If I had to chose one word to describe myself, it would be curious. I like to know things, from how to change the clutch in my car, to the relationships that form within a pack of wolves. I love traveling as it exposes me to other scenery, people, and ways of life. I’ve been to 49 of the 50 states and try to do at least one backpacking trip every summer. I volunteer at a wolf sanctuary in southern Colorado every summer as well.
Storytelling is my greatest passion, and I’ve been writing recreationally since elementary school, almost exclusively in collaboration with other people. I also enjoy all art, 2d, 3d, and most recently digital, and once won 1st place in a district wide competition as a junior in high school.
I have always seen game design as a perfect fit for me. Not only does it allow me to express narratives in an interactive format, to deeply engage with both the people I am working with to make these games and the players who will one day be experiencing them, but it ties many of my greatest passions together. Games hold an important place in people’s hearts, and the best designed games are created from the knowledge and experience of the people who make them.
“In October of 2016 I had the pleasure of conducting a Certified Scrum Master for Game Development course at Champlain College. In this course, I have attendees practice team dynamics through various exercises and scenarios. One team performed at a higher level of engagement and productivity than the others and, in observing them, I discovered that the main contributor of that performance was the participation of Marlena Hanne.
Marlena is the epitome of a person who leads by building collaboration and engagement, which is an important ingredient in many of the high-performing teams I’ve worked with. Talented game developers don’t want be proscriptively managed or manage others proscriptively, but they still need to be rallied and focused on the goal and coached on collaboration across disciplines to achieve the best results in the game. This requires the touch of someone whom they respect and whom they want to perform for. Marlena did this and did it with a caring approach that I don’t often see.
Given this experience, if I were still running a studio, I would seek out people like Marlena and build teams around her.“
-Clinton Keith, Certified Scrum Trainer and Agile Coach
“Self-motivated. Learns new technology quickly. A get it done attitude. Works well in a team. Marlena possesses all of these qualities and has an ability to write detailed easy to read design documentation. Marlena can be an asset to any development team.“
-John Boyd, Champlain College Game Design Instructor
“The thing that was most striking to me about Marlena was her flexibility and willingness to do what needed to be done. Joining the team for Protocol Aurora midway through its development, she immediately began to collaborate with the project leads as if she had been a member of the team all along. Whether it was developing a deep, detailed narrative for the world of Protocol Aurora or designing the tutorial system for new players, Marlena approached each task with thoughtfulness and care. Her passion for creating immersive worlds for players to experience is evident in her work this semester. For Marlena, things are never a matter of simply getting it done but making sure they are done well.
A versatile designer who truly finds pleasure in collaborating with others, Marlena will undoubtedly be an asset to the teams and projects she joins in the future.“
-Ben Wiley, Champlain College Game Production Management Instructor
Certified Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Product Owner
Scrum Alliance, License 583628