Welcome!

Posted: July 27, 2012 in Resume
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Welcome and thank you for visiting the online portfolio and resume of David Mertz, veteran Game Designer.

Below is my online resume, for additional information and to download my resume please visit the Resume section.

For a multimedia gallery of the projects listed in my resume, please visit the Projects section. UPDATED: 01/23/13!!

Brief

Game Designer 13+ years experience, 20 shipped titles, engineering degree; specializing in game design, creative vision and direction, level and world design and creation, game play implementation, and project leadership and management

Additional Key Skills

Multi-platform and multi-technology development (PC, Xbox360, PS3, Wii, iOS, Android), full product development cycles, production and documentation, strong organizational skills, detail-oriented, agile development/SCRUM, design philosophy, content development pipelines and systems, UI Design, new IP development, team building and education

Work Experience


OMG. (Oscar Mike Games) – Houston, TX.
Lead Designer, February 2011 – July 2012

Spell Slingers (iOS – iPod, iPad; Android OS – 2012)
Lead Designer
  • Led design team in creating challenging and fun multi-player cross-platform game play
  • Responsible for additional game mechanics, including daily challenges, bonuses, and achievements
  • Managed development of the in-game economy including in-app purchases (IAP) and micro-transactions for     300 + items
  • Developed UI design and flow, working with all departments on implementation
  • Responsible for project documentation and other visual communication
  • Responsible for in-game audio; selection, creation, editing, and implementation

My Vampire Boyfriend (iOS – iPod, iPad; Android OS – 2012)
Lead Designer
  • Designed game play and mechanics to support addictive and casual game play with wide appeal
  • Developed and maintained the in-game economy, including in-app purchases (IAP) and micro-transactions for     400+ items
  • Responsible for writing and maintaining 1000+ lines of in-game dialogue and text
  • Developed UI design and flow, working with all departments on implementation
  • Responsible for project documentation and other visual communication
  • Involved with the development of the story and narrative
  • Provided post-release support, including scripting (LUA) and art work to address issues
  • Involved with in-game audio; selection, creation, editing, and implementation

Bloxus (iOS – iPod, iPad; Android OS – 2011)
Lead Designer
  • Designed game play and mechanics to support fun and addicting game play
  • Worked with coders to develop prototype (LUA) and initial levels to pass off to full development team
  • Managed design team in continued development of 80+ stacking levels and challenges
  • Developed UI design and flow, working with all departments on implementation
  • Responsible for project documentation and other visual communication
  • Involved with in-game audio selection

Left Bee-hind (iOS – iPod, iPad – 2011)
Lead Designer
  • Led design team in the design of all game mechanics and levels
  • Worked with team to implement fun and challenging game-play across all 30 puzzle-filled levels
  • Responsible for project documentation and other visual communication
  • Developed the story and narrative
  • Involved with in-game audio selection


Pi Studios – Houston, TX.
Partner, Lead Designer, January 2004 – February 2011

Call of Duty: Black Ops (PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii – November 2010)
Producer
  • Part of the project production team responsible for bringing this AAA title to market
  • Responsible for all project production on the Pi Studios side, including staffing, scheduling, asset list creation,     and task assignment and tracking
  • Main point of contact for Pi Studios for both Treyarch and Activision creative and production teams
  • Worked closely with Treyarch creative team resulting in our team contributing to game design, mission     design, narrative elements, and cut scenes for key missions in the single player campaign, “Project Nova”     and “Redemption”
  • Responsible for project and design documentation, including detailed mission designs
  • Led and facilitated extended on-site trips to Treyarch for final push for project completion, including travel     arrangement and accommodations coordination with Treyarch and Activision
  • Led Pi Studios team on the initial design and creation of the Nazi Zombies map “Kino der Toten”
  • Facilitated Pi Studios internal development pipeline and build process to integrate with the main project and     mimic the pipeline used by Treyarch, including the creation of custom build scripts in Python
  • Provided additional level design and scripting support, including level layout modifications, game play     prototyping, effects creation and placement, detailing, optimizations, collision, and bug fixes

Quake Arena Arcade (Xbox Arcade – December 2010)
Design Director
  • Managed Pi Studios design team on the creation of new multi-player levels
  • Responsible for design documentation and level design documentation review and greenlight process
  • Worked with code and design team on game mode options and features tailored to console platform
  • Responsible for the initial design of the new single player campaign
  • Responsible for developing and testing several controller schemes and layouts
  • Created custom tools in Python to automate several level design processes and provide level statistics
  • Provided additional level design support, including detailing, optimizations, AI pathing, and bug fixes
  • Product demonstrator at QuakeCon 2010

