The halls of Storm8 are teeming with many talented individuals. Among them are some incredibly colorful personalities who liven the days and make the time spent working seem to fly right by. Enter Jesse Wood, preeminent Graphics Lead/Architect and one of Storm8’s original gangstas! We managed to catch up with him for a sit-down, in which we learn about wearing many hats, acts of heroism, and who shot first.
So we asked around and could NOT get a straight answer: what exactly do you do here?
A few things: I helped develop Storm8’s OpenGL based graphics engine, spearheaded research into developing on Android, created a suite of tools to help improve our content pipeline, led a team to develop our first suite of casual games, grew and led our graphics team. And every day, most importantly, I help with fine-tuning our HR policy. In my own way.
Impressive. How did you initially connect with Storm8?
Life was basically perfect - gainfully self-employed on the east coast while working at my favorite coffee shop nestled between two women’s colleges - except for all of the snow. So while perusing on the web I responded to an interesting west coast Craigslist work post. A half hour later I was talking with the CEO on the phone about flying over for an interview. Two weeks later I moved all of my stuff into storage and hugged my family and friends goodbye. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I’ve accomplished a lot and Storm8 has been an awesome company to work for.
Can you tell us about any of the projects you’re currently working on?
I’m always working on improving performance and building new features into our game engine, designing tools to improve workflow, helping teams solve graphics or algorithms problems, growing my team, and thinking of how to keep Storm8 competitive into the future.
So yeah, I guess that’s a no.
What’s a typical office day like for you?
I usually say hi to my team in the morning, then make a bee line for Paul, one of our engineers. He shot me in a sensitive area with a Nerf gun about a year ago, and I’ve been nailing him on a regular basis ever since. He cowers in a fetal position every time I walk past him now. Great start to the day.
After that, I spend most of my time between working on features, delegating tasks, mentoring, having meetings, doing code reviews, helping teams with various programming problems, solving design problems for upcoming games, and collaborating with the art or product team.
So what do tech-savants like you enjoy doing in their spare time?
I like to do Aikido, salsa dancing, write music, and build robots to chase my cat. I’m also a shameless Dr. Who fan - I once hugged someone who hugged someone who hugged David Tennant. It was like hugging Mr. Tennant himself.
Friendly! We’ve heard rumors that you recently had a heroic experience on public transportation. Care to elaborate?
A mob of teenagers was beating the daylights out of a homeless woman at the BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit] station, and a crowd of people was standing there just watching it happen, waiting for someone to act. Not wanting to be mindless spectator, I jumped into the fray and broke it up. Shortly afterwards, I helped a young lady who’d fallen asleep not miss her stop. I actually had to run over to her before the doors closed!
What’s the best thing you’ve ever done in the office?
I sprained my foot jumping off the side of the main stairwell while trying to freak someone out. I tried it again a few days later.
Tenacity in everything you do, it seems. Nice work.
Care to work with an incredible company making awesome games? Are you capable of heroic feats both in and out of the office? Would you like to hug someone who hugged someone who hugged someone who hugged David Tennant? You can do it all here with us at Storm8! See what positions we’re currently hiring for at our website, or check out some spotlights of positions below. This week, we’re highlighting openings for UI Engineer, Outsourcing Producer, Bus Dev, Technical Recruiter, and Software Engineer.
- A passionate UI Engineer with a unique blend of technical and a designer eye.
- Experience with Objective-c, Java, and xCode a huge plus.
- Photoshop skills are a plus.
- Experience with Mobile/Social gaming.
- A good knowledge of game usability and design.
- An undergraduate degree, preferably in Computer Science or Digital Media/Art.
- Ability to multi-task & juggle multiple projects.
- Effectively manage a project from concept to completion in a timely manner.
- A strong communicator and team-player who collaborates and helps others.
- Passionate about front-end development and design.
- Design and implement scalable, reliable, and maintainable technologies for our gaming platforms.
- Code and develop features such as in-app purchase and animations.
- Promote code maintainability, extensibility, and reusability.
- Enforce code quality through code reviews and unit tests.
- Aggressively collect, analyze, and respond to data related to product performance.
- Collaborate closely with engineering, product, graphics, and game design teams to define our next generation games.
- Ability to solve complex problems with simple and optimal solutions.
- Jedi coding abilities; writing clean, maintainable, bug-free code.
- Ability to learn different technologies and programming languages quickly.
- Strong empathy for users.
- Game development experience is a plus.
- B.S. Computer Science or equivalent quantitative field preferred.
- Manage full cycle recruiting process for Engineering and Technical roles ensuring a smooth and positive candidate experience.
- Work with recruiting and HR team to develop, implement and execute hiring strategy.
- Collaborate with internal clients to understand their hiring needs and goals.
- Screen resumes and interview qualified candidates ensuring a smooth process through offer and candidate close.
- Facilitate interview and hiring discussions with interviewers and hiring managers.
- Drive offer process - including extending offers, closing candidates, and generating offer letters.
- Work with Human Resources team to on-board new hires.
- Act as an internally and externally-facing representative of Storm8.
- Passionate about gaming and able to speak to Storm8 technology/industry.
- 2-3 years technical recruiting or sourcing experience for a search firm or in-house recruiting team.
- Patient, communicative team player that is detail oriented and has outstanding interpersonal skills.
- Experience partnering with managers, interviewers, and team members throughout the hiring process.
- Willingness to work flexible hours as needed.
- Broad knowledge of programming languages, web technologies, software development process and emerging technologies.
- Experience sourcing SW Engineering, Operations and IT Engineers.
- Partner closely with Art Director, Lead Artists and Production team to help define, build and maintain a strong outsourcing pipeline.
- Help create tools and workflows to aid in outsourcing process.
- Partner with multiple outsourcing clients to ensure healthy pipeline and strong relationships.
- Review and organize all outsourced art assets.
- Provide feedback to outsourcing teams.
- Maintain quality and standards of all art assets submitted by outsourcing teams.
- BS degree is strongly preferred.
- Ability to thrive in a start-up environment.
- Ability to hit deadlines and work under pressure.
- Excellent written and verbal skills.
- Self motivated and work independently as well as in a team environment.
- Strong understanding of 2D art and Animation.
- Experince with Flash, Photoshop and Illustrator.
- Quick sketching and concept experience.
- Knowledge of design skills, including the effective use of color, form, lighting and composition.
Head of Business Development
- Build and maintain a deep network of contacts in all major mobile gaming markets at a wide variety of companies.
- Nurture and grow relationships with companies to understand their strategic direction to evaluate how they align with Storm8 goals.
- Apply insights and emerging mobile business trends to build the business case for potential deals and partnerships.
- Identify business opportunities through a deep understanding of the mobile gaming industry worldwide.
- Identify opportunities, lead the evaluation process by gathering and presenting relevant data to Executive team to build and support the business case.
- Negotiate the business terms, including revenue sharing, promotional support, development costs for porting, and ongoing product updates.
- Work with legal to prepare contracts that comply with company policies and protect Storm8 IP.
- Track and communicate progress on deal closure and performance after execution.
- Demonstrated and current understanding of the mobile gaming industry worldwide. Prior experience working in a high-growth, gaming companies a plus.
- 2+ years of experience in the mobile gaming industry.
- Extensive knowledge of legal contracts and negotiating techniques.
- Successful track record of building profitable business relationships.
- Ability to promote Storm8 effectively to industry leaders and potential partners worldwide.
- Exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to develop strong working relationships internally and externally
- Excellent communicator, both verbal and written.
- Experience pitching and presenting.
- Ability to work closely with product development teams.