Games Portfolio

My work is fundamentally fueled by a deep appreciation of cohesive and elegant systems. I believe there is a unique and elusive kind of beauty to them that I aspire to evoke and explore through games.

Find some of my projects below. If you’d like to know more or discuss potential collaborations, contact me via email or Twitter or Facebook!

➡️Major Projects
➡️Side Projects & Game Jams
➡️Miscellaneous

Major Projects

Crimson Company (Digital)

“The card battler-slash-RPG-slash-MOBA hybrid has one of the most unique game mechanics I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing in years.” (Catherine Ng Dellosa – Pocket Gamer)

  • Genre: Competitive Card Game
  • What makes it special: The digital version retains the card game’s unique gameplay, but introduces world-map progression, global matchmaking and ladder rankings to support its highly competitive nature. It also uses a unique “joint deck-building” system wherein both players bring half of the characters that will be used, making each match different from the one before without ever giving a power advantage to the player who amassed the bigger collection of cards.
  • What I did: After successfully pitching the project to secure support from multiple national funding programs, I worked as a creative lead and managed a small team throughout the game’s development.
  • Reception: rated 4.6 on Google Play (after 6-month beta phase)
  • Online: Website

Prosperous Universe

“This deep simulation of space economics is surprisingly compelling.” (Jonathan Bolding – PC Gamer)

  • Genre: Economy Sandbox MMO
  • What makes it special: All players share a persistent universe. As a result, every single action bears the potential to have a lasting effect on the future of the game. The highly complex economic and political developments are purely driven by players and as such unfold an extraordinary amount of emergent depth. Players are enabled to stay on top of all this via a fully customizable user interface.
  • What I did: I joined the team during “First Access” as a dedicated game systems designer to analyze and improve upon gameplay and balancing, and also work on entirely new systems and feature sets.
  • Online: Website

Crimson Company

“With such a wide variety of unique characters coming out in a different order each time, your strategy is going to change every time you play!” (Jonathan Estis – Roll For Crit)

  • Genre: Competitive Card Game
  • What makes it special: There is almost no randomness in the game, which brings it closer to chess than to poker. At the same time though, it retains the accessibility of modern card games. Gameplay revolves around a unique “board-drafting” mechanism: Both players compete for the same deck of cards and always play them directly onto the three-laned board, using tactical abilities to outsmart their opponent.
  • What I did: I envisioned and co-designed the game. Additionally, I was involved in art direction, production and publishing, as well as managing a successful Kickstarter campaign. You can learn more about the game’s genesis on Gamasutra.
  • Reception: acclaimed by critics (reviews) and players (BGG)
  • Online: Website

Hyperdrome

“Racing games aren’t exactly a novel concept, but Hyperdrome has set itself apart with its interesting tactical mechanics.” (Jessica Famularo – Pocket Gamer)

  • Genre: Tactical Battle Racing
  • What makes it special: Instead of letting players take direct control of a car, the game is all about making use of tactical abilities, such as missiles, energy shields or mines. The interplay of timing those power-ups and managing resources between attack and defense gets very complex on higher levels of play.
  • What I did: I was heavily involved in developing the original vision for the game, as well as designing core gameplay systems and power-up abilities. After launch, I monitored player data and supported the game’s development through several update cycles.
  • Reception: rated 4.5 on App Store and Google Play (6 months after launch); nominee for “Best Mobile Game” at Gamescom Awards 2018
  • Online: Website

Travian Kingdoms

“The fact that you are working as a small link in a big chain will certainly appeal to many.” (Mikey Walker – BG Directory)

  • Genre: MMO Strategy
  • What makes it special: Dozens of players work as a team (i.e. “kingdom”) and plan their strategy over several months. There’s a hierarchy within teams with players taking roles such as king, duke or governor. More high-level positions focus on communication and planning while the majority of players provide resources and troops for the common cause.
  • What I did: I joined the development during open beta. Over several iterations, I streamlined the game and designed features to improve accessibility and retention, such as achievements, daily quests and an in-game help system. I was also responsible for most of the design-related communication with the thousands of concurrent players through forums and blog posts.
  • Online: Website

Side Projects & Game Jams

Spacewalk Empire

  • Genre: Real-time Strategy
  • What makes it special: The game explores the idea of a “slow RTS”. By pairing multiple simultaneous real-time behaviors with a discrete grid- and tick-based action space, the gameplay harnesses strengths from turn-based as well as real-time strategy, aiming to bring together the “best of both worlds”.
  • What I did: I designed and programmed the game as a side project.
  • Online: itch.io

Lane Stormers

  • Genre: Real-time Card Game
  • What makes it special: The game is a more elaborate follow-up to the game jam project River Rogue. As such, it reflects further on the concept of diegetic timers in strategy games by combining continuous time with a discrete action space. While the game is highly accessible, there is considerable depth when it comes to evaluating the volatile game state and timing moves effectively.
  • What I did: I designed and programmed the game as a side project.
  • Online: itch.io

Revoltaire

“All I can say is that this game is like a piece of candide.” (player comment)

