I have been working at Sledgehammer Games full-time (More than a year)
The best part of working at Sledgehammer are the people. Some of the industry’s best and most talented artists, designers, and engineers all under one roof. Everyone is very humble, approachable, and willing to help. Yes, the work required to produce one of the best-selling games of 2017 was demanding, but the excitement surrounding the process and launch is just as rewarding.
Recently, the leadership change has been a huge breath of fresh air. Despite the (rather significant) challenges, the culture is evolving for the better. There are still some items that need addressing, but the Leadership team is exceptionally transparent, have all worked their way up through the ranks, and seem to be aware of the specific needs.
-Projects are driven by inflexible deadlines. Be prepared to work long hours to get the game out the door.
-Fans can be brutal, sometimes game criticism can be tough to read.
-The Bay Area is expensive. This is openly acknowledged, but investment in the people seems to be tightly regulated by Santa Monica-based Corporate. Compensation is heavily supplemented by shipping bonuses—which makes for three long years on a shoestring budget.
-Finishing the game and starting over with a new development cycle is tough and has led to very senior/tenured people leaving.
Advice to Management
Keep focusing on the employees and follow through on the commitments for positive change. Maintain a confident and positive outlook. With the recent changes, it had generated visible stress and frustration amongst the leaders. Confidence breeds confidence.
Keep being transparent and approachable. Despite the changes, the team trusts that you will continue to push for positive change.
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Sledgehammer Games (Foster City, CA (US)) in January 2014.
I contacted the recruiter at that time on LinkedIn, expressing my interest and showed my portfolio. The recruiter sent me an art test. The art test was fast, and I did lose sleep.
Next I had a phone interview with an HR person, then a Skype interview with my lead. He pointed out some areas of the art test that could be improved. I made the improvements and resubmitted.
Then I had a Skype marathon interview with 4 groups of 2-3 people, which in total lasted 2-3 hours. After that I received a job offer.
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