image of raised hands and the words we need volunteers

National Volunteer Week is April 23rd through the 29th for 2018.

National Volunteer Week is our official kickoff of our new school year preparations. We start off with new course builds and upgrades to current courses. We have build tasks great and small. Volunteers interested in teaching will begin by getting a sneak peek at what it is like to teach an online class followed by an in depth training sequence in July.

image of hands raised and the words volunteer to teach

Teacher Commit Day is July 15th.

Volunteers are needed to teach our live online classes. Be watching for the opening of training starting in National volunteer Week, April 23rd, in the site-wide calendar (home page, right sidebar as you scroll down a bit) and listed in the Virtual Homeschool Group Facebook Group (look for the F in the right sidebar of the home page if you have not already joined). You don't know where that is? No problem! Just e-mail Tammy Moore at teacher.tammy.moore@gmail.com and state that you want to teach. I will get you plugged in.

image of hands raised and the words volunteer to teach

We need course builders! Jump on in year-round!

Volunteer builders are needed at all times during the school year since we have mnay course build projects running at any given time. We build courses that can run at your own pave (AYOP) and in the live online classroom.

Mission Possible Tasks:

We have little, short-duration easy tasks called missions as a part of our Mission Possible teams. Most tasks take only an hour or two and come with on-demand recorded training for that specific task. E-mail Tammy Moore at teacher.tammy.moore@gmail.com and state you want a mission in Mission Possible. I will get you plugged in.


Build Team Positions:

Our project is an online course co-op that creates digital courses, lessons, learning games, and interactives. We approach learning design by translating learning objectives directly into meaningful gameplay mechanics and playful curriculum materials. Our senior staff is comprised of individuals that are equal parts game and instructional designers, a dual literacy" that allows us to engineer authentic game-play mechanics (rules and interactions that directly correlate with specific learning objectives).

It all begins with the Golden Rule: treat others how you want to be treated. It starts by taking the time to read a candidate’s résumé. It’s about being someone who cares about people’s careers and what the next best step is for a candidate and not about going through the motions, sounding like a robot, and forgetting we are working with people and their lives and aspirations. It’s about relationship recruiting, not transactional recruiting.

If candidates advance to interviews but are not selected for the position, they get a personal phone call. So many recruiters allow this critical conversation to go into the proverbial black hole because they don’t want to have difficult conversations or disappoint people. Our philosophy is the exact opposite. People deserve to have closure, and though it’s not the message that they want to hear (or that you want to deliver), they do appreciate the respect you are showing them by delivering the message personally. I wish we could hire all the worthy candidates, but we can only hire one. You know that feeling you get when you see the high school coach playing only the top athletes and leaving a bunch of kids on the bench? You want all the kids to have a chance to play, but that does not happen. Well, that’s the feeling I often have when we select one candidate and disappoint the others.

In some cases, after we have selected our candidate(s) and the engagement is taking longer than expected to start, we send a little something, such as a Starbucks gift card. Caffeine seems to heal a lot of things. Kidding! It’s about taking that extra step to say thank you and acknowledge that candidate’s effort and flexibility. Sometimes we do this when a candidate applied for a role, went through a lengthy, difficult interviewing process, and did not get selected. Again, we’re showing our appreciation for his or her time and acknowledging the difficulty of finding a great job.

Click on a position below to learn more about it. If you see one you want to step up for, just e-mail Tammy Moore at teacher.tammy.moore@gmail.com and let me know what position(s) are of interest. I will help you every step of the way.

Administration/Production Team

Project Manager/SCRUM Master
designer working at computer

The Producer is a key team member in developing learning games and websites for Filament. This position directly manages projects and teams, and is accountable for projects shipping within budget, on-time, and with an acceptable quantity of minor defects. The Producer meets directly with clients and internal stakeholders to set expectations, plan play tests, negotiate scope, and more. The Producer also plays a key role in the Sales process, developing proposals for new projects, and thereby has strong agency in planning a project they are responsible for managing successfully. On a daily basis, the position’s focus is on project management tasks such as budgeting, project planning, project tracking, project team management, and resource management.

