Certain Affinity

Certain Affinity (CA) was founded in 2006 with the goal of creating innovative, top-quality action games. Certain Affinity brings an experienced, talented group together to form one of the largest independent developers in Austin, Texas.

The company’s 125 full-time employees include veterans from dozens of successful game studios. Max Hoberman, CA’s founder, serves as President and Creative Director. A 10-year veteran of Bungie, Max was one of the key people responsible for the success of the Halo franchise, having led efforts to bring the game online as Multiplayer, Interface, and Online lead for both Halo 2 and Halo 3.

The studio has gone on to ship 22 products, which when combined have sold more than 75 million copies. Notable releases include co-development on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, DOOM, Call of Duty: World at War and Call of Duty: Black Ops, downloadable competitive and cooperative content for Halo: Reach, Halo Anniversary and Halo 4–the best and fastest-selling game in the franchise–as well as the original strategy game Age of Booty and original action role playing game Crimson Alliance.

Certain Affinity’s rare exposure to so many top-tier developers, publishers, and franchises has helped the company build a world-class team ready for the industry’s next generation of games.

Certain Affinity Austin, TX, USA
19 Feb, 2018
Full time
Senior Technical Producer Would you like to work on some of the greatest franchises in gaming history? How about more than one? Certain Affinity is an exclusive Austin studio comprised of a tightly-knit group of experienced industry veterans committed to a solid work/life balance. We’ve co-developed multiple products for the Call of Duty and Halo franchises, and we’ve launched a few of our own games as well. As a Senior Technical Producer at Certain Affinity, you’ll help contribute to multiple game teams. The Senior Technical Producer will be responsible for guiding our engineering resources to deliver a high-quality product on time and budget while helping to promote a collaborative, results oriented environment. If you have project management and scheduling experience, are eager to make an impact, motivated to support the needs of both development teams and external partners, and are open new challenges, we’d like to hear from you. Responsibilities Work with the Project Teams, Studio Production Director, Studio Technical Director, and technical leads to formulate, drive, and maintain the engineering development schedule Responsible for driving Certain Affinity’s platform team, shared engine team, and game engineering teams to deliver high quality features within time and budget constraints Assess and prioritize technical needs from across the studio, communicating conflicts and working with appropriate stakeholders to resolve them as needed Establishes and drives processes and solutions to improve efficiency and communication within the technical teams Facilitate communication, ensure timely dissemination of information to technical teams and company overall Communicate project development status to senior management and business team Coordinate with Quality Assurance department for product testing cycles Requirements At least five years of project management experience in game development Shipped at least one+ AAA console title in a Producer or Senior Producer role Familiarity with Platform and cloud-based services Familiarity with engineering development with Unreal Engine Experience building high functioning, quality-driven teams Excellent verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, and scheduling skills Strong time management skills with ability to multitask across disciplines, assess risk, define priorities, and resolve problems while meeting deadlines Deep knowledge of game development – team dynamics, common development hurdles, game engines, development milestones, etc. Strong working knowledge of at least one bug tracking software solution and MS Office Motivated self-starter with a strong work ethic and positive attitude Works well within an open, highly collaborative environment Extra Credit Experience with FPS titles Experience running an online game as part of a Live team Familiarity with Agile and other traditional project management methodologies Knowledge of programming languages including Python, C#, C++, Go Hands-on development experience in any development area – art, design, programming, QA, etc. College degree in related field preferred such as Computer Science, Computer Graphic Art, or Business Management
Certain Affinity Austin, TX, USA
19 Feb, 2018
Full time
Senior Producer Would you like to work on some of the greatest franchises in gaming history? How about more than one? Certain Affinity is an exclusive Austin studio comprised of a tightly-knit group of experienced industry veterans committed to a solid work/life balance. We’ve co-developed multiple products for the Call of Duty and Halo franchises, and we’ve launched a few of our own games as well. As a Senior Producer at Certain Affinity, you’ll help run one of our game teams. The Senior Producer will be responsible for guiding this team to deliver a high quality product on time and budget while helping to promote a collaborative, results oriented environment. If you have project management and scheduling experience, are eager to make an impact, motivated to support the needs of both development teams and external partners, and are open new challenges, we’d like to hear from you. Responsibilities Overall ownership of key components of a AAA console project Responsible for delivering high quality game on time and within budget Collaborate with department leads to build a high-functioning team Cultivate and manage relationship with external partners to help ensure good cross-studio environment Motivate and maintain creativity and cohesion