About the work

All work is remote.

We use an asynchronous collaboration method, which means you choose your own hours. You don’t have to be online at any given time. You can take random days; you can have a 6 hours break in the middle of your workday; you can change your schedule every week. The most critical thing is that you get a lot of stuff done.

You can take time off when you like, and the days aren’t counted. We do ask for some advance warning about when you’ll be off, but have never turned down a request yet.

We don’t crunch – ever. Since starting the company in 2013, we’ve never once asked a collaborator to work more than 40 hours a week. To make this work, you must have the self-direction to be productive without having to be pushed.

Ludeon is stable, with strong earnings and a low burn rate.

There’s space to grow. We’re trying to expand the company so as people are added they’ll need mentors in turn. We seek both individual contributors as well as potential leaders – though everyone has to be able to get stuff done.

Your work will make people happy in visible ways. Our team is small, and our players are numerous and enthusiastic. You’re welcome to engage with the community as well if you wish, or not – it’s up to you.

All work is contract-based.

Note: There are no internships or unpaid positions at Ludeon. Please do not apply for such positions.

How to apply

Please email me at [email protected].

  • Please keep it concise and focus on showing the things you’ve created.
  • YouTube videos of your games, art, or projects are great.
  • For programmers, please include code you’ve written. Bigger projects are best.
  • Please include a traditional CV with work experience and school information.
  • Please say where you’re located.
  • Please say which role you’re interested in.

Thanks in advance,

Tynan

Role: Developer (general)

Status: Not actively seeking, but you’re welcome to apply since I anticipate hiring this in the future (though beware responses may be slow).

This is primarily a programming position. You’ll be writing code from fresh designs, updating older code, optimizing, fixing and organizing bugs, testing, and so on. Since our studio is so small, you’ll be touching many systems – AI, graphics, gameplay, and everything else.

Depending on your interest and ability, you may be involved in game design work as well. This can range from filling in details of a new system, to writing candidate designs for solving a design problem, to broader evaluations of design direction and comparisons with other games.

You may also be asked to do little bits of art or sound work, if you’re up for it.

Overall hours should equal that of a typical 40-hour-per-week job, but you can distribute those across the week however you like.

Requirements

  • Be able to do useful programming from day one. The core of work in this position is writing code according to assignments. This means that, at minimum, you’ll need to be have practical experience in working on large codebases and complex problems in a C-like language. C# experience is ideal since that’s what we use for most of our code.
  • Have programming projects of significant scope to show off. These could be mods, indie games, game engines, professional games you worked on, or something else. These can’t be typical school projects or something you threw together with pals in a couple weeks or months. As a general minimum, a “significant project” is one that you worked on most days for at least a six months.
  • Be productive. You should be able to get a lot of stuff done in a given span of time. While work quality must be good, the pace of it is also important.
  • In your application, please include links to where I can read some code you’re written, if possible. Ideal code samples are large, complex C# game projects you worked on for years. Other samples are also useful, though.

Advantages

  • Experience in game design. This is valuable, but not absolutely necessary. Note that simply writing ideas or analyses does not count as game design experience. Implementing ideas and seeing them play out yourself is minor experience. Real experience is having other people with no relationship to you play your game and then responding to their feedback with improvements.
  • Cross-disciplinary skills. Ability in art, audio, music, web design, publicity, and marketing are valuable, but not absolutely necessary.

Good to have

  • Creative output. I want to see things you’ve created – games, design articles, books, paintings, animations, music, or anything else. Even things going back to childhood. Long-standing creative passion is valuable and shows that you can actually do things instead of just having “interests”. I’m not so interested in people who are looking to get a “foot in the door” of the “game industry”. I seek the one who created things for years just for fun. It’s not enough to have passion for the idea of creating games; you need to have passion for the work of creating games.
  • Curious mind. You’ve read books beyond the top sellers and can talk about the ideas in them. You know some history beyond high school and have coherent opinions on them. You know games outside the hits and have stories to tell. You have interests in subjects that other people don’t. You have sources of ideas which give you unique reference points to draw from. You have opinions about games and game development which diverge from the most common views in schools and online, because you thought of them yourself.

Role: Developer (multiplayer focus)

Status: We are not currently looking for immediate help with this role. However, you’re still welcome to apply! We’ll keep your info for review when any work opens up.

