Mike Ellis
 

Career

 
 
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Currently

As of June 2017, Mike is now the founder of Psychopomp Game Dev LCC. 

Psychopomp is a boutique video game industry consultancy, encompassing the following, 

  • Game design consultation
  • Game development consultation
  • Video game industry knowledge & experience 

Helping teams realize their creative goals and achieve the highest possible quality products via consultation, team augmentation, and custom designs. Tailored services are targeted toward a range of client types, covering dev teams, publishers, IP/rights holders and indy dev.

Find out more at the Psychopomp company website.

Halo Wars 2

Dev/Publisher: 343 Industries & Creative Assembly / Microsoft Studios
PlatforM: Xbox One & Win 10
Role: Design Director
Time on Project: First 6 Months & Final Year

Responsibilities:

  • Creating a Halo quality campaign
  • Collaborated with dev team on mission design, structure and flow 
  • Ensuring game had the soul of a Halo console title
  •  Design consultation and support to the dev team
  • Weekly mission reviews
     Cauliflower and Kale Soup

    Halo: Spartan Strike

    Dev/Publisher: 343 Industries & Vanguard Games / Microsoft Studios
    PlatforM: iOS & Win 8 devices
    Role:Design Director
    Time on Project:1 Year (Concept to ship)

      Responsibilities:

      • Ensuring game had the soul of a Halo console title
      • Design consultation and support to the dev team
      • Helped with overall game balance
      • Worked with dev team on weapons and mechanics
      • Weekly level reviews
       Cauliflower and Kale Soup

      Halo: Spartan Assault

      Dev/Publisher: 343 Industries & Vanguard Games / Microsoft Studios
      PlatforM: iOS & Win 8 devices
      Role: Design Director
      Time on Project: 1 Year (Concept to ship)

        Responsibilities:

        • Ensuring game had the soul of a Halo console title
        • Design consultation and support to the dev team
        • Helped with overall game balance
        • Worked with dev team on weapons and mechanics
        • Weekly level reviews
         Cauliflower and Kale Soup

        Halo 4

        Dev/Publisher: 343 Industries / Microsoft Studios
        PlatforM: Xbox 360
        Role: Design Director
        Time on Project: 13 Months (7 months dev to ship & 6 months of DLC)

          Responsibilities:

          • Directed Multiplayer content from external partners
          • Ensured external content was of the same quality as that produced in-house
          • Helped external partners understand what it was to be Halo
          • Provided feedback and guidance on content
          • Weekly map reviews
           Cauliflower and Kale Soup

          Overstrike (Became F.U.S.E.)

          Dev/Publisher: Insomniac Games / Electronic Arts
          PlatforM: PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
          Role: Lead Designer
          Time on Project:1 Year of Pre-Pro (Switched to Director of Design for studio)

            Responsibilities:

            • Initial prototyping of core gameplay mechanics, systems, etc.
            • Collaborated on design of the core gadgets used by the agents
            • Designed, built, and implemented test environments
            • Designed and collaborated on vertical slice demo
             Cauliflower and Kale Soup

            Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time

            Dev/Publisher: Insomniac Games / SCEA
            PlatforM: PlayStation 3
            Role: Lead Designer
            Time on Project: 1.25 Years (Concept to ship)

            Responsibilities:

            • Managed a design team of 12 people
            • Collaborated on the scope and structure with the Creative Director
            • Guided level and feature implementation
            • Designed the 'Sub Woofer' analogue weapon
            • Re-designed the 'Vapedia' level
             Cauliflower and Kale Soup

            Ratchet & Clank: Quest For Booty

            Dev/Publisher: Insomniac Games / SCEA
            PlatforM: PlayStation 3
            Role: Lead Designer
            Time on Project: 1 Year (Concept to ship)

            Responsibilities:

            • Managed the design team of 3 people
            • Collaborated on the new Wrench Abilities
            • Gameplay & economy tuning and balancing
            • Designed the 'Viper Caverns' level
            • Designed and implemented the player training section
            • Implemented the 'Hoolefar Island' hub level
            • Implemented the 'Azorean Sea pt2' level
             Cauliflower and Kale Soup

