Marie Mejerwall is a long-time game design and esports veteran. She has led creative teams at more than six game studios around the world and has worked on several famous award-winning franchises, such as Dead Rising, Deus Ex, RollerCoaster Tycoon and the Batman Arkham series. She's also been active in esports since 2001 and has fielded several different roles such as Head Admin, Producer, Coach, Caster, Analyst and Tournament Organizer.
She is now a consultant and shares her expertise in different ways to game studios, publishers, investors and schools. Check the Advisory page for more details on how she can help level up your game and put your project, team or students on the path of success. You can also check out the other pages to learn more about her.
Marie is in Helsinki this week to bootcamp with mobile game powerhouse SuperCell and boost one of their game teams.
This is a new service where Marie plays and performs live analysis of a game and co-designs improvements with the team. She then follows and supports them through development through reoccurring video consultations sessions.
Get in touch if you are interested in having her over to also help your game.
Marie just announced her program for DevCom and GamesCom, and it's going to be a stacked one once more.
Do not miss her mainstage talk on Gameplay Challenges - The building blocks of gameplay. It will give some insight and understanding of game design along with methodology to craft new gameplay. It gives some useful pre-knowledge to also join her next session. The session will be streamed online on this link.
Marie's Workshop in boss fight design will take place on DevCom's second day, where she will guide the participants through the process of making a new boss fight from scratch - the considerations involved, the info that needs to be collected and the structure to craft someting memorable. The session is very likely to fill up fast, so be there before it starts to secure a seat.
In addition, Marie will also moderate a Diversity & Inclusion panel as part of the FLINTA meetup, on the subject of Safe Spaces. The session is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon August 22, 2023, at 15.30 CEST.
To round things off, Marie will also star and be interviewed in DevCom's official livestream again. Times will be announced later on. Check this link to see her interview last year, where she spoke about her 'dead wife'.
Marie also has time reserved for meetings with those interested in her advisory for games & esports, especially during the GamesCom days. Get in touch on email@example.com if you want to set something up.
As social media networks rise and fall, content strategies need to be reworked.
This space only posts a subset of what Marie posts on LinkedIn, and only content labeled #professional.
To get a better glimpse of what Marie is up to, follow her on new decentralized .socials, where she posts on wider subjects. Marie has a brand-new handle hosted by bluesky: @mejerwall.bsky.social
Type of content you can expect:
- Digital nomad lifestyle
- Life in Lisbon
Bluesky is still invite-only for the time being, and until it has opened up, Marie mirrors all her posts on her Twitter account.
Today, Marie disclosed the next chapter in her business - she is relocating to use Portugal as a base but live a nomadic lifestyle where she travels frequently.
This means Marie will be increasingly available to spend time with clients and even be temporary stationed in hub citis, helping several local game companies and speaking at local events.
If you have a proposition for Marie to travel and work somewhere for a life, get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.
To follow Marie on her exciting career journey, make sure to follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Last year, Marie was the very stage host for Nordic Game Conference Awards. This year, Marie took a less active role as speaker and jury representing Sweden in the Nordic Game Awards.
Her talk on bossfight design was one of the conference's most popular with the second-biggest room 'Gallerian' filled out and people standing several minutes before it had even started. She only had 30 minutes, but packed them with knowledge on the design process and steps needed to design kick-ass boss fights. Those who were not able to make it gets a new chance at devcom in August where Marie will run a workshop and let the participants make their very own bossfights.
Fear not, however - ICYMI, you have a last chance to take part of the knowledge in Maries online Masterclass in Bossfight Design this fall.
This week, Marie had her first-ever appearance at Reboot Blue gamedev conference and gave a talk in her theme this season - Boss fights. This specific talk was a teaser called "The Secrets of Bossfight Design" and goes into fun facts that only developers know. The turnout was great, and it became a very dynamic session where everyone shared their favourite bossfights and discussed how fights were made at their studios.
The talk was part in a series - Marie will host another talk on Bossfight Design at Nordic Game in Malmö at the end of May, and then a workshop at Devcom in August. She will then crown the season off with an online Masterclass in Bossfight Design.
Watch this space and Marie's twitter and LinkedIn to see her links and announcements.
Today, Marie did a studio visit to Toca Boca game studio in Stockholm. Toca is a creative studio celebrated for their acclaimed mobile game(s) 'Toca World'. The studio takes 'play' seriously and has a very young target audience, forcing them to be very elaborate and delicate in their design decisions. The day was a great exchange where Marie learnt about their considerations at the same time as she delivered and taught them her best talks on game design theory.
If your business is interested in getting Marie over for talks and/or advice, get in touch on email@example.com.
On popular demand, Marie announced today that she now offers simulated pitch sessions as part of her game coaching.
