MATTHEW

OWENS

 ESQ.

GAME DESIGNER
&
LICENSED ATTORNEY
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GAMES

2022

MADDEN 23

Description

Game Engine:

Frostbite

Time Spent on Project:

Ongoing

My Role:

Game Designer II, Design Lead

Synopsis:

The latest title in the storied Madden franchise.

Key Contributions:

  • Design Lead for the Face of the Franchise: The League, a created player-focused narrative mode.

  • Leading a team of designers in the ideation, documentation, prototyping, and iteration of designs to fit the overarching objectives set by the Creative Director.​

  • Communicating and presenting progress to leadership regularly, ensuring we are hitting key goals both creatively and within the realities of production.

  • Design Owner of the Side Activities system, and responsible for tuning and implementing core content.

  • Also a key leader on an internal Game Jam program that allows devs to flex their creative muscles in a fun, focused way outside of typical work projects.

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2021

MADDEN 22

Description

Game Engine:

Frostbite

Time Spent on Project:

8 Months

My Role:

Game Designer II

Synopsis:

With new ways to play in the Yard, and compelling Dynamic Gameday features never before seen, there's never been a more thrilling time on the field.

Key Contributions:

  • Design Owner of The Yard Campaign, plotting overall structure, rewards, and progression for the mode.

  • Design Owner of The Rise, the prologue experience for our Face of the Franchise narrative-based mode.

  • Took over the Design Lead role on the Face of the Franchise project near the end of production.

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2019-2020

UNRELEASED PROJECT

Description

Game Engine:

Unable to disclose due to NDA

Time Spent on Project:

18 Months

My Role:

Game Designer I

Synopsis:

Unable to disclose due to NDA

Key Contributions:

  • Design Owner of key progression and reward systems.

  • Developed multiple playable prototypes using the Unity engine and C# for proof of concept, rapid iteration, and UX testing of key screens and systems.

  • Designed and worked with Software Engineers to implement a suite of accessibility features.​

  • Oversaw, reviewed, and approved designs of junior designers.

  • Project has been put on indefinite hiatus.

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2018

NBA LIVE 19

Description

Game Engine:

Electronic Arts' Ignite Engine

Time Spent on Project:

12 Months

My Role:

Associate Game Designer

Synopsis:

The latest title in EA's NBA LIVE series. Build your own squad and take your game all over the globe to play ball in exotic venues and challenge the world's best.

Key Contributions:

  • Design Owner of The Rise.

  • The Rise is a series of four narrative games that introduce Users to new features and concepts central to The One game modes in LIVE 19. It also serves as the primary demo experience.

  • Design Owner of The Streets: World Tour.

  • The World Tour is a 30+ hour game mode that challenges Users to compete in tournaments at 14 different venues all across the globe, and complete unique bonus challenges against some of the greatest basketball players to ever live. Take down the boss of each venue to recruit them to your Squad, and build your own dream team as you strive to prove your game is second-to-none.

  • Drafted original design documents for the The Rise and The World Tour, creating visual wireframes, flowcharts, and concise descriptions of all the screens and systems necessary to make these modes functions.

  • Used Axure RP 8 to create interactive wireframes to rapidly prototype and iterate on important game screens and flows, allowing for more efficient and natural communication of the intended designs to artists, engineers, and leadership.

  • Through JIRA, broke down my designs for The Rise and The World Tour into discrete tasks, mapping all steps necessary to bring the game modes from concept to completion. Consulted with artists and engineers to estimate costs for each task, then worked with management and leadership to modify and iterate on designs to bring the modes within scope.​

  • Identified notable design discrepancies between the various "pre-game lobbies" throughout the different game modes. Raised issue to leadership and relevant design owners, organized review of the issue with those parties, created collaborative design document to begin unifying cross-mode designs, and pursued implementation of changes in my own modes to ensure greater cohesion and unity of design throughout LIVE 19.

  • Designed, documented, and implemented unique rulesets for over 14 bonus games that had thematic relevance to the venue or players at that location, and then collaborated with gameplay designers to iterate and improve on each one of the rulesets and teams to make them as fun as possible.

