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Valve Confirms Hiring Of  Thief  Designer Doug Church

Valve Confirms Hiring Of Thief Designer Doug Church

March 16, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

PC game designer Doug Church, whose credits include titles in the Ultima, Thief and System Shock series, has taken a position with Seattle area Half-Life and Portal creator Valve, the company confirmed to Gamasutra today.

Church has worked in the industry since the early '90s, when he contributed to projects from Origin Systems and Looking Glass Technologies. He held a position with Eidos until May 2005, when he left to become an executive producer at EA Los Angeles.

At Electronic Arts, he was associated with a long in-development game codenamed Project LMNO in association with noted film director Steven Spielberg, although that title was eventually canceled.

The IGDA honored Church with an Award for Community Contribution in 2003, citing his "team focus, his efforts to build community and to improve the industry over the past 12 years."

In a 2004 Gamasutra interview, Church discussed how he felt using distinct genres to describe games did a disservice to tiles that mixed different ideas.

"Sometimes I think that genre is our shorthand to talk about play, and that's about as specific as we'd get, because when I show you imagery of a lot of games and the communication message," he said.

"You know 'you're a powerful wizard', or 'you're going to defeat terrorists' or 'you're going to pilot planes', it doesn't really tell you anything about what you're going to actually do? Like: What are the verbs you have? What are the buttons you're going to use? What sort of mental action do you get? Why are you even there? Why isn't it just a movie?" he continued.

[UPDATE: Valve's Doug Lombardi tells Gamasutra that Church has been with the company for "a couple [of] weeks," though he was unsure what, if any, specific project the designer has been assigned to.]

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