In this session, teams pitch their game, team and plan for Marie who acts as a publisher or investor and asks tough questions to prepare the team for sharp moments.
Afterwards, Marie gives her feedback to the team on what to improve and work on, and advices on what else they can bring up for future pitch sessions.
Read more on below button:
As part of her advisory, Marie offers several services to help boost client's games. Today, Marie announces two new analysis services - 'First Look's and Game Reviews.
Several clients have requested a lighter type of analysis, and this is it. Marie uses both her experience as game reviewer and game director to conclude:
- Areas where the game shines
- Areas where more work is worth doing
- Cohesiveness of the features
- Emotion & Immersion felt
- How it all comes together as an experience
Marie also still offers her in-depth game deconstructions. Read more on below button:
Today, Marie announced that she has been elected as Board Member of Swedish female gaming organization Female Legends.
Female Legends is a non-profit with over 2000 members that was founded in Sweden in 2016 by Liza Lind and Lillie Klefelt Ek. What started as a few women united by playing League of Legends soon developed to become a mainstay sub-group and safe space at Dreamhack LAN parties. Over time, it developed to what it is today - a community for women and non-binaries that organizes activities at many gaming festivals, organizes tournaments, coaches esports teams in several games, arranges themed streams and works to grow and promote female gaming at large.
Read more about the org on the button below.
This past Thursday and Friday, Marie hosted a two day workshop at Norway's University of Applied Science and their game development program.
She took the students through the whole process of designing a game - from finding their very 'fun' to turning them into game pillars, expanding those into a feature set and then going all the way to building their core gameplay. All in only two days.
This was her 'Game Jam' workshop, which you can read more about on the buttom below. If you belong to a studio or education in need of some design methodology or simply looking to launch a new project, then this is the perfect workshop for you. Get om touch on the Contact page.
Today, Marie is happy to announce that she has been headhunted and hand-picked to be a mentor in Women in Games International (WIGI)'s mentorship program for Q1, 2023.
Here are some words from Marie:
"Being a rolemodel is something that's always been important for me. I didn't know of almost any women making games as I grew up, and the further I went through the school system, the lonelier I got with all other girls dropping off.
I'm glad I pulled through, and got to experience all the wonderful sides of making games - and all the bad ones too, so I can help others in my tracks to avoid pitfalls.
Therefore, I'm seizing every opportunity to support and #inspire the next generation, of all genders. As for one, I'm happy to announce that I have joined the WIGI Mentorship Program Q1 as a mentor. I can't wait to meet my mentee and share some personal experiences and help guide their path forward."
Podcast Rise and Play released a new episode today where Marie starred as guest. The podcast is created and run by Sophie Vo, who gathers thoughtful leaders in the games industry to discuss and share their insights.
Click the link below to hear the episode and hear Marie speak about things such as:
- The state of female esports, and how to push it further
- How she made a career plan to reach her goals & dreams
- How it's like going solo, forging your own job within games and esports
- How she now coaches new teams & studios to reach their dreams
- What it takes to make a successful game
- What mobile designers can learn from console/PC, and vice/versa
- What innovation she think needs to happen in VR
- What other industries there are that games can learn from
As people eat their christmas cakes and drink their glüewein, Marie can start look back onto her first year of business and conclude some amazing stats, achievements, events and performances.
Roles Marie have successfully taken on this first year:
- Entrepreneur always looking for what's next
- Social media manager keeping everyone updated
- Administrator of all things corporate and paperwork
- Professional advisor helping many game studios to improve their vision
- International speaker on 14 occassions
- Hostess and moderator with 15 appearances in total
Thanks to all clients, partners and events Marie has worked with - see you all in 2023!
As the conference season for 2022 is over, Marie is now releasing her popular talks this year to the public.
These are that has 'sold out' and filled all seats at conferences such as DevCom and MEGAMIGS, with great feedback.
Her first talk released is 'Too Many Features, Too Little Time? Kill Your Darlings and Save Your Game', which speaks about the concept of hierarchy, and helps you to structure, scope and prioritize your features.
Her second is 'Elevate your Game Pillars - and clarify your vision', her refined model of how to turn the traditional concept of Game Pillars into a whole creative framework.
If you are interested in having Marie run these or her other talks for your studio or school, don't hesitate to get in touch.
As Marie concludes her 2022 even season, she has amassed some remarkable stats.
As a host in 2022, she:
- Hosted the mainstage of game- and esports conferences x3
- Hosted awards show x1
- Moderated panels x8
- Led fireside chats x2
As a speaker in 2022, she:
- Starred as panelist x2
- Starred as podcast guest x3
- Starred as livestream guest x1
- Hosted workshop x1
- Spoke at game conferences x4
- Conducted talks for schools and gaming companies x3
For more information and links, check out her Speaker & Host experience page or scroll down to see links in this feed.
