Hi, I'm Alisa. People always told me I lived in my own world, so I decided to build and share those worlds. Thanks for joining me.
I'm here to tell stories.
I've spent my life capturing and creating experiences. I went to theater camp as a kid, wrote short stories in high school, made movies in college, and took Marines kayaking in Japan. I've gradually moved to more interactive experiences through video and analog games, choose-your-own adventure stories, and public art.
In my current role as a researcher, I find myself telling stories from the perspective of users, using my position to represent them and their needs. I am also conducting research on building a positive, interactive gaming community from inside the game, using language, content, and communication abilities to foster a supportive and inclusive environment
Beyond that, I travel the world, collect small stone dinosaurs, listen to glam rock, pretend to be a horrible goose, and try to convince myself I have a green thumb.
I am responsible for all aspects of user research at Harmonix. This includes the full cycle of tester recruitment, creation and execution of playtests and studies, and report writing. My specialties include pattern recognition and distillation from large quantities of qualitative data, player motivations and user personas, and eye tracking. I have worked on Dance Central, Audica, and multiple other unannounced titles.
Instructor for "Game Design and Analysis", an introductory design course in Northeastern's graduate program. This course approaches design from both a theoretical and practical approach, and encourages critical review at every stage. Personally I bring a focus on user-centric experiences and modern tech to encourage students to think beyond the current design practices and embrace new ideas.
Sprout Games Collective
I'm a member of an indie games collective that works collaboratively on a variety of projects. My role alternates with each project, including sound, narrative, and content design, as well as game writing, editing, and QA.
Masters in Game Science and Design
Awarded for Outstanding Design Inquiry.
Thesis: Visual Attention Patterns in Video Games:
A Methodology For Creating Player Personas Through Attention Patterns
Key Courses: Game Design and Analysis, Spatial and Temporal Design, Exploratory Design, Psychology of Play, independent study in Dogmatic Game Design
Southern New Hampshire University
Masters in Higher Education Administration
Awarded Outstanding Student in Program
Capstone: Student Affairs Growth Strategy for Online Programs
Key Courses: Program Evaluation, Strategic Enrollment Management, Law for Student Affairs
Thomas Edison University
Bachelors in English
Arnold Fletcher Education Award
Degree Focus: Fiction Writing and Analysis
Key Courses: Creative Writing, English Composition, Technical Writing, English, American, and World Literature
I tell stories with
Dial It Up
Keep them dancing til they drop!
Part 1 of 4 in the Game a Week vignettes
You've scored a first date but you know nothing about them... make small talk to find topics they love.
Part 2 of 4 in the Game a Week vignettes
Keep the family happy by finding a movie that you'll all enjoy.
Part 3 of 4 in the Game a Week vignettes
Picking Up The Pieces
Everything I touch reminds me of you.
Part 4 of 4 in the Game a Week vignettes
Two siblings must share resources to battle enemies and survive a TRON inspired world.
Collect and plant seeds to grow a musical garden in this playground of spatial sound.
Roll! Rob! Run!
Design Lead, Content Design, Visual Design
Playing as thieves in a bank heist gone wrong, use unconventional objects to overcome problem after problem in this RPG-lite card game.
Producer, Content Design
Try to stay dry by ducking under umbrellas on a busy sidewalk on your way to the bus.
Alice's Puzzling Adventure
Drink potions to change size and escape the mansion in this first-person spatial puzzler.
Lead Developer, Content Design, Sound Design
An interactive story using sound effects to convey narrative elements.
Design Lead, Content Design
A competitive tabletop game where you must manage dwindling resources and fight to survive as the island and inhabitants become more fierce with each pass around the board.
Neko Atsume Live
Design Lead, Content Design
A live, real-time adaptation of the popular cat collecting mobile game Neko Atsume with a surprising and dangerous twist.
The Witness Live
A live take on The Witness where players must solve spatial puzzles.
A social game to determine absolute truth through popular opinion using ambiguous works of art.