Call of Duty: World at War Map Pack 2 (PC, Xbox 360, PS3 – June 2009)
Project Lead
  • Responsible for production, including scheduling, asset list creation, and task assignment and tracking
  • Main point of contact for Pi Studios for both Treyarch and Activision creative and production teams.
  • Led Pi Studios team on the design and creation of the Nazi Zombies map “Shi No Numa”
  • Responsible for project documentation, including detailed level design documents
  • Worked closely with Treyarch creative team communicating Pi Studios design team ideas for unique and fun     game play experiences including new traps such as the “Flogger”
  • Facilitated the Pi Studios internal development pipeline to mimic the pipeline used by Treyarch, including the     creation of custom build scripts in Python
  • Provided additional level design support, including detailing, optimizations, and bug fixes

Wolfenstein (PC, Xbox 360 – December 2009)
Project Lead/Lead Level Designer
  • Responsible for production, including scheduling, asset list creation, and task assignment and tracking
  • Main point of contact for Pi Studios for both Raven and Activision creative and production teams
  • Led Pi Studios team on the design and creation of the assigned single player levels and content
  • Responsible for project documentation, including detailed level and mission paper designs
  • Worked closely with Raven Software and contributed to game design, mission design, and narrative elements     and cut scenes
  • Facilitated the Pi Studios internal development pipeline and build process to mimic that used by Raven
  • Provided additional level design support for Dig Site, Zeppelin, and Airfield, including core architecture,     detailing, lighting, content streaming, optimization and portaling, collision, and bug fixes

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (PS2 – August 2008)
Senior Level Designer
  • Designed and scripted (LUA) over 20+ contracts, bounties, and side missions
  • Contributed to the execution and scripting of several core story missions
  • Responsible for general world population (NPCs, vehicles, items, collectibles, structures, foliage, etc…)
  • Worked with coding team to implement reward system and related UI, included custom scripting
  • Scripted custom Visual and Audio effects

Halo 2 for Windows Vista (PC – May 2007)
Lead Level Designer
  • Managed Pi Studios level design team on the creation of new multi-player levels and content
  • Primary Level Designer responsible for the design and construction of “District”
  • Provided additional level design support for the new multi-player level “Uplift”, including additional level     detailing, feedback implementation, texture blending, item placement, and game mode balance
  • Involved in the creation of the custom editor, tools, documentation, and tutorials included at launch

Call of Duty 3: Bravo Map Pack (Xbox 360 Marketplace– May 2007)
Lead Level Designer
  • Managed the Pi Studios level design team on the creation of new multi-player levels
  • Primary level designer responsible for the construction, lighting, and game play for Marseilles
  • Provided additional level design support for Aller Haut, Seine River, and Rimling, including core architecture,     terrain, detailing, lighting, player containment, optimizations, and bug fixes

Call of Duty 3 (PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360 – November 2006)
Lead Level Designer
  • Managed the Pi Studios level design team for the design and creation of assigned single player missions
  • Unified design had to support current and next gen consoles (PS2, PS3, Xbox, and Xbox 360)
  • Primary level designer responsible for the construction and facilitating of game play implementation with     scripter on the single player mission “Chapter 8: The Forest”
  • Provided additional level design support for the single player levels, “Chapter 7: The Black Baron”, “Chapter 9:     Laison River”, and “Chapter 13: The Mace”, including core architecture, terrain construction and blending,     detailing, lighting, player containment, optimizations, and bug fixes
  • Created custom level design tools in Python that reported and displayed specific level statistics, level errors,     and common human errors in-editor not easily detectible by the tools and build process

Call Of Duty 2 (PC, Xbox 360 – November 2005)
Senior Level Designer
  • Responsible for helping manage the Pi Studios level design team for multi-player content additions
  • Involved in the design of proposed multi-player game modes
  • Responsible for construction and implementation of architecture and game play for several proposed      multi-player levels in the game (only portions of the levels were shipped in the final product)
  • Customized Maya tools for 3D artists, implementing fixes and new features for improved work flow

Call Of Duty – United Offensive Expansion Pack (PC – September 2004)
Senior Level Designer
  • Primary level designer for level construction and facilitating game play implementation with scripter on the     single player level “Ponyri”
  • Additional level design contributions on “Kursk”, including core geometry, terrain and blending, detailing,     optimizations and bug fixes


Gearbox Software – Plano, TX.
Lead Level Designer, July 1999 – December 2003

Halo: Combat Evolved (PC – September 2003)
Lead Level Designer
  • Led and managed the entire content and level design team for the design and implementation of the     multi-player content additions, including new weapons, vehicles, levels, and game modes
  • Responsible for the design and construction of the multi-player level “Timberland”
  • Provided additional level design support for new and existing levels, including level detailing, lighting,     optimizations, legacy bug fixes, game mode implementation, and item placement
  • Provided additional content creation, including 2D and 3D art for the new levels and vehicles.
  • Trusted with the “Halo Bible”, allowing the team to design and create an authentic Halo experience
  • E3 2003 Product Spokesperson – Worked with Bungie and Microsoft Marketing and PR to demo the game to     the public and provide information and interviews to global press and buyers
  • Author of the Halo Editing Kit (HEK) for post-release community editing support – includes extensive     documentation, examples, tutorials and related files to allow end-user editing and level creation

