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Marlena Abraham

Director & Storyteller for Familiar & Unusual Mediums

Project management and leadership in VR/AR, LBE, and emerging technologies​

  • Spearheaded narrative direction across team of 35 + stakeholders, including pitching, addressing requirements of existing IP, designing puzzles that complimented the story, environmental storytelling, gameplay integration (Unannounced project)

  • Collaborated with designers to write copy complimenting their gameplay (VO, dialogue, item descriptions, in-game objects, etc.) (Unannounced project)

  • Wrote new content for an existing game system with the goal of addressing a range of social issues for teens (Elm City Stories)

  • Contracted and worked with external editors/sensitivity readers

  • Designed level, gameplay, and environmental storytelling elements to respect stringent requirements of existing IP (Theme park IP)

  • Owned feature and content creation for a modular node-based behavioral AI system; system allowed characters to interact with the world and each other based on a series of properties (e.g. emotion, profession, game status)  (LEGO BrickHeadz Builder VR)

  • Wrote + maintained VO docs, directed voice talent (Various)

  • Supervised design, development, and polish of several game levels: prototyped features/content, directed artists/designers/ programmers, led key meetings, tasked out director/client/VP feedback to teammates (Unannounced title, Major theme park IP)

  • Directed team of eight devs on a polished vert slice for a VR game for schools; project was awarded $900,000 grant (HistoryMaker VR)

  • Oversaw adjustments to UX and content as Design Director of project’s AR phase (LEGO BrickHeadz Builder)

  • Developed several custom content trackers to streamline creation of assets, identify pipeline blockages, iterate on features, etc.

  • Coordinated with 40+ team of in-house developers and multiple client stakeholders to implement cinematically realistic, high-throughput, high-action gameplay (Major theme park IP)

  • Lead several sub-teams of developers to implement and polish features for several major systems, including enemy AI, boss battle gameplay, Houdini destruction, audio/VO, etc. (Major theme park IP)

  • Incorporated educational material from subject matter experts into core gameplay designs (HistoryMaker, Elm City Stories, Mechanisms)

Internships at Schell Games, Microsoft, Carnegie Learning, Uncorked Studios


Speaking & Accolades

2020 - Indiecade Speaker

2019 - GDC Speaker

2019 - ECGC Speaker (read more)

2019 - 30 Under 30 Pittsburgh

2017 - Pittsburgh Global Game Jam Judge's Choice Award ( Vitality )

2016 - Pittsburgh Global Game Jam Judge's Choice Award ( Beeps and Boops )

2015 - Pittsburgh Global Game Jam Judge's Choice Award ( This. Is. Important. )

2015 - Frank Ratchye STUDIO for Create Inquiry Grant

MarlenaAbraham (@)

(630) 390 - 0471


Unreal + Blueprints
Unity + C#
Adobe Suite + Maya

Work Experience

Schell Games

Narrative Director + Level Lead
Unannounced project
DEC 2019 - Present

Systems + Level Lead  
Superhero IP theme park ride

AUG 2018 - JAN 2019

Project Director
HistoryMaker Phase I
JUN - AUG 2018

Writer + Narrative Designer 

PlayForward: Elm City Stories
JAN - MAY 2018

Story + Content Designer
LEGO BrickHeadz VR
AUG 2016 - JAN 2017


Project + Design Director
JAN - MAY 2015


2017 - Present: President of Bit Bridge


Carnegie Mellon University
BCSA in Computer Science and Art

Class of 2015

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