Principal Designer - Planet Franchise

Frontier is an established, market leading independent developer and publisher of videogames for PC and consoles. Founded in 1994, we are based in the world-leading technology cluster and historic city of Cambridge, England. With a growing team of over 750 talented people, we are passionate about creating innovative genre-leading games and authentic worlds for our communities of players.  

We have achieved serial successes across a wide variety of titles including Elite DangerousPlanet CoasterJurassic World Evolution and Planet Zoo. We are continuing to grow our team to support our existing portfolio and an exciting and ambitious future roadmap, which includes the development of both own-IP titles and licensed-IP titles. Our IP-license partners include Universal (Jurassic World), Formula 1 and Games Workshop (Warhammer).We are also growing our team to continue the expansion of Frontier Foundry, our publishing label for games developed by carefully selected partner studios. 

We have a modern spacious studio located on the Cambridge Science Park in the heart of the Cambridge tech hub. For those who wish to relocate to the Cambridge area and work either entirely in the studio or flexibly between the studio and home, we can provide generous financial and practical support to facilitate your move. We are also able to offer remote working for those who would prefer to work almost exclusively from home or who are unable to relocate. We can discuss your preferences with you during the recruitment process.   

Purpose of the Role

Frontier has a long and rich history of developing management simulation games, starting with RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 in 2004; this has branched out to games like Jurassic World Evolution and evolved into our Planet franchise with Planet Zoo and Planet Coaster.

We are currently offering the opportunity for a Principal Designer to work on the continued support and expansion of our genre leading family of Planet games.

As a Principal Designer, you will be a core pillar of the design team, supporting and collaborating with the Lead Designer and able to pick up their work where and when needed. You will be in charge of successfully translating the holistic game vision set by the Leads and Game Director  into compelling experiences. You will lead your assigned areas by example, get hands-on, mentor other design team members, and guide and support them in output, skills development, and process.

Responsibilities

  • Design – Involved at every stage of a project, happy to be hands-on, helping set the benchmark for quality and good working practice.
  • Communicate and Champion – Ensure that the game design, especially the areas you are in charge of, is clearly communicated and fully understood across all disciplines. Ensure that feedback is assessed and acted on where appropriate.
  • Deliver – Deliver your own work alongside reviewing other designers' work and ensuring other departments have met design needs and compromise where needed. Help define milestones, manage risks, delegate effectively and support staffing strategies to ensure quality and mitigate risk.
  • Enrich – Support an environment where team members are encouraged to grow, develop, and work cohesively.
  • Reporting – Report progress and risks and offering insights into opportunities and improvements to the Lead Designer.

About you

  • Significant games industry experience. Preferably full development lifecycles on multiple AAA game titles, ideally in the management and strategy genres but this isn’t essential.
  • Confident in communicating across the game team and to wider stakeholders  
  • Direct experience in designing and delivering game features and assets using current industry-standard tools or equivalent proprietary software
  • Experience in team building, management and mentoring with strong interpersonal skills
  • Experienced at scheduling, estimating and prioritising work 

What we can offer you

We offer the chance to work with talented and passionate people, developing and publishing sophisticated and enduring games in a creative and collaborative environment. We love what we do, and we work hard to provide outstanding experiences for our player communities. Frontier rewards this passion and determination by sharing in the company’s success and by supporting our teams to keep doing what they love.

Well-being is a big focus at Frontier and we are continually evolving how we can support our staff. We encourage a healthy work/life balance and host a range of well-being activities, initiatives and sessions to support both mental and physical health.

We offer a competitive salary and benefits package, which includes a success-based annual bonus, share option schemes, pension, life assurance, private family healthcare, flexitime working hours, enhanced maternity/paternity package, in-house subsidised catering, support with relocation, a Cycle to Work scheme and free bike servicing, and social events.

We welcome and encourage applications from qualified candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, religion or belief.


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Meet the team

Graham

Senior Game Designer

Hi, I’m Graham, a Senior Game Designer at Frontier. My role primarily focuses on taking the core aims and goals of the project, set by the creative director, and turning those into literal systems and mechanics for the player. I also personally have a heavy emphasis towards the technical side of design; working with code to prototype early concepts and mechanics, as well as helping to design back-end systems that offer more freedom and flexibility to other members of the team during development.

I started at Frontier in 2019, working on Elite Dangerous: Odyssey where I worked on developing a variety of mechanics from player tools, to environment interactions… but mainly doors. The opportunities and challenges that working at Frontier has provided has been great for the personal development of my craft. With new and exciting projects around the corner, there’s always a chance to improve and grow.

Samantha

Senior Narrative Designer

Hey everyone! I’m Samantha, and I’m a Narrative Designer. I work as part of the Game Design Team, where I own and manage the narrative decisions in the game. This can be anything from the tone of voice, formatting, and UI copy of the game, to designing the narrative system of a game aspect. In my role, I work very closely with the game designers, often pairing with them on design work that has a heavy narrative element, and also the audio team. In games with voiced content, narrative and audio often work together to scope the work, design the system, put the scripts in place, and also to direct the voice actors when it’s time to record. No day looks the same, but it always revolves around game narrative!

I joined Frontier as a Senior Narrative Designer early in 2021, following years of industry experience in both AAA and indie studios. Frontier is a great place to work, and I’ve had the pleasure of making games alongside so many talented, hard-working, and helpful people! I’m really excited about my future here, and the future of the narrative design discipline within Frontier. I can’t wait to see what comes next!