Gameplay Systems Designer


• Full-Time

We’re looking for an experienced gameplay systems designer to join the development team behind the hit exploration-survival title, The Long Dark.

As a gameplay systems designer, you will help maintain existing game systems, as well as work under the guidance of the project creative director to define new mechanics for the game. You will be expected to shepherd mechanics from their conception through to implementation, testing, and delivery -- working in close collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team -- including taking feedback from project leads, and incorporating guidance based on community feedback and analytics. 

You should eat and breathe iteration, and be very comfortable with the “build, test, fix, repeat” loop. You must also be comfortable with the idea that the systems you work on will be constantly modified, and in some cases, removed as they are replaced by superior systems. You may become the de facto steward of specific gameplay systems, and will be expected to maintain and remain current on the entire gamut of systems across both Survival mode and WINTERMUTE, our episodic story mode. 

You may become a team point of contact for specific gameplay systems, and therefore you need to be able to “hold the line” on the expectations of a system, even when specific gameplay may come under the gun through community feedback, while also proactively chasing down issues that may prevent systems from working as intended, and while remaining flexible so that those systems can evolve.

You should have extensive game design experience, a strong mathematics background, excellent writing and documentation skills, and a comfort working with the Unity editor or other similar game editing tools. Particular experience developing mechanics -- from conception through to completion -- for open-world, survival, or RPG titles is strongly preferred. We are looking for senior systems designers, so please have at least 5 years of experience contributing to the design and implementation of core gameplay, preferably on award-winning triple-A or “indie” titles in the aforementioned genres. In addition to the above, we are also interested in candidates who specifically have experience creating innovative co-operative games or game modes.

Hinterland is a virtual studio. We support this distributed model with regular face-to-face team meetings, so some travel will be required. To facilitate communication in our distributed development environment, we prefer candidates who are able to work core hours that overlap with the Pacific Time Zone. Candidates who are legally permitted to work in Canada are preferred, but our first priority is hiring the best people we can find. We are a small team and intend to stay that way, so everyone we hire needs to be exceptional.

If you think this position sounds interesting and you meet the qualifications, we invite you to send your resume and cover letter to:



Hinterland is an equal-opportunity employer. The studio is comprised of a multi-national, multi-ethnic team. We value a diversity of backgrounds. We also value veteran experience and a strong work ethic that supports the studio’s culture and values. Our work ethic and production methodology is built around a “Getting Shit Done” paradigm. We embrace a flexible working environment that affords our team members the opportunity to enjoy family time and exercise self-care. We balance this out with very high expectations about the quality of output from everyone on the team. We offer a variety of perks, but do not believe perks are the same thing as culture.

(Also, everyone who joins our team gets a pair of slippers. They are nice slippers.)

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