Joel Burgess

Studio Director, Capybara Games
Nov 2019 - Present
  • Responsible for overall studio strategy
  • Pivoted Grindstone into a successful live-ops title
  • Design and Leadership mentoring for teams

World Director, Ubisoft Toronto
6/2016 - 11/2019

Watch Dogs Legion
  • Direction for core setting fiction
  • Collaborated across multiple teams/studios on all aspects of world
  • Contributed to overall game systems design
  • High-level planning for locations, gameplay distribution
  • Responsible for presentation and collaboration with internal/external partners

Designer (Independent)

The Heart Set: A Card Game About Relationships

  • Designed original concept for tabletop game
  • Prototype, Design & Iteration 
  • Organized artists & illustrators

Senior Designer, Bethesda Game Studios
6/2005 - 5/2016

Fallout 76
  • Established world tone, setting, and overall goals
  • Initial design of major gameplay systems, factions, locations
  • Coordinate and align all dev teams on early vision

Fallout 4
  • Organized and led level design team
  • Various Systems and balance contribution

  • Systems and Combat Design Contributions 
  • Dialogue, Book, and Quest Writing 
  • Level design and gameplay scripting 
  • Gameplay Design: Dragon, Spriggan, Wispmother 
  • Tools and Workflow Design 
  • Organized Documentation and Release of Creation Kit modding tool 
  • Collaborated w/Valve on Steam Workshop Integration
  • Established & guided creative vision for level design 
  • Collaborated on world & quest design/implementation
  • Hired & managed team of five level designers w/producers 
  • Shared systems & tools design duties w/design leads 
  • Co-Editor of Strategy Guide for base game & expansions 
  • Hands-on level design layout, scripting, writing
  • Project co-lead from concept to ship 
  • Managed team of ~20 artists & designers on tight schedule
  • Hands-on w/project. Implemented free-form quests, world design/building, scripting, directed/performed voice acting, etc.
    • Collaborated on High-level design of military scenario 
    • Design of general space/gameplay flow and mechanics 
    • Flavor text and holotape writing
    • Responsible for many of the game's 200+ dungeons 
    • Spear-headed effort to formalize level design process 
    • Contributed to story hooks and points of interest for random gameplay
    • Co-Collaborator Design, writing, and scripting 
    • Shared level design duties with one other Level Designer 
    • Created entire DLC as a team of two
    • Established lair layout and theme 
    • Shared in Level design and writing duties.
    • Collaborated with designers on Quest Dungeons 
    • Design, writing, and implementation of freeform gameplay areas

    Level Designer, Terminal Reality

    4/2004 - 5/2005
    • Contributed to overall Game Design during pre-production 
    • Wrote and began production on two "episodes", or levels
    • Designed and produced two levels of final game 
    • Handled dialogue and cinematic scripting
    Demonik (unreleased)
    • Contributed Art Assets

    Art Director & Designer, Dezign Corp.
    2/2003 - 11/2003

    Rob Williams - Project Lead
    PlanetQuest (unreleased - cancelled)
    • Managed tasks and budget for freelance artists
    • Wrote extensive design documentation for original RPG concept
    • Early systems prototyping w/proprietary tools

    3D Artist, UCF GAMES Lab
    2001 - 2004
    Dr. John Weishampel - Project Supervisor
    The VR Forest (location-based educational exhibit)
    • Created and imported content into Torque Game Engine
    • Collaborated on overall experience design
    • Project was unveiled at Orlando Science Center in 2005

    B.A. Digital Media: Interactive Media
    University of Central Florida
    Dr. Robert Kenny - advisor
    Graduated 2004
    A.A. Music Theory & Performance
    Indian River Community College
    Casey Lunceford, Department Head
    Graduated 2001

    Speaker: GDC 2010-2015: Level Design in a Day Tutorial
    Instructor: GDC China 2012, 2014: Level Design Tutorial
    Panelist: QuakeCon 2010, 2012
    Co-Author: Level Design Book via Focal Press (Title & Release Date TBD) 
    2012 IGF Design Jury Member 
    2011, 2012, 2013 IGF Judge
    On-Campus presentations:
         - Harvard Graduate School of Design
         - Sheridan College, Toronto Canada
         - FIEA graduate school at University of Central Florida
         - University of Baltimore, Shady Grove Campus
         - The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University (SMU)
         - GlitchCon at the University of Minnesota
    UCF Virtual Rainforest Team was:
    - Featured at ESA conference, Savannah, GA 2003
    - Featured at Institute for Simulation and Training, Orlando
    - Featured at IAAPA convention 2002
    Co-Organizer "Rock vs. Cancer" ACS benefit concert

    Reference Contacts are Available Upon Request