within that team Work with department leads to maintain long term project plan Create and foster daily team practices and process to make sure long term plan is on track Facilitate team communication, ensure timely dissemination of information to team and company overall Communicate project development status to senior management and business team Coordinate with Quality Assurance department for product testing cycles, including usability testing Requirements At least five years of project management experience in game development Shipped at least one+ AAA console titles in a Producer or Senior Producer role Experience building high functioning, quality-driven teams Excellent verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, and scheduling skills Strong time management skills with ability to multitask across disciplines, assess risk, define priorities, and resolve problems while meeting deadlines Deep knowledge of game development – team dynamics, common development hurdles, game engines, development milestones, etc Strong working knowledge of at least one bug tracking software solution and MS Office Motivated self-starter with a strong work ethic and positive attitude Works well within an open, highly collaborative environment Extra Credit Experience with online multiplayer games and/or FPS titles Familiarity with Agile and other traditional project management methodologies Hands-on development experience in any development area – art, design, programming, QA, etc College degree in related field preferred such as Computer Science, Computer Graphic Art, or Business Management
Certain Affinity Austin, TX, USA
19 Feb, 2018
Full time
Senior Engineer You dream in binary and want to work on high-profile projects with seasoned industry vets. Your code is efficient and adaptable, and so are you. That’s why Certain Affinity wants you to be one of our senior engineers. So what are you waiting for? Let’s make some games together that people will be playing for years to come! Responsibilities Act as the primary technical architect and implementer of one or more game systems Collaborate effectively with other disciplines, providing technical input for decision making that concerns multiple disciplines Debug and troubleshoot problems in unfamiliar code through careful analysis Requirements At least 5 years progressively complex related experience Proficiency in reading and writing C / C++ Experience working with a large, established code base Able to complete complex tasks with minimal supervision A jack of all trades: Competency across many game systems including UI, tools, gameplay, and rendering Comfortable working with and improving complex data pipelines Passion for making fun games Extra Credit Console action game experience Expert knowledge in rendering technology, tools, UI, animation, physics, networking, or sound Experience in art tools such as Max, Maya, or Modo Experience with server and database technologies for web services, stat-tracking, build infrastructure, and dedicated servers Impressive demo / samples of previous work
Certain Affinity Austin, TX, USA
19 Feb, 2018
Full time
Senior Database Engineer Games need to store data, and lots of it. This is where your passion for gaming can match up with your skill set! We are looking for a database engineer who will be responsible for designing, deploying, and maintaining SQL and NoSQL based infrastructures in support of high volume, complex data transactions for specific services or groups of services. The position will report to the Director of Platform Engineering and will primarily work with Engineers, and Producers and focus on designing, building and deploying high availability, robust, resilient and supportable database solutions. With a focus on the infrastructure and operational elements of designing and deploying a database solution, the Senior Database Engineer must ensure the databases are highly available, have sufficient capacity in place and are fully resilient across multiple data centers and cloud architectures. Responsibilities Manage SQL and NoSQL databases in Development/QA/Production environments including installation, configuration, backup, recovery, replication, upgrades, schema changes, etc Perform database health monitoring and diagnostics Integrate monitoring, auditing, and alert systems for databases with existing monitoring infrastructure Design, implement, maintain and automate the appropriate backup and recovery architecture as required Occasional off-shift availability to resolve live service issues or assist in deployments. On-call duties will be shared within the operations team Work closely with other members of the operations team, mentor others in your areas of expertise, and be an active contributing member of the company as a whole Responsible for system performance and reliability Responsible for databases dealing with overall operating system Responsible for developing backup and recovery procedures for database environments Maintain up-to-date knowledge of database administration and applies these developments to other major projects and initiatives Meticulous attention to detail with an appreciation for the relationship between database/system reliability and company success. Ensure proactive engagement in Incident Management process, working with Operational teams to minimize the impact of database outages Work with teams to drive knowledge into the Operations Center to improve ‘First Contact’ resolution and reduce Mean Time To Resolve (MTTR) for database incidents Build positive working relationships across departments and with own team members Present or makes recommendations on best practices regarding data management, data architecture, and data design Requirements 5+ years experience as DBA 2+ years of production DBA experience with SQL and NoSQL experience Experience working in production environments requiring 