Nicole McDonald, also known as MARRYtheMOON, is a multi-disciplined creative lead in games, traditional advertising, and interactive experiences. It has been her life’s passion to utilize technology as a creative tool and she is constantly seeking innovative ways for viewers to experience narrative as active participants.
After studying new-media and filmmaking in college, Nicole began working in games at the famed Looking Glass Studios, where, as a game designer and 3D modeler, she first discovered stories as multi-axial continuums. Affectionately known as the “terrain goddess”, she worked as an art director and 3D modeler on flight simulators, racing games, and space odysseys, as well as creating a workflow with NASA that generated high-res imagery from low-res satellite data.
Nicole then moved on to advertising as a creative lead. Where she developed integrated campaigns and creative strategies for some of the world’s largest brands. She’s written, directed, designed, and managed cross-functional teams on multi-platform marketing campaigns for clients such as Google, Toyota, Cirque Du Soliel, Motorola, Dove, Axe, American Idol, and Volkswagen.
She now is focused on directing projects that fuse the digital and the real, including live performances augmented by sonar-sensing smartphones, a Google Experiment, and interactive characters with a mind of their own. Her passion to use technology as a creative tool has led Nicole to produce award winning interactive experiences that have been honored at Cannes, One Show, the FWA, the Art Director’s Club, AICP, and SXSW. And has had the pleasure speaking at Google’s Sandbox multiple times.
Nicole is constantly dreaming and scheming, and independently generates projects that push the boundaries of what’s possible in the interactive space. In 2009, she developed MiniCine, an interactive film concept that hands over character and cinematic control to the user. This past year, she began exploring interactive character development, emotional responsiveness, and examining ways to create a bond between character and the audience. This has led to her latest project, HUE, a touch-based interactive tale about a man who has lost his senses, and only you, the viewer, can guide him to find them again.