CV

Tobias Heussner
 

Website: www.theussner.com

 

E-mail: tobias@theussner.com

Phone: +1 786-368-2535

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Professional info​

I am passionate about games focusing on gameplay, narrative content, and delivering the best possible experience to our players. My personal focus is narrative and level design, and in my over 20 years in the industry, I have attained the senior level in level design and production. I enjoy and always have been supporting my teams with my expertise in game design, level design, and writing. In addition to working actively as a designer and producer, I am also the current Chair of the Executive Board of the IGDA Special Interest Group Game Writing and support CRC Press as a Series Editor for the series Focus on Unreal and Focus on Game Narrative.

Work experience
Executive Producer, CI Games

Jan 2021 - Mar 2022

 

Titles developed: Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 (PC, Xbox One, PS4, PS5), 
                             Two unannounced titles (PC, Xbox Series X/S, PS5)
 

  • Doubled as executive producer and studio head for the Warsaw team

  • Modernized the development pipelines and approaches, leading the team through changing the engine used for future projects

  • Worked on a vertical slice for the team’s upcoming, unannounced project

  • Highly effective project management, keeping projects on budget and schedule, communication management 

  • Preparation of headcounts, milestone plans, and legal documentation such as Statements of Work, NDAs

  • Oversaw and remotely managed a team of 60+ developers including staff recruitment, training/mentoring other producers

  • Member of the production board for an unannounced title, which is in development with an external partner 

 

Production Director (Spain), Saber Interactive

Sep 2017 - Jan 2021

 

Titles developed: WWE 2K Battlegrounds (PC, Xbox One, PS4, Stadia, Switch),
                             NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 (PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch), Halo: The Master                                       Chief Collection (PC), BassPro: The Strike (Switch), Cabela’s: The Hunt                                       (Switch), World of Warriors (PS4), Road Redemption (PS4, XBox One,                                         Switch)
 

  • Senior Producer for all titles of Saber Interactive's Madrid (Spain) studio

  • Highly effective project management, kept projects on budget and schedule, communication management, drafted and executed GAAS (games as a service) roadmaps for premium games

  • Preparation of headcounts, market viability checks, milestone plans, and legal documentation such as Statements of Work

  • Responsibly handled all submission and approval processes with Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Google, and Valve

  • Supported the game design team and took part in the design of various projects

  • Primary contact for all partners including Epic Games, 2K, and other publishing partners during the development of the titles

  • Oversaw a team of 150+ developers including staff recruitment, training/mentoring other producers, and coordinating all communication with Saber Interactive’s studios and partners

  • Remotely managed an external team in Sweden from 2017 to 2019 

  • Remote management of all Madrid teams during the COVID-19 pandemic

 

Series Editor - Focus on Unreal/Game Narrative Toolbox Series, CRC Press/Focal Press

Dec 2017 - present (Focus on Unreal); Mar 2021 - present (Game Narrative Toolbox Series)

 

  • Identifying interesting Unreal Engine 4/5-related or Game Narrative-related subjects

  • Finding and evaluating potential authors and supporting them during the development of their books

  • Providing feedback on manuscripts and ensuring series consistency

Senior Producer (Spain), Saber Interactive

Aug 2016 - Sep 2017

 

Titles developed: NBA Playgrounds (PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch)

 

  • Highly effective project management, task tracking, product life cycle, and communication management

  • Handled all submission and approval processes with Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Valve

  • Supported the game design team and took part in the design of various projects

  • Staff recruitment and management, expanding the team from 35 developers to 75 developers

  • Managed remotely an external team in Sweden

 

Producer, Virtual Toys

Jan 2014 - Jul 2016

 

Titles developed: Pirates: Treasure Hunters (PC, PS4), Looney Tunes Galactic Sports (PS                                       Vita), The Muppets Movie Adventures (PS Vita)

  • Organized project management, task tracking, localization management

  • Creating levels and courses for various projects, optimized for performance, game flow, and player interaction

  • Led a game design team and took part in the design of various projects 

  • Remote management of the external team in Sweden

  • Translation and localization management of the texts from Pirates: Treasure Hunters 

Chair of the Executive Board - SIG Game Writing, IGDA

Apr 2013 - present

 

  • Manage a volunteer community of writers working together to improve the state of the art of video game writing and narrative

Senior Level Designer, Bigpoint Berlin

Jun 2010 - Jan 2014

 

Titles developed: Drakensang Online (Browser/PC), Hellblades (Browser/PC)
 

  • Promoted to Assistant Lead Level Designer March 2012

  • Level gameplay, flow, and environment design from concept to the final version

  • Quest conception and implementation, world-building, and supporting the writing team in the development of the major plotlines

