Senior Systems Designer

Microsoft Corporation Santa Monica , CA 90405

Posted 3 months ago

The Initiative is a new first-party game studio located in Santa Monica backed by Microsoft. Our studio is about craft, creating story, innovating, and looking ahead to the next big thing.

At the Initiative, we are looking for collaborative problem solvers who want to dive into something new and create groundbreaking experiences for our players. Join us for this once in a career opportunity to help build the studio, define our culture, and create an environment to attract world-class talent.

The Initiative has an immediate opening for a Senior Systems Designer to design, develop, and iterate on new end-to-end game systems. You will be responsible for the quality of systems, providing feedback on in-progress systems design, making meaningful changes or improvements to existing systems, or personally owning system creation and implementation.

The ideal candidate would be an excellent communicator, capable of working directly with cross discipline teams and external partners. You must be comfortable with personally designing systems to providing and/or implementing iterative feedback. You are versatile, have strong development and production-sense, and the expertise to lead, inspire and mentor others to do their best work.


  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent practical experience

  • 6+ years' experience in game development, including designing, developing, and shipping major game systems in a published game with market or critical acclaim

  • Experience with contemporary game editors and engines

  • Experience modeling, testing, and tracking results for system concepts in Excel or similar programs


  • Excellent verbal, written and visual communication skills

  • Experience with multiple aspects of game design discipline: concept, game progression, combat, world systems, interface, monetization, and playability testing, as well as strong expertise in one or more facets of systems design

  • Strong communication, interpersonal, and organization skills

  • Experience in a commercial game engine such as Unity or Unreal

Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via the Accommodation request form.

Benefits/perks listed below may vary depending on the nature of your employment with Microsoft and the country where you work.




  • Partner with designers to concept, iterate, and implement new systems and game loops

  • Where appropriate, provide feedback and mentoring to other systems designers

  • Work with leads across disciplines to design new systems, economy flows, and loops

  • Create, maintain and champion the documentation and evangelization of designs towards the development team

  • Work closely with developers in the implementation of said games systems and be open and ready to iterate and adapt based on technical challenges

  • Develop hypothesis about system behavior, flow, and emergent system behavior

  • Test, prove or disprove said hypotheses through use of prototypes, simulation and actual live deployments and adapt systems accordingly

  • Actively contribute to growth of new start up studio: lead by example, including demonstrating a willingness to give and receive feedback, collaborate with others to share techniques, ideas, and contribute to a positive working environment

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Senior Systems Designer

Microsoft Corporation