Jon Leitheusser

Resume

Writer, Editor, Game Designer/Developer and Manager
14+ years experience managing teams, designing, writing, editing, and developing games and other creative projects, establishing and maintaining solid communication between internal and external clients.

Proven track record of managing projects through complete development cycle to ship on time and on budget.

Known for ability to “troubleshoot” and handle projects that require creative thinking, good communication and team management skills. Consistently assigned this role in previous positions.

Professional History 
Freelance/Contract Writer/Editor/Game Designer                        2003–Present
  • Full-time Line Developer and editor for Mutants & Masterminds and DC Adventures  for Green Ronin, responsible for contracting and managing other freelancer writers and editors to produce a dozen releases a year.
  • Designed game mechanics for Smith & Tinker’s Nanovor electronic trading game.
  • Created new game mechanics and cards for the Matter Group’s game, Xeko.
  • Wrote the Iron Age supplement for the Mutants & Masterminds game as well as chapters of the Song of Ice and Fire RPG Campaign Guide from Green Ronin.
 
Game and Systems Designer — Cryptic Studios        March 2009–November 2010
  • Responsible for mission and content creation for the Champions Online live team and for the not-yet-released Neverwinter title.
  • Conceived and wrote all the mission text for missions I created.
  • Created 60+ missions using new tools for Champions Online. I was an early user and troubleshooter for the tools which are now used by all the designers.
  • Designed and developed an in-game CCG for Champions Online. Unreleased.

Marketing Manager, Contract – Microsoft                                        2007–2008
  • Worked with OEM partner to allocate $20MM into consumer-focused marketing campaigns that supported new product releases as well as ongoing Web content
  • Wrote, edited, and reviewed marketing materials to ensure they follow marketing guidelines and marketing plans; contributed other written material as needed
  • Collected proof of execution and approved invoices in a timely manner
  • Established and maintained strong relationships with OEM partner’s main contacts
  • Lead and participated in virtual teams, including those for the PRODUCT (RED) campaign

Senior Director of R&D – WizKids, Inc.                                            2005–2006
  • Hired and supervised internal and external designers, working on board games, card games, dice games, electronic/card hybrid games, and other new format games.
  • Developed and wrote rules for games including Tsuro, Oshi, and the Battlestar Galactica collectable card game. Contributed key ideas and concepts to every game produced by WizKids during my tenure.
  • Developed and oversaw R&D budget and budgeting process.
  • Member of Executive staff: I worked with the other execs to decide on our product release schedule, finalize the budget for the company, including what cuts to make, and participated in high-level planning for product roll-outs and market tests. 
  • Designed games, such as the CreepyFreaks collectable miniatures game and the Rocketmen pocketmodel game as well as a number of unreleased games designed for unusual distribution channels into the mass market.

Director of Game Design/Game Designer – WizKids, Inc.               2001–2005
  • Managed a staff of seven designers and made sure they had the resources they needed to complete their assignments on time. Included supervising the playtest coordinator and her numerous external playtest teams in order to get and incorporate feedback into the game releases. 
  • Oversaw the ongoing development of product lines for internationally known Intellectual Properties, including MechWarrior, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, NASCAR, and Major League Baseball. Development included elements of brand management, project management, as well as game design. Work was done using Word and Excel almost exclusively.
  • Worked with other departments to create fully realized and on-time products, including releases for Mage Knight, Mage Knight: Dungeons, MechWarrior: Age of Destruction, Crimson Skies, and 13+ HeroClix releases. While on HeroClix I created the concept of and designed and developed the Feats, Battlefield Conditions, and Bystander Tokens that changed the way the game is played.

President & COO – Corsair Publishing                                            1997–2001
  • Responsible for all day-to-day activities of an independent publishing company, including advertising, marketing, writing, editing, building relationships, soliciting products, shipping, AP, AR, and convention attendance. 
  • Found quality projects and took them from manuscript to final product. Products included the Dragon Hordes miniatures game, Dork Tower comic book, Pulp Dungeon adventures, Sketch! adventure game, Larry Elmore’s Sovereign Stone adventure game, and Campaign Magazine.  

Product Manager – Capital City Distribution/Diamond Comics Distributors                                 1994–1997
  • Wrote the Games and Novelties sections of a monthly catalog responsible for over $100 million in annual sales; contributed to a monthly news magazine.
  • Found new, interesting products and evaluated their commercial popularity.
  • Created and maintained good relations with new and old manufacturers.

Education
1987–1992 University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • Bachelor’s Degree—English with an Emphasis on Creative Writing 
  • Integrated Liberal Studies Certificate

References and awards available upon request.