  • Designed, documented, and implemented 1,584 different bonus objectives throughout The World Tour. These challenges varied depending on what playstyle the User selected at character creation, ensuring that Users are faced with skill-tailored and relevant challenges for any game played within the mode.

  • Organized and directed regular build review meetings for both The Rise and The World Tour.

  • Reviewed and edited Conversation drafts received from writers.

  • Implemented finalized Conversations into game using proprietary EA software.

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2017

NBA LIVE 18

Description

Game Engine:

Electronic Arts' Ignite Engine

Time Spent on Project:

12 Months

My Role:

Associate Game Designer

Synopsis:

A revitalization of the NBA LIVE Series. Become The One by finding a balance between your game in the Streets and within the League.

Key Contributions:

  • Design owner of the Conversation System present in all major game modes, a completely new and flagship feature for LIVE 18.

  • Drafted original design document for the Conversation System, creating visual wireframes, flowcharts, and concise descriptions of all the system functions.

  • Directed two separate teams of engineers to implement the entirety of the System across the multiple modes of the game.

  • Worked with and reviewed the work of UI Artists and Technical Artists to mock, implement, and refine the screen in-game.

  • Created specialized spreadsheet for and outlined hundreds of Conversations, detailing and noting what kind of conversations will spawn, when, and under what conditions.

  • Created the first draft of all characters to be used in the Conversation System, and worked with a dedicated writer to flesh out and finalize those character personalities.

  • Wrote over twenty full conversations between the player character and Sydney Elliott, a female sports reporter NPC.

  • Worked with Senior Narrative Designer and writers to plan and organize major story beats told by Conversations in all major game modes.

  • Reviewed and edited Conversation drafts received from writers.

  • Implemented finalized Conversations into game using proprietary EA software.

  • Programmed logic that dictated when and under what circumstances Conversations spawned in-game.

  • Created and maintained complete pipeline for Conversations, from outlining, to writing, to review, to implementation.

  • Organized and directed meetings with writers and designers to review, edit, and iterate on Conversations after first implementation pass.

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2016

LEY LINES

Description

Game Engine:

Unreal Engine 4.10

Time Spent on Project:

8 Months

My Role:

Project Lead, Project Manager, Designer, Writer, Voice Actor

Synopsis:

Throughout the ruined temple of Miria's Heart, Vala must attune to and master five unique powers, allowing her to alter gravity, slow time, shift space, and much more. Unique puzzles scattered throughout the temple's remains can be overcome in a variety of ways by using and combining your world-bending abilities.

Team:

Matthew Owens, Victor Viglianti, Andrew Jordan, Gordon Parzych, Krishna Mehta, Alexander Stopar, William Bahnmiller, Charles Speed, John Michael Bell, Steffen Vala, Roselyn Troche, Jasmine Troche, Lauren Hart, Ashley Lawrynowicz

Key Contributions:

  • Led a team of 14 in the development of our thesis game at Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, taking a full game project all the way from concept to publication on Steam.

  • Established and maintained clear channels of communication between our design, programming, and art teams.

  • Prepared and presented bi-weekly updates on the state of our game to both faculty and peers.

  • Ensured polish and functionality of game builds prior to every presentation, personally fixing most problems found by hand in Unreal Engine or assisting the appropriate team member to swiftly resolve the issue.

  • Concepted and drafted enemy, puzzle, and UI designs.

  • Designed and coordinated final narrative encounter so that gameplay, visuals, and sound all reflected the main character’s strength being stripped away.

  • Made difficult decisions on what content had to be cut from our game to meet our commitments, and what we needed to redouble our efforts on.

  • Wrote all game lore, character descriptions, and enemy descriptions.

  • Voiced the narrator and end encounter of the game.

  • Edited, timed, and implemented sound files and subtitles in Unreal Engine for the end encounter.

  • Used JIRA to establish sprints and schedule tasks to iterate on designs and maintain overall project organization.

  • Organized weekly internal and external playtests.

  • Mediated and quickly resolved disagreements between team members.

  • Organized and held regular team-building game nights to celebrate major accomplishments.

  • Launched and maintained a successful Steam Greenlight campaign.

  • Implemented data-driven improvements based on metrics collected from playtesting.

  • The only team in our cohort to successfully publish to Steam.

