Game Director

Job Locations US-NY-New York
Requisition ID
21-14075
Division
Ventures
Functional Area
Interactive

Overview

Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSG Entertainment) is a leader in live entertainment experiences. Our mission is to lift the human spirit by gathering communities around exceptional live experiences on the world’s greatest stages. We deliver on that mission through our portfolio of world class venues: New York’s Madison Square Garden, Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; and The Chicago Theatre. Additionally, MSG Entertainment is building a new state-of-the-art venue in Las Vegas, MSG Sphere at The Venetian, and has also announced plans to build a second MSG Sphere in London, pending necessary approvals.


More information about MSG Entertainment is available at www.msgentertainment.com. 

About MSG Sphere

With MSG Sphere, we are creating an entirely new medium that will deliver immersive entertainment experiences at an unparalleled scale. Beyond a venue, Sphere is a multi-sensory platform with experiential technology programming directly to your senses. You will see in ways never imagined, hear with every fiber of your being, and experience like never before. To deliver on this promise, we are building the largest immersive venue in the world, MSG Sphere at The Venetian in Las Vegas, with a second Sphere venue planned for London, pending necessary approvals.

 

To create immersive experiences, and content unique to Sphere, we are growing our full stack creative, experience, design, production and engineering team across our Burbank studio in Los Angeles and Ventures headquarters in New York.

 

LVSphere - Cross-Section

Role Summary

The Sphere is a new spherical entertainment venue crossing over the lines of traditional media and entertainment.  The space contains an external LED media plane, an internal four-acre screen, a revolutionary audio system delivering beam forming audio, 18,000 seats and a massive internal volumetric space waiting for new shows, artist residencies and other forms of entertainment.

The mission of the MSG Interactive team is to deliver interstitial and full-length interactive events for MSG Sphere. The unprecedented connectivity capabilities of the Sphere will empower audience members to take on active-roles in the live-experience, no longer limited to just being passive observers of a live-event. Paired with the immersive technologies in the venue, this will enable the delivery of large-scale communal interactive experiences in which the entire audience can actively participate simultaneously. At a high-level, this covers user interaction with content, with each other, with live performers, and combinations of the above.
 
The Game Director is the creative authority within the MSG Ventures Interactive group, defining and ensuring that the creative vision is realized and translated effectively into the user-experience for each project.

The Sphere and interactive events are a new medium and platform, with its own set of unique opportunities and challenges to discover. Before transitioning to full-scale production of an interactive event, initial focus will be on the development of smaller scale prototypes intended to explore and prove out design approaches and gameplay mechanics that will effectively scale to thousands of co-located users and take full advantage of the unique features of the Sphere. The right Game Director for us will be equipped to guide the development of the project though this research and discovery phase, while laying the foundations for the transition into production of full-length interactive events for Sphere.

You must bring ten-plus years of experience to the table, have shipped games as either a Game Design Lead or a Game Director, and you are ready to share that experience with a team of developers. You communicate big ideas to executives, team members, and partner studios. You can briefly summarize the detail of design, using it to inspire those around you and motivate your team. You know how to progress through the creative idea phase of design, writing professional and grammatically correct design documents, scoping the design to a timeline and budget, and you know how to monitor development and meet the game's goals continually. You are an expert on the video game industry, its history, aware of design trends, and equipped to manage your team through the fog of player feedback and live game data. You’re relentless in your pursuit of fun and attempt to capture it in every aspect of what you do.