99.99% availability Previous experience deploying, administrating, tuning, monitoring, and maintaining database technologies including but not limited to; Familiarity with using enterprise ticketing systems and resolution Previous success with at least one deployment tool (CVS, Subversion, Clearcase and Puppet) Strong technical background in three or more of the following technologies (must include database administration): Operating Systems: Redhat Linux, CentOS Solid experience in database tuning, design, security, backup, recovery, and archival concepts and procedures Understand the interaction between the database and the SAN. Knowledge of SAN specific database tuning techniques. Experience with hot backups through SAN snapshot technology Experience with monitoring systems (Nagios Professional, Prometheus, etc…) Experience deploying and managing SQL and NoSQL databases on cloud infrastructure Familiarity with ETL processes and operations Excellent communication skills including the ability to effectively communicate with technical, non-technical employees and vendors Strong problem solving, testing, and network troubleshooting skills Extra Credit Certification as Couchbase DBA (CS300)
Certain Affinity Austin, TX, USA
19 Feb, 2018
Full time
Studio Design Director Would you like to work on some of the greatest franchises in gaming history? Certain Affinity is an exclusive Austin studio; we’re a tight-knit group of experienced industry veterans working at an entirely independent company. We’ve co-developed games in the Call of Duty, Halo, and Left 4 Dead franchises, and are now creating a compelling original IP and a premium licensed IP game of our own. As Studio Design Director you will serve as advocate for, and manager and mentor of Certain Affinity’s design staff studio-wide including Systems, Tech, Level, Social, UI/UX, and Monetization design. You will provide a project-agnostic voice for the design team to the company’s executive leaders, advocating for the team’s needs and serving as a conduit between the team and other departments. You will help members of the design team at every level with skills development and career guidance, and grow the team by finding and mentoring new members. Ultimately you will play an essential role in helping an exceptionally talented and unusually professional group of designers transition from co-developer to lead developer and IP creator. Come make great games with us! Please review job description and along with completing application please submit a cover letter that includes: Your views on where you stand relative to the various responsibilities in the job description What experience from your resume is applicable Where are you most experienced & least experienced Where are your strengths and weaknesses regarding this role Responsibilities Team Building Identify and recruit design talent at all levels and oversee onboarding and integration of new team members Promote company values within the department and collaboration across departments Develop and promote a strong design-focused culture that encourages creativity and uses an objective, analytical approach to creative problem solving Professional Development Institute a framework for coaching, mentoring, and education for continued skills development Develop career ladders and other growth resources for all disciplines within the department Ensure managers are providing regular, quality feedback and oversee quarterly and annual feedback and reviews Mentor across all levels, and outside of the discipline, where appropriate, on design quality, processes, and best practices Optimization and Efficiency Ensure Designers are helping each other and collaborating across projects Promote the development and adoption of repeatable design processes and best practices, including a partnership with QA to promote a playtest-driven culture Drive identification, trial, and adoption of new tools and techniques that improve efficiency and quality of player experience Management and Leadership Partner with department leads across all projects, providing support as they manage their teams and solving issues as a collaborative, well-aligned design management team Manage the top-level leaders in the department, including project-level leads and shared service leads Develop succession plans, manage risk, and identify growth opportunities for future leaders Leverage the design team to contribute to game idea inception and articulation of the user experience vision for new products Backfill as a Design Lead when necessary Promotion Advocate for the department, communicating successes, challenges, and points of view and championing consistent processes Promote the company externally, with emphasis on the talent and accomplishments of its designers Requirements 10+ years overall design experience and 5+ years running a design team that has shipped multiple AAA console and PC titles A strong eye for fun and engaging gameplay with an ability to critically but respectfully dissect work and suggest ways to improve it Expertise and understanding of the entire development process Knowledge of game engine technology Experience mitigating and resolving risks Excellent communication skills (verbal and written) and time and project management skills. Highly organized, detail oriented, self-directed, and capable of instilling that characteristic in others Ability to multi-task and handle many discrete tasks at once without losing focus on any individual items and without missing a stride Understanding of technical constraints and budgets in games and proven ability to work within them A solution-oriented change agent accustomed to accountability and driving improvement within organizations, with examples to share outlining improved team dynamics and performance within diverse environments A diplomatic leader able to have crucial, and at times sensitive, conversations An inspirational leader who can “rally the troops” and seize opportunities through improved communication and organization A strategic thinker with excellent analytical and implementation skills Extra Credit Experience working, partnering and fostering productive relationships with established brands and IP holders Experience with free to play games and/or games as a service Previous experience as a game director or creative director Deep understanding of world design, cinematics, or narrative design Experience with UE4 Avid gamer on multiple platforms
