of paid time off we offer annually. We are a family-first studio and offer a range of tools to support our team and their growing families.
For more information about how we work, we encourage you to read this description of our Culture, written by our Founder.
Imagine the lights go out, never to return. Bright aurora flare across the sky, and all humanity’s technological might is laid to waste, neutralized in a kind of quiet apocalypse. Everything that has shielded humanity from the disinterested power of Mother Nature is suddenly wrenched from us, dropping us a few links down the food chain. Food and water are scarce. The roads are no longer safe. And winter approaches…
Welcome to The Long Dark —an immersive survival simulation set in the aftermath of a geomagnetic disaster. Experience a unique first-person survival simulation that will force you to think and push you to your limits with its thought-provoking gameplay.