A project is imminent, and Torpex Games is looking for more coders to join the team. You could be one of those coders!
I've got to tell you, working at a small company, and watching it grow, is the bomb. Being in that first tier, Tier One, of employees is great - and not just because of the possible upside later. In the early days, you can all go out to lunch together - at the same restaurant. When there's a problem, the whole team chips in and solves it. There's a flat org chart - you don't have to report to a boss who reports to a boss who reports to a boss.
The main thing, though is you're helping to form that company's culture - you become part of its genetic code. You feel like you really make a difference; you feel ownership
We're going to keep the talent bar high at Torpex, through a combination of testing and rigorous interviewing - so if you're up for a challenge, and you want to work with talented peers, get in touch.
As per the book *Hire With Your Head*, which I recommend (though I think it underestimates the value of testing), I'll be very specific in the job description, focusing on performance and results rather than skills or experience:
- Help us ship fun, addictive games on time. We're looking at getting two out the door in 2007 - we aren't going to be doing big-budget games at first - we want to ramp up slowly, so we can be extra-selective about whom we hire. In the long run we'll be back on the big budget titles, though, and if you get in with us now, and you rock, you'll be managing those titles.
- Architect, implement, and improve systems and integrate middleware. We're not going to pigeonhole coders into boxes like "graphics coder" "sound coder" "network coder" "tools coder" - etcetera. You'll pitch in to work on whatever's high priority for that iteration - so you'll have to have skills in multiple areas, and be willing and able to learn new skills in new areas. You'll feel like I did back when I worked on *Die By The Sword* and I worked on the network code, audio, particle systems, GUI, scripting language, AI, and so on - you'll feel like the games are yours.
- Be on par with the rest of the team in both productivity and bug rate. In other words: keep pace with the rest of us, but don't work so fast you get sloppy. This shouldn't be a problem, since studies have shown that careful coders are fast coders. Other studies have shown that there can be a ten-fold or thirty-fold difference in productivity between coders. You guessed it: we only want the people on the high end of the curve.
- Participate in planning and estimation meetings. We're firm believers that the people who do the work should also estimate the work.
- Help us to create and refine the processes and methodology by which we create games, continually improving our productivity and quality.
- Stay current, or ahead of, trends in game and software engineering tech. At first, you'll have a small, recommended reading list - the Torpex canon of programming books - if you haven't read them already. And I'd love to read any books you'd recommend. That's so we can all get on the same page. And then you'll be on your own, but we expect you to keep learning.
More on promotion: although I obviously can't promise that you'll be promoted, we're big fans of promoting from within and giving management training rather than hiring outside leads. So if you rock, you'll get there. If management doesn't appeal to you, you can grow into a technical savant/guru role, where you'll be doing more R&D, more architecture, and more advising. If that doesn't appeal to you, you can grow into a "chief gameplay programmer" role, where you'll be doing lots of prototyping and design - good for the wannabe Sid Meiers and Will Wrights out there.
Also, if you're already a lead or senior programmer or technical director, this is still a good opportunity. Maybe you miss getting in the trenches and writing lots of code, maybe you miss the turnaround time of small projects, maybe you miss the camaraderie of small teams, maybe you want a new kind of challenge. I believe we can work something out where you'll be happy here.
So, if you're interested, send an e-mail to jfristrom - at - torpexgames.com or call 310.529.1593. (Yeah, yeah, I still haven't switched my phone to a Washington prefix yet. One of these days.)
And -- hey -- we're looking for more artists too. Spread the word.