Community Manager

Hinterland Games
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Posted
May 19, 2023
Full Time
Anywhere
Remote

At Hinterland, our player community is critical to what we do. Having built a game and company around the success of THE LONG DARK -- a Kickstarter and Early Access title that depended on community engagement to find success -- our focus on community is part of our DNA as a development studio. As we continue to develop THE LONG DARK through our current paid expansion pass, TALES FROM THE FAR TERRITORY, and bring our story mode WINTERMUTE to its conclusion in Episode Five, we’re looking for an experienced Community Manager to take the reins on nurturing and growing our 10-million member player community. We want someone who brings some hard-won experience to this role, but is also looking to the future of game communities. Not only what they are today, but what they will become tomorrow.

In this role, you will develop strategy, and drive the execution, around which platforms to prioritize and how best to engage with the community in a way that’s aligned with the Hinterland brand and our values. This isn’t a role for passive observers. We want someone who is ready to jump in and participate, animate, guide, and in some cases, correct, the direction of the player community. You’re there to help create meaningful discussion, engage with players, point them in the right direction when they need help, and to be a valued and trusted interface between our fans and Hinterland.

We’d rather have a smaller community of thoughtful, friendly people than a large group of noisy, abrasive troublemakers. Our philosophy around community is to create thoughtful social environments that embrace a “quietest person in the room” approach. Specifically, that means we are thinking about the quiet people sitting at the edge of the group, looking in and wondering if it’s safe to jump into a discussion, wondering if this is the kind of place they will find fellow fans and a welcoming haven from the noise and toxicity that often characterizes game communities. These people often watch and wait to see what the community says and does, and how the developers handle moderation, to know if it will be a safe and enjoyable space for them. This is the (mostly) silent majority.

To be a successful Community Manager at Hinterland, you need to have the skill and deftness to navigate often complex, deeply passionate discussions about the game, to be able to get people on track when they have strayed, and also to have the confidence and skill to expertly handle troublemakers when needed. We have spent years and invested significant resources in building a pensive, thoughtful, friendly community, and we see our primary goal being to perpetuate the safety and thoughtfulness of this space. This means we have zero tolerance for abuse and toxicity, and we are very quick to show the door to folks who thrive around creating drama and discomfort for other people. 

In this new “post-Twitter” world of social media we live in, we’re also looking for a strategic thinker who understands online communities writ large: where they congregate, how they communicate, what makes them thrive. Our primary community presence is in our own official Hinterland community, although we also have significant community presence on other platforms like Steam, Reddit, Discord, and elsewhere. We have strong social media followings on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. We haven’t much explored some of the other popular platforms, like TikTok. We’re open to evolving our approach, and want to bring someone in who has broad knowledge about community engagement and best practices, but also the ability to be open-minded to approach, and to ensure the current and future communities at Hinterland are designed around core Hinterland values. We do not chase trends, and only want to use tools and build a presence on platforms that align with what we believe. That is more important to us than being visible on the hottest new social media app.

 

Your Impact

In this role, you will engage directly with Hinterland fans, and be their primary interface with THE LONG DARK. You’ll take a supportive, “concierge” type role in community discussions, post thoughtful responses and ask intriguing questions that drive community activity, gently enforce the community guidelines, flag major bugs or issues with the Test and Support teams, and do your best to create a safe and inclusive space for people to share their love of THE LONG DARK. Your efforts will lead to lasting long-term relationships between community members, and long-term loyalty to Hinterland and its games.

 

Your Responsibilities

  • Spend time with the Hinterland player community, every day.
  • Be a nurturing voice of reason, and a welcoming presence in our forums, and on any other community-facing platforms we may choose to operate in the future.
  • Moderate using community guidelines, in a calm and professional manner.
  • Create a positive, safe environment for all the “quiet people” to feel at home, not just the confident noisy types. Having an inclusive community is a key Hinterland value, and our success with this often comes down to how we handle moderation.
  • Scan the community discussion regularly and raise any red flags as needed. Bring major community issues with the game to the Test and Support teams so that they can be tracked and addressed.
  • Coordinate with the Hinterland Communications team and studio Leadership to ensure you are putting forward a presence that is aligned with Hinterland values and brand.
  • Put the needs of the community, the team, and the game ahead of your goals for personal branding. Note: You may primarily work through anonymous studio accounts.
  • Be sensitive to the international nature of our player community, and ensure players from around the world feel welcome and recognized for their contributions.
  • Gather and study platform analytics with an eye to maximizing player engagement and community growth.
  • In collaboration with an in-house Brand team, create and share visual content for community and social media platforms that promotes THE LONG DARK, and Hinterland, while strengthening player engagement.
  • Build out an annual content calendar with key beats around product releases, Hinterland announcements, and cultural observances that are relevant to Hinterland and THE LONG DARK community.
  • Build out a monthly content calendar for our social platforms, and prepare posts ahead of time to ensure a steady, but always thoughtful, flow of engaging content for our players.
  • Conceive of and run compelling community events, including contests, fan-fiction, cosplay, community in-game challenges, etc.
  • Engage proactively with key streamers and influencers who enjoy THE LONG DARK, and share content that promotes Hinterland values around the game and the community.
  • Build a strategy for increasing streamer engagement, and utilize third-party tools like Keymailer to sustain a steady flow of new streamer content.
  • Where applicable and when asked, participate in industry events, including conferences like GDC or player-facing events like PAX, representing Hinterland and THE LONG DARK with the utmost professionalism.

