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Mata Haggis's Blog


I'm a games and narrative designer with over a decade of experience of AAA games dev, indie projects, and animation for the web and television. I'm currently working on the indie project Fragments of Him, as well as being a senior lecturer at the International Games Architecture & Design (IGAD) programme at NHTV Univerity in the Netherlands.

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 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 - 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 ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/06/2012 - 03:24]

As a side-note: I had ...

As a side-note: I had noticed many players get nervous when they see a checkpoint, assuming that there was something that might kill them approaching soon, so when I was working on a game I deliberately put checkpoints through the initial completely safe sequence to make them uncertain about when ...

Comment In: [News - 01/11/2012 - 07:57]

Thanks for the very interesting ...

Thanks for the very interesting article Mona - it very clearly lays out some of the potential issues in this act.