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Oh... Hey There!

My name is Jim and this is my web site. I design and build User Experiences. Over the course of my career, I’ve taken on a whole bunch of roles. I love taking part in the creative process and being a part of teams that makes great experiences.

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My job is making cool stuff

During my time at WB Games Boston (formally Turbine), I've worked on four shipped titles: Game of Thrones: Conquest, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Lord of the Rings Online and Infinite Crisis. These are highlights of my production work.

See my work...

Game of Thrones: Conquest

I joined the Game of Thrones: Conquest team early on in pre-production. I was tasked with building a team of UX Designers, UI artists and 2D Illustrators to design a mobile strategy game featuring one of the biggest IPs in the world. I designed the UX design pipeline, defined the UI art guidelines, and produced key UI features.

Armory

Game of Thrones: Conquest features a robust crafting system, but older crafted items lost value as new items were released. We created the Armory so that player could use older crafted items in new ways, revitalizing the crafting system. Players slot items into the Armory and based on the level and quality of those items, they receive unique bonuses to their stats.

Dragons

Dragons are a special type of troop that players can level up, unlocking new abilities along the way. Players can hatch their dragon from an egg. Once hatched, players can feed them every day until they eventually reach adulthood. I created a grey-boxed prototype in Axure. We tested internally. I then created high-fidelity mock ups based on the feedback from user testing.

Shrine

The Shrine was designed as a simple game mechanic where a player would receive a certain number of free "prayers" that they could then convert into game resources. After free prayers were spent the player could purchase additional prayers with in-game currency. I worked with our game's concept, technical and VFX artists to design a user interface that rewards the player for deeper interaction with lore-appropriate animations that become progressively more intense as the player continues to interact with the Shrine.

Game HUD

A games HUD (Heads Up Display) is used to persistently display key information such as progression, event information, sales, and frequently used functionality. I designed the HUD of GoT:Conquest for a visually lightweight experience featuring information that is relevant to the game map the player is experiencing.

Lord of the Rings Online

I took over UI responsibility for Lord of the Rings Online shortly after the game launched in 2007. I formalized the UX pipeline, built a UI team with diverse skillsets, managed the UX design when the game transitioned from a subscription model to Free to Play and launched five expansion packs and multiple live updates featuring improvements to key game systems.

Legendary Items

The Legendary Weapons system allows players to forge various weapons that they can customize and level up. Each weapon could be granted stat buffs called “Legacies” and have craftable “Runes” attached to it for even more customization. My role was to work with the design team design the user flow, wireframe how the system would lay out and design the visual aspects of the system.

Traits

The trait system allowed players to collect various traits that a player could earn through questing. A player could assign traits based on the type of role they enjoy playing. Those traits could combine to provide even greater bonuses. My role was to plan the user flow and general layout with the design leads, mock up the visual presentation in Photoshopand integrate the art assets into the game.

Housing

Houses in LOTRO provide players a personal space to store items and decorate based on their accomplishments and personality. I worked with the design team to create wireframes and mock ups for purchasing a home, setting permissions, paying upkeep fees and purchasing additional storage.

Fellowships

LOTRO's fellowship (grouping) UI allows players to search for individuals who can fill specific roles for advanced quests. When players are invited to join a fellowship, information is clearly laid out so that they know exactly how the fellowship has been set up.

Dungeons & Dragons Online

I joined the Dungeons & Dragons Online team about six months after the game’s launch in 2006. I improved key features within the game to reduce friction and improve visual quality. Eventually I built and managed a dedicated UI team and also managed the VFX team for the project shipping multiple updates and two expansion packs.

Character Generation

The goal of DDO is to capture what it's like to play the pen and paper game in an immersive MMO world. However, the amount of options can be overwhelming for new players. We designed Character Creation to provide players with basic templates based on popular play styles that can then be customized.

Inventory

I worked with the design team to create a view in the inventory where you could search and filter items based on their type. This made finding things a lot easier. While we also kept the standard “paper doll” view, we gave it a visual update to tie in with the list view.

Looking For Group

Dungeon & Dragons' Looking for Group system was designed to have a highly customizable system, where players could design the make-up of their group and select the specific dungeon to adventure into.

Infinite Crisis

During the development of Infinite Crisis, I was part of a shared service creative studio where I managed the pooled resources of UI and VFX for multiple projects, including IC. Due to my responsibilities being spread along multiple projects, I didn’t work on major initiatives, but it did provide me with the opportunity to take on more varied smaller production roles.

