Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
Monday Night Combat
Super Monday Night Combat
I am not a designer.
Well, not a formally-trained one, at least. I didn't go to school and get a degree in anything design-related. In fact, I got my degree in astrophysics, and you might be surprised at just how little astrophysics applies to design. I know, it's shocking.
But after getting my bachelor's degree in astrophysics I ended up in a field I'd had a love for (in addition to astrophysics) since I was a child: video games. First I ended up at GameSpy running their flagship site (at the time), PlanetQuake, and then eventually working as a genre producer for the action genre sites under their umbrella. And writing lots of fun articles.
Then I ended up using that experience to move on to Activision, where I worked in online marketing on their slate of first-person shooter and other "hardcore gamer" titles.
Then came UI design.
I moved on to Raven Software, where I became a UI designer working on titles like Quake 4, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, and Wolfenstein. After Raven I wanted to work on things that weren't first-person shooters in order to stretch my wings a bit, so I went to Gas Powered Games in Seattle and worked on Space Siege and Demigod. Then I switched gears to Uber Entertainment, where I worked on Monday Night Combat for Xbox Live Arcade, and Super Monday Night Combat, a Free-To-Play PC title. I moved into the mobile Free-to-Play space at Z2 where I worked on a number of titles, including Battle Nations, Shadowslayer, and more.
After fifteen years in the game industry, I decided to try something different next: I'm now the Lead UX Designer at VREAL, where we're working on creating awesome streaming experiences in virtual reality.
In my (very limited) spare time, I still work on the occasional game project, whether it's my paper combat card game or a simple game about a flying alpaca in Unity.
You'll see a lot of stuff on this site that relates to UI and UX design, like case studies and articles about what I think makes for good game UI design and good UX. This isn't because I think I'm some sort of maven of UI design, it's because of what I started off saying: I'm not a designer. But since I get paid a good sum of money by people I like being employed by to actually do UX design, I figure it behooves me to continue expanding my horizons in the field by trying to explore it more on a regular basis.
Oh yeah, I do other things, too.
When I'm not doing things that are game UI/UX-related I can be found doing any number of other activities:
- Doing the parent thing with my husband as we raise our two sons.
- Raising my herd of four alpacas.
- Using their fleece to handspin and knit my own yarn. I've been a knitter for about twenty years, and a spinner for about ten. You can even buy some of my yarn in my Etsy shop or read about how I make it on my yarn blog.
- Teaching or performing bellydance in the greater Seattle area. Find out more at Elemental Bellydance.
- Playing video games. (You might know me as Hellchick if you're an old-school Quake player.)
I like hearing from people. So make with the clicky-clicky on the social links down there, and give me a holler.