Freelance Work - Nexus Studios

In 2019 I worked as a consultant game designer for award-winning film and interactive media studio Nexus Studios.

During my time with Nexus Studios I worked on briefs for clients including UNICEF, Facebook and Google.

I rapidly developed unique game ideas, mechanics and narrative structures for interactive applications and mobile games to brief to clients. I worked with storyboard artists to bring these ideas to life, before iterating with creative directors and preparing a pitch document for the client.

I designed mechanics and wrote game feel documentation for a successful mobile game pitch to UNICEF - this project was later developed and released as Right Runner.

Project insight - augmented reality minigames

Many of the projects I worked on at Nexus Studios involved augmented reality; fertile ground for creativity.

For one project, the client requested a number of AR minigames with clear social integration. These would form part of a larger collection of games available to users for free on a popular messenging platform.

The challenge as designer when working on a brief like this is finding the right balance between quality and quantity. An initial brainstorming sessions generated tons of game ideas, but there wasn’t the time to expand on and iterate every idea.

Instead, a portion of ideas were selected based on how well they fitted the client’s brief:

  • the gameplay should be simple enough for users without a gaming background to quickly pick-up and play
  • the gameplay should drive social interaction, both during and beyond play
  • augmented reality should be integral to the experience, and be used in an exciting and inventive way
  • the idea needs to be affordable to develop.

Communicating ideas to the creative team quickly and effectively was of paramount importance in the project pipeline. I frequently used paper and card to create 3D visualisations of concepts and mechanics, as well as rough sketches to illustrate user experience flow, the ensure everyone on the creative team understood the game concepts.

Each minigame concept was condensed into one slide, with the final selection receiving additional visualisation from a storyboard artist before being placed in the final pitch deck.

Each slide included a one line description of the game, the core gameplay loop, the objective of the game, and the intended social integration. An example slide can be viewed below.