Jackbox Games is looking for a Javascript programmer to join our team in Chicago! (Though currently, we are all working from home.)

Who are we?

Jackbox is a small game studio (~50 people) best known for our Jackbox Party Pack franchise: a set of five social party games released every fall. Since 2014, our games--like Quiplash, Drawful, and Trivia Murder Party-- have been featured on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, by Polygon, and in living rooms and finished basements across the world.

In 2020, we had over 200 million users. And we have hard evidence that one of those users was Academy Award-winner Charlize Theron.

You can learn everything you ever wanted to know about how our games work (spoiler: your phone is the controller!) and who we are and what we make at jackboxgames.com.

What's the job?

Jackbox has a unique approach to developing games that sets us apart from other game companies. Our phones-as-controllers technology helps us to make games that play differently from games at other companies, and this strategy has helped make our games playable at home, in public, and over the internet. Managing the controllers and the servers involves a variety of skills, and we leverage those skills throughout our production process and product catalogue.

We're looking to add an additional Javascript developer to our web and server infrastructure team. Our team works on the game controllers, the multiplayer server, internal tools, and more. As our newest engineer, you'll use web technologies to help us build software in many contexts: in the web browser, in desktop apps with Electron, and on the server with node.js.

On day one, you can expect to have two projects that need your help:

  • Our in-house CMS. This is an Electron app that our writers use to write prompts, trivia questions, and other media for our games. Some of your future colleagues use this tool every day and depend on it for much of their work. Additionally, our game engineers depend on this tool for integrating media into our games.
  • A node.js media-generating server. This server is used for generating animated gifs, video files, and purchasable products. If you've ever shared a gif on Twitter after playing one of our games or purchased a t-shirt that you designed in TeeKO, this is the server that powers those features.

Responsibilities

As a small but growing team, we all wear many hats. This position combines both product and tools engineering concerns. You'll be responsible for developing new product features for social media sharing, communicating tools changes to our writers, helping us run node.js servers, and fixing bugs in my code.

Ideal Candidates Will Have...

  • 3+ years of professional experience with Javascript
  • Experience with at least one Javascript framework. You don't need to have professional experience with the exact toolset that we use, but for the sake of clarity: we use Marionette and React (not at the same time). For the CMS project we use React inside of Electron, and for the media server we just use node.js on its own. Experience with different frameworks is great too.
  • Experience working with node.js applications running on Linux servers.
  • Experience with some sort of cloud-based server environment. Again, to be specific, we use AWS, but if you have experience with some other cloud provider, that's just as good.

But It's Great If You Also…

  • Have working knowledge of Electron-based desktop applications.
  • Have some experience with a statically typed language. Our multiplayer server is written in Go, as is the server portion of the CMS project, and some other tooling. TypeScript is great, too.
  • Would be comfortable being on-call to handle server outages. Although it would be great if things never crashed, sometimes they do, and it's always better to be able to have more people in the on-call rotation.
  • Understand game mechanics and have an intuition for what makes a game successful.
  • Have a lot of party game ideas. Good ideas are even better!

We only hire clever, kind, motivated and creative people. Jackbox Games is a group effort and you must work collaboratively. Everyone here shares a commitment to excellence and a desire to work in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere.

Jackbox Games is committed to providing employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, or disability.

Are there any perks?

  • Competitive pay and benefits. 401(k) with matching. And we pay 100% of the cost of premiums for medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance for our employees. We also cover a really nice chunk of the cost of premiums for spouse/partner/dependent medical, dental and vision insurance. Paid parental leave.
  • Casual dress and a flexible schedule. Come in a sweatshirt, jeans, or whatever (at least when we’re back to working in the office. We are all remote at the moment).
  • Creative work environment. We are lucky to work in a place that is full of talented and innovative folks. Most of the day, the place is pretty quiet (we’re a focused bunch), but this is punctuated with hilarious outbursts and general merriment.
  • Easy transportation. We’re very close to the “L” and the Halsted (#8) bus (right by the Apple Store and Mega Whole Foods if that’s your kind of thing), and we have a transit FSA that allows you to dedicate pre-tax dollars to public transportation expenses.
  • Free food. Every week, we stock our kitchen with snacks.

Interested?

Great, we look forward to reading your application. We will not evaluate applications that do not include the following:

  • Your resume.
  • A cover letter. You don't need to be a professional writer for this job (we have those) but communication is important so we weigh cover letters heavily. You can (and should) write more, but we won’t evaluate applicants that don’t at least answer these two questions:
    • Why are you interested in working at Jackbox Games?
    • What is your favorite game and why? There's no right answer and liking games isn’t required for the job. We mostly just want to know if you've read this far.

On the fence? If you're interested in the job but worried you aren't qualified, we encourage you to err on the side of applying. We'd hate to miss out on great candidates just because they're worried they don't check every box on the job description.

We know it is a time commitment to prepare an application and we respect that effort by thoughtfully reviewing every complete application and responding one way or the other. But that kind of thoughtful review means that it sometimes takes us a while to get back to applicants, so please be patient with us and no phone calls.

Thanks for your interest in Jackbox Games!

F.A.Q.

  • Do I need to live in or relocate to the Chicago area for this position? Short answer: yes. Long answer: We are all working remotely due to COVID-19 at the moment, so there’s not a rush, but the expectation is that eventually you will work out of our Chicago office.
  • Do I need to be legally eligible to work in the United States to apply for this position?
    Yes.