My name is PJ Rivas and you have stumbled onto my portfolio website!
I am a game designer living in Seattle, Washington.
I design games 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 of my works that apply this philosophy below...
Designed, documented, and prototyped gameplay, interface, and combat features in Unity and Unreal Engine
Designed the data schemas for use across every action, item, entity, and spell
Delivered design solutions to paper D&D team on how to rework D&D rules to better fit digital play
Independently delivered weekly feature updates to the internal Unity build of the game
I interned at Wizards of the Coast twice!
My responsibilities included:
Designed cards and content for upcoming Magic: the Gathering sets and Commander products
Pitched, produced, and developed internal projects for potential release in future sets
Designed, iterated, and balanced cards for Wizards of the Coast's upcoming mobile card game Spellslingers
Full-time Magic: the Gathering workflow
Strategy game focused on dice management with roguelite elements.
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