Principal Level Designer

Job Locations US-MD-Hunt Valley | US-TX-Austin | US-WI-Madison
Job ID
Regular Full-Time


ZeniMax Online Studios is seeking a Principal Level Designer to join our studio for the development of our next AAA game. This is a chance to join an experienced group of developers in pre-production for a new IP.


A developer in this role serves as an important part of the Level Design team with a focus on owning a key Open World location, driving its layout, combat encounter design, and scripting. This role will work closely with Level Artists and Gameplay Systems team members in creating enticing locations that are fun to explore, packed with thrilling gameplay, challenging combat, and memorable player experiences. A key part of this role involves designing the workflow and establishing best practices for open world creation on a new, industry-leading engine.


The preferred location for this role is Hunt Valley, MD, Austin, TX, or Madison, WI. Will consider remote.


  • Help drive vision on a large area in Level Design; build consensus on that vision across disciplines
  • Support the leadership team in establishing and role modeling positive processes
  • Define quality standards for the team through hands-on execution and documentation
  • Dedicated mentoring of more junior members of the team
  • Partner with Level Artists in creating layered environments packed with exploration and combat
  • Script and implement key moments within these spaces
  • Craft memorable combat encounters and work with Combat Systems Designers in honing these experiences to perfection
  • Create fun gameplay spaces focused on the game’s core mechanics
  • Help determine the optimal workflow for content creation
  • Work with the tools team to identify the ideal toolset with which to create content


  • 5+ years of level design experience
  • Broad gameplay design knowledge
  • Ability to drive collaboration and consensus across multiple disciplines
  • Strong organization, verbal, and written communication skills
  • Deeply creative with a great sense of what makes gameplay fun
  • Excellent sense of gameplay pacing
  • Excellent level design skills
  • Good grasp of scripting or coding
  • Experience with combat encounter design in a AAA game
  • Comfortable with a development schedule that is playtest-driven and focused on iteration and polish
  • Strong understanding of the discrete elements game levels and combat experiences are built from and the ability to problem solve both holistically and on a per-component basis

Preferred Skills

  • Experience developing Open World games
  • Combat systems design experience for third or first person games
  • Background in architecture or paper/board game design

Salary Range

Principal Level Designer - The typical base pay range for this position at the start of employment is expected to be between $90,000 - $200,000 per year.


ZeniMax has different base pay ranges for different work locations within the United States, which allows us to pay employees competitively and consistently in different geographic markets. The range above reflects the potential base pay across the U.S. for this role; the applicable base pay range will depend on what ultimately is determined to be the candidate’s primary work location. Individual base pay depends on various factors, in addition to primary work location, such as complexity and responsibility of role, job duties/requirements, and relevant experience and skills. Base pay ranges are reviewed and typically updated each year. Offers are made within the base pay range applicable at the time.


At ZeniMax certain roles are eligible for additional rewards, such as merit increases and discretionary bonuses. These awards are allocated based on individual performance and are not guaranteed. Benefits/perks listed here may vary depending on the nature of employment with ZeniMax and the country work location. U.S.-based employees have access to healthcare benefits, a 401(k) plan and company match, short-term and long-term disability coverage, basic life insurance, wellbeing benefits, paid vacation time, paid sick and mental health time, and several paid holidays, among others.

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