Jackbox Games Gameplay & Platform Software Engineer

Jackbox Games is best known for its rapidly expanding catalog of critically acclaimed party games including Quiplash, Drawful, Fibbage, The Jackbox Party Pack, The Jackbox Party Pack 2, The Jackbox Party Pack 3, and the recently released (and unsurprisingly named) The Jackbox Party Pack 4. As Jackbox Games moves into the last 85% of this century, we hope to build on our successful business by pushing the boundaries of party games with new technology, new game concepts, and new forms of interactivity. We also hope the sandwich shop doesn’t put those weird pickles on our sandwich next time.

We make party games where players interact with a game being displayed on a big screen using their phones or tablets as controllers. While our games are often played at home in small groups of 2-8 people, we also support large-scale games at events or via Twitch streaming where thousands of users can connect and interact.

We’re a small group (around 25 people) of very talented, funny, and creative individuals looking for a Gameplay & Platform Software Engineer to join our Chicago-based team.

Check out our website for more info about who we are and what we make. www.jackboxgames.com.

What’s the Job?

Every year we make a lot of games on a lot of platforms. For the last 4 years we’ve made a new edition of The Jackbox Party Pack, each of which is a collection of 5 party games. And we target as many platforms as we can find, including Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV.

With a small engineering staff of 6 people, each member of the team can end up working on multiple games and multiple platforms. We generally have a lead engineer assigned to each game and each platform. That means, as a gameplay and platform engineer, you could own one or two games and one or two platforms simultaneously. If that sounds like your idea of a complete breakfast, keep reading!

Responsibilities:

  • Architect and implement gameplay as defined by the design team
  • Contribute to and maintain our technical gameplay pipeline
  • Participate in game design meetings and preproduction to ensure the technical success of a game
  • Develop and maintain common platform code for one or more platforms
  • Shepherd builds through the submission, review and release process
  • Competently and professionally interact with first-parties (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Steam, etc.) to resolve platform issues
  • Participate in prototyping and experimentation as we explore and develop new product ideas
  • Participate in code reviews and the release process for all relevant projects
  • Work with both internal and external QA teams to find and fix issues as they come up during production and testing
  • Write automated tests and build scripts as necessary

Candidates Should…

  • Have shipped a game (or similar application) on a major platform.
  • Have experience with the submission and approval process for one or more gaming platforms.
  • Have a mastery of core software engineering concepts: data structures, design patterns, algorithms, etc.
  • Be intimately familiar with at least one major programming language
  • Write clean, elegant code that can be easily understood by fellow software engineers
  • Love and embrace process
  • Have experience participating in a professional QA process.
  • Be professional, responsible, dedicated, friendly, flexible, patient and enthusiastic.
  • Have the ability to work independently or as part of a team, depending on the nature of the work you are doing.

And it would be nice if you also have…

  • An understanding of game mechanics and intuition for what makes a game successful
  • Great party game ideas
  • Shipped products on iOS and/or tvOS

Anything else?

Yes.  We only hire smart, kind and creative people who are willing to work hard.  Jackbox Games is a group effort and you must work collaboratively with creative, technical, and sales types. Everyone here shares a commitment to excellence and a desire to work in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere.

Jackbox Games is committed to providing employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, or disability.

Are there any perks?

  • Competitive pay and benefits.  401(k) with matching.  And we pay 100% of the cost of premiums for medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance for our employees. We also cover a really nice chunk of the cost of premiums for spouse/partner/dependent medical, dental and vision insurance.
  • Casual dress and a flexible schedule.  Come in a sweatshirt, jeans, whatever, like everyone else here.
  • Creative work environment. We are lucky to work in a place that is full of intelligent, talented and innovative folks. Although most hours the place is pretty quiet (we’re a focused bunch), this is punctuated with hilarious outbursts and general merriment, which makes a nice way to spend the day.
  • Easy transportation. We’re very close to the “L” and the Halsted (#8) bus (right by the new Apple Store and Mega Whole Foods if that’s your kind of thing), and we have a transit FSA that allows you to dedicate pre-tax dollars to public transportation expenses.
  • Free food. Every week, we stock our kitchen with free snacks.

Interested?

Great, we look forward to reading your application – make sure it includes:

  • A cover letter that highlights three reasons you think you’d be great for the gig, focusing on how your past work experience has prepared you for this kind of position. We weigh cover letters heavily. Include a list of products, systems, or games you have worked on and your role in their development. Please feel free to write in your own voice – most cover letters are standard and boring, and that just isn’t us.
  • Your resume.

Email your application to:  jobs@jackboxgames.com

If you decide to apply, please know that every complete application will be carefully reviewed. Seriously! We know it is a time commitment to prepare an application. And we respect that effort by thoughtfully reviewing every complete application and responding one way or the other. But that kind of thoughtful review means that it sometimes takes us a while to get back to applicants, so please NO PHONE CALLS. The time we spend responding to phone calls and emails inquiring about where we are in the process is time that we could be spending moving the process along – so please be patient with us!

Thanks for your interest in Jackbox Games!