Since this resume is on a live website, I’ve opted not to publish my personal contact info. If you’d like to chat and don’t already have a way to reach out, feel free to use the links above.
Nick Ahrens is an award-winning creative executive originally hailing from Minneapolis, MN. Building a career overseeing large and small-scale projects over the years with Game Informer Magazine, iam8bit, as well as independently, he currently serves as Executive Producer and Game Director at Hidden Variable Studios in Los Angeles, CA. Working on a diverse portfolio as a producer, director, photographer, designer, and journalist Nick has worked with brands and companies such as Sony, Nintendo, Activision, Electronic Arts, Apple, Google, Beats by Dre, Interscope Records, Doomtree Records, and more.
Areas of Expertise
Project Vision Holder & Leadership • New & Existing Product Development • Branding & Identity Development
Creative Services/Studio Operations • Process & Development Methodologies • Broad Gaming, Tech, & Media Expertise
Staff Mentoring & Coaching • New & Existing Business Development • Artist & Contractor Relationship Management
Concept Pitch Writing & Presentation • Industry Analysis & Market Strategy • Consumer Trend Awareness
Executive Producer, Game Director
Hidden Variable Studios | 2012 – Present (6 years)
Originally hired to work on branding and marketing for our first game, my time at Hidden Variable has evolved the role into Executive Producer for the studio as well as creative leadership as a Game Director. My day-to-day covers the entire range of running the studio from operations to product vision owner. While small, our games during my time at HVS have totaled nearly 20 million downloads.
- Oversee general production of multiple game development projects
- Game Director on a new console-caliber title based on an award-winning IP
- Part of the leadership team that directs the short and long-term vision of the studio
- Extensive experience in creative direction on mechanics design, UX/UI, music/SFX composition, and more
- Have gained significant and invaluable experience in the mobile apps/games marketplace
- Projects have won multiple awards and been featured regularly by Apple, Google, and Amazon
Creative Director, Consultant
Freelance | 2010 – Present (8 years)
Working with independent clients as well as on my own projects, I’ve been pursuing a freelance career that has been mainly focused around creative direction and creative/industry consulting. Projects have ranged from branding and identity to directing advertorial video productions to game industry mentorship for new media IPs. Through my freelance career, I’ve worked with Activision, Doomtree Records, Beats by Dre, UBM and the Game Developer’s Conference, Edelman, g-Net media, and more.
- Directed a full season of short-form video for the AAA gaming IP Skylanders via Activision
- Experienced in directing branding and identity design for both companies and products
- Oversaw and built multiple websites over the years gaining intimate knowledge of best practices in web design, UX, tech and more
Partner, Art/Design Direction
iam8bit, inc. | 2010 – 2012 (2 years)
Moving from Minneapolis to Los Angeles, I took up partnership with the rest of the iam8bit creative collective where we built out an art gallery as well as produced award-winning viral marketing campaigns and direct-to-fan live events. With a focus on pop-culture such as gaming and music, iam8bit spear-headed one-of-a-kind fan experiences that ranged from Street Fighter “fight club” events to end to end video productions to artist designed/hand-made, limited edition physical merch.
- Helped grow the fan-centric iam8bit brand into a boutique marketing and events agency
- Worked on dozens of art and fan-focused marketing campaigns
- Co-curated several large and small-scale art shows in a custom-built, Los Angeles-based art gallery
- Built relationships with many new and established artists and designers
- Clients included Sony, Nintendo, Epic, Square Enix, Capcom, Interscope Records, Bethesda, Activision, and more
Media Editor, Producer
Game Informer Magazine | 2005 – 2010 (5.5 years)
Taking a chance on a kid with big ambitions, Game Informer Magazine, the biggest video game publication in the world, became a proving ground to grow as a professional. I would eventually go on to oversee the website and pen a monthly tech column. My time at GI allowed me to travel the world gaining invaluable experience at a very young age for the position.
- Oversaw a complete relaunch of the Webby Award-winning Game Informer Online
- Covered industry news/features and penned the monthly magazine tech column Gear
- Shipped nearly 70 magazine issues and half a decade of daily web content
- Built early foundation for a full video production department
A list of professional contacts is available upon request
- Game industry panel lead for the Academy of Arts & Sciences and judge for the Independent Games Festival at GDC
- Outspoken designer with an emphasis on quality and consistency
- Lifelong photographer with a deep love of the art. Some select photos can be seen here
- Feature writer on Medium for musing on life lessons through photography. Read an example here
- Passionate music fan spanning every genre and era. Check out what I’ve been listening to lately right here!