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Inworld Culture: What creativity and innovation look like at Inworld

Inworld Team
May 16, 2024
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Our Inworld Culture article series is meant to give you an inside look at what it's like to work here! Like what you read? We’re hiring

Aleksey Tikhonov’s journey at Inworld began in July 2022. Driven by a desire to integrate his passion for AI, science, and art into his professional life, he jumped at the opportunity to work as the Head of Research at a gaming startup. 

Reflecting on his decision two years on, Aleksey feels grateful for the opportunity to continue his creative exploration.” I used to have to experiment with art and AI in my free time,” he explained. "Now, I get to do it as a part of the Inworld team and share the results."

Throughout his tenure at Inworld, Aleksey has spearheaded a number of creative and innovative projects, leaving a significant mark on the company. Most notable among them might be his team's triumph in Inworld’s 2022 internal hackathon with his Latent Spaces project that explored how to create navigable immersive worlds using modern neural networks and geometric transformation to achieve locally coherent worlds. Aleksy’s work on this evolved into his Immersive Spaces poster, presented at NeurIPS 2023’s Workshop on Machine Learning for Creativity and Design. 

His work at Inworld on our internal LLM evaluation methods and benchmarks also led him to publish a paper titled Post Turing: Mapping the Landscape of LLM Evaluation at the GEM-benchmark workshop at EMNLP 2023 and get his ‘Branching Narratives: Character Decision Points Detection’ paper accepted for the Games and NLP Workshop at LREC 2024. 

Aleksy’s not done presenting on the innovative work he’s done at Inworld yet. “Many exciting results are still unavailable publicly, including successful experiments with the evolutionary search for optimal prompts, an approach for unbiased character policy distillation, studies on narrative generation, my ReZork project, and more,” Aleksey emphasized. 

What’s made Aleksey so productive at Inworld? Inworld's culture thrives on collaboration and support, fostering an environment where he has what he needs to experiment and flourish. “The team is excellent and supportive,” he explained. “The team members I work with have brilliant, unique skills, so collaboration is smooth and highly effective.”

The message Aleksey wants to give to aspiring applicants encapsulates the essence of Inworld's commitment to innovation: “Join us,” he said. “Let's do cool stuff together!”

Creativity and Innovation are just part of our culture 

Aleksey isn’t the only one who’s been able to be creative and innovative at Inworld.

Jimmy’s experience

It was Jimmy Kim's certainty that Inworld would play a key role in the future of gaming that convinced him to apply to Inworld. “Through the power of AI, we’re seeing new possibilities and interactive experiences in games that were frankly just not possible before,” he shared. “I joined Inworld because I was confident that Inworld would be at the forefront of the future of gaming.”

Jimmy was no stranger to the games industry. He’d worked as the Head of Technical Program Management at Meta for years on Core Infrastructure projects in VR before leaving in 2021 to support Cruise’s Robotics and AI/Machine Learning TPM teams.

Joining Inworld as VP of Technical Program Management in 2023 gave Jimmy a chance to return to the gaming industry – and use the AI experience he gained at Cruise to drive innovation here. “At Inworld, I’ve been able to share my thoughts and feedback on what the future of certain experiences and features should be,” he explained. “There is a clear emphasis on team members being encouraged to look at and test experiences as a developer or player would and on building experiences that are exciting with these audiences in mind. Everyone’s voice at Inworld matters.”

Jimmy believes the quality of Inworld’s team plays a significant role in making the company so innovative. “The biggest factor is the talent that exists at Inworld. I’m working with some of the smartest folks I’ve worked with in my entire career here,” he emphasizes. “When you’re surrounded by this sort of talent, the amount of innovation that takes place comes naturally.”

But that’s not the only thing driving Inworld’s creativity and innovation, according to Jimmy. “We’re also in a space where there’s a lot of complexity to solving the problems that we’re working on and a lot of times there isn’t a clear solution,” he explained. “This forces you to get creative in figuring out potential solutions to these very ambiguous problems.” 

