A Career as a Game Designer

Beloit alum Grace Holdinghaus’14 creates other worlds as a game designer for Fantasy Flight Games.

Grace Holdinghaus’14 truly creates other worlds—as a game designer for Fantasy Flight Games. She is currently the co-designer of Journeys in Middle Earth, an app-integrated game based on Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, with a narrative focus on collaborative campaigns. Grace started at Fantasy Flight as a product development intern in 2014, and first worked as a developer of Mansions of Madness (2nd edition), a horror-themed table-top game. She built a path to this role through her rich academic and co-curricular experiences at Beloit—her double major in Creative Writing and Cognitive Science, her active participation in the Beloit Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (BSFFA), and her close involvement with Beloit’s LGBTQIA community.

As a member and, later, president of BSFFA, Grace engaged in a vibrant community of collaborative game playing and improvisation—whether through live-action role playing (nerf-gun battles!), table-top games, or Sunday teas. This freedom to explore creative outlets was also supported by writing classes on speculative and science fiction, a senior honors project on cyborg minds, study abroad in Australia, and mentorship of first-years as a Writing Program teaching assistant.

In BSFFA, Grace helped fellow students network with alumni, promoted science fiction on campus, and emphasized access to students from many varied backgrounds. At Fantasy Flight, she continues to design rich worlds that support diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

December 21, 2020

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