QA Tester at Bethesda Softworks, Part-Time Game Designer/Writer Rockville, MD
Bug smasher at Bethesda by day, word wrangler by night; wrote for Kill Screen, Gamasutra, Destructoid and Kotaku.Download Resume
My name is Michel Sabbagh and I'm a game designer/writer from Montreal, Quebec. I recently graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a Bachelor of Science in Interactive Media & Game Development.
I regularly write articles that have been featured on various reputed websites such as Gamasutra, Kotaku, Destructoid and Kill Screen. Additionally, I have had experience in the gaming industry as a Quality Assurance Tester for Bethesda Softworks and was credited for my work on one of their latest blockbuster titles, Skyrim: Special Edition.
My academic works also garnered attention from game developers such as Monolith Productions who were impressed with my thesis on the influence of Japanese culture in Western-made first-person shooters, which got accepted at two conferences (Replaying Japan 2017 and Canadian Game Studies Association). I was also named a Gold Presenter for my analysis paper on Thief: The Dark Project as part of the 2017 GDC Game Narrative Review Competition. Other achievements include having won the Worcester Game Pile’s Lightning Pitch Contest with a panel of jurors that include professional game developers such as Trevor Stricker and Ichiro Lambe, and penning two visual novels, “Make Love Not Politics” and “Streams of Nurture” (the latter of which shall see a release later in 2017).
I began playing video games as a toddler, beginning with PC adventure titles such as the Humongous Entertainment works in the late 1990s before transitioning to console gaming and taking an interest in other types of games such as the first-person shooter and role-playing game in the mid 2000s.
The titles in those genres, such as TimeSplitters: Future Perfect and Fallout 3, showed me the creative potential of game writing and design, which was cemented by my exposure to immersive sims like Thief: The Dark Project and System Shock 2. Such games combined FPS, RPG and adventure elements to create engrossing and interactive worlds that captivated my imagination with their emphasis on player agency and systemic interactivity.
This led me to pursue a career in game development following high school, and write for and about video games to share my insight on game design and bring my personal ideas to life using programs such as Ren’Py and Unreal Engine.
Throughout all of my years as a gamer and developer, I have learned the importance of collaboration and innovation when it comes to crafting experiences that enhance the immersion factor with their synergy of mechanics and presentation. I intend to make full use of my game development experience and design knowledge to break into the video game industry as a narrative designer and writer for video games. I look forward to working with fellow developers on titles that hone our individual and collective expertise, and satisfyingly put our skills as creative talents to the test!
Feel free to visit my blog if you’re interested in reading my game design articles:
Was quoted on Kotaku:
Was featured in Telegram & Gazette:
"Creativity is recombinant, and the more inspiration designers take in, the more they have to draw from and the higher the chances they'll produce something with a distinct perspective." - Craig Hubbard, game designer/writer
Contract QA Tester
May 16, 2016 – July 8, 2016 • Rockville, MD
Ran assigned test requests, tested and verified bug fixes, and identified game issues for Skyrim Special Edition.
Booz & Company
January 2010 – February 2010 • Dubai
-Received training on targeted data-bases and research tools covering Thomson Reuters, Informa, and the World Bank
-Worked as an Analyst in the Research Department directly supporting client engagements across industries (Telecoms, Energy, Financial Services, Public Sector)
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
BS in Interactive Media & Game Development
2013 – Present • Worcester, MA
GPA: 3.81/4.00, May 2017
Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou
Economics & Social Sciences Stream
1999 – 2013 • Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Was part of the Economics and Social Sciences stream throughout my high school years (2011-2013) and graduated with High Honors upon receiving my Baccalaureate diploma.
Creative Writing Narrative Design Screenwriting Worldbuilding Character Design Script Doctoring
Game Narrative Review Competition – Gold Winner, GDC Narrative Summit Review Board (I’ve been placed in the Gold Category for the 2017 iteration of the GDC Narrative Review Competition as a result of my Thief analysis paper.) [link]
Dean’s List, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Dean's List, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Lightning Pitch Contest 1st Place, Worcester Game Pile [link]
Dean's List, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
French Baccalaureate Economics & Social Sciences stream, Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou (Received with High Honors)
Kangourou 11th Grade Mathematics International Competition Award, Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou (Ranked 1st in school, 28th internationally)
French Brevet, Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou (Received with Honors)