Greetings, traveler. This is Andrew, CEO of Playmake.
I was playing 1985’s Little Computer People in emulator the other day to better understand the roots of the Sims family tree, while simultaneously trying to drink a Last Word without the maraschino pick rolling around and smearing cherry goop all over my face, when it occurred to me to ask:
What makes a great Gameplay Engineer?
Since we, the developers of Murder Party (The best hidden-role game on Roblox! 3.5M players a month can’t be wrong!), are hiring Gameplay Engineers right now, I decided to think it through at a length that would be completely unreasonable at most companies, but is par for the course for our CTO Ava and me.
While reading this, ask yourself: Is this you? Are you a great Gameplay Engineer?
First: Great Gameplay Engineers know how to prototype. Specifically, how to suggest a lot of gameplay with only a little bit of prototype. It’s like the art of minimalist caricature: a stroke here, a stroke there…and voilà! A human face! Instead: A few physics objects here, a placeholder button there…and voilà! A game! It’s obviously not a real game…but can you make it just enough to move the design conversation forward, since that’s what counts?
Second: Great Gameplay Engineers don’t merely have a vast mental library of game-design patterns. They have a strong structure for that mental library. When you encounter a very specific problem while prototyping (e.g. world traversal is a slog, matches have a runaway leader, collecting resources is boring), can you pull multiple plausible solutions out of your library until you find one that works? Even in a new and unexplored paradigm like 3D casual?
Third: Great Gameplay Engineers have the creative maturity to hold just part of a vision, which is, paradoxically, harder than personally holding an entire vision. While your prototype is an indispensable ingredient of a vision, it’s not the only ingredient. A vision needs sketches of systems design, test assets from artists, and so on. Any jerk can be a tyrant, trying to tell everyone what a game should be; the tough question is: Can you collectively shape the vision of what the game needs to be?
So you got this far in the posting. I’m not going to ask if you’re the perfect practitioner of all of the above skills, because, frankly, no one is. Making games is great because one could spend multiple lifetimes getting better at it. (Although for us to talk, you do need minimum 6 years game-development experience minimum, with at least 4 years of that in free-to-play.)
But still…do you think you’re a great Gameplay Engineer?
Why don’t you click “Apply” and find out?
May your retention always be best-in-platform,
Playmake's mission is to make the best 3D casual games on the planet.
We decentralize decision-making as much as possible, giving individual team members latitude to prioritize, design, and implement their own projects.
We are fully remote, with team members on 4 continents. You can work from anywhere with an Internet connection.