Faculty

Frank Lantz, Chair

Room 632 frank.lantz@nyu.edu

Frank Lantz is the Director of the NYU Game Center, he has taught game design for over 12 years at NYU, SVA, and Parsons and his writings on games, technology and culture have appeared in a variety of publications.

Frank is a game designer who has worked in the field of game development for the past 20 years. In 2005 he co-founded Area/Code, which created cross-media, location-based, and social network games as well as the popular abstract puzzle game Drop7. Before starting Area/Code, Frank worked on a wide variety of games as the Director of Game Design at Gamelab, Lead Game Designer at Pop & Co, and Creative Director at R/GA Interactive.

Over the past 10 years, Frank helped pioneer the genre of large-scale realworld games, working on projects such as the Big Urban Game, which turned the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul into the world’s largest boardgame; Sharkrunners, which allowed players to interact with living sharks in a persistent virtual world, PacManhattan, a life-size version of the arcade classic created by the students in his Big Games class at NYU, and many other experiments in pervasive and urban gaming.

Courses

Intermediate Game Design

Thesis I

Intro to Game Studies

Games 101

Matt Boch

Room 634 mattboch@nyu.edu

Matt is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies. Upon completing his thesis, a series of custom-built arcade cabinets housing unique art-oriented video games, he began work at Harmonix Music Systems. From 2007-2010, he worked as a hardware designer, developing the look, feel and functionality of Rock Band’s iconic set of instruments.

Matt then moved from the world of hardware to the arena of game design when he began prototyping what would become Dance Central, utilizing his love for both music and dance. He served as lead designer and project director for the Dance Central franchise through Dance Central 3. Matt directed a team of over 100 developers in creating Harmonix’s newest innovation in music gaming, Fantasia: Music Evolved, a collaboration with Disney to bring the classic film into the 21st century. Most recently, he contributed product management, design, and code for Beat Sports, a title launching with the new Apple TV.

Over the course of his career he’s occupied a huge variety of roles: from designer and producer to coder, artist, and game writer. He’s developed a number of games independently, which have been exhibited at the New York MOMA, Indiecade, and more. Matt has also given a number of critically-focused presentations at events like the Queerness and Games Conference, the Nordic Game Conference, and the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Courses

Project Studio

Audio for Digital Games

Game Dev: Team Studio

Biz Lab

Game Studio I

Game Studio II

Games 101

Capstone

Naomi Clark

Room 638 naomi.clark@nyu.edu

Naomi Clark is a game designer, teacher, and scholar who has been making games since 1999. She has contributed to over three dozen titles in various roles, including designer, producer, artist, writer, and programmer. Naomi’s experience spans from developing games for well-known companies such as LEGO to smaller-scale independent and experimental work.

In addition to her industry experience, Naomi is also a games scholar. She has co-authored two recent books about games. Microcultures: Gaming is an exploration of the history and culture of gaming written for middle schoolers and A Game Design Vocabulary is a textbook that provides a conceptual framework for game analysis and creation. She has given numerous talks at major conferences, such as the Queerness in Games Conference, PRACTICE, Indiecade, Indiecade East, Games for Change and DiGRA.

Naomi has been an active member of our community for some time. Over the past few years, she has served as an adjunct professor, Incubator advisor, and a contributor to the development of our brand new undergraduate curriculum. For our 2014 No Quarter exhibition, she created Consentacle, a cooperative card game that has generated a lot of interest for the innovative way it uses gameplay to explore complex themes of sexuality and consent.

Prior to this appointment, Naomi has honed her skill as an educator on an undergraduate and graduate level here at NYU, as well as the New York Film Academy, Parsons: the New School for Design, and the School of Visual Arts. She is enthusiastic about helping students develop their unique creative vision through the arts education model utilized at the NYU Game Center.

Courses

Intermediate Game Design

Roleplaying on the Margins

Games and Players

Game Design I

Clara Fernández-Vara

Room 637 clara.fernandez@nyu.edu

Clara Fernández-Vara is a game scholar, designer and writer. Her work focuses on narrative design, and bridging game design and storytelling. Clara’s videogame work is grounded in the humanities, informed by her background in literature, film and theatre, which she nows bringing to new digital technologies.

Before joining the NYU Game Center, Clara spent six years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a researcher and game developer. She holds a Ph.D. in Digital Media from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Masters in Comparative Media Studies from MIT. Clara has presented her work at various international academic and industry conferences, such as DiGRA (Digital Games Research Association), Foundations of Digital Games, the Electronic Literature Organization Conference, Game Developer’s Conference (GDC), and East Coast Games Conference. She has worked on commercial as well as experimental narrative games, such as Symon (2010) or Transcendence: Origins (2014). Her first book, Introduction to Game Analysis, has been published by Routledge.

Courses

European Videogames of the 1980s

Games 101

Intro to Narrative Design

Narrative Game Studio

Game Studies I

Game Studies II

Bennett Foddy

Room 633 foddy@nyu.edu

Bennett Foddy is the author of a number of games including his well-known series of four-letter web games QWOP, GIRP and CLOP. His work has been shown at MoMA New York and at the Pulse Art Fair and in dozens of other museums and festivals around the world. He joins NYU’s Game Center as Assistant Arts Professor in game design, following a period at Oxford University and Princeton, where he was a research fellow in the field of moral philosophy, studying the relationship between addiction and free will.

