Star Wars™: Jedi Challenges (Dueling Portion)
Game Director. Schell Games, November 2017

jedi-challengesJedi Challenges is a head-mounted, augmented reality game with lightsaber peripheral in which players duel iconic characters from the Dark Side. Combat in Jedi Challenges strives to make the player feel like they are a capable warrior with the instincts of a Jedi, that they can grow in strength, and that they are executing moves with finesse. I established the design pillars and, working alongside Disney and Lucasfilm, guided the development of the player experience for combat against Dark Side duelists. I was additionally responsible for the design and scripting of the dueling onboarding experience.

Happy Atoms
Game Director. Schell Games, November 2016
happy-atomsHappy Atoms is an augmented reality chemistry modeling set with physical toys and a digital app. The app takes pictures of completed molecules built with the toy and identifies them for the player. The discovery of molecules feeds into a game loop featuring a map that tracks the progress of each discovery and a research (quest) system that encourages players to find specific molecules. This was the first project I directed, and my responsibilities spanned team direction, working closely with our manufacturing partner, Thames and Kosmos, coordinating with our research partner, WestEd, and reporting our progress to the Department of Education, our grant funder.

The three pillar posters that guided the development effort for Happy Atoms, created at the beginning of pre-production.

Orion Trail
Systems Designer. Schell Games, October, 2015
orion-trailOrion Trail followed in the footsteps of Enemy Mind as a jam week project turned full project. I was chosen by the team to join in once it was internally green-lit to create sustainable systems for this space-comedy adventure game. I designed the game’s Probability Drive, an outcome selector that modifies its odds for an outcome based on player attributes. Each encounter has four outcomes, Critical Failure, Failure, Success, and Critical Success, and any encounter can be navigated using one of five attributes. In addition to balancing the systems, I wrote content for these encounters, which included the setup and 20 outcomes.

Enemy Mind
Level Designer. Schell Games, June, 2014
enemymindEnemy Mind was conceived as an internal jam week project which was pitched to the leadership and turned on as a small-team project. Although I was not involved in the pitch process, I was brought in as a level designer to balance the difficulty curve across the game. I collaborated with the other designer to shape what kind of behavior we wanted out of the enemy ships and defined the pacing of each level. Using our internal scripting system, I created encounters and tweaked them in response to playtest data.

Unannounced Title
Systems Design Intern. Schell Games, Unreleased
schellgamesThis was my second internship during the ETC program and it was a definite change of pace for me. They had just started the project a mere two weeks before I joined planting me firmly into the concept phase; it was a good continuation of my game development experience, compared with my experience of beta with Dungeon Defenders and alpha with XCOM. It was a small team (3 designers, 1 artist, 1 producer) and we focused on planning the core systems and defining the player experience. It was a fantastic mentorship experience particularly because the team was small and the other designer that I worked closely with was systems-oriented like myself.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
Level & Systems Design Intern. 2K Marin, August, 2013
XCOM_logo_2013I was a part of the XCOM team over the summer between the first and second years of my master’s program. My primary responsibility was to rotate between the level designers to support them on their tasks. I tackled scripting bugs, tuned combat encounters by tweaking cover placement or enemy composition, and prototyped scripted events so that animators and cinematic scripters could see what the level designer wanted. Through this process I received mentoring from a breadth of level designers while contributing to the game in a concrete way during the alpha phase.

Dungeon Defenders
Level Scripter, Game Tester. Trendy Entertainment, 2011
Dungeon_Defenders_coverI started at Trendy during my last semester of undergraduate studies in psychology. It was my first experience in game development environment and the small nature of the studio helped me understand the interplay between the different roles. I started as a quality assurance tester and I transitioned to a level scripter, eventually fixing minor bugs that I found through testing. I was quickly exposed to how the different pipelines worked together to actually build the game and that knowledge was the foundation for my understanding of game development, particularly of the beta phase. I’m grateful to the Trendy team for my first opportunity to work on a game in a professional capacity.