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Senior Designer

THQ, Game Mechanic Studios

March 2010 to April 2011

THQ contract to fully develop for Kaos Studios, “Overwatch” (helicopter mission) and “Heartland,” using Unreal Engine 3

  • Assigned to train GMS design team members in Unreal tech, and Kaos's proprietary tools
  • Pipeline establishment and regulation for design department, and art integration for gameplay assets
  • Assigned ScrumMaster for GMS: Scheduling, risk management, and coordination with Kaos's Scrum, using Hansoft
  • Lead designer, builder, and scripter for Overwatch; Additional design, building, and scripting for Heartland
  • Systems design and tuning of the Overwatch helicopter's mechanics, weapons, UI, controls, and special enemy AI
  • Technical design of Overwatch's systems, including UI, dummy AI, vehicle paths, destructible pieces, and cinematics
  • Managed feedback and focus testing for Overwatch, and served to maintain level vision and focus for both studios

Overwatch helicopter mission received stand-out reviewer praise, regardless of overall game review rating:

  • “Plus, the game includes an off-rails helicopter sequence that plays significantly better than you'd expect from a lone mission in an FPS.”- GamePro review (positive overall review)

  • “Nope, it's pretty much Dullsville top to bottom, save for the surprisingly excellent late-game helicopter stage.” - Joystiq review (mixed overall review)

  • “...(and, consequently, the only level that's fun) involves protecting a moving gas tanker convoy from the cockpit of a fully player-controlled chopper.” - GameSpy review (negative overall review)

Recommendations for this work:

Joe is one of the finest designers I have come across in the 14+ years I've been in the game industry. His work is passionate, thorough and solid, from the inception of a project to its ship date. He hybrids his technical expertise with his love of games, which equates to design production of the highest quality that incorporates the latest trends and delivers the freshest gameplay. I would work with him at any time, anywhere in the world.

I have worked with many types of game designers in my time in the video game industry, and Joe is the best type. He has the passion of a fan, the technical skills to implement them, and the experience to understand the need for balancing the two. He has not only proven that he will not only work above and beyond to get the job done, he has also shown that he can step up into leadership roles and guide more junior designers to realize their talent. I would highly recommend him for any project, as he will prove his worth both as a designer and as a leader within your team.

While working with Joe at GameMechanics Studio. I was able observe the things which i believe would make Joe an excellent candidate for any game design position .He is hard working for one. Two, he understands design from both the creative and technical side of things. Three, he is very passionate about his work. There are many things which I believe Joe has to offer be these are just a few of the big ones.

Although my time with Joe was somewhat brief and most of our communication was not in person, I found him a talented level designer. He was quick to grasp the changes and added tech we used at Kaos and was able to work with the tools to create and revise at a high level. He was always a pleasure to work with in person, and in his remote position. I'd certainly recommend him for any future level design work.

Joe is a talented and professional game designer with a real passion for games. I would be happy to work with Joe a future project.