Courses

European Videogames of the 1980s

Thesis I

Game Dev: Solo Studio

Game Studio I

Intro to Game Development

Prototype Studio

Mitu Khandaker

Room 632 mitu@nyu.edu

Mitu Khandaker is a game designer, scholar, and entrepreneur. She holds a PhD on the aesthetics of interactivity in videogames, completed at the University of Portsmouth in 2015. Prior to that, she was a 2008 Kauffman Global Scholar and received a Masters in Computer Engineering from the University of Portsmouth. A rising star in the games industry, she won the Breakthrough Brit BAFTA in 2013 and the Creative English Trailblazer Award in 2014.

In 2011 Mitu founded The Tiniest Shark Ltd. – an indie micro-studio for which she provides creative, technical, and operational leadership. The Tiniest Shark released Redshirt in 2013, a satirical simulation game that uses science fiction tropes to explore social dynamics. The game received excellent reviews from sources such as Polygon, PC Gamer, and Paste Magazine.

Mitu has been invited to speak at several major conferences and industry events, such as the Game Developers’ Conference, TEDxEastEnd, GamesWest, NineWorlds Conference, and the Royal Academy of Engineering in London. She was a keynote speaker at the 2014 BAFTA Cymru Awards and gave one of the keynotes for the 2015 Global Game Jam. Since 2013, Mitu has served as the STEM/Video Games Ambassador in the UK, where she promotes STEM subjects and game development at schools with a particular interest in advocacy for gender equality in games.

Courses

Intro to Programming for Games

XR Studio

Intermediate Programming for Games

Games 101

Matt Parker

Room 631 madparker@nyu.edu

Matt Parker is a game designer, teacher, and new media artist. His work has been displayed at the American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Academy of Music, SIGGRAPH Asia, the NY Hall of Science, Museum of the Moving Image, FILE Games Rio, Sony Wonder Technology Lab, and many other venues. His game Lucid was a finalist in Android’s Developer Challenge 2 and his project Lumarca won the “Create the Future” prize at the World Maker Faire. He created the game Recurse for the inaugural No Quarter exhibition at the NYU Game Center. Recurse was a finalist for Indiecade 2010 and won the “Play This Now!” award at Come Out and Play 2012.

Courses

Designing for Impact: iCivics

Thesis I

Designing for Impact: AMNH

Code Lab

Charles Pratt

Room 629 charlesjpratt@nyu.edu

Charles J Pratt has been a freelance game designer since he graduated from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) in 2007. He’s worked on projects for companies as varied as Adult Swim, Footlocker, and the British government. He’s also been involved with a number of independent games such as the early web-based social game Casablanca, the street game Search Brigade, and most recently a tower defense game for the iPhone called Critter Defense.

In his spare time he teaches Game Studies, he blogs at GameDesignAdvance, and he hosts the podcast Another Castle, a series of long form interviews with people working and thinking about games in the New York metropolitan area.

Courses

Capstone

Intro to Game Studies

Games 101

Intro to Game Design

Playing Well

Winnie Song

Room 630 jys325@nyu.edu

Winnie Song is Assistant Arts Professor of Game Design at NYU’s Game Center. She holds an MFA in Game Design from the Game Center, and a BFA in Graphic Design and Expanded Animation from OCAD University.

Winnie created “BADBLOOD”, a competitive stealth video game with a rich visual style, which was featured on Rock Paper Shotgun. She has been invited to showcase “BADBLOOD” at Indiecade, EVO, XOXO, Fantastic Arcade, and Day of the Devs, and she has won several awards, including Audience Choice Award at Indiecade 2015. She has given a talk about the place of violence in games at AMAZE festival in 2016, and she was the visual designer of “ENYO”, a tactical roguelike mobile game.

Prior to her appointment, she has taught Visual Design at NYU Tisch and IDM and was a Game Designer at Square Enix Montréal. She now creates games independently.

Courses

Intro to Visual Communications

Visual Lab 0

Art Direction for Games

Robert Yang

Room 639 ry14@nyu.edu

Robert Yang makes games about gay culture and intimacy — he is known for his historical bathroom sex simulator The Tearoom, his male shower simulator Rinse and Repeat, and his gay sex triptych Radiator 2 has over 150,000 users on Steam. He has given talks at GDC, IndieCade, Queerness and Games Conference, and Games for Change. He holds a BA in English Literature from UC Berkeley, and an MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons School for Design.

Courses

Intermediate Game Development

VR Studio

Game Dev: Team Studio

Intro to VR

Let's Play

Eric Zimmerman

Room 635 ez2@nyu.edu

Eric is an award-winning game designer who has been inventing play on and off the computer for more than 25 years. Eric was the Co-Founder and Chief Design Officer of Gamelab, a game development company based in New York City. Gamelab’s titles included the casual game blockbuster Diner Dash and Gamestar Mechanic, a site that lets kids create games, which was funded by the first major game-related grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Gamelab worked with partners including LEGO, HBO, VH-1, Nickelodeon, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Disney, Mattel, PlayFirst, PBS, Fisher-Price, Leapfrog, and many others.

Eric is a founder of the Institute of Play, a nonprofit that looks at the intersection of games and learning that has opened a public school in New York City based on play as the model for learning. Eric has written and lectured extensively about game design and game culture. He is the co-author with Katie Salen of Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals (MIT Press, 2004). He is also the co-editor with Katie Salen of The Game Design Reader (MIT Press, 2006). With Nathalie Pozzi, principal of Nakworks, he has created large-scale game installations for the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as well as venues in Berlin, Paris, Dublin, St, Petersberg, and Los Angeles. Recent projects include tabletop games The Metagame (with Local No. 12) and Quantum.

Courses

Game Design I

Game Design II

Thesis I

Games 101