Back to All Jobs

Lead Designer

Harmonix is looking for a Lead Designer to join us in creating innovative music games. This is an opportunity to join the Harmonix team and contribute to our next generation of super rad and groundbreaking music game experiences.

As Lead Designer you will collaborate with the Creative Lead to create and develop the overall vision of the project, and will be responsible for all aspects of gameplay and game design. This includes the design team’s creative goals, as well as the planning, scoping, scheduling and execution against those goals. The Lead Designer is also responsible for managing and mentoring design team members towards high-quality design output, high professional standards and continued career and skills growth. Ultimately, the Lead Designer is accountable for the design quality of the game on-screen, the manner of its execution, and the project-level success of each individual on the design team.


  • Collaborate directly with other disciplines and the Creative Lead to create a shared project vision.
  • Creates and maintains a cohesive gameplay design vision, aligned with the project vision.
  • Communicates and champions the design vision to all disciplines and empowers all members of the design team to work toward this vision through their contributions to the project.
  • Exhibits an expertise in several design fundamentals such as level design, gameplay systems, macrogame design, balance, tuning, player feedback, play testing process, prototyping, control feel, AI design, gameplay progression, tutorials, etc.
  • Serves as an expert for all aspects of the game's current design and how each aspect relates to and supports the overall creative vision.
  • Exhibits exemplary written communication skills, especially in regards to design documentation. Sets documentation standards, such as system specs, level briefs, creative goal statements and direction documents. Employs visual communication tools where appropriate to reach the widest possible audience.
  • Drives prototyping / ideation process toward concrete goals and outcomes. Evaluates prototypes against project goals and recommends next steps of continued exploration, new directions or feature decisions.
  • Builds deep understanding of previous and current relevant games that can inform current project as reference. Educates the full project team in these other games and how they might inform creative or technical approaches and problem solving.
  • Maintains understanding of all internal design tools and technology. Actively researches other tools, engines and workflows to improve internal process and tools. Evaluates design aspects of middleware and makes recommendations.
  • Delegates ownership of discrete sub-sections of design and design process to sub-leads and other designers. Empowers design staff with enough support, trust and autonomy to succeed in all assigned tasks.


  • Minimum of 3 years’ experience in the game industry as a Senior Designer or Lead Designer (5 years preferred)
  • Minimum of 3 shipped titles
  • Must have intimate knowledge of game design, theory, and execution
  • Familiarity with and passion for music games
  • Excellent written and verbal communication, documentation skills and the ability to convey abstract concepts
  • Ability to think logically with a strong level of attention to detail
  • Experience with rapid prototyping
  • Experience with agile development methodologies, e.g. scrum, preferred
  • Experience programming or scripting game prototypes a plus
  • Passionate about music -- musicians preferred!

Harmonix Music Systems is an equal opportunity employer. EOE/M/F/D/AAP