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December 17, 2018
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Michel Sabbagh's Blog


My name is Michel Sabbagh and I'm a game writer/designer from Montreal, Quebec who formerly worked at Bethesda Softworks as a Quality Assurance Tester.

I regularly pen articles that have been featured on various reputed websites such as Gamasutra, Kotaku, Destructoid and Kill Screen that cover several topics such as the effective structure of a tense survival horror gaming experience, the craft of solid storytelling in video games and the multifaceted structure of open-world video games. Additionally, I interned at Bethesda Softworks as a QA Tester during my college years and was credited for my work on Skyrim: Special Edition.

My academic works also garnered attention from game developers such as Monolith Productions who were impressed with my thesis on the influence of Japanese culture in Western-made first-person shooters, which got accepted at two conferences (Replaying Japan 2017 and Canadian Game Studies Association). I was also named a Gold Presenter for my analysis paper on Thief: The Dark Project as part of the 2017 GDC Game Narrative Review Competition. Other achievements include having won the Worcester Game Pile’s Lightning Pitch Contest with a panel of jurors that include professional game developers such as Trevor Stricker and Ichiro Lambe, and penning two visual novels, “Make Love Not Politics” and “Streams of Nurture”.

"Creativity is recombinant, and the more inspiration designers take in, the more they have to draw from and the higher the chances they'll produce something with a distinct perspective." - Craig Hubbard, game designer/writer

Personal blog:





Email: [email protected]. I'll get back to you as promptly as possible.

Lastly, let me know what you think of my articles by commenting on them. I welcome all kinds of feedback!


Member Blogs

Posted by Michel Sabbagh on Thu, 21 Jun 2018 10:28:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
Atmosphere can elevate an already attractive environment to new heights when elegantly conceived and conveyed. Its ethereal nature, however, means it's not clear-cut from a development standpoint. Bethesda alum Michel Sabbagh analyzes the ambient effect.

Posted by Michel Sabbagh on Mon, 21 May 2018 09:58:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Indie
Monsters make for daunting foes whose demeanor stands out from standard baddies, but there's more to a creature than just the level of fear they elicit. This piece by Michel Sabbagh details the art behind making beasts and harnessing their true potential.

Posted by Michel Sabbagh on Thu, 13 Jul 2017 09:56:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
An analysis article exploring the design facets of The Farm 51's psychological thriller Get Even, and how they interact with one another from a narrative and mechanical standpoint to create a cohesive and inventive virtual experience.

Posted by Michel Sabbagh on Mon, 03 Jul 2017 09:16:00 EDT in Audio, Design, Production, Console/PC
A video retrospective analyzing the gameplay and presentational merits of Monolith Productions' F.E.A.R.. I helped write and edit the script for the production.

Posted by Michel Sabbagh on Mon, 19 Jun 2017 10:08:00 EDT in Audio, Design, Art, Console/PC, Indie
A game development article explaining the various ways in which spatial storytelling can be effectively applied to beget a believable and cohesive virtual environment that compels players to explore every nook and cranny.

Posted by Michel Sabbagh on Tue, 06 Jun 2017 10:20:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
A blog post about the presentation I did on Japanese-style first-person shooters at the 2017 Canadian Game Studies Association (CGSA) Conference.

Michel Sabbagh's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 06/21/2018 - 10:28]

I saw Read it before ...

I saw Read it before penning this post in fact. Felt like sharing my own take on the topic and had a hunch you d chime in. 128521

Comment In: [Blog - 06/07/2017 - 09:24]

yes you learn new things ...

yes you learn new things also by writing down stuff yourself :- r n r nSentence of the day right there. Did something similar as well r n r nThief: tense narrative through level design and mechanics: tense narrative through level design and mechanics.php r n r nMutual Engagement: ...

Comment In: [News - 03/10/2017 - 08:04]

An incredible and insightful initiative ...

An incredible and insightful initiative on PC Gamer 's part Coincidental as well given that I similarly presented my findings on immersive sims Thief, more specifically at last week 's GDC. Glad to know that this design philosophy still has ample amounts of life left in it

Comment In: [Blog - 03/06/2017 - 11:25]

You 're welcome Glad you ...

You 're welcome Glad you relished it.

Comment In: [Blog - 02/13/2017 - 09:57]

Superb tips Another piece of ...

Superb tips Another piece of advice I would add to your list of what not to do is networking and connecting with sundry developers. It 's one thing to have an amazing catalog of work, it 's another to be known for having one. r n r nGetting out there ...

Comment In: [News - 02/15/2017 - 05:16]

In my humble opinion, I ...

In my humble opinion, I believe that storytelling in games should be tied not just to the title 's presentation and universe, but also to the emotional involvement and mechanics that the player/avatar embodies throughout the experience. r n r nIt 's something that I touched upon in my narrative ...