Join Toontown's New Game Design Team!
Posted by The Toontown Team on February 15, 2020 at 3:30 PM
Hello again, Toontown! My name is Joey, though you may better know me by my wacky character from the Toontown Blog: Sir Max. Some of you may have heard that after 6½ years of running the Public Relations Team here at Toontown Rewritten, I've passed that torch into great gloves, and will be shifting my focus to full-time Creative Direction.
This post is to tell you a little bit more about what that means for Toontown, and to introduce a brand new department of our team that needs YOUR help: The Game Design Team!
What is Game Design?
Game Design, in essence, focuses on designing the content and rules of a game. Game Designers work alongside artists, programmers, sound designers, and other team members to create a unified vision for how all of these things come together to make a game fun.
Who are the people that decided how much damage a Toontanic deals? Or mapped out the way that ToonTasks work? Or created the rules for Sellbot Field Office minigames? That's right: Game Designers!
Using Toontown's Design Pillars, we help the team plan creative designs for mechanics, systems, balancing, core loops, and all other aspects of gameplay while upholding the creative principles that have made Toontown outrageously fun. Additionally, the Game Design Department processes player feedback, performs data analysis, hosts playtesting sessions, identifies accessibility problems, and more.™
What Qualifications Do I Need?
There are a few different roles on the Game Design Team that require different responsibilities, which we'll talk about in a moment. Game Designers don't necessarily have to be artists, programmers, or sound designers themselves these days -- but any of these additional skills are useful!
While the applications below will dive deeper into specific qualifications: The main thing we're looking for with our new Game Design Team is a group of creative people who are excellent collaborators, and who possess deep listening skills to understand the core principles that make Toontown fun. To quote Toontown Online's original Creative Director, Jesse Schell:
"The most important skill for a game designer is listening. [...] By listening, I don’t mean merely hearing what is said. I mean a deeper listening, a thoughtful listening."
What Positions are Available?
There are currently three positions available on the Game Design team. Here's a very brief overview for each. Click on any link to view the application and learn more!
- Game Designer
Design, iterate, and playtest game content while upholding the creative principles that have made Toontown outrageously fun. Other responsibilities include processing feedback, hosting playtests, and performing data analysis.
- Level Designer
Collaborate with the development team to map out virtual spaces which solve unique challenges that arise in a massively multiplayer environment. No artistic or programming knowledge is required, however we do prefer applicants who have the ability to construct whiteboxed levels in a format that can be imported into Toontown’s game engine, Panda3D.
- UX Designer
Identify accessibility problems and other impediments to the player experience, as well as design user interfaces in collaboration with other team members. Work with our art and programming teams to improve our existing interfaces and create brand new ones.
How Can I Learn More?
If you're interested in any of these positions, you should absolutely apply! We're looking to get this new team together as soon as possible, and the worst thing that can happen is we'll give you some ideas about how to improve with encouragement to apply again in the future.
If you'd like to learn more about Game Design but aren't sure where to start, you're in luck! Toontown Online's original Creative Director, Jesse Schell, literally wrote the book on Game Design. You can learn more about the book and the free app on the Art of Game Design website.
NOTE: Schell Games isn't affiliated with Toontown Rewritten and didn't ask us to advertise Jesse's book. We just really enjoy it, and there are even some stories about Toontown's development in there!
How Does This Change Impact Toontown?
Throughout the many years of Toontown Rewritten's life, I've always had to split my time between creative direction, community management, marketing, programming, team leadership, and all of the other tasks to juggle when serving as one of the leaders of a small volunteer team for a very large online game.
Luckily, the Toontown Rewritten Team is no longer quite so small! Our team is now 80 members strong, and there are finally structures in place that allow me to take some of the weight off of my shoulders by moving away from the marketing & community management side of things. In basic terms, this means that I'll be able to put more of my time towards helping the team move along projects like Sellbot Field Offices, which are scheduled for release this year.
Even with this new time on my hands, however, we can't do it without you! We need your support to keep Toontown growing, whether it's by joining the Game Design Team, a different position, or just by spreading some joy and kindness throughout the Toontown Community.
Thanks for reading this very long post, and thanks for supporting Toontown. We're working hard on new content for 2020, and we can't wait for you to play it!