 

Your Skills & Qualifications

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Extensive experience with running online communities, particularly those built up around highly engaged players.
  • Strong affinity for players and “game culture”, and the ability to relate to other players around THE LONG DARK, games, and pop culture in general.
  • Expert familiarity with one or more major social media platforms. Comfort and experience with the majority of the primary social media platforms.
  • Strong critical thinking, and ability to use analytics to inform strategies around content and engagement.
  • Experience creating and maintaining content calendars.
  • Experience crafting compelling content that adheres to specific brand Tone of Voice and company values.
  • Intermediate skills with Photoshop or other image editing programs.
  • Passion for video games, and pop culture in general.

 

Extra Consideration

  • Deep familiarity with THE LONG DARK, and a love for the game.
  • Located within 3 hours of the Pacific Time Zone.
  • Ability to create short videos and gifs around game and community content.
  • Applicants from diverse backgrounds strongly encouraged to apply.
About 
Hinterland Games

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.

 

Our Culture

We have a high-autonomy, high-accountability culture. Project teams work to support a clear direction, and individuals are expected to sign on to accomplish their goals with the minimal amount of supervision. We don’t want to micromanage and we can’t have people who need that.

We believe that to create thoughtful entertainment, you need thoughtful people. We want people who appreciate the value of discourse, and aren’t afraid to present an alternative opinion. Our aim is to attract the best collaborators we can, and great collaboration comes from a willingness to share your point of view within an environment where there is a clear direction and strong decision-making can happen.

We have a light project-management infrastructure that emphasizes communication and collaboration over “time in your chair”. We believe everyone on the team has a stake in work being completed on time, and we expect everyone to be active contributors to the planning process.

We believe that anyone good enough to join Hinterland is good enough to be trusted to make a meaningful contribution in a way that aligns with company and project goals, without needing to be closely managed. Success with this approach depends on having mature people with a wealth of experience. We recognize that not everyone can work this way, which is why it’s good to talk about it up front.

We believe that being given a high degree of autonomy means you have the responsibility to be accountable for the commitments you have made to your team-mates, your project, and the studio at large. Accountability without autonomy is not fair to the individual, but autonomy without accountability is not fair to the team.

We strive to do things differently, to ensure they are always done to the highest ethical and moral standard, both in work and in business. We take care of each other, we take care of our projects, and we collectively take care of the company. In turn, the company takes care of us.

We expect anyone who joins Hinterland to be committed to having a respectful work environment. We do not crunch, we do not do office politics, and we do not abuse people. We want you to have a life outside of work, so that you can bring positive energy to the team dynamic and help us achieve great things.

We also acknowledge that our culture may not be for everyone, and that’s ok. In the hiring process, we are filtering our fit to you, as much as your fit for us. In the end, we want you to be happy at Hinterland, and nobody benefits from a missed alignment in goals or culture. The longer we can work together, the stronger we can become as a studio, and we think it’s worth taking the time that’s needed to ensure there’s a good fit, for you and for us.

Our purpose is to make Hinterland the best creator of interactive experiences in the world. We won’t get there without you. Join us in our mission.

 

Life at Hinterland

  • Remote-First. 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.
  • Team Benefits. Our benefits programs are aimed at supporting our team and their families to live a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle. In addition to the standard benefits you may expect, we also offer parental leave top-ups, learning and tuition support, as well as paid summer and winter studio closures.
  • Vancouver, BC / Victoria, BC. We are fortunate enough to live in such beautiful and ethnically diverse cities, surrounded by the mountains and the sea. Both Vancouver and Victoria are a perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts, as well as those who enjoy participating in varied cultural and culinary experiences.
  • Immigration. We are committed to creating a world-class studio, so our first priority is to hire the best talent we can find. We remain open to relocating the ideal candidate, but will give preference to local candidates whenever possible.
  • Giving Back. At Hinterland, we value community and supporting the local economy. We have partnered with a few charities such as the World Health Organization, Tree Canada, The Vancouver Foodbank, Doctors without Borders and Damage Labs to give back and support their initiatives. Each year, we find more local charities to partner and volunteer our time with.

 

Join Us on Our Journey

We are a diverse group of creators who care as much about how we make things, as what we make. We care about our worlds, our players, and our people. We believe passion for work and balance in life are not only compatible ideas, but are symbiotic. If you want to help craft the future of interactive entertainment, join us on our journey.

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