Ben Townsend        Game Designer Portfolio

Ben Townsend

Manchester, UK

ben@benjamintownsend.co.uk



Current Status

Working freelance, primarily through Upwork. Also publishing daily puzzles on Twitter and Instagram.

Games

Adventures of a Young Pirate Queen - Concept Designer

December 2019 - January 2019

Development of a 50 page game concept document for a puzzle platformer based on the childhood of Grace O'Malley, a leader and a captain from 16th Century Ireland. I was tasked with creating the core game mechanics, concepts for levels and designing gameplay to fit with the narrative.



Fuzzy Duck - Gir Forest - Level Designer and Developer

July 2019 - September 2019

A 2D game for Chester Zoo to teach visitors about the importance of balance in an environment. The user controlled a lion in Gir National Park (India) and had to make choices which affected their ecology.



Anarchy Industries - Masque of Anarchy - UI Designer & Developer

October 2018 - August 2019

A choose your own adventure narrative that I converted from PC to work on Android. My responsibilities included QA, development, user interface design and publishing.

Google Play



Kit10 - Cities of You - Game Designer

May 2019 - July 2019

A mobile wellness app intended to help people maintain meaningful relationships with those in their life. My responsibilities involved designing game mechanics, writing concept and design documents and developing player progression.



Fuzzy Duck - Meliden Mines - Level Designer and Developer

February 2019 - June 2019

A 2D multiplayer game about mining for a museum in Wales. I was initially hired for development but also performed duties as level designer, gameplay designer and ensuring a good user experience.

Photos



PlayX - Various Titles - Game Designer

March 2019 - April 2019

Worked on a variety of casual mobile titles, developing concepts, prototypes and GDDs. Game types included endless runners, puzzles and platformers.



The New Guardian - The New Guardian - Game Concept Designer

December 2018 - January 2019

A 2D adventure the game that I was asked to write a concept document to use as a pitch for funding. The game resolved around the issues of bullying and expressed them using combat, exploration and puzzle solving mechanics.



Tipsy Chicken - Tipsy Chicken - Game Writer

September 2018 - September 2018

A drinking/party card game. I was responsabile for creating dares, making puns and writing the rules.



Planet Spark - Various Titles - Game Designer

May 2018 - September 2018

A series of educational games to teach maths skills to children aged 5 to 12. I worked on numerous titles, each covering different areas of maths and having unique mechanics. On average created around 2 or 3 complete design documents per work week.



Maguss - Maguss - System Designer

January 2017 - April 2018

A mobile augmented reality game that I can best describe as Pokemon Go meets Harry Potter. You wonder the world (the real world) encountering monsters, collecting ingredients and finding chests. The majority of my work was designing the monster's stats, AI, calculating the in game currency and designing the player progression.

Google Play  iTunes



Thousand Realms - Fire Gate & Fire Seed - Narrative Designer and Quality Assurance

November 2016 - September 2017

Mobile based choose your own adventure games. Choose a Mage , a Sword Master, a Thief and go on  an adventure through the  Thousand Realms. I was initially taken on to do QA but after a  time they asked me to write additional narrative material and  design monsters and items to  feature in the games.

Google Play iTunes



AffirmedIT - FitConnect - Rewards Designer

January 2017 - June 2017

FitConnect is a system that gathers data from various apps that track your workouts, diet and sleep patterns. I was taken on to create formulas that would reward points based on how well you did. The main challenge was to ensure that all users were rewarded fairly, regardless of their ability.

Website



World Away Games - Swipe Breaker 2 - Level Designer

May 2017

A modified version of the classic game breakout for mobile. I was tasked to design some levels for the game that took advantage of its unique mechanics.



Ice Peddler Games - Riddle Hack - Programmer

November 2016 - December 2016

A question and answer game for PC that had a successful Kickstarter campaign in May 2017. My work here was limited to programming but was the first professional job that I had.



More details available via Upwork.

Education

PlaygroundSquad UK Nov. 2015 - Oct. 2016

Level 3 Qualification in Game Design


University of St. Mark and St. John 2004 - 2007

Ba(Hons), Computing and Information Technology with Education Studies, 2:1

About Me

I am a hardworking and knowledgeable game designer looking for a position in a professional video games studio. I enjoy dedicating myself to a project, making sure that every aspect is as good as it can be. Two of my strongest skills are my work ethic and ability to research. No matter what the game's subject matter may be, I like to thoroughly find out as much as possible and implement what I learn into the game.


I also have a good head for numbers and am happy to calculate appropriate character stats, enemy spawn rates, weapon power or whatever is required to achieve a balanced game. As I enjoy working with numbers, people and managing data, in the long term I aspire to work in project management within the industry. I can also be creative and like to approach existing concepts from different angles and think of alternative methods. If I come across an issue I will not spend hours banging my head against a wall and would rethink the situation to find a solution.

Personal Interests

Outside of the video game industry I am an avid boardgamer and am currently in the process of developing my own board game. I have taken part in multiple Ludum Dares as a solo entrant and was also at the inaugural Jamchester Game Jam in a team of three. I like the keep active and have pushed myself to enter multiple marathons and half-marathons. I cycle too and have done cycle tours in Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and the Czech Republic.


I like to do charity work when I can and have volunteered to teach English and work in orphanages in India, Ghana, Thailand and Vietnam. Whilst on these trips I wrote public blogs which have helped me to improve my writing skills and in communicating through documentation. The trips also allowed me to have many great experiences and to meet a variety of people from different cultures, which I look forward to being able to feed into my game designs.


I am also an ambassador for the charity Everyone Can, who provide assistive technology for children and adults with special needs. My work with them involves in promoting the charity and assisting children during their gaming sessions. These sessions are wholly inclusive, and regardless of the child’s abilities we ensure there are games available in which they can join in. I was once interviewed about my work with them and as a game designer, which you can find at the following link.


Everyone Can Interview

Software Proficiency

Unreal Engine 4, Unity, Game Maker, Maya, Photoshop, Mercurial, Github, Axosoft, Pycharm and Trello.

References

Available on request from Mikael Hellberg (Art Craft Manager at EA DICE) and Julian Lee (General Manager at Everyone Can).