KIXEYE UI Designer Reviews | Glassdoor

KIXEYE UI Designer Reviews

Updated Jan 7, 2016

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KIXEYE President  Clayton Stark (no image)
Clayton Stark
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  1. Helpful (11)

    "Zombie Studio"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - UI Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at KIXEYE full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Generous PTO(I think I took about a month and a half off my last year there}, decent pay, pretty good benefits, free lunches a couple times a week (usually with good food), well stocked snacks and drinks, convenient downtown SF location(about 2 blocks from BART), they made the big Facebook hits, Battle Prirates, War Commander and Back Yard Monsters. Kixeye isn't that bad of a place to work.. You can show up whenever you want most of the time. Leave whenever you want most of the time. You can work from home most of the time - I know people that would 'work from home' for weeks at at time and it was totally fine. They usually take you out once a quarter and show you the latest movie at IMAX or will throw some sort of party.. They have a paintball day where you can go and shoot up all the people you don't like. I usually just 'WFH' that day even though it's mandatory that you go. You can draw whatever you want on the walls like a picture of a dragon or a elf or some crazy monster. There's a super nice coffee machine up in the kitchen that makes great espresso shots. Super good. Most of the time - good enough is OK. People don't know or just don't care. There's usually never much stress, unless you personally stress yourself out. There's always more time to do stuff cause the Facebook games do well enough. They got some pretty sweet game rooms with xbox 360's, ps3's, DDR machines, rock band(with like everything). They also have street fighter 2, gauntlet, big buck hunter and most importantly GOLDEN AXE. There's also NBA Jam (not as cool). They have a whole lot of N.E.R.F. guns all over the place and a life size Jenga!!! Don't know if this is really a pro, but....

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    Cons

    Facilities - • Open pit environment that is crowded, smelly and dirty. People don't care about their spaces and it shows. If you ask for a tour on your interview, which you should, they will say probably say no. • Desks are small. In most cases you have 4-6 feet between you and the next person. • Lack of common space for meetings - that may have changed due to recent layoffs. • Teams are spread out over 3 floors which isn't necessarily bad unless you are part of a shared group and have to service multiple teams. • Layout of floors makes it confusing and hard to get where you need to be quickly, resulting is a lot of 'where am I' • Walls have dry erase paint that you can write on. Rarely does this get a thorough cleaning. Most of the writing is weird obscure meme's, not much work related stuff. • Kitchens/Bathrooms are usually pretty disgusting by Noon. • There is an armed guard that checks people in if you show up for a tour/interview/to see a friend/what have you. Super nice guy, but c'mon - armed guard at a game studio? Management - • Inexperienced - AFAIK, The founders and CEO didn't hold a job in games until they started Kixeye(could be good or bad I suppose). Well intentioned and smart guys, but not real seasoned developers. Systems designers and product guys would be more of what they are. Most of the upper tier guys typically haven't held a hands on position in years. • Lacks vision - Little understanding of trends that are shaping the future of the games industry. The latest 'thing' is making money - lets make that. • Petty/unprofessional - Doesn't believe in a rising tide lifts all boats. Quick to criticize/demean other studios(the competition). • Constantly shifting the goal line - doesn't understand scope of work, comes up with date, realizes scope is larger, pushes date. • In-decisive(related to above) - Management asks employee for advice on problem, employee recommends XYZ, management decides ABC, 6 months later, ABC doesn't work, lets do XYZ. Also employee doesn't get credit for XYZ. • Game of Thrones political environment - everyone is so scared to do the wrong thing that this weird mind game is played, where everyone is constantly aligning themselves to make sure they don't get fired. • Focused on money - not to say this is bad, but they aren't transparent about it which creates this odd feeling in the studio where they say "all we want to do is make great games" publicly, but then their actions indicate the opposite. • Doesn't let employee do job they were hired to do - No trust of teams. CEO would often come down and 'direct' game teams over their shoulders and the decision was final. Resulted in a lot of waste/bad feature design. Games - • What games? :) But seriously, unless you aren't actively looking for work there or have worked there, name me one of their games? Or if I told you one of their games, would you immediately know it? • Antiquated - Most of there games/models had their high water mark long ago. • Standard 'build and battle' type games. Free for about the first 10 levels or so and then you have to start waiting or pay to speed up through a rather dated mechanic. • Boring - this is a bit more subjective, but the games are quite boring. The web games are easily games you can ignore while you do something else on the web waiting for stuff and the mobile titles are pretty standard 'waiting in line somewhere/on the toilet' kinda games. • Games as products - Monetize, ARPU, DAU, MARPU, ROI, Pay Rate, Retention, Conversion, CPI... blah, blah, blah, blah. Product people run the place and many times their not coming from games and don't understand how they work. Culture - • Studio values on the wall behind the armed guard - Passion over profit, innovation over imitation, Quality over quantity. It's like a 3rd grader came up with these values. • Very much a culture of 'fear'. People get promoted and they change. Where they were once approachable and honest, they become very corporate and rigid. • Clique-y and petty. Typcially, you'll get hired to work on one team/game and that game fails/get suspended and you're moved to work on a team you weren't hired by. I worked on 5 different game teams while I was there and didn't make many friends cause I was always the 'new guy'. • Dishonest and untrustworthy - You never know what's truth and lies. The quarterly surveys are there so they know how to message the 'resources'(people). • Half grandma's boy, half corporate startup. It's just generally an unpro environment - this is just me, but I like to come in and try to be heads down. Sure having fun is always nice, but there's usually a crowd of people who think it's all nerf guns, nerd talk and playing games all day. Kixeye seems to attract more than normal of these types.

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    Advice to Management

    There's a lot to say here, but nothing worth saying. I don't think they would listen. Do fewer thing well? Listen to the talent? Make original content? Trust the people you hired?

    KIXEYE2015-02-28
  2. Helpful (9)

    "Best Worst Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - UI Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at KIXEYE full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Working at KIXEYE was an extremely valuable experience... I learned what NOT to do in game development. -I got paid extremely well to make such a weak product. -Lunch was served twice a week. If the bros in front of you in the lunch line don't take a platter of ribs back to their desk for later, you might get to eat too! -The KIXEYE office was very conveniently located. When I got laid off with the rest of my team it was super easy for me to pack up my stuff and walk home.

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    Cons

    -95% certain the CEO hunts human beings as a hobby

    Advice to Management

    -Apply at EA today!

    KIXEYE2016-01-07
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