Chris Sumsky

Ellis Island

Ellis Island is an MMORPG that is based in late 1800s/early 1900s New York City. Players control newly docked immigrants looking to make a name for themselves. While climbing up the social, political, and economical ladders, players will not only direct their character’s progress, but that of the world at large. We hope to create a sandbox for emergent social gameplay that allows learning opportunities within historical context and events.

Ellis Concept Art
Ellis Island is a research project under the Emergent Game Group headed by Celia Pearce. I began work on this project in 2009 as an Adobe Flash artist when the game was still in isometric 2D. Since then the decision was made to move to 3D using the Unity game engine, and I was chosen to lead the new art team and manage the migration and direction of the new 3D art style. You can visit the project’s website here.


Art Director: I manage a team of ten 3D, 2D, and concept artists to create world and UI assets for the game. I also have creative direction of art style and design of levels and UI. I meet with designers to organize and prioritize tasks for the art team, and then delegate these tasks to my team members. I also help with the creation of assets and build levels when necessary. Below are images of the Unity world we created last fall, as well as some of my design sketches for character creation UI.