Narrative Director

Studio Leadership · Seattle, Washington
Department Studio Leadership
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Manager/Supervisor

Narrative Director


As Narrative Director, you will lead story telling efforts for the State of Decay franchise, through characters and community, to establish structure, meaning, and context for our games. You will be charged with creating emotionally resonant stories to deepen the connection between our players and the inhabitants of our world. Placing our players front and center, you will work to establish the tone of our universe and develop the vision for the end-user experience. Your work in crafting tenets and themes will help inform game design decisions and tie features together across our different disciplines. In this capacity, you will collaborate project-wide to inform feature choices and guide how tone and mood are reflected in the core themes and emotional impact of the game.


State of Decay is not about zombies. It is about what humans do when pushed to the brink. Our IP, from its humble beginnings, has always been about community, hope, and how the things that make you different and unique are most often the very things that make you valuable to your community. Our IP believes in the goodness in us all, believes that we come together to care for each other in times of crisis, and that we each have something valuable to offer our communities. 


Reporting to the Executive Producer, this role will collaborate closely with our Design Director, Mission Designers, Art Director, Cinematics Director, and our Audio team. 


At Undead Labs, we work in highly collaborative, cross-discipline teams because we understand that the best ideas are ones we generate together. We are creators of the hit survival-fantasy franchise State of Decay played by millions, and we operate independently as part of a network of studios now owned by Microsoft. We have a rich history of entrepreneurship and empowerment that will carry us forward as we reach new levels of quality, ambition, and polish.



Core Responsibilities & Objectives

  • Establish narrative direction for the State of Decay franchise, including themes, goals, setting, tone
  • Own and document franchise lore, history, and characters
  • Establish characters, story structure, and storytelling systems to convey the game’s narrative content
  • Create narrative content in support of missions, dialogue, cinematics, environmental storytelling, and other narrative elements
  • Ensure the consistency of the game’s narrative voice and execution on creative vision throughout production by overseeing the narrative output of any other writers
  • Work with the audio team to cast, direct, and prepare for voiceover recording
  • Collaborate with the game design team to develop features and gameplay elements that will support and convey the story
  • Direct and oversee the work of a team of internal and contract game writers
  • Write and edit across all levels of the project


Core Traits (Skills, Knowledge, Experience)

  • Prior experience leading storytelling or narrative teams in games, television, theater, or other commercial setting
  • Outstanding skills in creating believable dialogue for various voices
  • Prior experience designing narrative solutions or systems to convey story through games
  • Opinionated about narrative in games across several genres and thematic settings
  • Outstanding command of the English language
  • Strong ability to collaborate and influence across multiple disciplines; ability to create consensus
  • Good communication skills: skilled listener and adept in expressing yourself
  • Ability to both receive and deliver constructive criticism


Bonus Traits

  • An understanding of visual storytelling, camera techniques, and mise-en-scène
  • An understanding of game design principles with particular familiarity with systems design
  • Track record of developing talent in others
  • Prior professional editing experience 


Physical Requirements

  • Close vision to monitors and screens, consistently working on computer equipment such as keyboards and monitors, long periods of sitting
  • Noise levels are low to moderate in the work environment
  • Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions



Undead Labs 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.



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  • Location
    Seattle, Washington
  • Department
    Studio Leadership
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience