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Submitted by robin on Fri, 10/12/2012 - 1:23pm
Kevin Bruner, the Co-Founder/CTO/Executive Producer at Telltale Games, kicked off the 2012-13 academic year with our first IFOG: Speaker Series talk of the Fall! A veteran of LucasArts, Kevin founded Telltale Games in 2004, and has worked on games such as Sam & Max, Monkey Island, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Wallace & Gromit, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and most recently - The Walking Dead.
Traditional video games tend focus on physical simulations, mental challenges, skills and repetition, points/badges/scores, and the mantra of "easy to learn, hard to master." Film, TV, and Books are conversely narrative and character driven, emotional, escapist, and reflect/project social scenarios. Telltale asked themselves, "How do we modernize the genre, and how do we make stories truly interactive?" without simply making a mash-up. As Kevin points out, the failing of James Bond games to portray the character as anything other than "James Bond - Mass Murderer" is a good example of how putting video game elements into a narrative does NOT equal interactive entertainment! Interactive entertainment should involve strong characters, strong episodic narrative, strong role playing, and interaction that stems from meaningful player agency.
Submitted by jpinckard on Tue, 10/09/2012 - 2:15pm
We were thrilled to host Mary Flanagan's visit to UC Santa Cruz this week. Mary is a leader in games as art, as an artist, creative, thinker, and scholar, as well as a fantastic game designer. For the occasion of her visit the Center for Games and Playable Media co-sponsored a panel discussion along with Brenda Laurel (another great thinker and designer, whose books have been immensely influential in the way we think about interacting with technology and media) and Susan Laxton. Kate O'Riordan moderated.
Mary's interested in investigating the bridge between artwork and design, using digital games and virtual spaces as her experimental ground. How do you move from art practice to design methodology? And what happens to the design process when we insert values we want the design to uphold? She showed a few of her pieces, one that experiments with moving through space; the well-known work Jump which splices together moments of "jump" actions in video games to offer a sort of catalogue or grammar of the game verb. As well, she makes games at her studio Tiltfactor, including a powerful iOS game, POX, about vaccination.
Submitted by bryan on Fri, 10/05/2012 - 1:30pm
Submitted by robin on Wed, 10/03/2012 - 3:23pm
The Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz invites applications for a tenure track (Assistant) or tenured (Associate and Full Professor) faculty position. We seek outstanding applicants in the area of games and playable media. Preferred applicants will have research and teaching experience in games and graphics, with a research presence in the graphics community and the games and/or interactive media community, though candidates with specializations in other areas of games and interactive media will be considered. Specializations in areas particularly appropriate to games and interactive media, such as real-time animation and effects, procedural content generation, and novel interface mechanisms are preferred. This position will develop and teach courses within the undergraduate and graduate games and playable media curriculum, including being one of the primary instructors for the introduction to graphics and animation courses. Applicants are expected to develop externally funded research programs at UC Santa Cruz. The campus is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through their research, teaching, and service.
Submitted by bryan on Thu, 09/27/2012 - 12:22pm
As you may know, the anticipated sequel to Borderlands hit the shelves just over a week ago. One of our postdocs and alumni, Josh McCoy, wrote a review for Borderlands 2 on Venturebeat.com!