All Things Game Design

Freelance Game Design and Production Services

CV

Summary

I live and work in London, UK as a freelance game design and production consultant. I am also co-founder of Robot Riot, a small but beautifully formed independent game development team. We launched The Fishing Club 3D, our latest free-to-play browser game, on Facebook in October 2013.

I have been working in the games industry since the early 1990’s in various roles covering game design, producing, product management, consulting and in-game writing. Since 2009 I have been focussing mainly on the free-to-play and social gaming side of the industry. This actually has been the most interesting and fun part of my career so far, because metrics driven game development and looking at games as a service rather than a product has turned game design into a game itself for me. Especially my work as the lead game designer at eRepublik and for The Fishing Club 3D has deepened my understanding of the life cycle of free-to-play online games.

I love to literally grow online games, planting the minimum viable product (MVP) as the seed and then growing the game by adding just the right mixture of features, content and tweaks to increase the game’s player acquisition, retention and monetization.

 

Education

Abitur (Baccalaureate), Ernst Barlach Gymnasium in Unna

University of Münster, German language and literature studies

 

Languages

German (native speaker)

English

 

Skills

  1. Game Design
  2. Metrics driven game development
  3. Product Management (f2p online games)
  4. Agile Project Management
  5. Jira (Greenhopper) for agile project management and issue tracking
  6. Confluence for game design and development process documentation
  7. GameAnalytics
  8. Omnigraffle, Visio
  9. Machinations Diagrams (modelling and simulating game mechanics using interactive, dynamic diagrams. Amazing tool!)
  10. Office
  11. Microsoft Project
  12. SQL (running my own DB queries)

 

Work History

02/2012 – now

Since the beginning of 2012 I have been focussing fully on the production of The Fishing Club 3D, a fishing game on Facebook, focussed on community building. The game has been developed with Unity 3D. The Fishing Club 3D is a no-budget production by indie-developer Robot Riot, of which I am a co-founder. Thanks to Robot Riot’s ultra-lean remote studio setup and combined experience, we have been able to grow The Fishing Club 3D into a profitable business without any external funding.

On this project I have been responsible for the complete game design and monetization framework. After launch I have been responsible for game design, product management, marketing and community support. This project has been an amazing and successful experience so far. I have never learned so many things in such a short period of time in my whole life, covering every aspect of developing and running a game-as-a-service.

 

11/2010 – 02/2012

I worked as a game design consultant and got drawn into the field of social TV, second screen apps and gamification by developing concepts with the Hamburg based start-up Zweitbildschirm.

In early 2011 I co-founded Robot Riot. Our first free-to-play 3d browser game was called The Big Catch which we launched in February 2012. Since the launch of the MVP we made numerous improvements and added new features, resulting in increased retention and monetization of the player base. At Robot Riot we work as a distributed team in a virtual office making heavy use of online collaborating tools like Jira, Confluence, Google Docs, and Skype. The Big Catch demonstrates that distributed development can work beautifully in a small team setup by using the right tools and production processes.

The Big Catch was developed and pubished in co-operation with a german publisher, who went into administration in April 2012. These circumstances eventually caused the shut-down of the game.

02/2009 – 11/2010

Lead Game Designer at eRepublik.

eRepublik marks my entry into the world of free-to-play browser games. Besides working on the game design for new gameplay modules and general improvements, I helped implementing agile project management processes and was strongly involved in strategic decision making on an executive management level. eRepublik is one of the most interesting games I ever worked on. It also turned me into a metrics addict ;)

07/2006 – 02/2009

Freelance producer and game designer (clients include: Force Sunrise, Metaversum, Cellity, Nokia Siemens Networks, Sofatronic, dtp young entertainment, Pocketframes/NEUE DIGITALE, Zweitgeist, emerging entertainment)

11/2003– 06/2006

Infospace Elkware Studio employed me in November 2003 to build up the Games Design Department in order to increase the quality of their mobile games and to optimize the workflow of the in-house development teams.

At Elkware Studio I was responsible for producing the reference builds of the games. Besides many other games I designed and produced award winning titles such as “Port Royale 2”, “Sacred”, “Gem Jam Fever”, “Speed Chaser 3D” and “Marble Galaxy”.

My job at Elkware Studio included planning and supervising the whole production process from initial concept and game design through production and QA to the reference builds. During my two years with Elkware Studio I worked closely with clients/partners such as SIEMENS, Nokia, MTV Europe, UFA, FOX and others.

Among the production and design of elkware’s internal games I used to work with external teams and on several projects at the same time.

Working in the mobile games industry for more than 3 years has given me a comprehensive understanding of mobile game production and design for both single and multiplayer games as well as for mobile 3D games.

2003

In-game writing and editing on “Codename: Panzers – Phase One” for German publisher CDV. 2002 – 2003

Story and dialogues for “Historion” and “Babylons Fluch”. Those are edutainment adventure games for the PC developed with the LIGHTCUBE 3D engine for German publisher Braingame.

1999 – 2002

Co-founding of LIGHTCUBE GmbH in Hamburg as Creative Director. LIGHTCUBE developed its own 3D engine technology for 3D games and non-game 3D applications.

1998 – 1999

Story design for “Gothic“, Piranha Bytes.

1996 – 1998

I worked as a freelancer on several projects for Art Department and Greenwood Entertainment as a game designer. I focussed mainly on advertising and edutainment games.

1994 – 1996

Production with my own team of the PC point-and-click adventure “Monsterized!” for German publisher Sunflowers.

1992 – 1993

I wrote the screenplays for the point-and-click adventures “Der Schatz im Silbersee” and “Durch die Wüste”, based on the novels of Karl May.

Awards

Gem Jam Fever (3rd place “Best Game-/Leveldesign”, German Developer Award 2005 / Airgamer Award, 90%)

Marble Galaxy (Airgamer Award, 88% rating on)

MTV – Pimp My Ride (Airgamer Award, 85%, rating on)

Port Royale 2 (1st place “Best Mobile Game”, German Developer Award 2004)

The Fall (1st place “Best Mobile Strategy Game”, German Developer Award 2005)

Speed Chaser 3D (3rd place “Most innovative technology”, German Developer Award 2005)

Lectures

fmx/05 – The Evolution of Mobile Games, Stuttgart, 2005.

Guest lecturer at Norwich University of the Arts.

Workshops

I ran game design workshop for kids at the London Big Bang Festival 2013 and  Digital Summer Camp 2013