Studio: Navigator Games / Roadhouse Interactive (2016)
 Role: Lead Designer / Design Director
Summary: Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast is a mobile game for iOS and Android that brings the albums of Iron Maiden to life in a turn-based RPG adventure. It was a self-published title from Navigator Games, launched in 2016 and still active to this day. 
My Contributions: 
• Worked with a small team and co-led the development all of the prototypes, mechanics, systems, and asset creation pipelines necessary for the game along with other leads and production staff. 
Designed, created UI mocks, tuned, and balanced  many core features and systems, including combat, hero and gear leveling and progression, guilds, raid boss, mission design, map navigation, tutorial and onboarding, and the metagame and economy.
Engaged in deep market research to understand the genre and the audience in its totality, becoming a part of top guilds in competitor titles in the process to gain unique insight and understanding of the player base.
Continually ran playtests with target players to gain feedback that we used to iteratively improve the game experience over time.
Trained junior designers in specific design and implementation processes, eventually allowing them to successfully run the game for years, while I transitioned on to new titles.
Designed, implemented, and directed over 500 character kits and numerous pieces of gear over the course of my time. I also managed localization for all of the game and live ops content.
Designed, implemented, tuned, and balanced over 100 live ops events, taking the game to its highest revenue month ever with the Lord of Light event that I did the directing, co-writing, hero design, quests, encounters, economy, and new feature work on.
Engine: Unity
Process and Insights
"Hallowed Be Thy Name"
The impetus to work on an Iron Maiden mobile RPG game came about through the interest of the studio leads at Roadhouse Interactive. I was charged with creating the design for the title and pitching it to stakeholders within the brand.​​​​​​​
I initially pitched more of a rhythm-based combat system that would be accessible and more cinematic for the audience, but through further research and discussions, we settled on a Hero Collector in the vein of top rising RPGs at the time, such as Summoner's War.
Many functional aspects of the design were collaboratively brainstormed or pitched in whiteboard meetings. I would then take all of the ideas and feedback and formulate them in a cohesive design that could be further refined, signed off, and then broken out into specifications.
From the specs, I would work with the specific developers to direct and implement the design
Most base systems and pipelines (dozens) for the game were developed in this fairly straightforward manner. This was my first time working on a large project as a lead and so I had to quickly adapt to constantly shifting communication modes depending on the context.​​​​​​​
Prototype and Pro-Production:
We created a variety of prototypes for the combat, including at one point live PvP. Ultimately all explorations were reigned in after answering the key design and presentation questions and aligning our ambitions with production timelines and budgets.
During pre-production, it helped that we were strongly referencing existing game conventions at the time and making a few small innovations to set ourselves apart, namely the "Tap-Timing" mechanics inspired by Mario RPG and Final Fantasy 8, which were not prevalent in the mobile space at the time.
For me, production largely consisted of creating content and generating new user stories and designs as needed. I designed and implemented all of the initial characters, gear locations, combat battlelines, story, cinematics, and tuned and balanced it all along with the economy.
I realize how unusual it is for a single person to be working on all this, but our design staff size was tiny compared to the art and tech teams who were fully focused on building out future systems–such as PvP and Live Ops based on the existing design backlog–and I was uniquely equipped to handle it, given my prior forays in solo indie development and the streamlined content pipelines we built, which allowed us to generate new units and functionality quickly.  
Live Ops and Takeaways:
Legacy was the first project where the bulk of my time working on it was in the live ops phase. After the game shipped into soft-launch (a bit earlier than desired due to the Roadhouse closure) and the team spun off into what would become Navigator Games, it was a continuous sprint by sprint turnaround of content, events, and features for years
This was a great time for me, as it allowed me to refine and hone in on everything from what makes a great character kit design to how to balance monetization and other aspects of a complex mobile economy.
The game is currently still running 7 years strong as of April 2024.​​​​​​​
 Some of the experiences I took away from this particular project included:
• Working with a larger marketing team and brand effort for an IP
• Doing press interviews
• Building a guilds system as well as co-operative raid boss system (so much work goes into it).​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
• Getting an understanding of PvP matchmaking and balance.
• Learning that I had a strength for creating compelling metagame systems, but was not so great with balancing the numbers and understanding how things changed at scale. This experience would force me to improve in this area on subsequent projects.
• Developing a very wide range of systems effective for not only myself to work on, but other people (a huge distinction!). Following this, actually doing the documentation and handoff for new designers years later so they could run the process on their own.
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