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Virtual Heroes

Raleigh, North Carolina - United States
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Staff Serious Games Designer


Are you passionate about video games? Want to create software that makes a difference? At the Virtual Heroes Division of Applied Research Associates, our goal is to improve your safety, security, and way of life. Join us!

Our Staff Serious Games Designer is an advocate of innovation and creativity. You will work to create, drive, and deliver the overall creative vision of software products spanning across a wide variety of subject matter topics including commercial, healthcare, and military. In this role you will lead the design team, collaborate with the development team (Design, Art, Programming, QA, and Production), as well as external clients and subject matter experts (SME’s) to conceptualize, document and implement core gameplay concepts, systems, and content across multiple projects. You will also support proposal writing and face-to-face design pitches when necessary.

The ideal candidate must be a highly experienced designer with strong design sense, leadership skills, and a thorough understanding of games and gameplay mechanics. We are seeking a candidate that will approach design holistically and must have the ability to take complex learning objectives and embed them into functional, interactive designs.

Why Work For Us?

  • The opportunity to make a real impact. Virtual Heroes has been making quality serious games for fifteen years. Everyone who works here is important, from new faces to those who have worked here since the beginning. Your contribution matters—you won’t be just a number!
  • Flexible, reasonable hours. We encourage all employees to have a good work/life balance. We do not believe in burning you out! We invest in our people and want you to be happy with us for the long-haul.
  • Competitive salaries and outstanding benefits. We provide generous retirement contributions; medical, dental, and vision coverage; company-paid life and long-term disability insurance; and annual performance bonuses.

Staff Serious Games Designer Responsibilities:

  • Design compelling gameplay, scenarios and encounters that incorporate training, learning and practice
  • Conceptualize, create and maintain detailed game design documentation throughout the project cycle that meets design, artistic and technical requirements
  • Document detailed software mechanics, software progression and interface flow
  • Work with clients to define their vision while keeping projects in line with the company objective
  • Communicate product vision to the development team by participating in meetings, reviews, and planning
  • Forecast the ramifications of decisions made during the preproduction phase while ensuring that the design vision extends throughout the development process
  • Adjust design and implement changes to the game based on feedback from the development team, SME’s, and end-users
  • Assist in the creation of product proposals and presentations
  • Champion the professional development of the design staff and ensure that our studio continues to employ the very best individuals
  • Inspire, motivate and mentor team members in best practices, processes, and procedures while promoting a collaborative production environment

Staff Serious Games Designer Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in related field or equivalent training along with 2-4 years of experience in game development or design-related field. Equivalent professional experience (at least 8 years) will be considered for talented candidates without a degree
  • Candidates selected may be subject to a government security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information
  • Local to Raleigh, North Carolina, or willing to relocate. This position also supports remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Passion to explore how games and interactive technology can positively affect training and education
  • Ability to organize and prioritize work effectively
  • Ability to communicate effectively with all levels throughout the organization and have strong working relationships within all levels of the organization

Staff Serious Games Designer Preferred Skills:

  • Experience working with the Unreal game engine, scripting languages and/or designer tools
  • Strong grasp of game balancing and system design principles
  • Familiar with interactive teaching and learning methods, including instructional design
  • Experience leading and managing teams
  • Experience writing product proposals
  • Experience with audio editing and creation software
  •  Aptitude for multitasking as well as quickly comprehending and assimilating new ideas, software, and technologies 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Proficiency with the Microsoft Office suite (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook)
  • Familiarity with Photoshop, Visio, and Sketch Up

About Us:

 At Virtual Heroes, we leverage simulation and digital-games-based paradigms to create applications that teach critical skills. As a division of Applied Research Associates (ARA), we work with scientists and engineers of many disciplines and diverse backgrounds to enhance the creativity and innovation of the mission-critical solutions we provide to our customers.

ARA is an employee-owned international research and engineering company recognized for providing technically superior solutions to complex and challenging problems. Founded in Albuquerque, NM in 1979, ARA currently employs over 1200 professionals and is rapidly growing. Our culture supports our exceptional staff of valued employees and encourages professional growth through continued higher education, participation and publication at technical conferences, and membership in professional organizations. As an ARA employee, you are encouraged to generate new ideas and bring those ideas to life. ARA offers competitive salaries (DOE) and outstanding benefits including stock ownership, medical and dental coverage, long-term disability insurance, life insurance, a 401(k) profit-sharing plan, and annual bonuses. For additional information and an opportunity to join this unique workplace, please visit our website at

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