Dungeons & Dragons Online: Menace of the Underdark

My Role: Lead Content Designer

Skills Used:

  • Team Leadership & Management
  • Content Design
  • Systems Design
  • Scripting
  • Writing

(Images taken from tentonhammer.com, engadget.com, ddmsrealm.com and ddowiki.com)


  • Proprietary Turbine level editor
  • Hansoft
  • TestTrack Pro

Genre:  Free-to-Play MMORPG Expansion Pack


  • PC
  • Mac

Game Download Website: https://www.ddo.com/en

In 2012, the free-to-play MMO Dungeons & Dragons Online’s first expansion pack was released. It was the MMO’s first entry into the celebrated Forgotten Realms campaign world.

I was the Lead Content Designer. The project required adding 6 new designers, bringing the Content team up to 11. I interviewed and approved each designer, and created a system to quickly train them. I also wrote design documents, reviewed dungeon proposals, gave iteration feedback, and provided career mentorship.

I also created schedules, pipelines, and processes for the content team. This also involved a large amount of scheduling for the art team, where we needed to synchronize the high number of dependencies in our deliverables.

I wrote the story, going through dozens of iterations to meet the licensing approval. This included working with Forgotten Realms creator Ed Greenwood to bring his characters to DDO. I created style guides for the other writers, and worked with content designers to prototype the appropriate “feel” for the Forgotten Realms’ iconic Underdark subterranean spaces. I also worked with the Art Director to create visual style guides that matched the Forgotten Realms IP.

In addition to my Lead responsibilities, here are some features that I directly implemented:

  • Systems Design: I created the monster list, and prototyped many of their AI & attack behaviors. I iterated to make sure they played well when countered by new & old player abilities.
  • Content Design: I was the primary designer on the dungeon for the quest “In the Belly of the Beast,” where I prototyped the gameplay of being inside the belly of a giant Purple Worm.
  • Scripting: I assisted in the quest “Lost Thread,” where I scripted much of the of the dungeon quest logic, and worked on the AI of the quest NPC that follows players through the dungeon. I also scripted much of the quest logic along the expansion pack’s storyline.
  • Writing: I created many of the NPCs and much of the dialogue for the Eveningstar town area.

I also wrote the dialogue for the marketing trailer below.

(Video linked from YouTube)