Shoal of Words

The website of former Bethesda QA whiz and writer Michel Sabbagh. (Write-eo, daddy-o!)

About

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I penned articles that have been featured over 20 times on reputed websites such as Gamasutra, Destructoid and Kill Screen that covered several topics such as the effective structure of a tense survival horror gaming experience, the craft of solid storytelling in video games and the multifaceted structure of open-world design.

I worked at Bethesda Softworks as a Quality Assurance Tester and was credited on Skyrim: Special Edition, The Evil Within 2 and Prey: Mooncrash. My colleagues and managers lauded me for my attention-to-detail and industriousness, which helped with my teamwork skills on top of my individual talents.

My academic write-ups 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.

Additionally, I was named a Gold Winner for my paper on Thief: The Dark Project as part of the 2017 GDC Game Narrative Review Competition, and my scriptwriting and environmental storytelling projects have been featured by popular YouTubers Oxhorn and GVMERS whose combined coverage of my work totaled over 450,000 views.

Other achievements include:

– Winning the 2015 Worcester Game Pile’s Lightning Pitch Contest with a panel of jurors that include professional developers such as Trevor Stricker and Ichiro Lambe.

– Receiving an Honorable Mention for the 2017 WPI Kranich Prize.

– Being directly mentioned on Kotaku, Telegram & Gazette, and the Telegraph.

I’m currently taking a break from game development to focus on fiction writing.

Primary skills:
– Creative Writing
– Narrative Design
– Screenwriting
– Worldbuilding
– Script Doctoring
– Character Design
– Quality Assurance Testing
– Copywriting

“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

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