Game designer Warren Spector to visit Portugal on May 13-14

Interdisciplinary research,
education and capacity building

7 May 2014

The legendary game designer and developer will speak and meet with UT Austin|Portugal students.

Warren SpectorWarren Spector will give talks and meet with students at FCT/UNL and IST (Tagus).

The talks will be free and open to the public.

Warren Spector is a role-playing game designer and a video game designer. He is known for having worked to merge elements of role-playing video games and first-person shooters. He is best known for the cyberpunk video games System Shock, Deus Ex and Thief. Since leaving Disney Interactive in April, 2013, where he designed Epic Mickey, Warren Spector has been working with the University of Texas at Austin to build a new game development program – the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy.

Tuesday, 13/5 (FCT/UNL)

Video Games: Becoming the Medium of the 21st Century

14h30 - Talk in room 2B, Ed. VII

If movies and radio were "the media of the 20th century," it’s defensible to say video games are the first new, dominant medium of the 21st. This talk will make that argument. It will begin by covering some of the history of video games, as reflected in the life and career of Warren Spector, a 30-year games industry veteran. In addition, the talk will include an overview of where we are today, as a creative endeavor, as a business and as a cultural force. It will conclude with a discussion of what makes games unique among media and what that says about the future of video games.

16h - Meeting with students

Warren Spector is available to meet with students and discuss projects.

Wednesday, 14/5 (IST - Tagus)

Starting Points for Development

11h - Talk in room A3

There are as many ways to conceptualize a video game design as there are developers to make games - as many ways, in fact, as there are games to be made. This talk will cover the conceptualization process used by Warren Spector, 30-year games industry veteran, as an example of just one way to approach video game creation. Attendees will learn how genre, character, mechanics and other factors - even frustration - can be used as creative triggers and starting points for game development, with applicability to other forms of software, as well.

14h - Meeting with students

Warren Spector is available to meet with students and discuss projects.