During the summer of 2015, between my junior and senior years at university, I spent 3 months interning at Volition in Champaign, IL, working on their then-unannounced Saints Row re-envisioning, "Agents of Mayhem." At the time, the game was still in fairly early pre-production.
During my time at Volition, I primarily worked with the lead progression designer, Doug Nelson, on the agent progression system. The purpose of the progression system was to allow players to increasingly customize their playable agents' combat powers with a suite of 'gadgets' that could be acquired or unlocked over the course of the game. My tasks included participating in brainstorming meetings, generating and iterating on gadget ideas, and discussing implementation implications with other disciplines.
Despite my role as an intern, much of the work I did was without significant supervision. I not only got to express my own design ideas (and have them taken seriously), but I also got to freely interact with other disciplines on the team. Meeting with other senior developers was a major part of the work I did; I regularly sat down with combat design, UI, effects and animation artists and sound designers to walk through the assets and integration each gadget idea would require, and receive feedback on how reasonable each idea would be to implement. Through this, I not only got to work hands-on with systems design, but I also got a better overall idea of how each of the other development disciplines weighed in on the design process, and the game as a whole.
Agents of Mayhem was released in August of 2017.