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We take our players and the community seriously. We used to be just players ourselves, and believe that the community has a powerful role in the development of games when the vision is shared by its creators.

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Game Designer, Combat

Full-time position in Irvine, California. Full-time position in Irvine, California. On-site Tues-Thursday (Remote Optional Monday and Friday)

Midlevel, Senior or Principal

We are seeking a passionate and creative Game Designer with experience in Unreal Engine 5 who will play a pivotal role in developing combat mechanics, class abilities, and other combat-related features. These elements will help shape the most player-facing and crucial aspects of our game—the character classes!

The ideal candidate is a game developer with a strong aptitude for both creative game design and technical implementation. While you won't be required to code, a fundamental understanding of coding and how engineers construct and architect systems is essential. 

What project you'd be working on

We're currently building a new core fantasy RPG game for PC/Console using Unreal 5. Elements of this project include open worlds, core RPG fantasy theme, PvPvE, third-person action-based combat, player stories, and engaging systems. It's still very early and anything can change, which you can be a part of.

About Notorious

Notorious Studios is a venture-backed start-up founded by core developers from Blizzard Entertainment who worked on titles like World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch.

We aspire to have a flatter organizational structure where everyone has a chance to lead. We have a culture of open and candid communication where the best idea wins. Sparks can fly, but we always attack ideas, not people.

As a startup, we're focused on minimizing wasted time and maximizing results. We have a hatred of bureaucracy and are focused on our mission of bringing underserved players new experiences that only a small, agile studio can accomplish.


  • Collaborate with combat designers, gameplay engineers, tech artists, riggers and animators to implement combat mechanics (spells, abilities, weapons, class kits), systems and features

  • Be a critical voice in the vision and planning of combat design (such as vision of gameplay of classes, abilities, and features)

  • Create and maintain design documentation, including system specifications, user flow diagrams, and asset requirements

  • Identify and troubleshoot technical issues, working closely with the development team to ensure an optimal user experience

  • Proactively research and stay current with industry trends, emerging technologies, and best practices in game design and development

  • Participate in playtesting and provide constructive feedback to help improve gameplay, balance, and overall user experience

Required Qualifications

  • 3+ years experience developing systems, content and/or features for live games

  • Design flexibility conducive to working on all facets of a game

  • Deep critical thinking capability who can draw on a wealth of knowledge and examples of games you've played or built through the years

  • Ability to work without a producer to self-manage yourself and scope projects and features

  • Strong analytical skills that aid in understanding and articulating what makes games great

  • Solid team player. Either you work on a small team already, or are excited to work on a small, scrappy, tight-knit group

  • Passion and love for games

Ideally, you have (but not required):

  • 3+ years experience developing combat systems or combat-related features for live games

  • Hands-on experience with and strong understanding of Unreal, in particular the Gameplay Ability System (GAS)

  • Strong understanding of virtual world economies, player psychology, and motivations, emergent gameplay scenarios, etc.

  • Experience with online multiplayer systems and networking, in particular replication

  • Knowledge of other programming languages (e.g., Python, C+ etc.)


  • An office! We believe in the creative power of working in person. Our schedule is Tues-Thurs in-office, Monday, Friday WFH (optional)

  • Comprehensive Medical, Dental, Vision

  • Open paid-time-off policy with a minimum enforced by the company. We trust you to take time off when you need it

  • Competitive salaries that value your experience and dedication

  • Stock options in an early stage startup. We want you to be motivated to stick with us for the long haul

  • Relocation assistance, and immigration where applicable

Notorious is  an early-stage startup!

  • While Notorious offers competitive salaries on average, our compensation is undermarket from what you'll find at the top, larger, established AAA studios. The way in which we make up for this is by offering equity. This has potential for high rewards, but also a risk of failure if we don't achieve our mission.

  • In order to suceed at a startup, we must be Hardcore, Work with a Sense of Urgency and be All-in. If you feel like you're in the stage of your career where you either want to move fast and learn a lot of new things or capitalize on all of your experience you've learned in your long career, this can be for you. However, startups are not for the feint of heart -- you have to be okay with self-managing yourself, wearing multiple hats (or roles) and embracing the chaos of uncertainty. 

  • Notorious does not have a "bonus" compensation structure, and instead pays in pure salary as we believe bonuses can sometimes incentize the wrong behaviors.

  • Notorious uses geopay when determining salaries. This means that colleagues are compensated based on the cost of living in their geographic location.

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