Projects and Credits
I've broken this up into sections - first more fully explaining my contributions to Anthem, the last AAA game that I worked on which has shipped, followed by a full list of games that I have credits in and a higher level explanation of my contributions.
Please understand, I cannot say anything about my work with The Coalition at this time, and I also cannot talk about the upcoming Dragon Age game, which I contributed boss, creature and other gameplay design work to before my departure from BioWare.
Many of my games credits are listed as Melissa Davidson, which is my maiden name.
Anthem is a multiplayer collaborative team-based shooter game from BioWare which came out in 2019. I was a creature designer on this game, both in terms of creative and implementation of design content in engine.
My role included:
- Collaborated with the design group and took direction from leadership to come up with the creative intentions and design for creatures and creature "palettes" (collective groups of creatures which would work together to create combat challenges for Players during live gameplay).
- Worked alongside a diverse group of developers (animators, engineers, sound designers, VFX artists, etc) to implement these designs in-engine while ensuring that we hold to the desired creative design.
- Created and maintained templates, abilities and AI implementation for creatures in Frostbite.
- Put the creatures through a rigorous review process where assets and creatures were tuned to match the direction of the high level combat experience, and create the most fun combat experience possible.
- Extensively researched games in the same space and provided analysis of those games to the design team.
- Facilitated communication and coordination between gameplay, animation, engineering and other departments in order to make the best possible game.
- Incorporated ideas from the other designers, and strived to have creatures that were fully unified in vision with the rest of the gameplay experience.
- Contributed to establishing and enforcing consistent design practices, metrics, and guidelines across the design of Anthem.
"Anthem - All Bosses" (see above, or go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8zfSo2LN8o).
- Contributed design work to Titans and Titan variations (starting at 3:40).
- Created spawner creatures ("Elementals") at 4:25.
- Contributed design work to Ursix (10:28).
"ANTHEM Full Game Walkthrough" (see above, or go to https://youtu.be/_JmVvc1XNnc).
- Created Wolves/"Hounds" (se 21:40 and a bunch of other times). Additionally did all Wolf variants.
- Fixed bugs and contributed to Scar Scrapper (35:00, and a bunch of other times).
"Anthem - Free Play: Academy Ruins: Brutes & Anrisaurs etc" (see above, or https://youtu.be/gLqMf_nThMo)
- Helped with Brutes, did base template setup, proposed a variant that I'm pretty sure didn't make the final cut, but you can see him starting at 0:05.
- Built and developed the Anrisaur which you can see at 0:20. You can't tell from this video but he has an armored face which can deflect some weapons in the game, just not the one featured in this video.
"Anthem - Freeplay: Wildlife Tesilar etc" (see above, or https://youtu.be/v-HMqkhxYM8)
- Created and built the Tesilar featured above.
- Tesilar is a defensive wildlife creature that holds position at range and faces Player, then shocks when they get too close.
- I also helped with the wildlife creature "Gazick" which has no abilities and just flees, you can read about them here.
Anthem (2019, PC/Console) - Gameplay Designer
Shuyan Saga (2017, PC/Console) - Game Design Lead
Miaomiao (multiple projects, 2016, 2017, iPad/iPhone) - R&D Lead, Design Lead, Artist, Writer
Pala Casino (2015, PC + Mobile) - Art Director
Pala Poker (2015, PC + Mobile) - Art Director
Get Off My Lawn! (2014, PC/Console) - Artist
The Four Kings Casino and Slots (2014, PC/PS4) Art Lead, UI/UX Lead, Level Designer
Hegemony Rome (2014, PC) - UI/UX Artist, Background Artist
Western Frontier (2013, PS3) - Art Lead, UI/UX Designer
Playstation Home Casino (2013, PS3) - Artist
Club Penguin (2012, PC) - Background Artist and World/Event Designer
1931: Scheherazade at the Library of Pergamum (2011, PC) - Artist
- Ran two R&D teams (one for Virtual Reality, one for children's interactive entertainment) from 2015-2017.
- Was a part of multiple artistic rebrands of major established children's media IPs (Club Penguin, Miaomiao).
- Helped port Dragon's Lair, Space Ace and other retro FMV games to Steam and mobile.
- I also did a lot of short/small projects for mobile with very small teams which I have opted to leave off of this list. If something took me less than 6 months, I didn't put it on the list.
- Was a part of numerous other games and pieces of media which will either never see the light of day, or are now considered to be lost media.
- Participated in more than 50 game jams between 2007 and 2017 as an artist or designer.
- Co-Chair of the Women's Resource Group at The Coalition (2021 - now) - re-built the women's resource group from scratch, enabling us to focus entirely on serving the needs of women at the studio.
- yegfemdev - a monthly meetup, networking and support group for game developers from underrepresented groups in Edmonton, Alberta, which I created and ran for 3 years (2018 - 2020). Frequently had more than 70 diverse developers attending every month, and was fully backed and funded by the BioWare executive team.
- Lead in BioWare's Women's Resource Group (2017-2018) - led initiatives with the intention of recruiting more women to BioWare.
- New Office Board (2018-2019) - was a part of the board which created and developed BioWare's new office space in the Epcor tower in Edmonton, Alberta.
Other Cool Stuff
- My team on the game Shuyan Saga was nominated at the Canadian Screen Award for "Best Original Interactive Production," in 2018.
- I received a Screen-Based Media Production Program Award from the CMPA (Canadian Media Producers Association) in 2016 for achieving excellence in production in the area of games and digital media.
- I am credited under Special Thanks for contributing to the book Bioware: Stories and Secrets from 25 Years of Game Development