            Resistance 2

            Dev/Publisher: Insomniac Games / SCEA
            PlatforM: PlayStation 3
            Role: Supporting the team shipping the game
            Time on Project: 3 months (Alpha to ship)

            Responsibilities:

            • Took WIP final level (which was behind schedule) through to ship
            • Collaborated in implementing final boss
             Cauliflower and Kale Soup

            Ratchet & Clank: Tools Of Destruction

            Dev/Publisher: Insomniac Games / SCEA
            PlatforM: PlayStation 3
            Role: Senior Designer (reporting directly to the Creative Director)
            Time on Project: 2 Years (Early dev to ship)

            Responsibilities:

            • Created metrics for world and object building
            • Designed the 'Gelanator' gadget
            • Designed and implemented the following levels
              • Zordoom Prison
              • Fastoon
              • Mukow
            • Collaborated on the space shooter mode
            • Designed and implemented the 5 space shooter levels
             Cauliflower and Kale Soup

            James Bond: From Russia With Love

            Dev/Publisher: Electronic Arts
            PlatforM: PlayStation 2 and Xbox
            Role: Senior Designer
            Time on Project: 1 Year (Mid dev to ship)

            Responsibilities:

            • Member of the 'Combat and Controls' team
            • Created metrics for interactive objects
            • Analyzed levels for camera issues
            • Implemented several of Bond's gadgets
             Cauliflower and Kale Soup

            Tomb Raider: Legend

            Dev/Publisher: Crystal Dynamics / Eidos
            PlatforM: PlayStation 2 and Xbox
            Role: Senior Designer
            Time on Project: 1 Year (Concept to mid dev)

            Responsibilities:

            • Led the efforts of the level design team
            • Designed 2 levels for the game - 'Tokyo' and 'Russia'
            • Worked on prototypes levels, scenarios and events

             

             Cauliflower and Kale Soup

            Legacy Of Kain: Defiance

            Dev/Publisher: Crystal Dynamics / Eidos
            PlatforM: PlayStation 2 and Xbox
            Role: Senior Designer
            Time on Project: 1 Year (Mid dev to ship)

            Responsibilities:

            • Designed and implemented the 'Sarafan Stronghold' level
            • Designed and implemented 'The Citadel' level

             

             Cauliflower and Kale Soup

            Legacy Of Kain: Blood Omen 2

            Dev/Publisher: Crystal Dynamics / Eidos
            PlatforM: PlayStation 2 and Xbox
            Role: Lead Designer
            Time on Project: 2 Years (Early dev to ship)

            Responsibilities:

            • Managed the design team of 6 people
            • Designed the combat system to fit the camera and controls
            • Collaborated on the design of the 'Dark Gift' powers
            • Redesigned and implemented 'The Canyons' level
            • Gameplay tuning and balancing
             Cauliflower and Kale Soup

            Colony Wars: Vengeance

            Dev/Publisher: Psygnosis / SCEE
            PlatforM: PlayStation
            Role: Lead Designer
            Time on Project: 1 Year (Concept to ship)

            Responsibilities:

            • Managed the design team of 5 people
            • Collaborated on the 'play the other side' storyline
            • Designed new weapons systems and 'tools' for the various spacecraft
            • Implemented approx 1/5th of the game's missions

             

             Cauliflower and Kale Soup

            Colony Wars

            Dev/Publisher: Psygnosis / SCEE
            PlatforM: PlayStation
            Role: Lead Designer
            Time on Project: 2 Years (Concept to ship)

            Responsibilities:

            • Collaborated on the controls and camera
            • Created the CW universe fiction and foundation storyline
            • Designed weapons systems for the various spacecraft
            • Worked with several different programmers on enemy/ally behaviors
            • Gameplay tuning and balancing
            • Implemented approx 1/3rd of the game's missions
             Cauliflower and Kale Soup

            Krazy Ivan

            Dev/Publisher: Psygnosis / SCEE
            PlatforM: PlayStation
            Role: Lead Designer
            Time on Project: 1 Year (Early dev to ship)

            Responsibilities:

            • Collaborated on the controls and camera
            • Designed the enemy behaviors with the game's Lead Programmer
            • Gameplay tuning and balancing

             

             Cauliflower and Kale Soup