This is a senior programming position focused on implementing multiplayer features in games. It is similar to the general developer role below, with a specialization in developing multiplayer functionality and a restriction to more senior applicants.

Applicants should have:

  • Familiarity with lockstep and predictive client/server multiplayer models and the ability to discuss them in detail.
  • Familiarity with the networking stack from the low levels (UDP, TCP/IP, NAT punchthrough) up to the higher abstractions.
  • Specific experience implementing multiplayer code in games. Ideally you’ve led a multiplayer development effort in a complex game before.
  • Familiarity with different platforms including Steam, DRM-free PC, console, and mobile devices, and how they interact with multiplayer systems.

Since this is a senior role, applicants should be able to lead a multiplayer development effort. The work will involve analyzing situations and developing appropriate tasks with minimal direction, and handling the mixed priorities of various stakeholders.

Role: Web developer

Status: We are not currently looking for immediate help with this role. However, you’re still welcome to apply! We’ll keep your info for review when any work opens up.

This is for general web development work, across all aspects of our websites:

  • Maintenance and management of back-end infrastructure.
  • Implementation of new systems and features using languages like PHP and SQL.
  • Development of front-end website content and presentation.

This is intermittent work paid hourly as it happens. I’m hoping to find someone to work with for a long time.

Role: Studio runner

Status: We are not currently looking for immediate help with this role. However, you’re still welcome to apply! We’ll keep your info for review when any work opens up.

There are a thousand tasks, large and small, involved in running a growing remote indie studio which aren’t directly related to development. This cross-disciplinary position covers all of them. Some of these are simple administration, and some are critical negotiation and business decision-making, and some are community interaction.

Some tasks the studio runner would engage in are:

  • Negotiate and close deals with other companies related to porting, IP licensing, publishing, and distribution.
  • Assemble marketing materials like trailers, feature writeups, and developer interviews, working with trailer houses or similar as needed.
  • Help hire people in all disciplines by putting out calls, filtering applications, and managing the process.
  • Manage contracts for our contractors, likely working with lawyers to do so, keeping tabs over who is signed for when, and so on.
  • Pay people. Manage invoices and related records.
  • Work with a web developer to improve and maintain Ludeon websites.
  • Manage forums technically and on a community level.
  • Manage the community more generally, from forums to Reddit to Twitter to Discord.
  • Interact with modders and support them; process their requests and pass them to the developers.
  • Recruit and interact with volunteer testers and translators. Manage community-made translations.
  • Strategic business planning.
  • Rent office property and manage it (if we ever decide to have an office).

Advantages

  • Demonstrated experience doing work like this.
  • Able to cite specific deals negotiated and contracts handled in the past.
  • Experience working with lawyers and legal matters.
  • Knowledge of game communities, culture, and how to interact with them.
  • Very organized.
  • It’s also great if you have some direct development ability in any discipline.

Role: Artist

Status: We are not currently looking for immediate help with this role. However, you’re still welcome to apply! We’ll keep your info for review when any work opens up.

Create 2D art including:

  • Gameplay elements: Characters, environments, props, tools, atmospherics.
  • Hero art: Large paintings for story panels or marketing.
  • UI: Panels, borders, typeface selection, UI animations, UI layouts for complex information.
  • Concept art: As needed to develop the above.

Our art style is vector-like with realistic elements. RimWorld’s art is an example of this, but work won’t necessarily be limited to RimWorld’s style. I hope you can help develop our art style.

Hopefully we can develop a relationship and call on an artist repeatedly over the years for art as it’s needed. However, this isn’t a full-time position – it’ll be paid either hourly or based on written requirements.

Requirements

  • Have made lots of really good art
  • Be able to work within strict design constraints. Making a beautiful painting in Photoshop one thing. Making art that communicates gameplay concepts clearly to the player, within a tiny visual space budget, without creating excess visual noise, is another. The job here isn’t to make beautiful images, it is to create the art component of a good game. Your art’s primary purpose will be to enhance the playability of the game. Your work will overlap with design concerns like clarity, affordance, obviousness, and the need to draw the eye to gameplay-relevant parts of the screen.
  • Be ready to take direction regarding the above
  • Be able to work and concept quickly, especially in the rough concepting phase
  •  Send an online portfolio with your application. Indicate which other projects you’ve worked on, both personal and professional.