I am a Lead Game Designer, with a diverse skill set and 10+ years of experience, who believes great games are created through prototyping, process, and people.
- I embrace rapid prototyping to reveal unknowns and push development forward.
- I establish design processes to encourage creativity and quality while meeting deadlines.
- I empower teammates through clear feedback/documentation, playtest organization, and mentorship.
SENIOR GAMEPLAY DESIGNER
Power Rangers: Legacy Wars (iOS, Android)
- Responsible for the design and implementation of warriors.
- Analyze current game health and plan and execute game balance changes.
- Collaborate with engineers, animators, VFX artists, and SFX engineers ensure timely release of high quality content.
LEAD GAME DESIGNER
Zombie Gunship Survival (iOS, Android)
- Set priorities of feature development along with production staff.
- Responsible for maintaining the unique three faction combat of Zombie Gunship Survival.
- Balanced all player weaponry comprised of over 30 weapons.
- Established enemy health and damage scaling for combat balance.
- Setup gacha box drop tables and worked with engineering on creating data sheet format.
- Designed UI flow for base interactions and player workshop.
LEAD GAME DESIGNER
Unannounced 3rd Person Shooter (iOS, Android)
- Created 3 distinct enemy factions designed for creative user-generated base defense combination.
- Prototyped combat experience to prove out weapon combat and demonstrate flexibility of base defense design.
- Designed replayable mission structure providing players with mission objective diversity and opposition variation.
LEAD GAME DESIGNER
TOME:Immortal Arena (Web Browser, Steam)
- Designed and organized the tutorial sequence resulting in a 15% increase in D7 retention.
- Planned the Quests system resulting in 27% increase in D7 retention.
- Initiated matchmaking algorithm change reducing Glicko-2 score disparity between competing teams.
- Restructured design team and processes to meet live-op design milestones.
Dance Central 3 (Xbox 360, Kinect); Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 (XBLA, PSN); 1942: Joint Strike (XBLA, PSN); Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon (XBLA, PSN); Gauntlet (DS; Unreleased)
- Headed design of Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3, 1942:Joint Strike, and Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon.
- Designed/tuned enemy behaviors and player abilities for Commando 3, 1942, Ugly Americans and Gauntlet DS.
- Created supporting designs, mockups, and copy for client proposal requests to land new studio work.
- Mentored design staff through work critique, creativity exercises, game deconstruction, and task planning.
SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT
Rise To Honor (Playstation 2) ; Unreleased 3rd Person Action Game (PSP)
- Cultivated and tuned enemy behaviors and melee combat mechanics for an unreleased PSP title.
- Revamped fight coordination system and improved functionality from Rise To Honor.
- Implemented and scripted two levels, while developing all fight scenarios in Rise to Honor.
- Directed animation and engineering implementation of melee related player abilities.
LEVEL LAYOUT DIRECTOR
THE 3DO COMPANY
Army Men: Air Attack 2 (Playstation); Army Men: Air Attack (Playstation); Uprising X (Playstation)
- Designed and scripted two single player levels for Army Men: Air Attack 2, Army Men: Air Attack, and Uprising X.
- Mobilized the design team on Army Men: Air Attack 2 by tracking productivity and quality.
I got my Bachelor of Arts Degree at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Ia. I majored in Computer Science. My education enabled me to learn scripting languages really quickly.
DOWNLOAD MY CV
You can download my CV in pdf format if you like. I am currently looking work. I love working with teams to make ideas come to life. With the correct prototyping, process and people anything can be done.
VIEW MY LINKEDIN PROFILE
You can view my LinkedIn profile. I am currently looking work. I love working with teams to make ideas come to life. With the correct prototyping, process and people anything can be done.
KYLE TUNISON LEAD GAME DESIGNER / KIXEYE
I would like to focus my recommendation of Marcus around his high quality as a design leader and mentor. Where he is truly exceptional is in his capacity to be a thoughtful, active listener. In a creative industry like ours, I do not list this attribute lightly. His capacity to not just hear what people say, but to truly listen, is among the best I’ve worked with. I have worked with many otherwise smart and talented leaders who lack this particular critical quality. More impressively still, his thoughtfulness has no affect on his ability to be decisive when it is necessary and to guide any team he is a part of. I’ve watched him steer ships of various sizes while always maintaining a cool head. I feel confidence in that when Marcus is leading a team, or any piece of that team, that the quality that results will be as good as it can be.
I have learned a great deal from my time working with Marcus, not merely about design itself, but about the games industry as a whole, and I would be more than happy to find myself on a team with him again.
