Jackbox Games is looking for a Senior Gameplay Engineer to join our team in Chicago! (Though currently, we are all working from home.)
Who Are We?
Jackbox is a small game studio (~45 people) best known for our Jackbox Party Pack franchise: a set of five social party games released every fall. Since 2014, our games--like Quiplash, Drawful, and Trivia Murder Party-- have been featured on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, by Polygon, and in living rooms and finished basements across the world.
In 2020, we had over 200 million users. And we have hard evidence that one of those users was Academy Award-winner Charlize Theron.
You can learn everything you ever wanted to know about how our games work (spoiler: your phone is the controller!) and who we are and what we make at jackboxgames.com.
What’s the Job?
This is a senior position. If you are applying we expect that you have several years working professionally as a gameplay programmer in the game industry. If you don’t have that experience, you might be better suited to the Gameplay Engineer position.
Gameplay engineers will work closely with art, audio, design, engineering, and editorial leads on individual games to implement features, fix bugs, incorporate art and media assets into the production pipeline, and improve our technical infrastructure. It is our goal for gameplay engineers to learn our systems and take on more responsibility until they have the skills to be an engineering lead on a game.
- Architect and implement advanced gameplay systems as defined by the design team
- Develop and maintain advanced low-level platform code for one or more platforms
- Contribute to and maintain our production pipeline and common libraries
- Participate in game design meetings and pre-production to ensure the technical success of a game
- Shepherd builds through the submission, review and release process
- Competently and professionally interact with first-parties (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Steam, etc.) to resolve platform issues
- Participate in prototyping and experimentation as we explore and develop new product ideas
- Makes others better through code reviews, documentation, and technical guidance
- Work with both internal and external QA teams to find and fix issues as they come up during production and testing
- Write automated tests and build scripts as necessary
- Mentor junior engineers via pairing, design review, and code review
- Have several years of experience as a gameplay programmer at game companies making games. (We want someone who has done this before.)
- Have shipped a game on a mainstream platform.
- Have a mastery of core software engineering concepts: data structures, design patterns, algorithms, etc.
- Be intimately familiar with at least one major programming language and have competency in C++.
- Write clean, elegant code that can be easily understood by fellow software engineers
- Be professional, responsible, dedicated, friendly, flexible, patient and enthusiastic.
And it would be nice if you also have…
- An understanding of game mechanics and intuition for what makes a game successful
- Great party game ideas
We only hire clever, kind, motivated and creative people. Jackbox Games is a group effort and you must work collaboratively. Everyone here shares a commitment to excellence and a desire to work in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere.
Jackbox Games is committed to providing employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, or disability.
Are there any perks?
- Competitive pay and benefits. 401(k) with matching. And we pay 100% of the cost of premiums for medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance for our employees. We also cover a really nice chunk of the cost of premiums for spouse/partner/dependent medical, dental and vision insurance. Paid parental leave.
- Casual dress and a flexible schedule. Come in a sweatshirt, jeans, or whatever (at least when we’re back to working in the office. We are all remote at the moment).
- Creative work environment. We are lucky to work in a place that is full of talented and innovative folks. Most of the day, the place is pretty quiet (we’re a focused bunch), but this is punctuated with hilarious outbursts and general merriment.
- Easy transportation. We’re very close to the “L” and the Halsted (#8) bus (right by the Apple Store and Mega Whole Foods if that’s your kind of thing), and we have a transit FSA that allows you to dedicate pre-tax dollars to public transportation expenses.
- Free food. Every week, we stock our kitchen with snacks.
How to Apply
We look forward to reading your application. Make sure you include:
- Your resume.
- A cover letter. We weigh cover letters heavily, so you can (and should) write more, but we won’t evaluate applicants that don’t answer these two questions:
- Why are you interested in working at Jackbox Games?
- What is your favorite game and why?
We know it is a time commitment to prepare an application and we respect that effort by thoughtfully reviewing every complete application and responding one way or the other. But that kind of thoughtful review means that it sometimes takes us a while to get back to applicants, so please be patient with us and no phone calls.
- I'm not sure if I'm qualified. Should I apply?
We would much rather read your application than miss out on a great candidate, so please err on the side of applying, but take note that there is also a more junior Gameplay Engineer position posted, so apply for the one you feel best fits your skills and abilities.
- Do I need to live in or relocate to the Chicago area for this position?
Short answer: yes. Long answer: We are all working remotely due to COVID-19 at the moment, so there’s not a rush, but the expectation is that eventually you will work out of our Chicago office.
Thanks for your interest in Jackbox Games!