Annie VanderMeer

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Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda
Born Annie VanderMeer
Nationality American
Other names Annie Carlson, Annie VanderMeer Carlson, Anne VanderMeer
Occupation Game designer, writer
Known for Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir
Guild Wars 2
Spouse(s) Brian Mitsoda

Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda (also credited as Annie VanderMeer, Annie Carlson, Annie VanderMeer Carlson, and Anne VanderMeer) is an American video game designer specializing in role-playing video games, best known for her writing work on the 2008's Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir and her design work on the 2012's Guild Wars 2 and the upcoming Dead State, and she is the wife of game designer Brian Mitsoda.


Annie VanderMeer attended Macalester College and earned an Honors B.A. in English in 2003, writing about Science Fiction and Fantasy in Contemporary American Literature. While there, she spent her spare time with the local gaming society,[1] further inspiring her. After the discovery that there are limited opportunities to study and teach English/gaming in graduate school,[2] she started her path back to the games. After a brief stint at a local GameStop, VanderMeer (then Annie Carlson) started work at Papaya Studio in the summer of 2004,[3] where she worked on Taxi Driver, the ill-fated videogame "sequel" to the film of the same name.

Soon after Taxi Driver was cancelled in October 2005, VanderMeer joined Obsidian Entertainment in January 2006, beginning work on "Project New Jersey" (a rumored unreleased RPG[4]). When Project New Jersey was cancelled, VanderMeer joined the Neverwinter Nights 2 team, where she worked on handling the in-game items,[5] and presented on Neverwinter Nights 2 at Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) 2006.[6] After Neverwinter Nights 2 was released, VanderMeer began work as a writing assistant on Alpha Protocol, working with creative lead Brian Mitsoda, where she was credited with helping create some of the characters.[7] While working on Alpha Protocol, VanderMeer assisted with additional design for the first expansion to Neverwinter Nights 2, Mask of the Betrayer.[8] In early 2008, she was moved onto the second expansion for Neverwinter Nights 2, Storm of Zehir as a designer and lead writer. She also assisted with work on the cancelled Aliens RPG[9] and spoke at the 'Women in the Game Industry' panel at the PAX 2008[10] before she left the company in October 2008 to move to Seattle. She has since spoken at other PAX Panels over the years, including "The Agony and the Ecstasy of RPG Writing" in 2011,[11] "From Tabletop to Digital: Crafting Stronger Interactive Narratives" in 2013,[12] "Be So Good They Can't Ignore You: Tales of Successful Indies" in 2014,[13] and "CLASSIC RPGs FOREVER!"[14][15] and "Surviving Success: How to Handle a Winning Kickstarter" in 2015.[16]

In 2009, VanderMeer joined ArenaNet as a game designer, first working on the personal story for Guild Wars 2 before moving on to the Living Story team, working in particular on the updates "Lost Shores" and "Flame & Frost".[17][18] In June 2010, she married fellow game designer and DoubleBear Productions founder Brian Mitsoda, changing her name to VanderMeer Mitsoda.[19] VanderMeer Mitsoda has worked part-time as a game designer for DoubleBear,[2] and full-time as a game designer at Bungie on Destiny.[20] As of April 2014, VanderMeer Mitsoda is a full-time member of DoubleBear Productions, assisting in shipping their first game, Dead State, and is now working on their next title.


  1. ^ "Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda's LinkendIn". Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b ""Annie Mitsoda's (nee Carlson's) Zombie Baby" interview on RPG Codex". RPG Codex. Jul 12, 2010. Archived from the original on 24 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
  3. ^ "MobyGames Developer Profile - Annie Carlson". MobyGames. July 31, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  4. ^ "Dev Profile Q&A: Kevin Saunders, Lead Designer on NWN2: MotB". Warcry Network. Themis Media. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  5. ^ "CareerStreet - Macalester College Career Development Newsletter" (PDF). Macalester College. October 4, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 12, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  6. ^ "Obsidian Entertainment and Neverwinter Nights 2 Appearing at PAX". Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "RPG Vault: Alpha Protocol Interview". IGN. November 14, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  8. ^ "An evening with Annie Carlson". Iron Tower Studio. March 6, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  9. ^ ""GameStar: Annie Mitsoda: "I'm a game omnivore"". Dec 7, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  10. ^ "PAX 2008: Women in the game industry". GameSpot. Aug 30, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  11. ^ Maxwell McGee. "RPG writers spill their secrets". GameSpot. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "From Tabletop to Digital: Crafting Stronger Interactive Narratives". Guidebook. Retrieved 2015-12-08. 
  13. ^ "Be So Good They Can't Ignore You: Tales of Successful Indies". Guidebook. Retrieved 2015-12-08. 
  14. ^ "CLASSIC RPGs FOREVER!". Guidebook. Retrieved 2015-12-08. 
  15. ^ "Pax Panels 2015: Classic CRPGs". YouTube. Retrieved 2015-12-08. 
  16. ^ "Surviving Success: How to Handle a Winning Kickstarter". Guidebook. Retrieved 2015-12-08. 
  17. ^ "Twitch". Twitch. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  18. ^ ""What's In A Name? Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda on Naming Tyria" blog post on the Guild Wars 2 blog". ArenaNet. May 23, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-02. 
  19. ^ ""Congratulations!" thread on DoubleBear Productions forums". Iron Tower Studio. Jun 21, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  20. ^ "News > International Mail Sack of Mystery -". Retrieved 25 December 2014. 

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