If you were not a volunteer, here is what you would make: 42K to 59K annually

Key Responsibilities

Own the budget and scope on their projects

Producers have the authority to direct their team and assign tasks

Gate releases in conjunction with QA Director

Manage individual projects

Manage client/stakeholder expectations

Deliver sprint versions to the client/stakeholder, for review

Run daily Scrum meetings to maximize development team efficiency

Assign tasks in project tracking software (JIRA currently)

Provide documentation of planning meetings as needed

Advocate for defect fixing each sprint to maintain product quality and mitigate technical debt 

Participate in client calls, documenting action items

Identify team velocity issues on projects

Resolve team conflicts 

Facilitate team meetings

Assist in implementing process improvement initiatives

Work with development teams to estimate scope of projects

Facilitate usability tests for their projects 

Assist QA lead with QA/QC and user testing

Provide accounting with key project financial information to process invoices, forecast project completion date, and forecast profit margin

Schedule regular meetings along the development lifespan

Key Skills:

Knowledge of the entire Software Development Lifecycle

Able to use multiple methods to track and predict team velocity 

Able to manage staggered production schedules and concurrent projects

Able to manage teams and hold them accountable for goals and milestones 

Strong verbal and written communication of business and technical information 

Able to adapt quickly in a fast-paced environment 

Able to control project scope and maintain budgets 

Adept at negotiating terms with clients and vendors 

Proficiency in Microsoft Project or similar project planning tool, JIRA, Excel/Google Sheets, Indie game production, and Subversion tracking

PMP and AGILE/SCRUM certification a plus 

Key Personal Characteristics:

Approachable, relaxed, and friendly demeanor 

Self- motivated and able to take the initiative as the need arises

Excellent note taker

Persistence to get-things-done

Cool under pressure

Demonstrates thoroughness in completing assignments

Detail orientated and dependable 

Design Team

E-Learning/Game Designer
designer working at computer

The Game Designer takes the helm on specific learning game projects, serving as both Lead Designer and Client Advocate. A lot of the work is upfront in the design phase to ensure the game meets learning objectives and is also engaging for the specific target audience whether that is elementary school students, middle school students, or even professionals who need training in their industry. During design phases, we create playable prototypes that can be physical or digital to demonstrate gameplay to the development team who will be working on the project, or the external client we are creating the game for. If there is an external client, the game designer usually will also act as what we call a “Client Advocate” at Filament Games. This person is primarily responsible for understanding the clients needs for the project and communicating them with the team. We work with the client to make sure the client’s top priorities and the development team’s top priorities are in sync as much as possible. Overall, if there is ever any question regarding the player’s experience, the game design, or how something should work and “feel” in the game, it is the game designer’s responsibility to know the answers and communicate them effectively.

Day to Day Life: Each game designer is usually assigned to 2-4 projects at a time. So, depending on what state the project is currently in, their day to day life is pretty different. If a project is in a design phase, the designer is spending around 60% of their time brainstorming concepts, documenting design work, and prototyping iterations of a game out. However, if a project is in its development phase the designer will be primarily responsible for playtesting the game to make sure the player experience is as they imagined. No matter what state the game is currently in, the designer will meet with the entire team daily for 15 minutes to check in with what was finished yesterday and what will be worked on during that day.

If you were not a volunteer, here is what you would make: 42K to 80K annually

Key Responsibilities

Act as Lead Designer and Client Advocate on assigned projects

Test new features, provide feedback, and work with clients to clarify their goals and expectations

Represent client goals and advocate for client perspective during internal meetings

Provide estimates to the production team

Create and build gameplay systems and scenarios for projects

Lead and participate in playtests and design reviews

Draft and present game design documentation wireframes, storyboards and prototypes

Write and edit narrative content

Work with Developers on design problems, content creation, and data integration

Perform research and draft summary reports on research

Respond to QA and design issues in development and real-time environments

Other design work as needed

Key Skills:

Ability to effectively communicate design ideas through sketches

Effective written and verbal communication

Firm grasp of what makes games compelling, interesting and engaging

Ability to create detailed design documents and work closely with programmers and artists to implement game features

Ability to effectively analyze and give direction for improving submitted gameplay assets

Ability to diplomatically present client feedback to development team to ensure client satisfaction

Ability to work within a highly dynamic environment where team members often have multiple responsibilities

Ability to meet deadlines

Ability to revise design according to critique

Advanced design ideas and detailed understanding of game mechanics across a wide set of genres

Key Personal Characteristics:

Able to shift between detail-oriented and big picture thinking depending on the problem at hand

Collaborative thinker, helping support team ideas rather than “win” with their own ideas

Self-motivated

Positive attitude

Innovative

Comfortable in a fast-paced, collaborative, entrepreneurial environment

Digital Arts Team

e-Learning/Game Artist I
designer working at computer

Do you love to create amazing Illustrations? Do you have an eye for clean and artful concepts? If the answer is yes, we’d like to hear from you!