  • Prepared the patch notes for all weekly and major releases of Drakensang Online, a live service, free to play AAA-MMO

 

Concept Designer, Radonlabs

Nov 2009 - May 2010

 

  • Responsibly supported the business developer in acquiring new projects and developing new IPs 

  • Worked in cross-industry project acquisition, bridging medical research and gaming to create learning and rehabilitation environments

  • Wrote and developed pitch and concept docs for own and third-party projects and project acquisition

 

Associate Producer, Radonlabs

Dec 2008 - Nov 2009

 

Titles developed: Drakensang – River of Time (PC), Treasure Island (PC)
 

  • Executive Producer for “The Dark Eye – Drakensang Gold edition”

  • Supported the producer in completing executive and management tasks

  • Kept track of the budget and schedule as well as organized and led sub-teams for special tasks like cut-scenes, bug management, and motion capture planning

  • Established and administrated TechExcel DevTrack and DevPlan

 

Assistant Producer, Radonlabs

Mar 2007 - Nov 2008

 

Titles developed: The Dark Eye – Drakensang (PC), Riding Star 3 (Nintendo DS)
 

  • Executive Producer for “The Dark Eye – Drakensang Demo” 

  • Managed and established the quality assurance department

  • Assisted as a level designer in other projects

 

Level Designer, Radonlabs

Apr 2005 - Feb 2007

 

Titles developed: Paws & Claws: Pet Vet (PC), Let's Ride! Championship Dreams (PC), 
                             Riding Star 2 (PC), Crazy Chicken: Approaching (PC), Dragon Hunters: Die                               Drachenjäger - Die Prüfung (PC), Meine Tierschule (PC), Let's Ride! Friends                               Forever (PC), Kids Zone: My Horse Gang (PC), Verliebt in Berlin (PC),                                         Sportfischen Professional (PC)

  • Lead Level Designer for several projects, responsible for the level conception, planning, and execution ensuring that performance and creative goals are met 

  • Developed and blocked out interior and exterior locations 

  • Scripted events, AI, technologies, and triggers 

  • Assisted in game design and was responsible for playability and balancing

 

Lead Game Designer / Director, Tricium Factory

Jul 1998 - Mar 2005

 

Titles developed: Geniu$: The Tech Tycoon Game (PC), Genius: Biology (PC, Uncredited)
 

  • Led and organized this student indie development group 

  • Concept writing, level design, and story development

  • Acted as primary contact for businesses and networks

  • Developed programs and presentations for the DAI (German Institute of Archeology)

  • Assisted Radon Labs GmbH as level designer and tester

Languages

English

German

Spanish

Skills
  • Unreal Engine 4/5 and Unity

  • Microsoft Visual Studio

  • Programming in C/C++, XML, C# and html

  • Microsoft Office

  • Autodesk Maya

  • Adobe Photoshop, Gimp & Inkscape

  • Nevigo Articy:Draft 

  • XMind

  • Project Management Software (Hansoft, TechExcel, Microsoft Project)

  • Version Control Systems (Subversion; Perforce)

  • Scrivener & Final Draft

  • Experienced with various Game editors such as StarCraft 2 editor

Speaking Engagements
  • Speaker at ECGC 2021

  • Speaker at ECGC 2019

  • Speaker at GDC 2013 Game Narrative Summit

  • Co-coordinator/Speaker, Game Writing Tutorial Day at GDC Online 2012

  • Co-coordinator/Speaker, Game Writing Tutorial Day at GDC Online 2011

  • Speaker at GDC Online 2010 Game Narrative Summit

  • Speaker at Quo Vadis 2009

Education​
The Open University
Bachelor of Science (Hons) Open

2015 - 2017

 

Courses in Management from the Open University Business School, as well as in Investment, and Creative Writing.

 

University of California, Los Angeles Extention (UCLA)
Certificate Feature Film Writing (Earned with Distinction)

2008 - 2009

 

Courses in Screenwriting Basics I - III; Writing for Emotional Impact; Writing Great Dialogue; Rewriting;

Certificate completed with the notation "Earned with Distinction" and a final GPA of 3.95

 

Free University of Berlin
2005 - 2009

 

Courses in Software Engineering; Database Systems; Network Programming; System Administration and Nonsequential Programming

 

Humboldt University of Berlin
2002 - 2005

 

Courses in Mathematics for Computer Science; Object-oriented and Logic Programming; Compiler Development; Robotics; Hardware Development; Dependable Systems; AI Theory; Mobile and Embedded Systems; System Architecture