In my 12+ years of professional experience in Game Development I’ve acquired an extensive set of skills that help game teams make better games.
Game Design is my main forté – I’m well-versed in any of it’s disciplines. Here are some cornerstones of my skill set:
- Systems & Mechanics Design: I know exactly how to construct systems and rules in order to design a specific player experience – and how to deconstruct it.
- Technical Writing & Documentation: Explaining complex systems in a way so that everyone on your team truly understands it – I’ve honed technical writing for over a decade.
- Game Balancing: Systems are meaningless for the player experience if the numbers don’t relate well to each other – from feature balancing to managing whole virtual economies of complex RPGs with hundreds of systems and currencies – I know my way around numbers and formulas.
- Pitching & Game Concepts: I’ve created numerous pitch decks for various RFPs and have successfully pitched & presented game concepts in front of high-profile publishers and execs like NBC Universal and Dreamworks.
- UI & UX Design: User experience lies at the heart of design – from FTUEs, player guidance and contextual tutorials to long-term retentetion – I know how to compose player experiences and user journeys that draws players in effortlessly and keeps them engaged for years.
- Content & Level Design: I know how to set up and dress game content in efficient ways, utilizing assets to their maximum potential.
Aside from game design, I’m knowledgable and interested in various other game development disciplines.
Team Management & Game Direction
Making games is about the people that develop them. I consider soft skills in game development to be paramount – after all, game development is inherently a collaborative process. I’ve accrued years of experience in working with people and managing teams of various backgrounds and cultures – including lots of mistakes along the way.
Here’s a few soft skills I can bring to the table and help game teams make better games:
- Team Leadership: Listening, guiding game teams, trust, giving ownership and encouraging open communcation is my core tenet when it comes to team management.
- Multi-cultural Team Building: The best games are made with people from diverse backgrounds and experience – I can help bringing them together.
- Conflict Resolution: Diverse teams have differing opinions – solving them amicably before they bottle up keeps everyone cool-headed.
- Mentoring: Enabling others to be the best they can be and unlocking their true potential is something that gives me great joy – a harmoneous team builds better games.
- Decisionmaking & Accountability: I’m accustomed to making decisions when they are needed – and be accountable for them, even if they turn out to be wrong.
- Vision Keeping: It’s hard to have everyone work towards a common goal, let alone have people being excite for it – I know how to develop roadmaps that keep everyone aligned.
- Stakeholder Management: I speak the language of publishers & execs and know how to translate their needs into tangible work for a game team.
Software & Tools
Below is a list of common software and development tools I’ve used quite extensively within my career, including some of my thoughts around their use cases. This should give you a broad idea on how I work and how I can contribute to game teams.
- Unity: I’ve released many different games in this engine and contributed to various professional game projects made in Unity.
- Excel & Spreadsheets: The game balancer’s tool of choice. Hated by programmers, indispensable for designers. I use Excel on daily basis and know how to set up complex virtual economies, balance difficulty, progression and cost curves and more.
- Figma: From collaboration in UI/UX Design, Wireframes to presentations of Visual Content, Figma is my modern tool of choice for everything visual.
- Adobe Creative Suite: Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator. The bread and butter for visual creation (I’ve created my resume with InDesign, for example).
- Atlassian Confluence: I’ve set up Game Design & Development “Wikis” or “Living Design Documents” for various game projects in a way that documentation stays as relevant as possible for game teams.
- Atlassian JIRA: I’ve worked in various configurations of JIRA and have helped to establish and manage workflows with Game Producers especially when it comes to Game Design deliverables.
- Trello: Some game teams or departments prefer Trello for its visual approach, I especially had success with Game Art Teams.
- ChatGPT & Various AI Tools: New age, new paradigms. AI helps me to supercharge various gamedev workflows. I for one welcome our new AI overlords.
And many more. I use tools like Evernote, 1Password and Dropbox to manage my personal digital life.
My Works & Contributions
Take a look at my portfolio and resume here:
Additinally I operate a YouTube Channel and Website called GameDevGems.com, which I’ve started as passion-project. I aim to help game developers to get better at making games through game development videos, concepts, tutorials, techniques and more.
Get in Touch
If you like what you’ve read and are looking for a dedicated & passionate game designer, don’t hesitate to reach out via any of my social channels!
- Email: email@example.com
- LinkedIn: Steve Haßenpflug
- Twitter: Profile
- Instagram: stevehassenpflug
I’m happy to discuss anything – I’m open for knowledge exchange, requests for feedback and everything else game development. Get in touch!
Written by Steve Haßenpflug, a seasoned game designer with a strong product & technical background. His focus is on creating engaging games for companies that want big results.
Steve has developed top-grossing AAA games for IPs beloved by players around the world (Angry Birds, Trolls) with international companies (NBC Universal, DreamWorks, Rovio) and helped bootstrap gaming startups in the early stages of seeding. He’s an expert in mobile free-to-play mechanics.
He also manages GameDevGems, a resource that aims to help game developers to get better at making games through gamedev concepts, tutorials and techniques and is a passion-project of him.