Creative Director

Redmond, WA, United States

Microsoft is looking for a passionate and talented Creative Director for our new Studio responsible for delivering Microsoft Avatars across all our platforms, from Xbox through to the Modern Workplace.  If you have a yearning to create the future for all our digital selves, through a range of characters and styles, and you have ability to lead a team to produce stunning, high quality, real time interactive 3D embodiments, we would like to talk to you.

We're a growing team.  Our mission is to craft compelling experiences on top of developing hardware technology.  Working with developing tech means you are an agile problem-solver who is not afraid of big challenges.  You will embrace rapidly changing design demands, and tight schedules.   You’ll need to be comfortable with rapid, low-fi execution of ideas as prototypes, while still delivering fully polished, production work.  You need to love engaging directly with our customers (enterprise and consumer), while finding new ways to make Mixed Reality more accessible.   You need to have deep empathy for the end user experience, while designing for a service and platform that scales across a wide set of endpoints, developers and teams integrating with Avatars.   We are very proud of what we've done so far with Avatars over the past 10 years, but we're just getting started and searching for a Creative Director to join the team as we focus on Mixed Reality.

Responsibilities

You will be responsible for pushing the visual and experience bar higher and striving for quality. You will extend the creative limits while helping prove, validate, and extend the technology to keep up with your vision.  This is a hands-on role — you'll need to have a solid understanding of leading 3D software packages, worked on scaled 3D character and content development pipelines, and have shipped multiple games and highly interactive experiences at scale.   To join our team, you should be ready to demonstrate exceptional, clear, communication and problem-solving abilities.   We are looking for someone who can tell compelling stories and bring an audience and team along with their vision.  You must be able to develop your own objectives for your area, charting how you and your team will meet the strategic goals of the project.  An eye for detail, high personal standards for quality, and the ability to deliver these two attributes while committing to deadlines, will help ensure your success on our team.

  • Create the most beautiful and functional Avatar system in the world
  • Embrace and nurture a highly inclusive culture that celebrates diversity in the people you work with and the products you are developing
  • Understand all our customers (consumers, enterprises, and developers) and work closely and regularly with them in person
  • Own, articulate, present and evangelize creative direction of our Avatar experience and platform
  • Direct the work of multiple creative disciplines to achieve outstanding results, while inspiring and mentoring other creatives on the team
  • Create concepts, stories, prototypes, and products that motivate others inside and outside the team
  • Partner with other designers, artists, researchers, program managers, producers, applied scientists, software/service engineers, business, marketing, and pr teams to deliver high-quality experiences from product conception until launch
  • Problem-solve quickly to unblock other teams, while building a learning environment and that empowers the entire team to solve problems
  • Communicate effectively and document research findings, conceptual ideas, detailed design rationales both verbally and visually
  • Work with outsourcing vendors to bolster the output of the in-house creative team and leverage specialty talent we otherwise don’t always have access to
  • Ensure creative team is focused on optimizing for performance and scalability as well as quality

Qualifications

REQUIRED

  • 12+ years of creative experience working on interactive and gaming experiences
  • At least 5+ years of experience working with and/or developing a character focused program for 2 or more published interactive titles or AR/VR experiences
  • Up to date on the latest methods, innovations and technologies related to VR and AR character creation
  • Demonstrated experience with 3D Modeling programs such as Maya, Modo, XSI, ZBrush, Mudbox etc.
  • Up to date on the latest design and technology trends, especially as applied to Character and Mixed Reality applications
  • Demonstrated history of managing an creative team of varying skills and specialties
  • Ability to understand different disciplines and deliver input on Animation, Structures, Characters, Lighting, and Technical Art
  • Experience working with scan data is big plus
  • Great listening skills, with an empathetic, and team-oriented approach to design
  • Ability to take part and lead in the review cycle, and drive experiential, technical and content requirements and achieve consensus
  • Ability to make complex areas understandable, demonstrate passion and leadership, and strong presentation skills
  • Self-motivated and disciplined

Portfolio, Demo Reel Requirements

  • Craftsmanship
  • Design Fundamentals
  • Breadth of creative styles, demonstrable experience in Stylized (vs. Photographic) characters
  • Conceptual design / Production Design

 

We value diversity at Microsoft. Improving the contribution of every individual allows us to infuse diverse thought as a natural part of the way we innovate.

Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances.  We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via the Accommodation request form.

 

Benefits/perks listed below may vary depending on the nature of your employment with Microsoft and the country where you work.

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