Specific Functions/Activities Summary

  • Collaborate with the VP Interactive Experiences to create a vision that is innovative, strong, and feasible for the team
  • Establish the creative design direction for all Interactive projects in collaboration with Art and Engineer directors and relevant MSG Ventures executives, assuring that these projects both accomplish our creative and operational goals and take advantage of unique opportunities offered by the platform(s).
  • Communicate to other MSG and MSG Ventures executives, as well as relevant third parties, the game and audiovisual design projects verbally, in writing, and through demonstrations of concepts in-progress.
  • Work closely with Producers to help break the idea into achievable work
  • Follow-through and ensure that the project vision is reflected in all stages of design and implementation
  • Establish repeatable best practices for the design and development of Mass Interactive content for Sphere, from bookend-scheduled interactive shorts to feature-length standalone events.
  • Collaborate with VP Interactive experiences and relevant SMEs to define a user research strategy, utilizing user-data and feedback from playtests to maximize our learnings within this new medium. Ensure proper documentation of design insights and best practices discovered along the way.
  • Assist in defining staffing, outsourcing, and partnership requirements; source candidates, vendors, and partners in appropriate circumstances.
  • Guide and support the game design team (2-3 designers, as the department scales) - defining the methods and strategies appropriate to the game and managing interaction with relevant third-party vendors (e.g. user-research vendor)   
  • Demonstrate pragmatism, weighing ideal solutions against the realities of a live game/experience in the Sphere and steering the game through each release
  • Inspire and energize the team, utilizing pillars, research, and references to push them towards creative success and evolving careers.
  • Collaborate with other MSG internal teams and other creative disciplines

Concepts and Game Design Creation + Direction 

  • The Game Director shall conceive of and direct the implementation of the game design of all MSG Ventures’ Mass Interactive experiences.
  • The Director of Game Design shall work with the VP Interactive Experiences and other discipline leads to assure that every aspect of our projects’ designs – from visuals, to gameplay, to technology use – maintains continuity with the brand guidelines and the creative vision for the product.

 

Product Leadership Contributions  

  • The Game Director shall work with MSG Ventures leadership, and other discipline leads to assure that Mass Interactive projects (both concept and polished production releases) serve the broad purpose of exploring and establishing new horizons in live interactive entertainment through the inventive use of the venues unique capabilities.

 

Management of Game Design Team + Design Documentation 

  • As the organization scales, the Game Director shall manage the design team from both a development and personnel perspective. Game Director shall assess team members’ skills, establish frameworks for specialization and improvement of their capabilities and mentor both new and experienced team members. They will also oversee the creation of design documentation, working with the design team and producers and delegating accordingly to detail and break down the design into actionable work.
  • In addition, the Game Director will liaise with third-party vendors and partners (particularly user testing resources), maintaining relationships with external contractors and outsourcing teams, to assure high quality deliveries. They will work with user research resources and a technical writer to establish and maintain a framework for the documentation of design insights, best practices, and other discoveries made through user research and playtests.

Qualifications

  • You have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent education and experience
  • Minimum 10+ years of Game Design Lead or Game Director experience
  • Minimum 5+ years of management experience in video game design and production
  • Shipped 3 commercial games as Game Design Lead or Game Director
  • Expertise in integrating user research and data-enabled analysis into the game development process required
  • Demonstrable expertise in guiding the collaboration between Game Design, Engineering, Project Management, and Art departments in a creative, energetic, and positive fashion
  • Mastery of verbal and written communications and recognized team management techniques
  • Experience with game development on (at the time) novel platforms a plus
  • Expertise with common games industry design and production software (MS Office, Visio/comparable charting software, JIRA, Trello) required. Experience with Unity or Unreal game engines highly preferred.
  • Applications must include an annotated list of game credits explaining the applicant’s role on each title

*This is an in-office position located in NYC or Burbank,CA*

 

The Company requires that all individuals, subject to certain limited exceptions, be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  The Company will consider requests for reasonable accommodations regarding this requirement.

Education

Candidates who have completed 60 credits of college-level coursework (representing 2 years), or have shown similar self-development through certifications, trade school coursework, etc. are preferred.

Educational requirements may differ from job to job based on the role.

EEO Statement

At MSG we value diversity and are looking for extraordinary employees of all backgrounds! MSG is an Equal Opportunity Employer and provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, sexual and reproductive health choices, national origin, citizenship, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. In addition to federal law requirements, MSG complies with all applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in all locations.

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