Certain Affinity Austin, TX, USA
19 Feb, 2018
Full time
Senior Monetization Designer Do you smile and nod respectfully when a game has brilliant in-game purchases that fill players with joy? Are you a nerd for economics, player psychology AND games? Do you hate the term “whale”? Are you excited when you uncover an intriguing new product opportunity from the depths of your game’s analytics? Certain Affinity is looking for a top-notch Monetization Designer that can perfectly balance our gameplay and business goals. Work with our internal teams in a highly collaborative, fast-paced environment to craft systems and game play that drives player purchases though enjoyment – not evil. Responsibilities Work closely with the team’s system designers to ensure the meta-game and inner-loop facilitate a fun player-experience, while also achieving the required business goals Design, test, and tweak player progression/rewards with a focus on character customization Work with the team’s engineers to ensure the correct individual metrics are integrated, and the overall analytics framework properly supports live-ops Oversee the development of all player transactions Work with the marketing team to ensure the game’s user acquisition strategy is ROI positive Draft analytics reports/dashboards for internal and external stake-holders Propose design changes to correct under-performing products or features Collaborate with monetization experts from external publishing partners Maximize LTV and retention through the design and development of events, sales, and other player engagement strategies Manage pricing and probabilities for virtual goods, and balance currencies across all sinks and sources Requirements 3+ years as a monetization designer or similar role in the gaming industry Excellent knowledge of the monetization of free-to-play games Knowledge and understanding of game design fundamentals Strong mathematical and analytical skills Ability to work independently and as part of a team Excellent organization skills and ability to multi-task priorities Strong communication and writing skills Ability to work in a fast-paced and confidential environment Passion for making games with “sticky” player experiences Experience with revenue maximization in both elastic and inelastic economies Extra Credit Bachelors in Finance, Math, Statistics, and/or related field Experience with statistical modeling and forecasting Experience with conducting both random and deterministic A/B testing
Certain Affinity Austin, TX, USA
19 Feb, 2018
Full time
Senior Technical Artist – Rigger Would you like to work on some of the greatest franchises in gaming history? How about more than one? Certain Affinity is an exclusive Austin studio comprised of a tightly-knit group of experienced industry veterans committed to a solid work/life balance. We’re best known for co-developing multiple AAA FPS products, but also work on a few projects of our own, and have very interesting new projects in the works. As a Senior Technical Artists (Rigger) at Certain Affinity, you’ll get the chance to see some of the custom 3D tools and pipelines behind the world’s biggest shooters, and contribute to our own proprietary technology. This role requires an energetic individual to take a hands-on approach to our pipeline management and tools creation for our studio art team. If you have a desire to create world class characters and enjoy technical work, we’d like to hear from you. Responsibilities Collaborate with character artists, animators, and tools programmers to develop animation rigs and pipelines for characters, vehicles, and props Support the modeling and animation teams by advising on topology & deformation, maintaining rigs and pipelines, troubleshooting, and implementing desired functionality Implement and trouble shoot in-game assets Maximize aesthetic quality while respecting and enforcing project performance constraints Research and implement in-engine dynamic solutions such as hair, cloth, ragdolls, etc. Maintain and polish in-engine animation state machine Explore, document, promote and integrate cutting-edge processes and techniques to help keep studio animation quality competitive Seek ways to improve and streamline art pipelines, drive quality, and improve team efficiency Requirements 5+ years experience in rigging and skinning characters, creatures, vehicles, and props Expert-level proficiency with Autodesk Maya Possesses an approachable, customer-oriented demeanor Strong communication skills and desire to collaborate with art, design and engineering Experienced in ramping up an animation team in a variety of engines and toolsets Strong knowledge of facial rigging and deformation Mastery of Python scripting for extending content creation tools and automating tasks Experience with performance capture systems within Motionbuilder Extra Credit Animation key-framing Experience in Unreal Engine 4 Knowledge of C++ or C# Experience writing Maya plug-ins
Certain Affinity Austin, TX, USA
19 Feb, 2018
Full time
