Emily Turner


Hey There, Cool Cat

My name is Emily Turner. I’m a dev, designer, and dork located in Los Angeles, California. I am a Game Designer with almost 4 years of experience in the Games Industry.

I am happily employed at Zenimax Online Studios, working as an Economy Designer on an unannounced Triple A project. Before that I worked at Niantic on Marvel: World of Heroes and at Oxide Games on Ara: History Untold.

Please drop a line if you're itching to connect or just want to say hi!

Let's Talk Shop

Design + Tech = Games

The Technical

  • I come equipped with knowledge of multiple programming languages (C++, C#, JavaScript) and game engines (Unity, Unreal, and Twine). I'm not afraid to dive into code when needed.
  • I'm a practicer of collaborative coding practices, namely code reviews, with experience as both a reviewer and a reviewee.
  • I've authored custom design-side tooling to automate data creation and standardization.

The Design

  • I've got intimate familiarity with the design process from concept to peer review to implementation.
  • I have lots of experience with rapid design iteration based on internal and external feedback as well as player telemetry.
  • I harbor an unhealthy obsession with spreadsheets and proper documentation using Excel and Confluence.

Stuff I've Worked On

Unannounced Project - Economy Designer - Zenimax Online Studios

I am working as an Economy Designer at Zenimax on an unannounced Triple A title. I'll be happy to share more about this project when it's time!

Marvel: World of Heroes - Systems Designer - Niantic

I worked at Niantic for a span of 5 months in the first half of 2023 before being impacted by a studio layoff. During that time I performed a variety of functions within the World of Heroes team.

Tool Creation
I dedicated a significant portion of my time to developing a spreadsheet tool to automate data entry for the design team, resulting in a 50% decrease in the time to complete data creation/editing tasks.

The tool interfaced with a custom Unity exporter provided by our tools programmers, importing and displaying data in a Google spreadsheet for easy adjustments by designers.

Economy Design
I worked closely with our game’s Project Manager to iterate on the F2P progression of our game’s economy. Our goal was to encourage the player to play wide (ie team up with a variety of different heroes) instead of tall (progressing through a single hero’s storyline).

To this end, we had the large majority of the game’s heroes available on game start instead of being unlocked over the course of the campaign. We hoped this change would apply pressure towards our game’s main soft currency sink of Quest Slots.

Combat Design
I worked with our Senior Combat Designer to create game pillars for the game’s combat and work to redefine the system within those constraints. Combat was especially difficult to design since it had to be both satisfying and quick due to being on mobile.

This applies doubly so in a location based alternative reality game - we wanted players to be able to briefly jump into combat, beat up a bad guy, and get their rewards, all without walking in front of a bus.

Ara: History Untold - Systems / Technical Designer - Oxide Games

I worked at Oxide Games for three years on Ara:History Untold, a historical turn based strategy game.

Systems Design
I created detailed documentation for new game systems, ensuring comprehensive and accessible resources for the development team. This included outlining mechanics, formulae, and edge cases for easier implementation.

I also leveraged my experience with creating formulaic spreadsheets to calculate, update, and format game data.

AI Design and Development
I wrote documentation detailing behaviors for our trait-based AI system and participated in its implementation.

This involved defining behavior patterns, specifying rule-sets per AI trait, and collaborating with the team to ensure the AI system aligned with design objectives and player expectations.

This also involved a significant amount of research as the personalities we were seeking to emulate were those of highly regarded historical figures.

Gameplay Programming and UI Engineering
I contributed to both the UI engineering and gameplay programming teams, collaborating with them to implement user interface features and enhance player experiences within the game including tooltips, popups, and smaller UI screens.

I was also responsible for performing code reviews on certain gameplay programming tasks which featured large equations or other math that design needed to verify.

Accessibility and Localization Support:
I assisted with localization efforts, ensuring that the game was adapted to different languages and cultures, thereby broadening its accessibility to a global audience.

Gamer Girl - Lead Designer - RIT's School of Interactive Games and Media

During my final semester at RIT, I worked as the Design Lead on Gamer Girl, a Twine game that examined sexual harassment in games through the lense of a pseudo-dating simulator following a young woman through her journey in a games degree.

The game was featured at both IndieCade and Games for Change in their Student Game category. It was also displayed at GameFest Akron 2020.

Creative Direction
I ran point on defining the creative direction of the project. I defined the main game systems via documentation and worked closely with the other members of my team to align on the themes, mechanical decisions, and writing styles.

The experience taught me how to provide the guiding brush strokes to the game's vision and then relinquish control to my group members for them to add in their voice.

Leadership and Management
I was responsible for creating tasks for members of the team and tracking progress on our group’s Trello board. These tasks would be doled out after a group discussion regarding what everybody’s workload looked like for the week.

Since the game was in development during a school semester, I learned to factor in deadlines for other classes as well as the team’s burnout from working on an emotionally taxing project.

Activism and Diplomacy
I was the main representative for our game at all 3 conferences we spoke at. Not only did the experience improve my public speaking skills, it also taught me how to speak with people from a diverse range of viewpoints on a controversial topic.

Let's Get In Touch

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