Placing a single label on what I do has always been challenging. I'm often categorized as a web developer, graphic designer, project manager, UI/UX designer, or technology strategist. In most of my positions I fulfill multiple roles and I'm always looking for the areas where my skillsets overlap to help ensure a more complete and successful project.
I am also an award winning Writer, Game Developer, and Art Director with close to 40 books released for tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. In my free time, and for a few clients, I've been dabbling in video game and interactive experience creations as well as some lite animation work.
Coding and Tech Skills
Let's Add Some Context
I’ve been creating web experiences since the early 2000s, working in all avenues of creation from design to concepting to coding. Through my company Bee Zen Web Design I have helped many companies and organizations with their web presences. Outside of my own company, I have worked in full time roles for advertising agencies, multi-national companies, non-profits, librarires, and college universities.
Writing and Game Design
I’ve been writing and designing games since ~ 2002, but my passion for good stories and games is lifelong. I love tabletop RPGs for their stories, and their collaborative nature. You get to sit down with a group of people and work out the story together. It’s a unique medium, and one I enjoy enabling for others. I gave a TEDx talk on the social implications of narrative play and how it can impact people at all stages of life.
Art Direction and Project Management
Much of my work in the game industry is doing art direction and project management. These skills often crossover with the project managemetn I do for technical projects or for corporate clients. As an art director, I work with companies to acquire art resources and build the vision for their project, helping keep all the moving pieces moving and all the artists happy and well compensated. In the other areas I apply these skills, I help assess the needs and timelines of all sizes of website redesigns, interactive media projects, and marketing initiatives. Good project management underpins almost everything I do, enabling collaborators and tangible resources to be put to their most effective use.
Availability For Work
My full time role benefits most from my diverse skillset, but I may be available for freelance writing, art direction, light video editing / animation, or graphic design as my schedule of current projects allow. Reach out by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about my availability or past projects. I don’t maintain personal or professional social media accounts under my name, but do keep some around so that my name on those platforms doesn’t get taken - ask me about that story.
Every time that anyone on the Fuld team (and beyond) needed anything related to our website or technology in general, John was on the job and meeting our needs with amazing skills, amazing depth of knowledge, amazing patience, amazing flexibility, and amazing commitment to getting it done right.
John and I have worked together on several web development projects. The projects included a wide range of platforms, including wordpress and shopify and extensive integrations with systems such as ERPLY. At all times, John provided a level of professionalism and confidence that impressed clients and improved overall teamwork.
John consistently displays an excellence in his work that continues to impress me. He is dedicated to doing his best, doesn't cut corners and is always looking for ways to improve projects and processes. John is an asset to the college, we definitely could not have implemented our web update process without his skills and knowledge.
John combines great technical skill with a solid understanding of the needs of our business and customers. He’s super easy to work with, proactive, and quick to respond when crises —inevitably— raise their ugly heads. We could not have grown our online presence, and our ecommerce store, at the rate we have without his great work!
I have been fortunate to be able to work on a large variety of projects in many coding languages and development architectures for clients of many sizes. Alongside pure web development, I tend to branch out and create in many different mediums like motion graphics, video editing, and lite game development.
Video Game Escape Room - The Ohio State University
A project through one of my full time employments - I developed, coded, designed, and managed the creation of an educational training video game. For this project I had many roles - I storyboarded the narrative flow, developed the code base in an easy to maintain language, helped manage the subject matter experts to provide material for the various exercises, and worked with contractors to develop the 3D models used in the game.
Website Redesign / Redevelopments - Various
One task I've often been brought into an organization to achieve is to update and modernize an outdated web presence. For many clients and in full-time positions, I've helped revitalize and reorganize older codebases and content structures to be more modern, usable, and secure. Working closely with stakeholders, content-owners, I.T. departments, and customers I have helped breathe new life into older sites. Often this meant creating new functionality, but also helping to train and provide documentation to the site owners. This often takes the form of video tutorials, written documentation and reference sheets, and personalized training to help ensure these revamped sites shine well into the future.
Interactive Online Map - Kobold Press
A bespoke interactive map built on a pure js and css framework for the publishing company Kobold Press. Integrates map markers, pathfinding tool, information sidebar, mobile display, and search and filter functionality.
Backend Private Forum / Store - Jon Bon Jovi Backstage
Built on a heavily customized wordpress framework, the develepors of the Bon Jovi Backstage Club brought me onboard to help troubleshoot code problems and fix design issues. I'd worked heavily in custom wordpress and my CSS, PHP, JS, and troubleshooting skills helped correct the small but critical errors occurring. With my contributions the group was able to meet the tight deadlines looming before them.
Motion Graphics and Video Editing - Various
As a supplemental and last minute idea before a kickstarter I was involved in launched, I built a litely animated video to use as promotional content. Using a mix of stock resources, project art already acquired, and custom built graphics I added some animation to match the script and narrative already written. I've produced more motion graphics since, but usually in support of personal projects and events.
Ecommerce Site and POS Integration - Mutts and Co
Through a collaboration with their marketing company, I helped the owners of Mutts. and Co build and integrate many custom elements and coding around wordpress, shopify, their point of sale system, online calendars, custom fields for easy updating and manipulation of their content and special customizations for holiday sales and special events. I also created extensive training videos and documentation to help them bring their staff up to speed on the new system quickly.
Artificial Reality Game - Monte Cook Games
Kickstarter Mangement Solution and Integration
Fulfilling large kickstarters when you want to funnel the audience through your already existing ecommerce solution can be a challenge. For Monte Cook Games (a long-term client) I built multiple backend integration solutions and scripts that processed, conformed, and connected data from their kickstarters, backerkit, and other crowdfunding platforms into their existing woocommerce site in order to fulfill rewards there and help remove the pain from fulfillment.
For various clients I've built or modified complex e-commerce sites, often integrating auction capabilities, shipping fulfillment integrations, or helping with the data architecture and design to help businesses present their product in the most effective way. Going beyond the code, I have often helped strategize how best to implement certaion techniques to ensure a satisfied customer base.
I have written, art directed, designed, managed, or developed close to 40 books, publications, and projects in the Tabletop Role-playing Game industry. Here is a mostly up to date list of my works and where to find them.
Appearances and Articles
Here is an incomplete list of the various podcasts, presentations, or appearances I've done over the years.