Marie has had two amazing days in Dubai filled to the brim with interesting #esports #discussions as the moderated four (!) panels and spent several hours onstage.
Some key takeaways:
Thanks to all speakers and guests who made it, and especially to Georgios Chatzivamvakis and Paul Dawalibi who organized and hosted the event.
Marie announced today that she will be moderating no less than 4 panels (!) at the upcoming Dubai Esports Conference in UAE on November 9 and 10, 2022.
Her panels include:
Designing Broadcasts – How Audiences Want to Access and Consume Content
Delivering State of the Art Tournaments and Leagues
Current Trends in Commercialising Esports Teams
Women in Esports – New Avenues for Excellence
Checkout the agenda in the button below for more information.
Marie spent the last two days hosting PlayCon esports and gamedev conference in Malta. The event hosted a long lineup of both local and international speakers, such as Chris Deering, former VP of PlayStation Europe commonly known as the "godfather of PlayStation in Europe", Neville Spiteri from WEVR and Sam Cooke from esportsinsider.
Marie also moderated several panels including 'East meets West - cultural differences' with fighting game legends Ryan Hart, Hoa 'Anakin' Luu and Su Yong Park, director of CNJ eSports. The panel covered a range of interesting questions such as how fan culture differs, if team houses are still a thing and what kind of coaches and support athletes have throughout the different regions.
Marie held her talk 'Game Pillars Evolved' also today at Dev.Play 2022 conference in Bucharest, to much acclaim. She also spent the meeting local devs, getting to know the Eastern European scene and trying some games. As promised, her talk was recorded and can be found below. She is now almost halfway through her fall tour of conferences, and next up is Playcon in Malta.
Today Marie held an iterated version of her GamesCom talk 'Game Pillars Evolved' at MEGAMIGS conference in Montreal. Also this time, the session got completely full with a couple of people standing in the back. The reception was great - many people came with input, many questions were asked and several people stayed around afterwards to ask questions. The session was unfortunately not recorded nor broadcasted online, but her next performance with the same talk at DevPlay 2022 should be recorded to later be published on YouTube.
Marie hosted a three-hour workshop today at NRW.Skilltrees 'Game Coaching Day' in Cologne, Germany. Her session was based on her much acclaimed talk 'Too many features, too little time? Kill your darlings and save your game' that she premiered earlier this year at Nordic Gameand was much appreciated among participants. Other speakers were Benedict Grindel, Managing Director at Ubisoft Berlin, Miles Tost from CD Project Red and a few others.
After GamesCom, Marie was starring as guest in media.net Berlin-Brandenburg monthly podcast, and the episode hs finally come out. Listen to it to hear...
Tonight, Marie kicked off her fall tour and month of talking at different events. First out was to moderate the panel 'Film meets games' at venue LVL Berlin for the local industry. The panel touched upon IP building in entertainment media and then crossing over said IP to other formats - in particular, transitions between films and games. Marie had her own experience from working on Batman Arkham Origins (that went from comic to film to games) to add to the conversation and was also accompanied an expert panel consisting of Lou Phyllis Halle from Riot Games, Heiko Nemmert from BabyGiant and Reza Memari from Telescope animation.
The session was unfortunately not recorded, but there are some photos available on the below button:
Marie was one of the panelists in this week's gamesweekberlin conference in Coliseum, Berlin. The name of the session was "Look, Mom! I'm on TV! - The Dev Booster expert panel on promotion, self-distribution, and fame, going from creators to communicator", moderated by Tobias Kopka.
Maries contribution was to talk about how the limits of gamedevs being able to express themselves on social media has loosened over the years, especially for esports games. She also shared some of her own journey - how she is naturally extroverted and developed a love for entertaining crowds since her start in esports, how she held back during all years working for studios and finally became focused on self-promotion as she moved to become an independent consultant.
The session was unfortunately not broadcasted online.
It was announced today that game incubator programme NRW.Skill are having a mini-conference called 'Game Dev Coaching Day' on October 13, 2022, in School of Games in Cologne, Germany. Marie will be one of the instructors, taking the participants through an exercise based on her talk 'Too Many Features, Too Little Time? Kill your darlings and save your game". The event is free to join onsite.
This fall will be a busy one - so far, Marie is confirmed to appear at seven (!) events, of which 2-3 are hosting and 5 are speaking.
Final details are still to be announced, but she can already reveal that she will be going to both North America, Europe and the Middle-East, and there will be a mix of both gamedev and esports events.
She will also star in 1-2 podcast episodes.
Keep an eye out on her LinkedIn and Twitter for announcements.
