We are hiring!

If you are following The Witness blog you may have heard that we are looking for programmers, if not, go check it out.

I’ve been working on The Witness for a bit more than a year. So, I thought it might be a good time to write a bit about my experience so far, in the hope of attracting some talent to join us.

I have to admit that I had many doubts about coming to work at Thekla. I had a comfortable and stable job at NVIDIA, where I was held in high regard. The prospect of joining a small indie studio certainly seemed a lot more uncertain. However, Jon’s confidence in the game he was designing, and in his ability to support a small team during its development was very reassuring.

Work conditions at Thekla match or exceed those at my previous employments. Compensation is competitive and the work environment is extremely flexible. Jon has very high respect for our time and personal needs, I’m sure he would go an extra mile to make sure you are satisfied as well. There are also unusual perks that you would not get anywhere else in the industry.

Not only the benefits are great, but I in addition to that, I get to work on the stuff that I really enjoy. That’s not just the global illumination implementation that I’ve been writing about, but also many other interesting problems in my areas of interest (mesh cleanup, parameterization, optimization, simplification, exporters, image filtering, compression, etc). I get to design our whole production pipeline; how the game, the editor and the modeling tools integrate with each other. I architect and implement most of the engine; its rendering pipeline, the level of detail and streaming systems, the platform abstractions, etc.

I think that we currently have a good foundation. Our main focus has been on quick prototyping. As the codebase became more complex I’ve tried to get things better organized, while still retaining our quick iteration times. Our builds are blazing fast, and the loading times are still fairly quick. The code is also designed to make it easy to prototype new gameplay elements, and while the rendering code has become more rigid, it’s still pretty easy to experiment and add new visual effects.

There’s still plenty of work left to be done, which is why we need an extra hand. The game needs lots of polishing and some optimizations. There are still a few gameplay elements that need to be prototyped, and as we ramp up into production we will probably face unforeseen problems that will need to be addressed. We also plan to port the game to other platforms, some of which might require significant reengineering.

However, for me, this job is not only attractive just because I get to work on cool and challenging problems. The Witness is a game unlike any other. It’s a unique creative opportunity. It’s an opportunity to use my skills to make a difference. To make something unique and valuable. To influence people in positive and meaningful ways.

As you can tell, I’m very excited to be part of it. If you would too, or you just want to learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

4 responses

  1. i’m just curious…
    1.what perks do you get by working with jon specifically that you would not get in another team or studio?

    2.why did you leave nvidea to work with jon to work on this game, why was this so compelling are you guys friends?

    • 1.- Jon mentioned this as well in the job posting, but I’m not sure we are talking about the same perks. What I had in mind is that you get to retain some rights over the code you write, which is something unthinkable in most other software companies.
      2.- I did not know Jon personally before our job interview. I left NVIDIA because I wanted to have a job in which I had more freedom to approach and solve problems without the overheads that a large corporation imposes, and have a direct influence over the outcome of the projects I worked on. More importantly, as I explained above, my ideal job is not just about solving challenging problems, it’s about doing something meaningful with my life, and I find it hard to be excited about NVIDIA’s goals or the AAA games that we were pushing forward.

      • Ignacio,

        I realize that this post comes a bit late in the game. I do not know if you guys are still hiring, but I recently sent my CV to Jonathan. I am curious to know if you could tell me what kinds of credentials are actually being sought. The post on The Witness dev blog just says to be good at making games. I like to think that I am good at making games, but when I see your level of industry experience, it makes me think that a successful candidate will also need a similar amount of experience. I have quite a bit of informal experience, but until recently, my career path was not in the video game industry; so I don’t have any industry experience, just projects I have worked on myself.

      • Nathan, I think what matters the most is not the amount of experience, but the quality of that experience. If you have done an amazing job as an indie or in a personal project, I’d find that more valuable than spending 8 years doing uninteresting work at EA.

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