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Marlena Abraham

· Game Design ·

· User flow ·

· Indie Community ·

Game Design · User flow · Indie Community


Marlena Abraham (they/them) is a game and product designer based in Pittsburgh, PA. They're currently working at BetterUp working on games and interactive experiences for human transformation and mental health.

Previous to Betterup, Marlena was an advanced game designer at Schell Games, where they work on client and internal projects in VR/AR, educational games, and location-based entertainment.


They are also the President of Bit Bridge LLC, a community organization for indie game creators in Pittsburgh, PA.


In their free time, Marlena is working on an indie title, Tavernlight, with their partner, Patrick Jalbert. 

Game Design

Professional background and selected works

Marlena has been in the game industry for seven years and has shipped six publicly available games. At Schell Games, Marlena's game design work was largely focused on virtual reality, augmented reality, location-based entertainment, and other emerging technologies. Marlena has been project and design director on small to mid-sized projects. Their day-to-day work includes level design, systems design, UX​, narrative design, and frequent collaboration with developers in other disciplines. 

In addition to their work at Schell, Marlena works on indie games in their free time. Most recently, they have been working on Tavernlight, a narrative-first tavern management game, with their partner, Patrick Jalbert. 

Game Design


Writings on game design + the games industry

Marlena writes articles about game design, virtual reality, things to keep in mind when looking to get into the games industry, and lessons learned from running an indie creator community. Many of these articles were based on content from talks that they gave at industry conferences like GDC and ECGC. Most of the posts below are cross-posts from Medium or the Schell Games company blog.

If you would like Marlena to write something for your publication or give a talk on a related topic, you can get in contact using the form below.

Getting into Game Design

Design Essays

Indie Creator Community


Bit Bridge

Collaborations with indie creator communities
bit bridge logo

Marlena is the president of Bit Bridge, a community group for indie game creators in Pittsburgh, PA. Bit Bridge runs around 20 events per year including coffee meetups, playtest events, lightning talks, and our yearly Halloween Showcase. If you'd like to learn more about Bit Bridge, visit or join our Discord.

In 2018, Marlena and Tim Cullings from Seattle Indies, with the support of Mike Lee and Dan Lin, hosted a round table and mixer at GDC to help indie community leaders from around the world discuss common goals and share ideas. You can read Tim's write-up of the round table here.

Indie Community

Contact Me

Want to work with Marlena? Get in contact! They're available for a variety of work, including:

  • Speaking engagements

  • Writing about game design/community organizing

  • Game design consultation

Get in contact using the form on the right or email Marlena at

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