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Mata Haggis's Blog

 

I am a senior lecturer at the International Games Architecture & Design (IGAD) programme at NHTV University in the Netherlands. I mix practical knoweldge from over a decade of games development with academic training.

Before I started lecturiing, I was a games and narrative designer with experience of AAA games dev, indie projects, and animation for the web and television. I still consult in this area to keep my teaching connected with the games industry, and I'm currently consulting on the indie project Fragments of Him.

I also paint and occasionaly juggle things (which may or may not be on fire at the time). I'm very bad at the guitar.

 

Member Blogs

Posted by Mata Haggis on Tue, 15 Jul 2014 01:26:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Console/PC, Serious, Indie
The final GaymerX conference happened in San Francisco this weekend. This post reflects on the successes of the event and its diversity agenda. The post also looks at why this was the last 'GaymerX' and where the organisers will take this in the future.


Posted by Mata Haggis on Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:11:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Serious, Indie
Why is it that games that address issues of diversity are often described as having an 'agenda', regardless of content, when mainstream titles are not given this label? Inspired by the recent Different Games conference, this post discusses this phenomena.


Posted by Mata Haggis on Fri, 21 Feb 2014 06:40:00 EST in Design
With a time limit of three days, an emotional narrative, multiple in-game locations, and issues of sexuality, it was going to be a challenge controlling the scope of the Fragments of Him prototype. This post describes how we did it, and what we learnt.


Posted by Mata Haggis on Fri, 13 Dec 2013 12:52:00 EST in Design, Production, Console/PC
What happens when a game that is intended to be satire doesn't get interpreted that way, and what does this tell us about the games industry? A look at gender representation and satire in Far Cry 3, with a take-away for the wider industry.



Mata Haggis's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 07/15/2014 - 01:26]

I 'm glad you enjoyed ...

I 'm glad you enjoyed the talks I love presenting on these topics. I care a lot about great game design and well thought out narrative, but it 's always a pleasure to discuss how our personal identities are reflected in our work, and how we can encourage others to ...

Comment In: [News - 06/18/2014 - 10:32]

Aww That 's a lovely ...

Aww That 's a lovely story. There 's a lot to be said for making a determined effort to finish a project... And a lot to be said for understanding scope too I look forward to the sequel in 2027 :

Comment In: [Blog - 04/17/2014 - 12:11]

The name 'Master Chief ' ...

The name 'Master Chief ' is pretty explicitly masculine. You 're right though - many of the qualities that define a normal man are absent from him because taken to a nearly unrecognisable extreme, which was somewhat my point. It was slightly in jest, but I hope it served to ...

Comment In: [Blog - 12/13/2013 - 12:52]

Hi Joel, r n r ...

Hi Joel, r n r nI think the writing was intentionally so cringe-inducing in an attempt to make the viewer step back and see how common bad writing and lazy stereotypes are in games. This might have worked if it weren 't for so many other games being full of ...

Comment In: [News - 05/10/2013 - 04:17]

I worked in both indie ...

I worked in both indie and triple A for around a decade before moving into teaching, and I heartily agree with the sentiments of this article. I feel like I had a lot to offer the students from my background, but there was so much to learn from them and ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/12/2012 - 03:11]

I couldn't agree more. As ...

I couldn't agree more. As well as doing freelance design work, I teach games design and I am constantly encouraging my students to play mid-rated games for exactly the reasons that you have described. I also agree that designers should play outside of their favourite genres. Like you, racing games ...