A music rhythm game VR game made by Harmonix
A VR rhythm shooter made by Harmonix
At precisely 4 o’clock in the afternoon the bell rang. Mr. Stilts looked up from his copy of The Industrialization of Massachusetts and the Resulting Effects on the Financial Outlook of New England by Professor Edgar Felter, determining his next step. It had been the bell of the back door that had been rung and that bell had only been rung twice before in his seven years on 244A Pace Avenue. The first time, he had answered the door to find no one except a large hydrangea bush along the brick that seemed to be giggling guiltily in the voices of several small children.
The Riddle Family
Once upon a time or two, there was a green- why do I always write tales of green characters?- shoelace. It was an old shoelace, laced with history. Okay, that pun was just too much. I apologize, and will never do that again. Also I must confess that it was not, er, given to having a rich past. Rather, it had led a boring life, as the lives of shoelaces generally go. Again I apologize for the inaccuracy, but I cannot promise to cease exaggerating, because more good stories contain a few stretches, and I cannot stray from this tendency.
I walked by it every day. We were friends. then capitalism took her away. She was part of my daily life and I had watch her slowly fade away. I'm too small to stop an entire chain hotel. I have a voice but it's not heard in those rooms.
You can still come see me, she says.
Yes, I say, but we both know I wont do that often. Our love is convenient.
I visited you last night. It made me happy to see you. But you are now boxed in. I can't get home easily. So if I come to see you, it's just to see you. It doesn't add just a few more minutes to my walk home; it adds an entire stop and a u turn. I hate that I have to decide how much I love you.
Being cute is a prison, and I want to be imprisoned. I arrange my hair to arrange my mind. My hair looks cute, I look cute, I am cute. I can hide my face by putting on my face. There is safety behind these bars.
It helped keep the madness at bay, her inventing. She had total control over every aspect. It was very cliche for the inventor to be mad and she knew it; but she supposed her madness was more pedestrian. Madness is an outdated term anyway. Still, you couldn’t help it once social media became the norm. There was too much, always too much. Some people used their voices for good but most people were just exhausting. At least the inventing helped her create instead of the whine whine whine online. She’d rather listen to the whine of machines. Both were bad for her tinnitus.
how can I possibly write when all I want to do is create?
but isn’t writing creating?
can you create with someone else’s thoughts?
if I’m reading and taking notes and writing them out, is it creating or just repeating?
is repeating creating?
isn’t imitation the highest form of flattery?
is imitation creation?
isn’t imitation a form of inspiration?
isn’t creation based on inspiration?
if I am reading and writing and imitating from inspiration, isn’t that creation?
so then, the real question is, am I willing to accept that just doing homework is creation?
and that right now, working through this textbook,
I am a designer?
I wish poetry would stop calling to me.
I’m not supposed to be a philosopher but I don’t seem to have a choice.
The rain started on Tuesday. I know, because Tuesday's delivery day and I was drenched standing in front of my house, waiting on the unmarked black van that arrives at 12:34pm, full of identical brown boxes, one of which is my most precious, most dangerous responsibility.
I tell stories with
I tell stories with
I tell stories with
Selected Research Projects
Visual Attention Patterns in Video Games: A Methodology for Creating Player Personas Through Attention Patterns
Master's thesis. This study examined the relationship between visual attention, behavior, and game design in 3D virtual environments in the First Person Shooter genre. Participants played a custom level in Far Cry 5 , created by the author, that was designed to measure visual attention and behavioral response by a variety of metrics, including goals, schemas, and spatial cognition. Participants completed the Quantric Foundry Gamer Motivation Profile and a demographic survey, which asked about familiarity with the firstperson shooter genre and gaming habits. The data collected was used to form player personas, which included motivations, behavior, and attention patterns. These personas prove a strong link between player motivation and attention patterns, resulting in predictable behaviors in the environment. These personas can be used as reference tools to design spatial elements that guide players toward the intended experience, including finding items, wayfinding, and map exploration. They can also be used to solve problems with player behavior in existing games