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Dynamics: The State of the Art

Speaker Name: 
Clint Hocking
Speaker Title: 
Creative Director
Speaker Organization: 
LucasArts
Start Time: 
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 11:00am
End Time: 
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 12:00pm
Location: 
Engineering 2, Room 180
Organizer: 
The Center for Games and Playable Media

Abstract

In 2009, Chris Hecker fielded the question, 'How do games mean?' Crucially distinct from the question of what a specific game might mean, this question lies at the heart of what games are and why they matter as art, entertainment and culture. Obviously, games mean via their dynamics. But in what ways do dynamics yield meaning? What is the difference between meaning embedded in mechanics and true dynamical meaning? What is the variable breadth of meaning in a dynamic system or system of systems? What is the role of the author and of the interactor, and how do they share in the generation of meaning? How do specific games generate meaning? This talk dives deeply into these questions in an attempt to lay the groundwork for a rigorous understanding of dynamics.

Biography

Clint Hocking entered the game industry working for Ubisoft Montreal in July of 2001, when he began his career as a Level Designer, Game Designer and Scriptwriter on the original SPLINTER CELL. During development he also took on the roles of Game Designer and Scriptwriter. Splinter Cell was nominated for seven Game Developer’s Choice Awards (including nominations for Excellence in Level Design, Game Design and Scriptwriting). Along with writer JT Petty, Clint was honoured for his writing work on the title with the first-ever Game Developer’s Choice Award for Excellence in Scriptwriting.

Clint continued to develop the Splinter Cell franchise as Lead Level Designer, Scriptwriter, and Creative Director on SPLINTER CELL: CHAOS THEORY – the highest rated Splinter Cell to date with an aggregate review score of 94%. Clint next took on the role of Creative Director on FAR CRY 2, a controversial title that took players into the ‘Heart of Darkness’ of a fully realized African state torn apart by civil war. Both innovative and acclaimed, Far Cry 2 was another hit for Ubisoft. Clint left his position with Ubisoft in May, 2010 after nearly nine years and moved to San Francisco where he is currently working as a Creative Director for LucasArts.

In addition to working as a game developer, Clint is also active in the game development community, and is a vocal proponent of games as an emerging medium and art form. Clint is on the Advisory Board of the Montreal IGDA Chapter, and is a frequent speaker at the Game Developers Conference and other conferences around the world.

Before games Clint worked as a writer in the web industry and experimented in independent filmmaking as a writer and a producer. Clint has a diploma in Visual Fine Arts from Langara College in Vancouver, Canada, and holds a B.F.A. and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. He maintains a blog at www.clicknothing.com.