SARAH E. DANIELS
In 2005, I transitioned careers from commercial photography to video games. My first role was as a Sr. Producer at RealArcade. I've never looked back.
Since then, I’ve lead teams in the creation of dozens upon dozens of games as Creative Director, Lead Writer, Designer and Producer. My passion lies with the players who want to lose themselves in story-driven, immersive experiences.
Story is life.
When feeling puckish, I'm prone to interrupt polite dinner conversation with questions like this:
"When do you think our ancestors first taught their children to hunt?"
When they could throw a spear? Fire an arrow? Chase a buffalo? No. Children first learned to hunt when the hunters brought home a kill.
In the midst of firelight and feast, babes in arms would inhale the heady aromas of smoke and sweat and flesh. They would watch their elders dance, shadows thrown huge against the sky, as they retraced their trials of strength and daring. These stories were planted in the fertile human imagination from which all future hunters were born.
Story is the birthplace of possibility.
To hear a story is to be transported. To play a story is to be transformed.
"Play is the exultation of the possible." ~ Martin Buber
The majority of my games include robust story elements. My clients count on me to create integrated narrative worlds which infuse the central story into all aspects of gameplay.
Not just a game designer, but a writer, I've create pitches, treatments, story beats and full-length scripts for multiple, shipped titles. Though I enjoy working on my own stories, the most fun I've had is leading teams in a writer's room environment where our mutual enthusiasms may spread like wildfire helping each individual access their own, deeper inspiration.
Most of my portfolio falls into the story-rich categories: Hidden Object, Adventure, and Casual Simulation.
As an efficiencies nerd, I consider myself a production-friendly creative.
I work with small, nimble teams who are often short on time and resources. My greatest desire is to help these studios grow while insuring the creative playground doesn't burn through their budget. It's a delicate dance, and I find the best creative leaders allow their teams to run wild early on in the process, but then provide clear direction to guide the project to the finish line.
In doing so, I strive to create an environment of manageable goals catered to individual team members' disparate personalities. I've done my job, not only if we get a commercially viable game out the door, but if each member of the team feels proud of their contributions.
As a Creative Director, I enjoy defining the sandbox and inspire my teams to run wild within those parameters.
As a Designer, I enjoy everything from creating a delightfully balanced level progression, to mapping adventure game decision trees, to perfecting player on-boarding, to interpreting the nuances of user testing, to defining every click in the game flux.
If I haven't mentioned it, I love games -playing games and making games. It is near impossible to play a role that isn't intellectually thrilling and fun.