Lead Designer

Velan Studios
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This position has been closed.
July 22, 2022
Full Time
Troy, NY

We are Velan Studios, an independent game developer with a passion for the unconventional. We make innovative games in a variety of genres with accessibility and depth to delight our audiences, no matter who they are. We believe in maintaining a creative, collaborative, and diverse team environment at our studio, and we are looking for passionate and capable people to join our team of experienced AAA console developers.

We are seeking a seasoned Lead Designer whose communication skills, organization, focus on iteration, and polish are all exceptional. The ideal candidate will work to maintain strong partnerships with art, level design, tools, UI, gameplay engineering, monetization, rewards, etc., and actively look for opportunities to make the game better than the sum of its parts. This individual loves games of all sorts - and it's clear that the best, most rewarding game of all... is making a great game for others to enjoy.

This is a “forward looking role,” which partners with other discipline leads to understand emerging trends and technologies that may benefit/impact how we design games.


  • Serves as the creative vision holder of a game’s core pillars.
  • Drive gameplay, systems, and content design through all development phases, from concept to live operations.
  • Once live, design and oversee evolution of the live product based on analysis of key performance indicators and player feedback.
  • Oversee and provide critical feedback on the design of complex game features, gameplay, level design, UI Design and other game systems.
  • Maintain up-to-date, clear, concise game documentation that keeps pace with the project’s progress and evolution.
  • Work in collaboration with other disciplines to find ground-breaking solutions to the constraints or requirements of each game.
  • Review game system(s) within area of responsibility and ensures optimal balancing across the game for player experience and creative goals.
  • Provide both high-level game design direction and hands-on design implementation within a somewhat technical toolset.
  • Collaborate with Producers to help drive the project schedule, including the roadmap and backlog.
  • Conduct peer reviews, troubleshoot, problem solve, and provide constructive feedback.
  • Act as a leader, mentor, and role model.


  • 5+ years of professional video game industry experience as a lead/senior designer.
  • Possesses expert knowledge of game design principles such as design theory and methodologies, environment, directing player experience, player behavior, choice and motivation, game progression and pacing, etc.
  • Proven experience giving rise to creative ideas that surprise and delight; pushing the boundaries of creativity.
  • Ability to champion ideas through focused and inspiring leadership with the ability to keep the team motivated and engaged through hardships.
  • Exceptional ability to communicate design concepts effectively, verbally, in written format, or visually to other disciplines.
  • Ability to pinpoint the key characteristics necessary for a game's success and relentlessly prioritize to make them shine.
  • Degree or equivalent experience in Human Computer Interaction, Computer Science, User Experience, Digital Media Design, Game Design, Fine Arts, or related field is desired.

Big plusses

  • Experience and/or passion for Mixed Reality, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality gaming
  • Game programming or scripting experience
  • 2+ years of experience in a leadership position
  • Experience designing for and/or leading a live-service game
  • UX design capability
  • Experience running prototyping team
  • Excited about exploring new forms of play and taking risks on innovations to make them fun
Velan Studios

Velan Studios is a small team going after multiple, bold creative new ideas. Many of us have done the large, AAA development thing for decades. But we think with a seasoned and scrappy team, we can do things differently – so every member of the team has a creative voice.

Working Better, Together

We are building an environment conducive to delivering our best work. Our office is a community that works and plays together.

  • Unconventionally World Class. We embrace the unexpected. We create breakthrough games by building on our expertise and challenging conventions. We are scrappy: solving problems and inventing new experiences in audacious new ways. These unconventional approaches lead to unexpected discoveries.
  • Stay Curious. Curiosity drives us and our experiences. We find energy in new ideas and approaches. We use technology and design to bring new experiences to the gaming community. We cultivate an environment that encourages experimentation and rigor. We relentlessly pursue the MAGIC.
  • Respect and Responsibility. We are passionate about being an inclusive community of unique individuals. We believe in prioritizing and respecting the player. Our players’ time is valuable and we are honored that they choose to spend part of it with us. We respect the members of our team and know that they will make the right choices with our players in mind at every level.
  • Community of Makers and Players. We are stronger together than the sum of our parts: we value people and perspectives. Community is a way to get things done. We seek to engage our community wherever we can in building great games. It is a springboard for innovation. It is a well of talent and a means to finding new game experiences.

A Great Place to Work and Live

Velan Studios is located in the beautiful Capital Region of Upstate New York, which includes Albany and Troy. The Capital Region is a growing tech & creative hub with a thriving video game development scene. Our offices are located in Troy’s historic downtown, which is comprised of renovated historic buildings full of new energy. The region boasts beautiful architecture, great museums, and amazing history. It’s also a very affordable city, with great events, hip nightlife and is accessible to a variety of outdoor adventures, making it a perfect spot to live.

Featured Game

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Game & Level Design
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