James Bond 007 Nightfire (PC – November 2002)
Lead Level Designer
  • Responsible for leading and managing the level design team (both single player and multi-player), including     the internal and contracted multinational external level design contractors (10 total)
  • Created and contributed to pre-production documentation, including level designs and overall GDD
  • Implemented architecture and game play for the “Airfield Ambush” and “Uninvited Guests” missions
  • Followed guidelines set forth by Bond license holders Eon Productions and MGM to respect the franchise and     create an authentic James Bond experience
  • Trusted with access to the “James Bond Bible” that provided additional guidelines, motivations, and     information which is not allowed to enter into public knowledge

Half Life PS2 (PS2 – November 2001)
Senior Level Designer
  • Responsible for content modification and optimization within limitations of PS2 hardware
  • Responsible for game controller configurations, usability, and product testing

Half Life: Blue Shift (PC – June 2001)
Senior Level Designer and Game Designer
  • Co-designed and co-wrote the game and storyline based on direction from Valve Software
  • Primary level designer responsible for the construction and implementation of geometry and game play for     all levels in Chapter 4 “Captive Freight” and Chapter 5 “Focal Point”
  • Additional level design work, including game play implementation, detailing, lighting, bug fixes, and     optimizations for sections of Chapter 6 “Power Struggle” and Chapter 2 “Insecurity”
  • E3 2001 Product Spokesperson – Worked with Sierra Marketing and PR to demo the game to the public and     provide information and interviews to global press and buyers
  • Responsible for post-release support, including community editing support consisting of the creation of     examples, tutorials, and other related files to allow end-user editing centered around level creation

Half Life: Opposing Force (PC – October 1999)
Level Designer
  • Responsible for the design, construction, and implementation of architecture and game play for the single     player level “Vicarious Reality” and the training level “Boot Camp”
  • Post-release support included community editing support and game play and level design for multi-player     mode “Op For CTF”, including construction of the levels “Biodomes” and “Power”


Additional Games Industry Experience

Quake 2 Netpack 1: Extremities (PC – November 1998)
Level Designer
  • Designed and constructed the level “The Proving Grounds” – ra2map13.bsp – Rocket Arena 2 Mod

Quake 2 Mission Pack 2: Ground Zero (PC – August 1998)
Beta Tester
  • Worked under NDA with Rogue Entertainment to play test, providing bug reports and feedback

Game Community Projects

Warhammer Online Addons (LUA) – Author or Contributor and Maintainer (2009-2013) – ActionFraction, AnywhereTrainer, Character View Expanded Stats (CaVES), PotionBar, ReliquaryHunter, VerticalPlayerStatus, XpStatus+G
Quake 2 Rocket Arena 2 – Level Designer – Alpha’s Eclectic Collection (eclectic.bsp) (1998)
Quake 2 Deathmatch – Level Designer – Against the Flow (against.bsp) (1998)
Quake Rocket Arena – Co-author/Level Designer – Tribute: Quake Rocket Arena Map Pack (1998) – The Caldera (caldera.bsp), The Quarry (quarry.bsp), Launch Silo (silo.bsp), The Grotto (grotto.bsp), Ribcage (ribcage.bsp)

Additional Contributions

Halo 2 Games for Windows – The Official Guide (2007)
Halo: Combat Evolved – Sybex Official Strategies and Secrets (2003)

Technical Skills

Software: 3DS Max, Maya, Blender, SketchUp, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Visual Studio, Eclipse, Perforce, SVN, Source Safe, Hansoft, Mindjet Connect, Devtrack, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Vizio, OpenOffice, Inkscape, Audacity

Technologies/Toolsets: Unity3D, Shiva3D, UDK/Unreal 3.0, Valve Source, idTech 1/2/3/4/5, Blam! Engine(Halo), Android SDK, iOS SDK

Languages: Python, LUA, Javascript, MaxScript, HTML, XML, Visual Basic Working knowledge: C#, C++, Java

Methodologies: Agile/SCRUM, SWOT Analysis

Education

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) – Blacksburg, VA.
Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science and Mechanics (E.S.M.) (with Biomedical Engineering focus) – May 1996
Masters Level Graduate Level studies in E.S.M. (with Biomedical Engineering focus) – August 1996 – May 1999