Emily M. McNee

I am a senior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), pursuing a dual-major in Games and Simulation Arts and Science (GSAS) and Music, with a minor in Business Management. I have a 3.8 GPA and have been on the Dean’s list every semester. In October 2023, I received the Founders Award of Excellence, the highest honor given at RPI’s Honors Convocation ceremony. In addition, I have been a Phalanx Society member since Spring 2023, RPI’s Senior Leadership and Service Honor Society.

Over the past few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have myriad experiences and roles developing games, both at RPI and through various internships and job assignments. This has included being a Game Designer, Level Designer, QA Tester, Sound Designer, Composer, and overall Project Manager. I have come to realize that I have a passion for solving problems and leading projects successfully through to fruition. Building a strong but flexible project plan, and effectively working with team members and assets to deliver great experiences, is as much an art as it is science.

While my entry point into a full-time job in the gaming industry may come from a variety of roles I have experience with, my ultimate goal is to become a Producer as my career evolves over time. 

Since August 2022, I have worked at 1st Playable Productions in Troy, NY (recently renamed 1PXL Games, after the merger with Cold Creek Games, of Des Moines, IA) – initially under a game design co-op program for 4-months that fall, which evolved into a part-time job as a Designer Apprentice upon my return to school in January 2023. At the conclusion of school, I worked full-time over the summer, which again evolved into a part-time role with the start of my senior year at RPI.  During my time at 1st Playable, I have primarily focused on game design and sound design for multiple projects. This has included the recently published Pickleball: Smash, which you can find out more about on my Digital Audio Portfolio page. I have also been involved in QA testing, authoring levels for Dumb Ways to Draw 2, and otherwise supporting the overall production process.

I am especially proud of the work that I did as the overall Project Manager, Sound Designer, Music Composer and lead Social Media Manager for a game my team developed at RPI during the Spring 2023 semester (Veni, Vidi, Vici). I enjoyed leading our team of eight developers, as well as writing and producing all of the original music and sound for the game. In May 2022, our game won the “Excellence in Design” category at GameFest 2022 (among thirty participating games submitted from students at NYU, RIT, and RPI), as well as being a finalist in the “Excellence in Audio” category for my original soundtrack and sound effects. Veni, Vidi, Vici was selected as one of a handful of game selected by RPI and the New York State Pavilion at GDC 2023. I enjoyed traveling to San Francisco and presented the game at the booth to event attendees, along with two team members.

Alongside my projects and job experiences, I have heavily dedicated myself to extracurricular activities at school. As President of the RPI Game Development Club for three years, I grew the club significantly through increased membership, new initiatives, outside connections and the revival of beloved events, including the Rensselaer Games Showcase. RGS is the sole student-run development conference in the Hudson Valley area. Alongside students, multiple companies and organizations participated, including WB Games Albany, Velan Studios, 1st Playable Productions, IGDA Albany and the Tech Valley Game Space. My time in this position has taught me a significant amount about leading a team, and the best approaches to group communication and organization. I am proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish.

Within RPI Players, RPI’s student-run theater program, I have supported the club in multiple ways – both on-stage and off – taking on additional responsibilities to support the group as a whole as needed. This includes performing in a lead role in Into the Woods in 2022 and being the Front of House Manager from 2021 onwards. Last year, I was the Assistant Director of Heathers: The Musical, and filled in as the sole female understudy for principal roles in two shows. In 2024, I am the first-ever Assistant Musical Director in the group for our production of The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical due to my unique skillset as a vocalist and instructor.

I am a strong communicator and writer, highly collaborative and a well-organized team player. I embrace opportunities to overcome challenges, and enjoy leading teams and managing for success. Here’s a few leadership lessons that I recently drafted based on my project management experiences thus far, as well as those learned from working at various internships and part-time jobs in the business.

To download or to view my resume, please click here.