What Jimmy perhaps likes most is that the work to solve those complex problems is done as a team at Inworld. “Everyone here is committed to trying to solve those problems and everyone is committed to listening to others on the best way to solve them,” Jimmy explained. “There’s an openness and a commitment to learning from others that is very real in everyday discussions and conversations.”

When asked what prospective applicants should know about Inworld, Jimmy highlighted the company's commitment to exploration and growth. “It’s less about figuring out whether you can exercise your creative and innovative chops here at Inworld, than about figuring out and prioritizing where you might be able to best do so,” he shared. “The sea of exploration is vast here and we’re excited to welcome new team members who are willing to explore, learn, and be part of a culture that embraces innovation."

Yan’s experience

When Yan Jin joined Inworld as a Senior Unity Developer in 2022, the company’s focus on creativity and innovation played a big role in his decision. “I’m a person who loves challenges,” he explained. “Using AI language models to create interactive NPCs is something that was new and innovative.”

Two years on, Yan, who previously worked at Unity and NVIDIA, relishes the freedom he has to turn his ideas into reality. “Previously in my career, I only played a small part, focusing on very specific and mechanical tasks like the UI, animation, or combat,” he shared. “At Inworld, during the development of the Unity SDK, I needed to consider all aspects of Unity, from UI to audio capture. Many of these areas were new to me. This work allowed me to make a number of innovative breakthroughs.” 

Yan sees this as part of the DNA of the company. “At Inworld, as long as you have ideas and the initiative, you can freely pursue them, and everyone in the company will help push your ideas forward,” Yan explained. “Every day at Inworld, you feel like the power of innovation is at your fingertips.” 

Why creativity and innovation matter here

At Inworld, creativity and innovation aren't just buzzwords – they're the lifeblood of our culture. We're all about pushing boundaries, thinking outside the box, and having fun while we're doing it

That’s because we’re excited about the work we do. “We’re inspired to set new standards for the next generation of experiences,” explained Sophia Xing, Inworld’s Director of Product Management. “There is no time for dwelling on the status quo - we are driven to innovate. In our team discussions, all ideas are welcome, no matter how experimental. And then when we commit to a vision, our team is unstoppable to make it happen.”

We do this by providing our team members with the freedom and autonomy to explore new ideas so they can do the best – and most creative – work of their careers. That’s also why we empower staff to unleash their creativity to solve problems and ensure everyone has a voice to share ideas. 

We understand that technical work can sometimes be challenging, but we believe that by fostering a supportive and collaborative atmosphere, our employees can overcome obstacles, find innovative solutions together, and build groundbreaking products and services that will transform the gaming industry and help creatives of all kinds innovate. 

What to expect from Inworld’s creative culture 

A recent paint and sip event after work!

A recent paint and sip event after work!

At Inworld, creativity and innovation isn’t reserved solely for tackling product challenges. Inworlders get creative in all sorts of ways – from coming up with creative projects for our annual hackathon to giving feedback on gaming demos like our Covert Protocol collaboration with NVIDIA. 

  • Our annual hackathon: Join your team in Mountain View once a year to watch as creativity runs wild. Teams come together, armed with snacks, caffeine, and a hefty dose of imagination, to cook up everything from new ways to fine-tune an LLM to an RPG showing off a new Inworld feature. It's a whirlwind of collaboration, competition, and comradery. 
  • Dogfooding: Like playing games? We dogfood all our demos and experiences internally. That means that you’ll get a chance to test cutting-edge AI gaming experiences – and give feedback that will shape them.  
  • Rewarding innovation: We recognize the importance of recruiting and retaining exceptional talent who can bring fresh perspectives to our products. We are dedicated to building an employee-centered environment that values and encourages creative thinking and innovation. We reward innovation by promoting from within and by giving out bonuses to staffers driving innovative work at our company. 
  • Creative events: From our annual Halloween costume competition to crafting events after work, you’ll have lots of opportunities to show off your creativity at Inworld. Just know that we take these things very seriously. Last year, staffers who dressed up as superheroes competed over who had the best cape game by running through our offices. 

By embracing the playful spirit of creativity, we ensure that innovation isn't just a business goal at Inworld, but at the core of everything they do. 

Want to learn more about working at Inworld? Check out our Careers page.

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