A passion for making things worthwhile
I have a background in graphical-, interaction design but soon fell in love with game design. During the past years I grew more fondness for game-research and project management. I graduated in Communication and Multimedia Design (BA) in Breda 2009 and followed up with New Media and Digital Culture (MA) at Utrecht University 2014. In the past co-developed multiple award winning serious games adopting multiple development roles. I also made a quick sidestep into academia as researcher and lecturer at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences and helped lay the foundations for a new game studies. I have pioneered as Lead Designer at Springlab creating numerous educational serious game for our own active game platform for toddlers in daycare and primary schools. Currently I’m project manager at IJsfontein creating a diversity of playful solutions for numerous applied purposes. Besides these jobs I have been working as an interaction and graphical designer for my own company for over ten years. What started out as a student company has given me the oppertunity to undertake serveral freelance projects outside the scope of the game industry. In my past time I continue shipping my self developed card game Sign across the globe together with the other Mountain Men.
Some personal insights: I play field-hockey, love playing board games with friends, can often be found with a camera in my hand, enjoy exploring different cultures, find peace in crafting chores in and around the house and enjoy nature so profoundly that I have taken up gardening.
Working within multi-diciplinairy teams is often a challange of its own. Developers, artists, managers, marketing, stakeholders and players all speak their own language. I have either enough experience as or with all the above roles to be an excellent translator in projects.
Game design is for a large part the ability to think/act like your target audience. That is the starting point from which designers can create playful triggers and experiences. Running playtests, finding creative playful solutions, implementing new technologies to help find the right triggers. While I did created a boardgame, most of my professional experience is with serious games design: fusing playful triggers with learning objectives.
I think in Illustrator, speak fluent in Photoshop. Over the years I have used my graphical skills for presentations, pitches and game design documents. Sometimes I still create ‘final’ game visuals, but it’s slowly fading to the past. Mostly my graphical skills allow me to visualize my ideas and concepts to teams, stakeholders and players.
Management / Lead
The creative process is one of ups and downs; breakthroughs sometimes go together with terrible test results. Managing creative projects is therefore as much about holding tight to requirements and managing capacity as it is about creative problem solving to ensure amazing end results.
From wireframes, to flowcharts, mockups and final designs. I have experience in web-interfaces and game UI’s. In the last years I added some Unity UI knowlegde to this for both game and app design, able to work with in Figma.
Capable of making 3D visuals and environments. Mostly for renders, less experience with game-ready assets. Due to my background I am capable of texturing and unwraping up to a certain point. Started out working in Maya, switched to Blender in the last couple of years.
IJsfontein – Project Manager
IJsfontein designs and develops playful learning solutions, enticing people’ natural curiosity and intrinsic motivation. Project that I work on have a wide diversity; from serious games for staff training, to physical interactive experiences to cross-platform digital methods for primary education. My job is to guide and steer the development team while at the same time keeping close contact with clients or consortiums.
The Mountain Men - Co Founder, Game-, Graphic Designer
What started out as three friends taking their Friday off work, quickly proved to be a fruitful adventure for learning! Most noticeble project is Sign. Reviewed by more than 25 reviewers and websites, featured in multiple magazines (incl. SpielBox magazine) and shipped to 21 countries worldwide! Sign was Kickstarted in 2016 as Tamps and was internationally launched in 2017 on SPIEL.
Salko – Own company
My own compagny, working as a freelance game-, interaction-, graphic- and webdesigner. It started out as a student company during my education. Throughout the years it gave me the oppertunity to experiment, learn and undertake project outside the scope of my daily work.
Springlab – Lead Designer
2017 – 2021
Working as Lead Designer I have helped Springlab grow from a small startup to the scale-up that is it today. Developing products to stimulate an active lifestyle we have designed products for elderly, youths and toddlers. Among them is also the Beweegvloer. Our own embodied learning platform for daycare and primary education featuring numerous serious games.
Hanze University of Applied Sciences – Lecturer & Researcher Game Design
2014 – 2017
As lecturer I co-created a new Game Design major focusing on both entertainment and applied game design. As a researcher I worked with the research group User-Centered Design as a project manager on multiple research projects focusing on analyzing and designing new applied games.
&Ranj – Researcher, Game Designer, Project Manager, Coach
2012 – 2014
Since my last time working for Ranj my focus shifted. I was now managing the PlayFit project for Ranj, besides other smaller research initiatives. For PlayFit I designed and developed three proof of concepts in with students from the Fontys University of Applied Sciences in collboration with Ranj’ inhouse developers. Other side projects where Plan-It Commander, multiple research tenders and a fun raising trailer for the Dutch healthcare system (Explore).
&Ranj- Jr. Game/Graphic Designer
2008 – 2010
What started out as a internship turned over in a part-time work experience. While at Ranj I worked on different game projects as graphic- and game designer and was lucky to co-develop various award winning serious games like Sharkworld, Tech-ed, KLU-Games (X-Base) and Kika & Bob games.