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SIGN OF THE CRIMES

Description

Game Engine:

Unity 5

Time Spent on Project:

2 Months

My Role:

Technical Designer, Writer,

Voice Actor, Artist

Team:

Matthew Owens, Krishna Mehta, Gordon Parzych, William Bahnmiller, Steven Ignetti, Summan Mirza, Samantha Mohr, David Parker, Jose Morales

Synopsis:

  • You are Shurlocke Ohms, world-famous robo-detective! You're ALSO the latest victim of a master thief that's been pilfering the voice-boxes of every bot in the city! But by learning and using the fundamentals of American Sign Language, players can use the Leap Motion peripheral to actually sign different letters that will help them question witnesses and track down the voice-box vandal! A visual-novel-style educational game intended to teach the basics of ASL finger-spelling in the wrapper of a fanciful world.

Key Contributions:

  • Designed and scripted in C# a driving mini-game which plays in-between each main investigation scene. Core concept involved players signing letters generated from a pool of those currently known to choose a direction, reinforcing recently gained knowledge while navigating to the next challenge.

  • Wrote fourteen pages of character dialogue, narration, and direction, and voiced, recorded, and edited all spoken audio.

  • Drew original character concept art for Dr. Watts.

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GROWTH SPURT

Description

Game Engine:

Unity 5

Time Spent on Project:

4 Weeks

My Role:

Technical Designer

Team:

Matthew Owens, Victor Viglianti

Synopsis:

  • Experience tranquility as you grow from a sapling into a mighty tree. Reach ever-skyward as day and night pass you by, and seek balance in all things.

Key Contributions:

  • Designed and implemented energy-management system, dynamic perspective camera, and day-night cycle. Reinforcing a "zen" aesthetic, players growing their tree in "balance," with no one side more overgrown than the others, receive a greater rate of energy regeneration and are able to grow much faster.

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EARF DEFENDER GUY

Description

Game Engine:

Unity 5

Time Spent on Project:

2 Weeks

My Role:

Solo Developer

Synopsis:

  • Earf is in danger! As the planet's okay-est hero, smash into menacing meteors to send them hurtling back into space, where they definitely, probably, maybe won't ever return. A 360-degree game of keepy-uppy, destroy as many meteors as you can before Earf's inevitable demise.

Key Contributions:

  • Independently designed and developed using C# in Unity.

  • Researched and implemented gravitational physics which allow meteors and the player to orbit the Earf in a semi-realistic manner.

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2015

CANDY QUEST

Description

Game Engine:

Unity 5

Time Spent on Project:

2 Weeks

My Role:

Technical Designer

Team:

Matthew Owens, Victor Viglianti, Agnesa Belegu

Synopsis:

  • Desperately dig for enough hidden candy to ascend to the next level, and avoid the evil vegetables trying to bump you to your doom! Built up from a Minecraft-inspired assignment, and presented as a final project for Technical Design I at FIEA.

Key Contributions:

  • Researched and wrote scripts in C# which allowed enemies to track and follow the player character over uneven terrain, detecting and jumping over any obstacles that may appear in an enemy's path during its chase. On contact with the player, made it so that the player character would be forcefully thrown backwards, potentially off the edge of the stage, resulting in game loss.

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IMMORTAL

Description

Game Engine:

Unity 5

Time Spent on Project:

2 Weeks

My Role:

Writer, Technical Designer, Producer, Voice Actor

Team:

Matthew Owens, Alex Dee, Alex Papanicalou, Ashley Lawrynowicz, Ashwin Narayanan

Synopsis:

  • A King cursed with Immortality by jealous gods has lost all reason for being. He now seeks only his own oblivion. Having learned of a ancient demon capable of ending even immortal existence, players travel deep into the Formless Labyrinth, where they will face hellish monsters and grievous harm, as the King is impervious only to death, not pain and injury. With a heavy focus on narrative, Immortal was intended to be an allegorical exploration of a man's descent into depression and suicidal ideation. The game also makes use of limb-based injury, with damage done to the players arms slowing attack, damage to legs slowing movement, and so on.

Key Contributions:

  • Wrote full "screenplay" for the prototype, and personally voiced all narration.

