Lena Chappelle

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ArenaNet employee

Lena Chappelle

Lena Chappelle.jpg


I like to tell stories. As a kid, I wrote them down on teddy bear stationary, sometimes sang or recorded them on reel-to-reel in my dad's studio. Given my early love of music and a childhood spent singing professionally in choirs, going to school for composition made perfect sense.

At Cornish, I developed the tools necessary to tell my stories. I studied theory and counterpoint with some of the most talented composers in the pacific northwest. I collaborated with choreographers and awe-inspiring dancers, and wrote student pieces for the Seattle Chamber Players, the Saint Helens String Quartet, and others.

In 2012, I received the career-defining opportunity to compose for award-winning PC game Guild Wars 2. I've contributed ever since, and was co-composer for the game's first expansion, Heart of Thorns, as well as the retro-style Super Adventure Box. I've also composed for indie survival RPG Dead State, and classroom education software Music Madness among others.

As a writer, I am the published author of City of Tigers, book one in the continuing series Under the Sunstone. I'm continually working on new things, and write at irregular intervals at my blog The Immerse.

— "Making Music, Writing Worlds," biography on personal website [1]

Lena Chappelle, also known as Lena Raine, was a game designer and in-house composer at ArenaNet. As a composer, she has a bachelor's degree and has written music for several small PC games, podcast intros, and Seattle's modern dance community. Her soundtrack work can be found on her Bandcamp page. She worked on the Path of Fire expansion as a quest designer, until she left ArenaNet on August 13th, 2016.[2]

Hi everyone. Today is, sadly, my last day at ArenaNet. It has been an absolutely amazing 6 years, and I'm going to do this on TwitLonger so I can ramble for a moment about this. Stick around if you'd like to hear more.

When I joined the company, I had no idea I would be going into games development. I was a composer, doing QA because it got me closer to games production. I kept getting closer and closer to the meat of how games were made, until that design opportunity presented itself. And goodness what a ride it's been since then.

In my years at the company, there's been so many things I've taken pride in helping bring to life: Tybalt Leftpaw, the tragedy of Apatia, the retaking of Claw Island, the Sovereign Eye of Zhaitan, my favorite holomancer & former MC Elli (from whom Taimi absolutely stole tech), the Bell Choir minigame, Southsun Survival, Belcher's Bluff, the Zephyrites & their aspect skills, Twilight Arbor Aetherpath, the destruction of Lion's Arch & the final confrontation with Scarlet, letting our gay girls kiss, and a few not-so-minor skirmishes with plant dragons.

Which isn't to say anything about music. I've been eternally grateful to Maclaine Diemer & James Ackley & everyone on the audio team for letting a lil designer achieve her dream of writing for a AAA RPG. When I couldn't get anyone to pay attention to my music for years, they lifted me into the spotlight and let me do my thing. According to reddit, in threads that seem to come every other week, I suppose I've done well. I can't thank you all enough for the love I've received for what I've written. And it devastates me to move on from a position that has given me so many opportunities.

But there are new adventures ahead.

I won't go into the details just yet, but thanks to the foundation that working at ArenaNet has provided, I've made the monumentally difficult decision to move on and seek out new opportunities, both in design and in music. In the short term, I have three extremely exciting music projects to reveal in the coming weeks. And beyond that, I'll let you all know where I'm headed. It's exciting, and scary, and I can't wait to show you all what I can do.

All of my love, Lena


She is now a freelance composer who is contracting with ArenaNet during Living World Season 4. [4]