MICAH RUSSO INNOVATION CONSULTANT AND ENTREPRENEUR
Marcus was invaluable during my time as Creative Director at Backbone Entertainment. As the studio’s Lead/Senior Designer, he led the design team, collaborated with other leads, and drove concept development on many projects. He also suggested numerous improvements for studio processes, best practices, and team building while mentoring other designers. Marcus is extremely knowledgeable in current games, their development, and history. He also has expert skills ranging from design direction, leadership, and implementation to functional prototyping (e.g. a playable prototype that led to 1942: Joint Strike). I would happily add Marcus to any team in the future.
SCOTT HOWARD GENERAL MANAGER / ELECTRONIC ARTS
Marcus has so many attributes that help a team succeed, it is hard to list them all here. First off is his wealth of experience in designing games including console, mobile, browser, free to play and premium. Whatever he works on, he can pull from years of knowledge as both a developer and life long gamer. Next is team collaboration. He is at his best when working on a team, both bringing out the best in him, but he bringing out the best in others, and not just his design peers, but the whole team. Lastly is his thoughtfulness. Marcus constantly is focusing not just on what is the right solution, but are we implementing it in the right way. That can be right for the team, the budget, the time line, or just ease of development. Nothing that Marcus does is without thought and careful consideration. I look forward to the chance to work with Marcus again.
MORAKOTH TANG SENIOR GAME AND UX DESIGNER / LEAPFROG
Marcus is one of the best people to work with. He’s a great designer and knows all the ins and outs of many design disciplines and I can talk about that all day, but what I truly value in Marcus is his seniority and leadership qualities. He has been the voice of reason on many projects we worked together/. He keeps the team calm, collected, and focused. As a lead in many of the products we worked on I recognize time and time again qualities that standout are: honesty, clear communication, confidence, positive attitude and approachability. He’s honest in his assessment and lets you know how the situation it is. Being upfront with the realities of the situation allowed me and many of the time to be honest with our work as well. It’s inspiring and goes a long way when quality is important. He clearly communicates not only within the design team but cross disciplines to get what we need done. He makes sure the goal is clear so that everyone on the team is on the same page in order to achieve it. He never waivers in his confidence in himself and his team which I believe is his best character. It’s encouraging when deadlines hangover us. Marcus is always confident in his ability to lead but his confidence in the team’s ability creates a cohesion and trust for everyone. I personally grew under Marcus’ mentorship and he has taught me a lot about being a good designer but he has also shown me a lot about being a good leader on a team.
OMID FARIVAR UX RESEARCHER / FACEBOOK
Marcus is one of the greatest people to work with. Ever. He also happens to be a great game designer, which is good because that’s his job.
Heading to work everyday knowing I was going to be working with Marcus made me feel super warm and fuzzy inside. He has a great knack for just knowing what’s missing to players, what to tune next, or what makes something fun or not. As a researcher, I invited him to watch sessions regularly. I often didn’t need to give this guy any deliverables, because a debrief was enough. He just GETS IT. And I love that in people I work with!
Marcus rocks and I hope our paths cross again in the future.
GLEN MCKNIGHT DESIGNER EXTRAORDINAIRE / OTHER OCEAN GROUP
Marcus is one of those designers you want to be, quick, sharp, clever, & funny. Those qualities translated directly into his work which always challenged design conventions & were informed by his wealth of experience. Marcus is a master of taking an army of so-so AI with basic behaviors, and tweaking and tuning them into being fun, interesting and diverse set of opponents. And when it came time to direct ideas on new player behaviors and mechanics, Marcus had a incredible knack for knocking out visual prototypes of new mechanics.
Beyond his solid core of design sensibilities, he is also great at leading and mentoring Jr. Designers to rise above their new skill sets and become great designers. Always positive & willing to motivate others to be more than they are also extended to the entire team, who could look to Marcus for guidance when things got rocky. Marcus is a designer I would look forward to having on my team at any opportunity.
- Founder of the wearegamedevs.com, a website dedicated to featuring diverse game developers.
- Advisory board member and volunteer for non-profit Gameheads.
- Prototyped 1942:Joint Strike mechanics in 16 hours~.
- Participates in Game Jams and organized the Backbone’s first internal game jam, called Spinal Hack.
- Featured twice in Gamasutra member blog articles (Article 1 / Article 2).
- Hip Hop over Rap
- Love 90’s era hip hop, but have an appreciation for some artist today with their spirit. I believe Rap – Lies = Hip Hop.
- Sonic over Mario
- Sonic was the icon I grew up with. While his games have suffered in recent years, he embodies the twitch action and spirit I love in a character. Bayonetta has similar traits.
- Wrestling over Football
- I participated in both sports while growing up. I love wrestling more. Qualified for State competition twice and continued wrestling in college.
- Salsa over R+B
- If I go to a club, I’d rather is be salsa. The act of partner dancing reminds me so much of wrestling, but without the competition. There is still body manipulation, but it is with the permission of your partner.