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July 31, 2021
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David Lightbown's Blog   Expert Blogs


After spending most of his formative years in his parents’ basement trying to clone 8-bit console games on an Apple IIgs, David got a job in the games industry. He has spent the majority of his career working to improve the user experience of content creation tools and pipelines.

In addition to contributing to a long list of games across a variety of platforms, David regularly shares his thoughts on game development at conferences around the world.

He has also created product reviews, training manuals, tutorial videos, and masterclasses on a wide range of products for Autodesk. In 2010, he received the Autodesk Master Award for his contributions to the community.

His book "Designing the User Experience of Game Development Tools" teaches game developers how to apply user experience design techniques to their tools and pipelines.

David current holds the title of User Experience Director for the Technology Group at Ubisoft Montreal, and can be reached at


Expert Blogs

David Lightbown talks to Dan Amerson, Mike Daly, John Austin, and Tim Preston about the Gamebryo engine and tools. This article traces its history from NetImmerse, the Gamebryo rebranding, merger with Emergent, Lightspeed, and acquisition by Gamebase.

Posted by David Lightbown on Tue, 23 Oct 2018 09:07:00 EDT in Design, Programming, Art, Console/PC
David Lightbown interviews Chris Norden about the history of tools development for Deus Ex. Learn about how the team customized the Unreal Editor, developed dialogue and export tools, and created innovative lip-sync technology for this innovative FP-RPG.

Posted by David Lightbown on Tue, 09 Jan 2018 04:04:00 EST in Design, Programming, Console/PC
Tim Sweeney talks to David Lightbown about UnrealEd, one of the most popular level editors in the games industry, which was used to build levels for Unreal, Deus Ex, Gears of War, BioShock, Rainbow Six, Splinter Cell, and Mass Effect, and many, many more.

Posted by David Lightbown on Thu, 23 Feb 2017 05:31:00 EST in Design, Programming, Production, Art, Console/PC
John Romero talks to David Lightbown about TEd, the tile editor that he created at id Software, which would go on to be used on 33 shipped titles, including the Commander Keen series, the Wolfenstein series, Rise of the Triad, and many more.

David Lightbown's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 10/23/2018 - 09:07]

Great, I hope you enjoy ...

Great, I hope you enjoy it

Comment In: [Blog - 02/23/2017 - 05:31]

Thank you, Kevin r n ...

Thank you, Kevin r n r nI am already in the process of lining up a few more like this one, focused on classic game tools. r n r nStay tuned

Comment In: [Blog - 05/03/2016 - 02:06]

Nice article, and great GDC ...

Nice article, and great GDC talk. Glad to see awareness of UX growing in the industry, and I hope to see more talks like this in the future. r n r nI would be careful of using number of clicks as a hard metric for one tool being faster than ...