Michel Sabbagh

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:

https://michelsabbagh.wordpress.com/

References: https://www.slideshare.net/MichelSabbagh/michel-abbaghs-references?ref=https://www.linkedin.com/

Was quoted on Kotaku:
http://kotaku.com/what-makes-a-good-video-game-gun-1729217476

Was featured in Telegram & Gazette:
https://twitter.com/telegramdotcom/status/661217033837789185

"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

Experience

Contract QA Tester

Bethesda Softworks

Ran assigned test requests, tested and verified bug fixes, and identified game issues for Skyrim Special Edition.

Intern

Booz & Company

-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)

Education

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

BS in Interactive Media & Game Development

GPA: 3.81/4.00, May 2017

Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou

Economics & Social Sciences Stream

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.

Skills

Java Javascript Racket C C++ Python FPS Creator Ren'Py Source Engine SDK Electron toolset Photoshop Game Design Storytelling Game Development Gametesting Organization skills Writing Teamwork Narrative Design Final Draft Unreal Engine Quality Assurance Ludology

Specialties

Creative Writing Narrative Design Screenwriting Worldbuilding Character Design Script Doctoring

Awards

2017

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]

2016

Dean’s List, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

2015

Dean's List, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

2015

Lightning Pitch Contest 1st Place, Worcester Game Pile [link]

2014

Dean's List, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

2013

French Baccalaureate Economics & Social Sciences stream, Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou (Received with High Honors)

2012

Kangourou 11th Grade Mathematics International Competition Award, Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou (Ranked 1st in school, 28th internationally)

2010

French Brevet, Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou (Received with Honors)