  • Genre: Solitaire Card Game
  • What makes it special: The game was made with the intent of building a light, replayable brain teaser around nothing but a small number of regular playing cards at its core. In sync with its theme, the game is not really about “winning”, but about repeatedly and tirelessly making a stand.
  • What I did: I designed and programmed the game in a personal game jam.
  • Online: itch.io

River Rogue

  • Genre: Real-time Roguelike
  • What makes it special: The game combines discrete, grid-based movement with a continuous, spatial timer. Players move upstream through a river, constantly pushed back by its flow. There is a stamina system making movement a highly limited resource. This means that players always have to think on their feet to find the most efficient path through the undead barrage.
  • What I did: I designed and programmed the game in a personal game jam.
  • Online: itch.io

CrossOverLoad

  • Genre: Dual-Actor Rogue-lite
  • What makes it special: While games such as Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons have made use of the concept of controlling two separate characters simultaneously to create a specific narrative experience, this game puts a mechanical spin on the idea.​ The player has to keep track of two playing fields simultaneously while also juggling bouncy powerup tokens between the two avatars.
  • What I did: I designed and programmed the game in a personal game jam.
  • Online: itch.io

Black Hole Vagabond

“Definitely better than most things on Steam today!” (a disillusioned gamer)

  • Genre: Arena Rogue-lite
  • What makes it special: Players have no direct combat capabilities, but can only move through the randomly generated arena. Therefore, they have to make efficient use of a variety of gadgets to survive. For example, by luring monsters into explosions or a turret’s line of fire.
  • What I did: I designed and programmed the game in a personal game jam.
  • Online: itch.io

Orthoblaster

  • Genre: Top-Down Shooter
  • What makes it special: The game was made in a single day while learning how to use the fantasy console PICO-8 and its all-in-one development environment. The gameplay revolves around pattern-matching as all actors can only shoot orthogonally. It ends up feeling like a constant dance between danger and safety.
  • What I did: I designed and programmed the game in a personal game jam.
  • Online: Lexaloffle BBS

Miscellaneous

Crimson Company: Ragnarok

“I like this expansion quite a bit as it adds another layer to consider in the game.” (Play It Yourself)

  • Genre: Competitive Card Game
  • What makes it special: This expansion for Crimson Company features a new keyword (“passive”) that enables cards to dynamically add conditional rules during a match. Another new mechanism revolves around playing cards with negative effects on the opponent’s side, which gives them a “risk vs. reward” spin. Thematically, the expansion is based on Viking sagas and Norse mythology.
  • What I did: I co-designed the new character cards and was involved in art direction as well as production. I also managed the Kickstarter campaign and created the concept and script for the trailer.
  • Online: Website

Crimson Company: The Other Side

“A strong addition to an already great game […] The Other Side is more good times for tabletop gamers.” (Devon Norris – GameTyrant)

  • Genre: Competitive Card Game
  • What makes it special: This expansion for Crimson Company seamlessly integrates into the base game and exponentially increases the variety of possible situations. Thematically, it explores the realm between life and death. Mechanically, this entails a focus on card-flipping (emphasizes building effective card synergies on the fly) and destruction effects (which reward planning ahead multiple turns).
  • What I did: I co-designed the new character cards and was involved in art direction as well as production. I also managed the expansion’s Kickstarter campaign and designed the solo and cooperative game modes that were unlocked as stretch goals.
  • Online: Website

Arkheim

  • Genre: MMO Strategy
  • What makes it special: It is a modern take on the “build and raid” formula that’s built around small teams (“realms”) and adds complex positional strategy into the mix. Allied and enemy armies are visibly moving around the map trying to advance their own borders, thus creating an intricate web of spatial decision-making.
  • What I did: I supported the game during its closed beta phase and heading into early (open) access as a game design advisor. I designed several meta-game features from the ground up.
  • Online: Website

Auro: A Monster-Bumping Adventure

“In a way, Auro is like a statement: This is what video games could be.” (Samuel Ratchkramer – The Ludite)

  • Genre: Roguelike Tactics
  • What makes it special: The game’s design revolves around a single core mechanism: “bumping”, i.e. pushing enemies back. Every verb in the game is tightly connected to this core. This makes the game immensely elegant since there is a lot of depth to the positioning given a fairly small number of rules.
  • What I did: I was one of the game’s leading testers. I closely collaborated with lead designer Keith Burgun to discuss gameplay ideas and balancing changes. His words: “Fabian’s critical mind, understanding of game design and ability to work constructively with others make him a tremendous asset to any team.”
  • Reception: critically acclaimed (Metacritic: 91)
  • Online: Android | iOSSteam

Empire: The Deck Building Strategy Game

“Empire is so tight it squeaks, and I suspect it’s the best game I’ve played this year.” (Owen Faraday – Pocket Tactics)

  • Genre: 4X Deck-Building
  • What makes it special: The game streamlines the 4X formula and adds an element of diminishing resources. This means players have to constantly be on the move and explore the world map to find new resource deposits. Combat is card-based and the main progression system is a deck-building metagame.
  • What I did: I was one of the game’s testers throughout its beta phase. My tasks involved finding and tracking bugs, as well as giving feedback on matters of gameplay, user experience, interface design and balancing.
  • Reception: critically acclaimed (Metacritic: 80)
  • Online: Website

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