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Stephen J. Skelton | Game Designer/Writer

Game design professional with over 20 years experience creating compelling gameplay and stories for AAA franchise titles, generating detailed content for original and licensed properties, and working with small and large teams to create unique and realistic game experiences.


Sphere Studios (November 2023 – Present)

Lead Designer, Interactive

  • Building Unreal Engine experiences for audiences at The Sphere venue in Las Vegas.

Arrivant (June 2022 – July 2023)

Head of Game Design/Design Director

  • Head of studio game design department.
  • Design Director on StarGarden project (Unreal Engine 5.2). High-level design planning + hands-on engine work.
  • Project management and long-term production planning with studio leadership.
  • Team built AAA-quality investor demo on an indie-team budget. Adapted demo into playable week-long community “early access” event.

Embodied, Inc. (October 2020 – May 2022)

Senior Designer, Special Projects

  • Interactive design for the Moxie robot before, during, and after product launch.
  • Design, documentation, and implementation using ChatScript and in-house tools.
  • Internal development of PlayZone games web portal for robot (play games with Moxie).

Freelance (2011 – Present)

Contract work for PC and console development.

  • Design consultation & documentation (game concept creation, 2-page pitch, extended pitch, initial GDD) – pre-production work on existing concept (licensed or original IP), providing concrete design elements from initial “elevator pitch” as well as story/character development, game mechanic specifications, level design, dialog, etc..

RECENT FREELANCE WORK (most currently under NDA):

  • UNANNOUNCED MOBILE GAME (Inlingo) – Mobile game dialog rewrite for American audiences, female-centric soap opera style. Over 24,000 words/2,000 lines.
  • UNANNOUNCED FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE (Game Zale) – Developing Old West-themed horror First Person Narrative project for PC/consoles for UAE-based game developer. Created original IP, game mechanic/story design.
  • KUNFUNAMI (Retroborn Games) – Design consultation, character and game mechanic creation for fast-paced arcade platformer.
  • UNANNOUNCED PROJECT (Skill Stamp) – Game design consultation for project in development.

CI Games (2012 – 2014)

Creative Director, ALIEN RAGE (PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)

  • On site with team in Poland for 4 months as Creative Director bringing Unreal Engine 3 Sci-Fi FPS game to Alpha & Beta, followed by remote direction from Los Angeles.
  • Feedback/direction for all departments, cutscene direction.
  • Wrote game system specifications (scoring, weapons, audio log functionality, etc.).
  • Rewrote/redesigned game objectives/plot & achievements to fit within downloadable game requirements for consoles.
  • Designed player perk system which increased EEDAR Lasting Appeal score by 30%.
  • Recruited/supervised external level designers to create multiplayer maps.
  • Provided marketing support (title suggestions, “back of box” copy, etc.).
  • Represented game at company-wide reviews/presentations, E3, gamescom, PAX Prime.


  • Represented games at Destination PlayStation, Bandai Namco Global Gamers Day, E3.
  • Presentations for distributors/business partners (Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Redbox, etc.) (2012 – 2016)

Writer/Producer, Film Pigs on GeekNation

  • Part of team that created, wrote, and produced a weekly 20 minute movie-centric comedic web series for Clare Kramer’s involving regular cast & celebrity guest stars.
  • Wrote dozens of segments and sketch comedy scripts involving multiple characters and situations over course of series 227 episode run – Film Pigs on GeekNation (YouTube Playlist).

AppKin Studios (2009 – 2011)

Game Designer, Unannounced iPhone Project

  • Formed small development studio to prototype casual games for the iPhone platform.

Spark Unlimited, Inc. (2002 – 2008)

Lead Designer/Writer, Legendary (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)

  • Managed overall game design (features, specs, research, documentation) on Unreal Engine 3.0 project in collaboration with the design department and production team.
  • Created game storyline in collaboration with the Design Director, wrote dialog script and in-game text. Dialog and in-game text developed with team based on storyline/gameplay needs.
  • Managed gameplay balancing: Player controls, game difficulty, AI abilities, player weapons, enemy vs. weapons tuning to provide real tactical choices when using weapon set, etc.
  • Managed Design Department, coordination/collaboration with other departments.
  • Certified ScrumMaster – Part of management group selected to train on new Agile project management process “Scrum” and instruct team how to use it.

Lead Designer/Writer, Studio Development

  • Franchise development of original IP with publisher. Worked closely with creative director from publisher to build out the “bible” of the original IP world in anticipation of sequels and multiple-studio spin-off projects.
  • Studio pitch development of original and licensed IP concepts. Worked independently and in collaboration with Design Director on more than half a dozen game pitches. Presented pitches to game publishers and motion picture producers, directors, execs, etc.

Senior Designer, Call of Duty: Finest Hour (PS2, Xbox, GameCube)

  • Contributed to every aspect of game design (locations used, characters, gameplay features, level layouts, etc.). Wrote large portions of, edited design document.
  • Specifically created the designs/documentation for six levels:
    • Breakdown and Into Red Square levels used as “Vertical Slice.” I worked directly on these levels, contributing most of the object placement, scripting, etc.
    • Come Out Fighting level design/geometry block out given to separate design team due to schedule changes. No major changes made to initial design.
    • I worked directly on the three Aachen levels (First City To Fall, Underground Passage, Surrender At Aachen) with a Jr. Designer assisting.
  • Wrote dialog/in-game text for all 6 levels I designed and for many of the cutscenes/briefings.
  • Created many of the game’s characters in collaboration with concept artists.

Electronic Arts Los Angeles (2000 – 2002)

Designer, Medal of Honor Frontline (PS2, Xbox, GameCube)

  • My levels were all of Mission 4: Several Bridges Too Far, Yard By Yard, Arnhem Knights. Implemented all gameplay from scratch using existing geometry layouts and basic scenarios provided by the Lead Designer.

Designer, Clive Barker’s Undying (PC)

  • Implemented game objective system.


  • 3D Game Engines (Unreal, Unity., etc.)
  • Issue Tracking/Agile Software (JIRA, Bugzilla, etc.)
  • Source Control Software (GitHub, Perforce, AlienBrain, etc.)
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • DaVinci Resolve
  • Microsoft Office/Project
  • Power Naps


B.A. Theatre and Drama, Indiana University