We need the mix of your conceptual and vector illustration skills.

If you were not a volunteer, here is what you would make: 32K to 44K annually

Relationships:

Reports to: Art Director

Direct Reports: None

Coordinates activity with: Digital Arts, Audio, Development, IT, and Testing Teams

Key Responsibilities

Complete production-grade art assets in a timely manner

Artwork matches style guides/spec and requires minimal rework

Artwork is highly optimized and game-ready

Communicating and collaborate with a multi-disciplinary team

Key Skills

Exceptional digital painting skills. Proficient in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Adobe Animate. Proficiency in Adobe Character Animator and After Effectsd a plus.

Working knowledge of tangible illustration technique and the ability to translate written word to concept drawings

Must understand 2D and 3D animation principles for working in an HTML5 game pipeline or with Unity2D 

Flexible, creative, and stylish design skills

Obsession with the details of each design

Conceptual and visual problem-solving skills

Must be able to complete illustrations, environments, 3D models, and animations with strict deadlines.

General understanding of HTML5 and CSS3 is a plus

Key Soft Skills

self-starter

Great communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills

Ability to analytically defend your design decisions

“Roll up your sleeves” attitude about getting things done

Self-motivation and passion for learning and improving

Confidence in giving and receiving honest, constructive feedback

Excellent time-management and organization skills

Ability to follow directions and perform well under pressure

Proficient in written and spoken English

Visual Interaction Designer
designer working at computer

An Interaction Designer crafts playful, highly usable interfaces and interactions that bring clarity to a wide range of subjects.

If you were not a volunteer, here is what you would make: 42K to 59K annually

Relationships:

Reports to: Art Director

Direct Reports: None

Coordinates activity with: Digital Arts, Audio, Development, IT, and Testing Teams

Key Responsibilities

GOAL: Design digital interactions that are easy to learn, a pleasure to interact with, and augment the user’s comprehension of the subject matter.

TEAM: Work iteratively with the game design team to translate pitches and storyboards into comprehensive user flows, wireframes/mockups/prototypes/animatics, and motion proofs that explore and communicate the design

TASK: Effectively utilize motion design principles to amplify input and “juice up” feedback

TASK: Develop effective, innovative solutions for common usability issues

TASK: Lead interaction design and informational architecture efforts on your projects

TASK: Complete features and assets in a timely manner

INDUSTRY: Help establish studio-wide UX best practices: stay up to date with industry trends and technical developments and share findings with the team 

TEAM: Collaborate with Illustration team to generate comprehensive UI asset lists and translate wireframes/mockups into game-ready assets

TEAM: Work with the engineering and tech art teams to ensure designs are feasible and executed according to spec

TASK: Critique UX implementations throughout development

USERS: Conduct user research and playtests

Revise work according to critique, technical/design requirements, and user /stakeholder feedback

Key Skills

Familiar with game development pipelines and technical constraints, particularly with respect to UI integration

Experience using UX design, wireframing, and prototyping tools

Demonstrated ability to build cohesive, visually appealing UI assets 

Demonstrated ability to use visuals and motion to clearly communicate complex interactions

Strong visual literacy: layout, color, visual hierarchy, and typography

Strong animation skills with a good sense of motion and timing

Comfortable designing in a wide variety of styles

Strong visual, written, and verbal communication skills

Familiar with classic and current games 

Experience with Unity a plus

Key Soft Skills

Imaginative problem solver 

Passionate about games, design, and technology 

Driven to create exceptional designs and to constantly improve your craft  

Comfortable sharing, inspiring, brainstorming, and communicating ideas and concepts

Empathy, not ego: committed to understanding and empathizing with users, always open to design input and iteration

Proficient in written and spoken English

Key Portfolio Content

Quality: Purposeful and attention to details 

User-centered: Product built for a specific persona. Understands that user and able to show how the product is made just for them

A great portfolio explains what the designer's role was in the process, the struggles, the successes. It frames the problem and the solution - the story of making the product 

Tell me the story of the making - the sketches, the decision-making. I want to see the personal process and what it is like to work with you and who you are. 

