Project Description

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Role: Lead Designer
Team Size: 80
Duties: Level Design and Creation, Boss Design and Creation, Game Design and Prototyping, Combat Design, UI Design, Story, Quality Assurance
Status: Commercial title, released in 2020

ORI AND THE WILL OF THE WISPS is a critically acclaimed XBOX ONE, XBOX SERIES S/X, PC and NINTENDO SWITCH title developed by Moon Studios.

Having initially joined the team as a Senior Designer, my original responsibilities on the project were prototyping new gameplay elements and interactives, as well as crafting fun level designs for the game. Throughout my time on Ori and the Will of the Wisps, I was the designer responsible for the Windswept Wastes area primarily, which I took from the earliest prototypes to the last-minute polish. I also had a hand in many of the other areas and levels all throughout the game, and in several places, such as the Silent Woods, Windtorn Ruins and The Wellspring, I was responsible for overhauling many of the spaces and design intentions in the final months of production to address playtest concerns and improve the overall quality. I was also the sole designer in the team responsible for all the boss battles in Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and I took them from initial design concept to final polished product alongside the talented team.

While I spent a lot of time on level design throughout the production of the game, shortly after joining, I already began to take on more roles and responsibility within the team whenever a need arose. I began doing UI designs and mock-ups, joined the Story team in crafting the heartfelt narrative of the game, and eventually I grew to leading the charge from the design team in managing multi-department strike teams on all manner of gameplay features, including (but not limited to) enemy design, NPC design, combat design, systems, set piece gameplay sequences, bosses, escapes and more.

Eventually evolving to Lead Designer in the final years of production, I was among the lead department of the studio, involved in planning, prioritization of tasks, triaging bugs during important milestone deliverables, and ensuring quality across the entire game, as well as navigating interdepartmental disputes and discussions on behalf of the design team.

ORI AND THE WILL OF THE WISPS currently maintains a 90+ score on Metacritic on multiple platforms.

Chris is a great collaborator with the ability to thoughtfully evaluate challenges and come up with creative solutions. His suggestions and ideas consistently enhanced our work on Ori and the Will of the Wisps. To say he was critical during its development would be an understatement. It goes beyond being a talented designer (which he is!), he strives for quality in everything he touches and hits the mark every time. Chris is able to consistently think about the project as a whole: He can visualize how all the components come together, how to balance them in relation to one another, and just as importantly – how to communicate his thoughts in a clear, effective, and motivational way. Honestly one of my all-time favorite people I’ve ever worked with. Final rating: 11/10
When I first started at Moon, I was new to the game industry, and couldn’t fathom how Chris seemed able to add value to every single department, from design, to story, to art, without sacrificing quality in any area. After over a year of working with him in close proximity, my admiration for him has only grown. As a writer, I cannot express how helpful it is to have a designer on your side that has a great feel for story, and understands how to harmonise gameplay and narrative in a meaningful, engaging way. His multifaceted expertise extends beyond the aforementioned hard skills – Chris is also a pleasure to work with. His funny, kind, and understanding nature allows him to communicate with ease, and inspires everyone around him to reach his level of quality in their work.