Hello There!

My name is PJ Rivas and you have stumbled onto my portfolio website!

I am a game designer and producer living in Redmond, Washington.

I design game systems for a wide variety of audiences.

My Design Tenets

I design for depth, not complexity

I'm a strong believer that depth allows for more meaningful and engaging interaction than complexity ever could. Having one core system that can be flipped, turned, and juxtaposed in a myriad of ways will create approachable, understandable, and deeply satisfying gameplay that can continually be expanded upon.

Approachable games are the best games

You cannot expect anyone to meaningfully interact with a system-- let alone have fun with a system-- if they don't understand it. User experience and readability are the defining core of any successful game, and I work closely with programmers, artists, and other designers to ensure that any project I'm on is as approachable as possible. If playtest feedback is proving a system to be too complicated, I am eager to retool, refactor, and compartmentalize to ensure my system is easy to pick up and hard to put down.

You can find some games I've made that apply this philosophy below...

My Work

Strategy game focused on dice management with roguelite elements.

My responsibilities:

  • Designed and balanced every facet of the game's system and economy

  • Designed and heavily polished player interaction and systems

  • Designed and iterated first-time user experience for maximum accessibility

  • Organized team, handled marketing, store/library assets, and Steam submission

SketchLeague.com was a browser-based pictionary-esque game centered around League of Legends.

Hosted over 1 million+ registered users with a highly active playerbase.

My responsibilities:

  • Front-end web design

  • Heavy UX iteration over a short dev-cycle

  • Usability testing and refining

  • System design for scoring, turns, and other game elements

My responsibilities:

  • Initial prototype creation / exploration

  • Frequent playtesting and iteration

  • Combat system design and development

  • UI implementation and iteration

  • Feedback implementation and general ease-of-use accessibility tweaks

  • Keeping other disciplines up-to-date with challenges and needs of the design team.