3D Asset Designer - coming soon
designer working at computer

This is a new position we plan to add for the 2018-19 school year. More details will come soon.

If you were not a volunteer, here is what you would make: * annually

Relationships:

Reports to: Art Director

Direct Reports: None

Coordinates activity with: Digital Arts, Audio, Development, IT, and Testing Teams

Key Responsibilities

Details to come

Key Skills

Details to come.

Key Soft Skills

self-starter

Great communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills

Ability to analytically defend your design decisions

“Roll up your sleeves” attitude about getting things done

Self-motivation and passion for learning and improving

Confidence in giving and receiving honest, constructive feedback

Excellent time-management and organization skills

Ability to follow directions and perform well under pressure

Proficient in written and spoken English

Audio/Video Team

Voice Over Talent

Do you have a love of creating voice assets such as narration, character lines, and sound effects? Do you have high quality equiptment for getting a good technically clean recording in a digital format (wav or MP3?

Key Responsibilities

Take the scripts provided by the eLearning/Game Designer and turn them into enjoyable performances to accompany lessons.

Soft Skills

Self-motivation and passion for learning and improving

Confidence in giving and receiving honest, constructive feedback

Excellent time-management and organization skills

Ability to follow directions and perform well under pressure

Proficient in written and spoken English

Development Team

Adobe Captivate Builder
designer working at computer

If you have experience building lessons, games, scenarios, and simulations in Captivate and have a subscription, plase contact step on up.

If you were not a volunteer, here is what you would make: 47K to 50K annually

Key Responsibilities

Collaborate with designers, programmers and clients to conceptualize high quality web interfaces

Work with programmers to develop efficient and maintainable architecture and code. 

Complete regular iteration and maintainence of the above systems. 

Constant communication with other developers and producers. 

Implement CMS themes in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS

Customize the CMS information architecture and install/configure plugins

Revise implementations based on user and stakeholder feedback

Test and modify HTML, CSS, and Javascript for browser and standards compliance

Familiar with JQuery, Bootstraps, D3.js, and learn other frameworks and libraries as needed.

Familiar with responsive design, GIT, PHP, SASS and/or LESS, SQL, Drupal, Wordpress, or Expression Engine theming.

Soft Skills

Comfort working in an AGILE environment with other teams and team members.

Proficient in written and spoken English

Front End Developer

We seek a talented and self-driven frontend developer to join our team in developing next generation learning platforms

If you were not a volunteer, here is what you would make: 47K to 50K annually

Key Responsibilities

Collaborate with designers, programmers and clients to conceptualize high quality web interfaces

Work with programmers to develop efficient and maintainable architecture and code. 

Complete regular iteration and maintainence of the above systems. 

Constant communication with other developers and producers. 

Implement CMS themes in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS

Customize the CMS information architecture and install/configure plugins

Revise implementations based on user and stakeholder feedback

Test and modify HTML, CSS, and Javascript for browser and standards compliance

Familiar with JQuery, Bootstraps, D3.js, and learn other frameworks and libraries as needed.

Familiar with responsive design, GIT, PHP, SASS and/or LESS, SQL, Drupal, Wordpress, or Expression Engine theming.

Soft Skills

Comfort working in an AGILE environment with other teams and team members.

Proficient in written and spoken English

Unity Programmer - coming soon

This position will not be added until the 2018-19 school year.

Game Engineers work intimately with an interdisciplinary team of professionals and play a key role in carrying product development through conception to execution

If you were not a volunteer, here is what you would make: 48K to 68K annually

Key Responsibilities

Core system architecture 

Implementation, iteration, and maintenance of unique game-play mechanics and complex user interface 

Documentation of key algorithms and interfaces 

Revising of work according to critique and judicial use of programming best practices 

Estimation of time to complete tasks  

Daily communication with team members and production  

Uncovering issues before they happen and troubleshooting solutions, programming defects, and deployment issues   

Key Skills

C# (preferred), Javascript, ActionScript 3, C++, Objective C, Swift, Java, or Lua

Unity 3D (preferred), Unreal, Phaser, Cocos2D, or Flixel 

Experience developing multiplayer games 

Proficient in written and spoken English