  • Drafted a full Game Design Document of which this prototype was intended to communicate a small portion.

  • Established and maintained a Trello board for project organization throughout the game's two-and-a-half-week development cycle.

  • Designed core gameplay features and broke systems down into constituent tasks for the team.

  • Designed and created a paper prototype for the final boss fight in order to clearly communicate design choices and rapidly test small changes.

  • Scripted cinematic fading and image display for the game's cutscenes.

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MAJOR URSA

Description

Game Engine:

Unity 5

Time Spent on Project:

2 Weeks

My Role:

Game Designer, Producer, Artist, Voice Actor

Team:

Matthew Owens, Agnesa Belegu, Alexander Stopar, Katie Freeman, Samantha Mohr

Synopsis:

  • When the the Evil Salmon Armada invades Bearspace, Major Ursa must take to the skies to defend her homeworld! In this mobile take on the classic shoot-'em-up genre, players narrowly dodge fishy bullets by tilting their phone side-to-side, select between four distinct bear-based weapons all utilizing different types of touch-input, face off against four unique enemies, and take down a massive final boss!

Key Contributions:

  • Designed core gameplay features and broke systems down into constituent tasks for the team.

  • Designed and created a paper prototype for the final boss fight in order to clearly communicate design choices and rapidly test small changes.

  • Created the line art for the Game Over screen and the Bearmory in Adobe Illustrator.

  • Established and maintained a Trello board for project organization throughout the game's two-week development cycle.

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SPIRIT SPAT

Description

Game Engine:

Unity 5

Time Spent on Project:

2 Weeks

My Role:

Game Designer, Producer, Artist, Voice Actor

Team:

Matthew Owens, Agnesa Belegu, Alexander Stopar, Katie Freeman, Samantha Mohr

Synopsis:

  • A firey mountain spirit and a serene forest spirit can't agree on where one's turf end and the other ends! Two players mark as much territory as they can before the timer runs down in this 2D Splatoon-like land grabber, using hordes of summoned lesser elementals to help achieve total control!

Key Contributions:

  • Designed core gameplay features and broke systems down into constituent tasks for the team.

  • Designed and crafted a playable paper prototype to clearly communicate design choices and rapidly test small changes.

  • Created the art for both win screens in Adobe Illustrator.

  • Established and maintained a Trello board for project organization throughout the game's two-week development cycle.

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NO BE SAD

Description

Game Engine:

Unity 5

Time Spent on Project:

2 Weeks

My Role:

Game Designer, Producer, Artist

Team:

Matthew Owens, Peter Napolitano, Logan Gerol, Sam Knox, Kelly Rodak

Synopsis:

  • Take on the role of a boy's faithful pup, discover what has your best friend so down, and try your best to cheer him up! The goal of this prototype was to tell a short story. An alternate build of the game supported Oculus Rift, making it the first dog-based VR simulator. Groundbreaking!

Key Contributions:

  • Concepted and successfully pitched core game design.

  • Plotted order and layout of all "fetch quests."

  • Storyboarded opening and ending cutscenes.

  • Created art for all dog "thought" icons in Adobe Illustrator.

  • Established and maintained a Trello board for project organization throughout the game's two-week development cycle.

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CAPTAIN BUTTERBALL

Description

Game Engine:

Unity 5

Time Spent on Project:

2 Weeks

My Role:

Game Designer, Producer, Artist

Team:

Matthew Owens, Derek Mattson, Justin Stanley, Brian Kortbus, Lauren Hart

Synopsis:

  • In the depths of a collapsing planet, it is the ultimate tale of man versus environment! Player One controls Captain Butterball as he attempts to dodge psychedelic lava and falling rocks, while Player Two controls the deadly planet itself!

Key Contributions:

  • Concepted and successfully pitched core game design to prototyping team.

  • Designed central gameplay features and broke systems down into constituent tasks for the team.

  • Created the art for both win screens in Adobe Illustrator.

  • Established and maintained a Trello board for project organization throughout the game's two-week development cycle.

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DOCS

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ZERO BLADE

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HOUND

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ALL SIGHT

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RUINED STEEL

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IMMORTAL

 

RESUMÉ

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