Senior Character Artist Would you like to work on some of the greatest franchises in gaming history? How about more than one? Certain Affinity is an exclusive Austin studio comprised of a tightly-knit group of experienced industry veterans committed to a solid work/life balance. We’re best known for co-developing multiple AAA FPS products, but also work on a few projects of our own, and have very interesting new projects in the works. Certain Affinity is seeking a talented Senior Character Artist to join our team and help make great games. The job will require working closely with designers, engineers and artists to create convincing, visually stunning game characters and creatures for an unannounced AAA title. The position requires a strong sense of design, color theory and understanding of anatomy mixed with video game art production methods. You also must be able to mentor artists and help continue to grow art to the next level. If you enjoy the challenge of building a wide variety of stunning characters and creatures – apply now! Responsibility Create high resolution photo realistic 3D sculpts of organic/hard surface characters/creatures/weapons/props Ensure consistency and quality of own work Create art that is focused on performance as well as quality Receive feedback and modify work based on direction Collaborate with concept artists and art direction to create high quality characters and creatures Work with the Art Director, the Lead Character Artist and the Character Team in technical/aesthetic problem-solving efforts Work closely with other departments to ensure art supports a gameplay-first player experience Support Art Director and Lead Character Artist in executing on visual direction Create models, textures, and other benchmark assets that inspire others Requirements 5+ years of experience making character art for games Shipped a AAA title as a character artist Portfolio showing off your work Incredible communications and interpersonal skills Expertise in character sculpting principles including anatomy, cloth, hard surfaces, weight, and appeal Extensive fine art background and a strong understanding of color, anatomy, and structure/silhouette in respect of modeling Basic understanding of rigging and articulation and how it can influence deformation Strong understanding of facial anatomy and how it applies to facial animation, etc. Proficiency with Photoshop, 3d Modeling programs such as Max, Maya, XSI, ZBrush, Substance Designer, Mudbox etc. Solid knowledge of current high end real-time character creation and the ability to take us into the future High attention to detail and the ability to faithfully translate concepts and ideas Work with Art Director, Lead Character Artist and Character Team in technical/aesthetic problem-solving efforts Experience with creating PBR materials Passion and ability to work as a positive, collaborative, enthusiastic, ambitious and contributing team member with a real desire work with the team to find solutions Extra Credit Experience in Unreal Editor 4 Shader Authoring Experience Animation or Rigging Experience FX Experience Concept or Illustration Experience Blueprint Experience in Unreal
Certain Affinity Austin, TX, USA
19 Feb, 2018
Full time
Senior Technical Artist – Pipeline Would you like to work on some of the greatest franchises in gaming history? How about more than one? Certain Affinity is an exclusive Austin studio comprised of a tightly-knit group of experienced industry veterans committed to a solid work/life balance. Certain Affinity is the largest independent game developer in Austin, TX. We are the go-to development partner on top tier games like Halo, Call of Duty, DOOM and more. In addition, we are now working our own original IPs. As a Senior Technical Artist at Certain Affinity, you’ll get the chance to see some of the custom 3D tools and pipelines behind the world’s biggest shooters, and contribute to our own proprietary technology. This role reports to the Technical Art Lead, and requires an energetic individual to take a hands-on approach to our pipeline management and tools creation for our studio art team. If you’ve done some compelling tools and technical work, are eager to make an impact, able to wear multiple hats, and are open new challenges, we’d like to hear from you. Responsibilities Develop custom workflows using scripts and coded tools solutions for art team Maintain integrity of art pipelines by identifying inefficiencies and recommending and implementing improvements Troubleshoot key pipeline issues and solve core problems in cooperation with development team Support the technical art needs of our client-facing project requirements and partner expectations Facilitate technical art communication across disciplines by providing clear and constructive feedback and guidance Collaborate with a diverse team to promote innovation and refine the visual quality of our games Requirements 5+ years game industry experience, 3+ specifically in a technical artist role Shipped 1+ AAA title as a Technical Artist Tech-fluency in at least one development language, such as Python, MEL, C# or C++ Expert-level familiarity with Autodesk Maya Experience working in multiple 3D game engines Experience working on wide range of tech art projects, in terms of art tools, graphics engines and game hardware Expert-level familiarity with developing tools for environment art creation and workflow Experience developing pipelines including Substance Designer, Substance Painter, or Houdini Able to present (internally and externally) clear vision of how work addresses problems and requirements Excellent communication, documentation and organizational skills Extra Credit Broad interest in real-time rendering technologies and art asset creation tools Able to script in multiple languages (Python/Pymel, Perl, Lua, MELScript) Experience in managing real-time rendering, run-time analytics, optimization, shaders and materials Able to advise on, research and explore a variety of graphics systems and middleware packages Able to envision creative ways to leverage ideas and technologies, and integrate big picture through multiple mediums Bachelor degree in Computer Science, Graphic Art or related field