I am a creative director for hire with a focus on in-game monetization. With 11 years experience producing and designing games across every platform, I apply my broad experience to help out a game at any phase of life, from conception, to development, to live operations. Each company I work with has a different set of needs and thanks to my experience leading a game’s full life cycle, I am able to fill the gaps where traditional game developers are weak as they move into the always on, accessibility focused, metrics based, user interface heavy free-to-play landscape of the present.
- Game Evaluations: The core of my business is to evaluate games either in development or post-launch and advise on ways monetization can be boosted. I look at ways to improve existing features, tuning, UI/UX flows as well as suggest new features that will increase player retention and monetization
- Play Journals: I simulate a user type and keep a journal tracking economic inputs and outputs, new features introduced and general game pacing and then write a report with suggested improvements.
- UI/UX Flows: Much of the work I do is user interface centric. I spend a lot of time evaluating user interface and make suggestions for how to make games clearer, easier to interact with and to make purchasing more present in the app.
- Game Pitches: Some clients have requested that I create new game pitches for them, either based on a prompt or as an open ended exercise.
- Feature Design: Some clients have requested that I fully design new features for implementation, including documentation, UI flow and tuning.
- Feature Prototyping: I have developed playable prototypes of game mechanics both using pen & paper and by building a digital prototype playable on Android devices. Prototypes have helped mitigate risk when dev resources are limited.
- Metrics: Many developers need help with metrics. Sometimes this means analyzing metrics for a game that is already live (or in beta testing), or advising on the implementation of metrics that will be actionable for the developer.
- Production/Design: Some developers need me to act as an ongoing producer or designer for a game in development.
- Financial forecasting: One method to help a developer understand the impact of various pricing choices is to build a financial model for them and then guide them through the process of making forecasts to project revenue of various scenarios. I both build projections for them and empower them to make their own forecasts.
- Training/Workshops: As a frequent conference lecturer, I am sometimes asked to develop and deliver training workshops for companies or studios.
Check out my latest writing and lectures about F2P game design on the blog.
Check out my latest talks on game design. Recent talks include Designing in-game purchases, Game Design is Business Design and Unlock your creative potential: 7 steps to become a game designer.
I occasionally conduct and publish research about games and gamers, such as this study on the Pile of Shame.
Here, you will find a set of tools to aid in the game design process. There is no one “right way” to design games, but these tools will help you approach various aspects of game design, such as writing treatment documents to designing monetization systems in your games, in a structured manner.
This project attempts to better understand our profession by interviewing influencial game designers from across the industry, including notables such as Soren Johnson (Design Director, Zynga), Paul Barnett (Senior Creative Director, BioWare) and Jenova Chen (Creative Director, thatgamecompany).