DevCom ended with great success - in addition to Marie's live streamed interview, she premiered her new talk 'Game Pillars Evolved' which became one of devcom's very most popular talks and "sold-out" with people having to be turned away.
She also moderated a fireside chat on the mainstage with Yasuyuki Oda, legendary game developer and producer behind the classic Japanese fighting game series Kings of Fighters (KoF).
As a last appearance, Marie starred on EsportInsiders breakfast panel during GamesCom and spoke aside other female leaders on how we can get more diversity in esports.
According to the organizers, the two DevCom sessions will eventually be released on YouTube, but the breakfast panel sadly was not recorded.
The interview that was held with Marie at DevCom is now uploaded online! It took place on August 22, 2022 and she was being interviewed by Jim Shilts and Shifra Smith at Incredibuild.
The interview introduces Marie and covers some teasers for her then-upcoming stage appearances - namely her talk in game design, the fireside chat she would later host and her esports panel with ESI. It also ends with reminiscence about retro games and consoles, and Marie tells the story about the device that started it all and sparked her game interest - a pirate-manufactured FAMICOM.
⭐️ Are you a studio, publisher, investor, government body or other business looking to fund or start a new game project, and want an analysis or due diligence?
⭐️ Is your business looking to get into esports?
⭐️ Are you in need of a charismatic event host or renowned speaker?
Look no further! Having been in the games industry for 15 years and esports for 20, I share my knowledge as an advisor. I’ll be at DevCom & GamesCom 21-27th August and still have some slots free in my schedule to meet up.
👉 Get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org, and let's get the conversation started!
Marie will attend DevCom this year, and has not one, but TWO sessions:
Follow her speaker page below to see exact location and updated times.
The recording have been uploaded from this year's Nordic Game Conference, where Marie guided the mainstage and livestream through several appearances.
There is no recording of the full day when Marie was leading the mainstage "Teatern", but here is a sample where she introduces a session as well as does Q&A at the end.
Marie's own talk about game design titled 'Too Many Features, Too Little Time? Kill your darlings and save your game":
Nordic Game Awards gala led by Marie:
It has finally been revealed that Marie will be one of the hosts for Nordic Game Conference on May 18-20, 2022. Marie will be hosting onstage in the livestream theatre the first day May 18 in its entirety, presenting each session and guiding the viewers throughout the day.
She will round the day off with her own talk called 'Too Many Features, Too Little Time?' where she guides the audience through exercises that help studios to prioritize and structure their design and features.
She will also be single-handedly host the Nordic Game Awards on May 19, 2022, with all eyes of the Game Dev industry on her leading the show.
Everthing will be livestreamed on Twitch and conf.nordicgame.com.
Marie sat down last summer with John R Diaz to guest star in his podcast 'Out of Play Area' and spoke for a whooping 100 minutes about her dual careers in esports and game development up until then. The episode is a bit outdated but covers much of her windy road starting out as a games journalist and esports pioneer in the early 2000's, her entry to the AAA games industry and transitions between programming and design. It's a fun conversation with lots of laughter, packed to the brim with learnings and advice. Check out the link below for the episode or read her bio for a shorter version.
Today Marie held a virtual session at GDS, Europe's oldest game development conference held every year in Poland. This year, the event was held online. Her talk was called 'Level Up Your Design Docs' and was much appreciated with lots of students and professionals joining the Q&A. The talk taught guidelines to be clear and concise in your documentation, and deliver immersion and vision into the mind of the reader. There was no public recording, but Marie offers the session both as talk and team exercise in her Workshop Catalogue.
In her second physical conference this year, Marie starred in an esports panel about physical spaces - namely esports arenas. Her points were much about there room only in big cities with a lot of fans and other esports infrastructure - bars, it cafés, grassroot organizations and so on. Also, in esports, we need to be much better at fandom and diversify our revenue streams - and brought up sports as example. Some quotes from her were - "It's not 'Build it and they will come', it's 'Grow it and they will come'". The whole session can be rewatched on YouTube.
Media.net and their chapter games.net is Berlin's answer to IGDA - a uniting lobbying member org that promotes and organizes events for the local games industry. Today, Marie starred in their panel 'The Future of esports, led by the amazing Graham Ashton from Riot Games. The topics discussed were pretty wide but involved the habits of the younger generation, how esports is growing and why and the current trends.
See the full thing on YouTube:
Indie Campus held its conference physically in Cologne this season, but Marie was able to join online and deliver a talk about a concept she's developed called Experience Goals. These have been implemented by Marie at a few studios she's worked at to much success. They aim to align the devteam, help them move forward together and deliver immersive experiences. The session was sadly not recorded, but she does offer to run it on demand - check her Workshops for more details.