Scott Howard
These are the personal musings of Scott Howard, Producer / Designer / Gamer

Over the last 15 years in the games industry I have worked on console, mobile, social and free to play games enjoying the nuance and challenges each of these brings. 
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Scott Howard 

Email: scott@fenixdesign.com

Mobile: +1510.710.1973

 

"Real artists ship" - Steve Jobs

I design and produce products from ideas to worldwide live services and I know how to balance the needs of the player with the business goals of the company. This experience, coupled with an insatiable curiosity, relentless pursuit of self improvement and crazy work ethic, drive my passion for creating amazing products and high functioning, collaborative teams.

 

“I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either” - Jack Benny 

  • The Sims Mobile - 2017 (Game of the day and currently ranked #1 in F2P)
  • TOME - Immortal Arena - 2014 (Pax Prime Editors Choice for Game of Show)
  • Blancspot Media - 2010 (Apple's Top Trends in the news category for Apple's Rewind event)
  • Nokia Innovation and Excellence Award - 2009
  • Reset Generation - 2008 (Platinum Award 10/10 - www.PocketGamer.co.uk,  A/A+ 1Up.com)
  • Pocket Kingdom - 2004 (4.5/5 - GameSpy.com, 9/10 - 1Up.com)
  • Worked on industry leading console games such as Monster Hunter 1 & 2, Phantasy Star Online, Resident Evil Outbreak 1 & 2, Virtua Fighter 4, Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, and many more.

 

“Experience: That most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my god do you learn” - C. S. Lewis

Senior General Manager | Electronic Arts, Aug 2016 - Present

Hired to work on new products within Maxis to create the next generation of Maxis games. Later was tapped to head up The Sims Mobile months before soft launch to get project back on track to success.

  • Worked on unannounced mobile title that merged casual gameplay with deep collection mechanics which tested exceptionally well with target demographics and segmentation.
  • Airdropped onto The Sims Mobile project just two months before soft launch. Reinvigorated a burned out team to help them turn the product around into a successful live service and ultimately a number one game at worldwide launch.
  • Working on an unannounced HD game that defines a future vision of Maxis IP; merging the values of Maxis (creativity, emergence, optimism and quirkiness) with modern game features including UGC, multiplayer and modding.

 

Vice President of Product | BetterDoctor, Sept 2014 - March 2016

Lead all aspects of product development, while managing engineering and design resources.

  • Worked with team to explore a potential new market and after a number of experiments we found product market fit. We then pivoted towards this, putting us on a path to profitability.
  • Established quarterly planning procedures, including setting up team and company OKRs (Objectives & Key Results). Used these targets to build strategic road map into tactical sprints.
  • Improved development processes, adding greater tracking and predictability of our work. This increased accuracy of our estimates, hitting 90% accuracy and ~200% increase in velocity.
  • Championed lean product development and created a culture of, “Build, Measure, Learn”. All features would contain metrics for success that were then tracked and measured.

 

Executive Producer | Glu Mobile, May 2014 - August 2014

Product owner for Eternity Warriors 4, an internal IP action RPG for eastern and western audiences.

  • Performed a deep analysis of Eternity Warriors 3, to get at the core of what made the game successful. Used these insights to established a vision of customization and collection for EW4.
  • Knowing the challenges of remote development, I creating a culture of, “one team, one fight” to rally the entire team around the goals and success of the game vs individual objectives.
  • Made a smooth hand off of product ownership to Beijing studio after Glu executive leadership decided to release the game in the eastern market only.

 

Executive Producer  |  KIXEYE, April 2011 - March 2014

Worked on Backyard Monsters, Battle Pirates, War Commander, then started TOME - Immortal Arena. Transitioned KIXEYE to AAA game development, merging console quality with F2P browser gaming.

  • Joined KIXEYE as employee 25 and helped grow the company to 530+, interviewing and bringing in key talent from other great game companies, such as Blizzard and Riot.
  • Built all development processes from scratch because they didn’t exist prior to joining the company. Set best practices for spec writing, wireframing, agile, documentation and testing.
  • From concept to live service, created TOME - Immortal Arena, a 3D MOBA running in a browser.
  • Built the TOME team from two, into an internal team of 65, including all disciplines - artists, animators, engineers, QA, product, design, customer service and community management.

 

Director of Product  |  Blancspot Media, May 2010 - April 2011

Lead all aspects of product development, including concept, design, engineering and release.

  • Fourth employee hired and focused on early product market fit. Goal was to create a new way of interacting with a rich multimedia news experience on mobile devices.
  • Launched our iPhone product three months after being hired and made Apple’s, “App of the week”, shortly after launch.
  • Managed multiple external vendors for client side dev, CMS dev, QA, and web site development.

Design Manager  |  Connect Services  |  Nokia, October 2009 - May 2010

Managed a team of five designers working on the UX for Connect Services, which includes Messaging, Social Phone Book, Organizer and Community (integration with Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc).

 

Producer | Reset Generation (N-Gage) | Nokia, February 2006 - September 2009

From concept to live service, I worked on all aspects of Reset Generation, one of The Guardian's "Most Promising Games" for 2008 and #2 on Pocket Gamer's Top Ten for 2008.

 

Network Games Product Manager | N-Gage | Nokia, February 2006 - September 2009

Responsible for dramatically increasing mobile connected game experiences on the N-Gage Service.

 

Art Director  |  N-Gage and Snap Games  |  Nokia, July 2004 - March 2006

Lead the art direction on all 1st party games being developed in the San Francisco office, including games for the original N-Gage (Hardware) platform and JAVA based games using SNAP (Internal network SDK).

 

Design Manager  |  N-Gage (Hardware Platform)  |  Nokia, September 2003 - November 2005

Managed the design of the N-Gage service, Nokia’s first entry into the mobile gaming space, including the visual direction and UX for N-Gage.com and the S60 application.

 

Art Director  |  Online  |  Sega, September 1999 - October 2003

Managed the concept, design, UX and development of over 20 game specific websites, nearly all of them utilizing full Flash development, often with complex motion graphics, video and custom built games.

 

“Ability is of little account without opportunity” -  Napoleon Bonaparte 

“Creativity is not a talent, it is a way of operating.” -  John Cleese

 

Scott Howard  |  scott@fenixdesign.com  |  +1510.710.1973