Game Center MFA students asked each speaker three questions about their game design process. Expect to hear more conversations just like this at PRACTICE. Find all the interviews here.


Emily Short

Emily Short is a creative director working on the Versu project at Linden Lab. She specializes in interactive narrative, especially dialogue models. She is the author of over a dozen works of interactive fiction, including Galatea and Alabaster, which focus on conversation as the main form of interaction, and Mystery House Possessed, a commissioned project with dynamically-managed narrative. She is also part of the team behind Inform 7, a natural-language programming language for creating interactive fiction.


Warren Spector

Warren Spector has deep roots in the game industry, going back to his work on Toon, Top Secret and other seminal tabletop role-playing games of the 80s. His work at Origin, Looking Glass Studios, and Ion Storm Austin included genre-defining games like Ultima Underground, as well as the System Shock, Thief, and Deus Ex series.

Read three questions with Warren.


Keith Burgun

Keith Burgun is an independent game designer from Westchester, NY. He is co-founder of Dinofarm Games, creators of 100 Rogues and AURO, and also the lead designer of EMPIRE: The Deck-Building Strategy Game. He's a contributor to Gamasutra, and he's the author of Game Design Theory: A New Philosophy for Understanding Games, which outlines his formal lens for interactive systems design. He has taught game design at SUNY Purchase and several other local schools.


Susanna Liu

Susanna “Queen NV” Liu is a bgirl representing Supreme Beings crew from Queens, and Florox Crew from Boston. Since the beginning of her bgirl career in 2003, she has been organizing and promoting successful breaking events through colleges such as MIT and NYU. Susanna joined the Chicken and Beer team during spring of 2008. As part of the team, she is responsible for promotion as well as event coordination. While Susanna’s passion is dance, her current occupation is PhD student at Weill Cornell Medical School.



Michael Brough

Michael Brough is a non-practicing mathematician and a game-making hermit wizard. He is responsible for an eclectic collection of games including 868-HACK, Glitch Tank, Corrypt, O, Vertex Dispenser, Zaga-33, and Vesper.5 (IGF 2013 finalist).


Rob Daviau

Rob Daviau is the founder and president of IronWall Games, a company dedicated to making games and making games better. He established IronWall Games after 14 years with Hasbro Games, the largest tabletop game company in the world. He has designed and developed over 80 published table-top games, gaining expertise in how people of all ages interact with games and game experiences.

Read three questions with Rob.


Naomi Clark

Naomi Clark has been designing and producing games for over two decades, ever since she started creating text-based virtual worlds in high school. Since then she’s designed everything from multiplayer web games, such as the seminal Sissyfight 2000, to casual downloadable games, Flash games for kids and Facebook games. She’s worked for companies such as LEGO, Gamelab, Blue Fang, Rebel Monkey, and Fresh Planet on titles like LEGO Digital Designer, Miss Management, and Gamestar Mechanic, among others. Naomi has taught classes and workshops at Parsons School of Design, the NYU Game Center, and the New York Film Academy, and is currently co-authoring a textbook on game design and developing an independent game with the Brooklyn Game Ensemble. She also works as a freelance game designer in New York City, consulting on games involving companies like PBS, Disney, Fisher Price, Wizards of the Coast, Atari, and many more.


Brad Muir

Brad Muir has been at Double Fine for almost 10 years. He started as a gameplay programmer on Psychonauts, transitioned to design on Brütal Legend, and then led his first project - Iron Brigade. He's currently leading the kickstarted tactical strategy game MASSIVE CHALICE. Brad hopes to continue spreading positivity on the internet while developing new IP's at Double Fine!


Robert Yang

Robert Yang is an indie game developer who teaches games at Parsons the New School for Design and NYU Game Center, and he occasionally writes for Rock Paper Shotgun and other British things. Among other things, he's currently working on a book about Half-Life for Press Select.




Sean Vanaman

Sean Vanaman was the co-creative lead on Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead and worked on a host of Telltale's previous titles. He is a writer and game designer, and co-founder of Idle Thumbs. Born in Cork, Ireland, Sean studied film and writing at the University of Southern California and has worked for The Walt Disney Company.

Read three questions with Sean.



Jake Rodkin

Jake Rodkin was the co-creative lead on Telltale Games' The Walking Dead. He has somehow worked as a graphic designer, game designer, UI artist, UX designer, web developer, newspaper producer, and is a co-founder of Idle Thumbs.


Morgan Kennedy

Morgan Kennedy is the user research analyst for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag currently being developed at Ubisoft Montreal. Previously he worked as playtest coordinator on Assassin's Creed III (single-player) and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (multi-player). His academic background is in design and social marketing.




Soren Johnson

Soren Johnson is an independent game designer. Previously, he was a Design Director at Zynga, Senior Designer/Programmer for Spore at EA Maxis and Project Lead for Civilization IV at Firaxis. Soren wrote a design column for Game Developer Magazine and is a member of the GDC Advisory Board. He holds a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in computer science from Stanford University.His thoughts on game design can be found at


Cecilia Dolk & Martin Ericsson

Cecilia and Martin are longtime players and designers from the Nordic LARP scene. Their first collaboration was the Spiral, which incorporated a tv show with a online game and a simultaneously integrated LARP. More recently, they were part of the team that brought Battlestar Galactica to life as a fully immersive LARP on a destroyer in a harbor in Gothenburg, Sweden.


Davin Pavlas

Davin Pavlas is a Senior User Researcher at Riot Games. He has a Ph.D. in Applied Experimental / Human Factors Psychology, which is a really long way of saying that he likes to study how people interact with systems. At Riot, he manages the team that investigates players' behavior, engagement, and satisfaction in relation to characters, systems, game modes, and features. He's especially interested in fun, flow, connectedness, and creating safe spaces for play.


Quintin Smith

Quintin Smith is a UK-based design analyst and critic. Previously of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, he now runs Shut Up & Sit Down, a cultural home for the art and experience of analog gaming. His work has appeared in Eurogamer, EDGE, Wired and Gamasutra, though he's happiest holding a hand of cards, lying to his friends, or (ideally) both at once.