Status Effects

I created an icon system that was graphically bold to provide instant recognition of things affecting each character.

Map Icons

I created icons that appeared on the pre-game map selection UI. I choose to represent each icon based on the most iconic creature featured on that map.

Bonus Pads

Bonus pads gave players added abilities that they can earn and use. I designed the icons and VFX to have a simple silhouette that would read easily from far away, but also provide a level of sophistication within the details when viewed at close range.

Player Cards

Player cards allowed players to bring up any relevant information about entities on the map. My role was to script the UI to receive and display data based on multiple server requests.

I do this for fun!

Art and design are not just my job, they are also passions that I follow when I clock out of the office. Here are some examples of various projects that I did in the name of personal growth and enjoyment, as well as a few projects I worked on prior to breaking into the video game industry.

See my work...
Derpalope
Archer
Chef Louie Night
Pachycephalosaurus
Moxie
Avian Predator
Tiki Statue
Stegasaurus
Mosasaurus
The Tortoise Vs The Hare
Buccaneer
T-Rex
Underground Cave
Flamingo Dance
Velociraptor
Space Cow
Volcanic Landscape
Comando
Triceratops
Babies
Kites
Nine Lives
Team Mobius
Bank Robbers
Devil/Angel
Aqua Gorilla
Comando Team
Caravan Beast
Elephant Guard
Ankylosaurus
Stupid Monkey
Apatosaurus
Santa Claus
Pirate Toucan
Pteranodons
Tree Gollum
Mountain Landscape
Merchant Concepts
Evil Science

A few basic facts about me

Skilled creative manager and user experience professional with strong leadership, creative and technical ability. I've contributed to and managed teams that produce world class games and web sites for over two decades.

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Turbine | WB Games

UX & UI Director

April, 2016 - Present

Director responsible for managing team of UX Designers, UI Artists, and 2D artists. Responsible for documenting User Flow and setting a consistant art style for all UI elements. Additionally responsible for creating wireframes, mock ups and production-ready UI art assets.

Turbine | WB Games

Art Director

October, 2014 - April, 2016

Director for a hand-selected, multidisciplinary art team. Responsibilities include: leading all aspects of art production, working with other discipline leads to pitch the game's concept to executive teams within Turbine as well as to executives at WB Games, creating and continuing to update the project style guide, ensuring all art produced adheres to defined specifications and managing the career growth and evaluation of the project art team.

Turbine | WB Games

User Interface & VFX Director

September, 2009 - October, 2014

Originally tasked with leadership of the User Interface team, responsibilities expanded to include managing the Visual Effects team. Supported multiple live and pre-production projects. Responsible for the career growth and evaluation of all personnel. Other responsibilities included championing new processes, techniques and approaches. Took on production tasks for UI Art/Design, UI Engineering (Scaleform/AS 2.0) and VFX (Proprietary Tool).

Turbine | WB Games

Senior UI Artist

September, 2006 - September, 2009

Combined best practices from graphic design, illustration, usability and information architecture. Produced game interfaces that reflected the intentions of the Game System design team. Ensured that the user interface of LOTRO and DDO was clear, intuitive and aesthetically pleasing.

Affinnova

Design Technologist

January, 2004 - August, 2006

Created stylized online activities to optimize product designs and marketing strategies. Created flash-based software to streamline processes within the design department. Key Clients included: Proctor & Gamble, General Mills, Masterfoods, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and Pepperidge Farms.

Interactive Designer

Independent Contractor

April, 2002 - January, 2004

Developed multimedia solutions for clients including Houghton-Mifflin, Energy Credit Union and Premier Source Credit Union.

BiT Group

Senior Multimedia Designer

October, 1997 - April, 2002

Assimilated marketing, branding and Internet strategies for each client engagement. Developed multimedia solutions that supported the overall Internet solution. Key clients included: Senator Bill Bradley's 2000 Presidential Campaign, Holmes Products and Cisco Systems.

Education:

Syracuse University

September, 1993 - May, 1997

College of Visual and Performing Arts

Art Media Studies
Major: Computer Graphics

Things That I Do

Visual Design
Interaction Design
Information Arcitecture
Art Direction
Iconography
Illustration
Front End Development
Management & Employee Growth

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