• Crossdisciplinary Communication · Pipeline Dev · Project Management

  • Lives & works in Pittsburgh, PA

  • marlenaabraham (@) gmail (.) com

Marlena Abraham

Schell Games (2016 – Present)

Advanced Game Designer on a variety of VR/AR, LBE, and R&D projects, incl.:

Systems Lead: (Late 2018-Present) Undisclosed LBE Project

- Coordinating with 35+ team of in-house developers and multiple client stakeholders
to implement visually realistic, high-throughput gameplay
- Overseeing development of one of the game’s levels (pitching + implementing
features, directing work by artists + programmers, organizing director + client
feedback into actionable tasks by subteams, etc.)
- Leading teams of developers in a push to implement and polish features for a
variety of game systems, incl. enemy AI, Houdini destruction, audio, etc.

Project Director: (2018) HistoryMaker VR

- Led team of 8 in creation of a polished proof-of-concept VR game for schools
- Project was recently awarded additional grant of $900,000

Narrative Designer: (2017) Undisclosed HTML5 Narrative Project

- Wrote new game content (e.g. dialogue and item descriptions) for an
existing grant-based game with the goal of addressing a range of social issues
- Incorporated educational material from client-side subject matter experts
- Developed and maintained team-wide content trackers to streamline
creation of assets, identify blockages in development pipeline, etc.

Game Designer: (2017) LEGO BrickHeadz

- Designed a modular behavioral AI system that allowed a range of
characters to interact with the world and each other based on a series of
built-in properties (e.g. emotion, profession, game status)
- Worked with a multidisciplinary team to build the AI system, implement
overarching UX flow, and develop content using the AI system
- Coordinated with team + client to incorporate AI content into larger game
- Managed high-level design as Design Director for project’s second phase
- Updated UX flow and content to faciliate a port of the game to AR

Alchemie (2015)

Project director + lead designer at a game startup with a focus in teaching
organic chemistry

- Led team of developers to create, refine, and test a prototype
- Maintained line of communication with off-site startup leaders, SMEs, etc.

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


Grants & Awards

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

Areas of Focus



Emerging Technologies

Game Design

Systems design
Narrative design
Level design
Educational game design
Rapid prototyping


Unreal + Blueprints
Unity + C#
Adobe Suite


Project + design direction
Content tracking
Pipeline development
Client communication


2017 - Present: President of Bit Bridge


2019 - GDC Speaker

2019 - ECGC Speaker (read more)


Carnegie Mellon University
BCSA in Computer Science and Art

Class of 2015

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© 2019 by Marlena Abraham