Lead Game Designer, NYT Games | The New York Times | Remote (USA)

Lead Game Designer, NYT Games | The New York Times | Remote (USA)

Remote US
Application ends: October 3, 2024
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Job Description

Mission Overview & Responsibilities:

The New York Times is looking for a Lead Game Designer for the NYT Games portfolio. You will partner with multiple departments to design puzzle games and game systems that delight audiences and further our creative and business goals.

At NYT Games, we aim to be the premier destination for digital puzzle games, and we publish human-made puzzles daily, including beloved games like Wordle, Spelling Bee, Connections, and the New York Times Crossword. Our games are played by tens of millions each week.

The Games team is based in New York City, but we are open to remote candidates.

As a Lead Game Designer, you are a trusted leader who influences the growth of those around you. You’ll collaborate with team members from other disciplines to identify and improve critical aspects of our game experience across iOS, Android, and web platforms. Partnering with UX/UI designers and researchers, you’ll uncover player challenges and use these findings to inform your design decisions. You’ll also work with engineering partners to ensure the quality of shipped features.

This is an individual contributor role focused on proactive collaboration and communication to achieve team goals. You will guide and deliver high-quality game design and features, seeing them through the release cycle and ensuring they meet team goals. You will be a standard-bearer for quality and a trusted partner who influences the growth of those around you.

NYT Games is not a traditional gaming company. We are excited by proactive, consumer-first leaders who leverage their industry experience, pattern-matching, and ability to steer project direction. While prior games/puzzles industry experience is required, you must also uphold essential NYT values like trust, curiosity, and empathy, recognizing that independent journalism is core to everything we do.


  • Design and document systems and requirements for new games, and features (including metagame features) for existing games.
  • Articulate and communicate a consistent vision for game design goals, and keep the Games mission and partnering sub-teams aligned with that vision.
  • Be accountable for engagement and retention goals.
  • Design holistically and with the broader NYT Games aesthetic and style in mind.
  • Use multiple visualization tools to express design concepts, engagement systems, retention mechanics, such that teams can align behind the designs and build.
  • Map out rough flows and interactions, which Product Design can turn into assets for testing and implementation.
  • Develop tuning goals for main systems, and follow development through to validate tuning assumptions.
  • Work with Data and Research to validate designs and instincts, and iterate toward solutions.
  • Demonstrate support and understanding of our value of journalistic independence and a strong commitment to our mission to seek the truth and help people understand the world.
  • You will report to the Product Design Director of Games

Basic Qualifications:

  • 7+ years of experience as a digital game designer or in an adjacent role.
  • Have shipped at least one mobile game with social features that has had commercial success.
  • 7+ years experience leading and communicating a motivating vision, unifying diverse perspectives towards common goals, maintaining team focus on important priorities.
  • Proficiency in multiple digital design and collaboration tools (ex: Figma and Miro,).

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience designing core loops and metagame systems.
  • Proficiency in communicating game design philosophy for developing games and features.
  • Experience with the digital games market.
  • Enthusiasm for word and puzzle games.
  • Understanding of data and qualitative research to inform product and design decisions.
  • Have run lightweight user research methodologies to uncover user insights.