Content Writing and Design
I'm Dan, a Content Writer/Designer with a background in ed-tech and game development.
I am a content writer/designer for learning materials with nearly 8 years of experience. Over the years I've done things including organizing information, building graphics, technical writing, creating product analysis, and being a user advocate on tool design & user needs. I excel in acting as a liaison between teams of varying technical expertise, breaking down concepts into digestible chunks, or expanding upon team needs and feedback within a more developer-oriented context.I've also been a solo game developer since about 2013. Most of my work involves narrative-driven design, focused on dialogue and worldbuilding rather than pure gameplay. I've created open-world tiny games, hypertext cyberthrillers, linear Dadaist/Fluxus mysteries, holiday-themed comedy rap games, and small experiences that explore caretaker stress and autistic overstimulation.Overall I try to offer a wide array of skills that make me an adaptable teammate who can fill almost any skill gaps while working to lift the entire team up.
Self-Paced Professional Development Courses & PD Design
Tools: Rise360I collaborated with a professional development subject matter expert to determine course needs and how these courses needed to appear. Along with creating the self-paced courses, I aided the PD SMEs in the design of live session collateral.I then used the live sessions collateral we created together as a reference for building the three sessions. Each covered the core material of each live session (beginning, middle, and end-of-year sessions) while making use of the interactive, self-paced format.Rise360 allowed me to easily collaborate with the subject matter expert through its review functionality and through careful iteration, I was able to build courses that perfectly complemented the live sessions.
Game Project: Ghost Helper
Company: Personal Project
Platform: Video, PDF
Tools: Canva, Laika, NotionThis is a video ad for a fictional company within a current video game project I am working on, Ghost Helper. The video is a fake advertisement showcasing the company's dystopian arcologies. The tone is intended to be upbeat at face value but hides dark undertones.Using Laika, an AI tool that can be trained on custom datasets, I built an AI model trained exclusively on my own writing for my game project to build a draft audio script. I then edited this script by hand to process it with a text-to-speech tool, something which I have years of experience with.NOTE: Since I last used Laika, the creation & use of private 'brains' (what the service calls its AI models) has been made a premium feature.Working with a TTS program requires building the VO script so the system correctly parse it and gives you the desired performance. Since these programs don't understand contexts, syntax, and language, you have to be perticular, writing phonetically or adjusting punctuation so beats are hit or emphasis is on the right word. This requires multiple iterations to get right.Once the performance was captured, I grabbed Creative Commons 0 music from Pixabay, imported both it and the VO into Canva, and used Canva's video tools to create the advert.Along with the video, I created a tri-fold pamphlet for use as in-game ephemera.
LINK TO DOCUMENT
Platform: Physical Robot & Tablet
Tools: InternalAs part of the Content Team at RoboKind, we collaborated with subject matter experts to tweak lesson dialogue scripts from their initial draft to the final version. Once the script was finalized, we would transform it into an interactive lesson using proprietary tools. Video, graphics, animations, and more were then added. Since we used a TTS VO, the script text needed to be edited to elicit the necessary performance from the character giving the lesson. Alongside the curriculum, we would use these techniques to develop scripts and robot speeches for broadcast, social media, funding, and other needs.Overall, the Content team partnered with the Software and Art departments to expand RoboKind's curriculum into a full suite of over 140 lessons and 12 modules. This initiative had a transformative impact on the company's user base and generated around $1M in profit.During my time on this project, I led the push for several improvements to internal content tools and multiple full redesigns. I also developed two games for the lessons, both designed to highlight and develop turn-taking skills.There isn't a good way for me to showcase the work I did on this project due to the unique nature of the lesson format. It is a multimedia presentation that combines a physical robot, tablets, video, graphics, and web formatting.
Platform: Physical Robot & Tablet
Tools: InternalAs part of the Content Team at RoboKind, I collaborated with subject matter experts to tweak lesson dialogue scripts from their initial draft to the final version.Once the script was finalized, we would transform it into an interactive lesson. We combined art, narrative, engineering, and programming disciplines to create a full Phase 1 curriculum within a 3-month timeframe. We then created the Phase 2 curriculum that scaffolded from concepts learned in Phase 1.
Since we used a TTS VO, the script text needed to be edited to elicit the necessary performance from the character giving the lesson.We deployed the curriculum into a modified LMS platform. I wrote course descriptions and added gates to prevent students from jumping ahead.After Phases 1 and 2 were completed. I was tasked with converting the curriculum into a 1-week crash course for a client.
Platform: Physical Robot & Tablet
Tools: Internal, Canva, IllustratorRoboKind Phonics is a play-based phonics program that utilizes RoboKind’s humanoid robot to aid with reinforcement. I worked on this project from March of 2023 until July of 2023.Initially, I worked alongside RoboKind's phonics SME to build an 11-lesson pilot program within a 2-week timeframe. To prepare for this, I worked with the development team to build a new content creation tool that aligned with the project's needs. After the pilot, we began production on a full, 4-unit curriculum within a 2-month period.While I built 40 of the 68 total lessons, I was also part of a backup team working to cover tasks assigned to us by the Creative Director. Tasks included modifying draft lesson decks into finalized versions and creating image packs for the robot.Unfortunately, my time on this project was cut short.
RoboKind Blog Article
Why We Choose Identity-First Language
Platform: Blog Post
Tools: WordAs part of the upcoming Autism Acceptance Month in April, I was asked to write a blog post and contribute to several other articles. The article for the blog was about the company's recent switch from person-first (person with autism) to identity-first (autistic person) language. The switch was prompted by an internal push from me and a few others to change the company's messaging and move away from support of groups the autistic community finds questionable.I wrote and submitted the article for an April 1 launch. The section What is the difference between identity- and person-first language? was later added by someone else.LINK TO ARTICLE
Graphic Design in Games: Ghost Helper
This game takes place in a mall-like arcology, so it needed businesses, products, and advertisements to populate it. Along with posters and ads, I needed to create pieces of ephemera for the players to examine as they explored the space.NOTE: Some of these images were created using AI-generated elements, either faces from ThisPersonDoesNotExist or Canva's internal text-to-image tool. Images with these elements will be marked with an * I just want to be very up front about the use of AI images in some of my work.