Lead Programmer

Programming & Engineering | The Chinese Room Brighton
Full-Time / Permanent

About The Chinese Room
The Chinese Room has established a reputation as one of the most creative and exciting studios in the UK. We’re proud to be internationally recognised as pioneers of storytelling with a flair for creating atmospheric, rich and imaginative games.
As a Sumo Digital studio, The Chinese Room is built on passion, on finding amazing people and letting them shine. It’s an exciting time to be part of Sumo, winners of the Develop: Star Awards 2019 Best Studio and GI Biz 2020 Best Places to Work; big things are on the horizon and we want you to be part of our continued journey. Join us!
The Chinese Room is made up of a diverse mix of fantastic people, although sometimes, some groups are still under-represented. We are working to remove obstacles that can make it difficult for those groups to progress their careers in the games industry. We welcome applications from under-represented people in the gaming industry, including, but not limited to women, BAME, older people and those from working-class backgrounds.
The Projects
We work on original games, or The Chinese Room spin on selected IPs. Our current projects are first-person action-adventure games for console and PC being developed exclusively using Unreal Engine 5; and we’re looking for world-class coders to join these exciting developments.
If this sounds like fun, then we’d love to hear from you. 
 
What’s the role?
As lead coder, you will be pivotal to the successful realisation and delivery of our next project. In addition to hands-on programming and writing high-quality source code, you'll mentor and develop more junior members of the team, identify and share best practices, drive quality, and champion innovation, simplicity and efficiency. You’ll enable the code team to achieve the highest possible quality product by encouraging best code design practices within the team. You’ll be working closely with the game design team to create compelling gameplay experiences and be able to feel intuitively when the game is fun and entertaining.  You’ll report to the technical director and assist in drawing up policy and best practices for the team to follow.
 
What do we need from you?
You’re an expert coder. You understand the creative processes involved in designing and maintaining good code. You’re a problem solver, you can offer advice to others and help them solve theirs. You enjoy experimenting with the problem space of game design and are able to work with designers to quickly iterate in the exploration of novel ideas.
You’re a great communicator and love working as part of a team where you play an active role in helping shape the game and its development. You’ve got top-notch C++ skills, experience at a senior level of development in Unreal Engine, and a passion for turning complex code challenges into elegant gameplay experiences. 
You can lead a team of talented coders and deliver exceptional results.
Where do we stand on diversity?
At Sumo Digital, we know that diversity and inclusivity will make our teams better and pave the way to greater innovation and creativity in our work. We welcome ALL applications.
What we offer:
. Defined Annual Bonus Scheme
. ULEV car scheme
. Monthly allowance to spend on enhancing benefits        
. Salary Sacrifice Pension
. Flexible Working  
. 21 days free-use holiday
+ your birthday off
+ 5 learning days including 1 volunteer day
+ a duvet day
+ Christmas shutdown from Christmas Eve to New Year
+ Bank Holidays
+ extra allowance accrued for longer service
. Free dental insurance 
. Life Assurance 4x Salary
. Income Protection of 75% for 5 years           
. Enhanced Mat/Paternity & Adoption pay
. Employee Assistance Programme:
. Help at Hand - Remote GP, Mental Health & Physio appointments
. Free financial & home buying support consultations
. Cycle to Work Scheme
. Payroll Giving Scheme
. Access to 4,000 Udemy Courses
. Career Development Pathway  
. Wrap Parties.
. Project Completion Awards
. Game/Creative Jams
. Big Family Events
. Studio social activities, e.g. running, board games, film, yoga, life drawing…
. Prism – Sumo’s employee diversity focus group 
. Free fruit and drinks in our studios
. Employee Referral Bonus     
More about The Chinese Room:
Our titles include the ground-breaking Dear Esther (2012), cult horror Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs (2013), the VR fairy-tale So Let Us Melt (2017) the open-world adventure Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (2015), a PlayStation 4 exclusive that won major awards across the world, and the multi award-winning Little Orpheus (2020). This included an amazing 10 BAFTA nominations and 3 BAFTA wins.
We bring our passion and commitment to creating exciting original games to a network of studios renowned for quality and expertise. Being part of the Sumo team enables us to expand and grow in ambition and confidence, taking our reputation for storytelling into new genres. Our most recently announced game, Little Orpheus, is an Apple Arcade exclusive and we’re working on other unannounced ‘AAA’ titles that will further establish our award-winning style and reputation.
We offer a superb benefits package including generous holidays and flexi-time. We care about our people, with an emphasis on the work/life balance and out of office events such as our legendary Sumo ‘Big Day Out’, plus epic Christmas parties and much more! Our regular studio Game Jams are a highlight - winning concepts can go on to commercial release, so far including Snake Pass and the upcoming Spyder for Apple Arcade.
The Chinese Room is located in Brighton in the south of England, home to an amazingly vibrant game development scene and a cultural hotspot with fantastic food, arts, music, shopping and sports. The studio is in the city centre, near the beach, and close to the South Downs National Park. Gatwick Airport is only half an hour away from train, and you can be in central London in just over an hour. It’s an easy place to love!
Our environment is relaxed, friendly and built upon the basis of every team member having the opportunity to shine and have a realisable input into the games we create. We’re in the amazing position of building a brand-new team, and creating a studio culture that’s all about passion, respect, diversity, fun and togetherness. We’re looking for people that love what they do and love to share their enthusiasm with each other.