The Secret North Stars of Game Dev

What goes into your personal style of game development? Sometimes themes and methods of creating games are overt, worn on our sleeves, publicly announced. In other cases, there are less obvious motifs: recurring patterns, interests, and ideas that surface from unconscious artistry into experiences of play. Join us as Professor Shawn Pierre discusses examples and emerging taxonomies of the “secret north stars” of game development, that we often don’t even notice pulling us along as guiding lights until after we’re done.

About Shawn Pierre

Based in Philadelphia, Shawn began working with us as an adjunct faculty member during the challenging semesters of remote education in 2020, teaching courses on programming for games. His work as an independent game developer has explored numerous combinations of media, creating new forms of play through physical interaction, installations, text-messaging, voice control, and more. Shawn’s games include the game festival hit Henka Twist Caper, SMS social deduction in Urban Werewolf, the dancing animal game Show Off, the interactive Choices podcast, the mobile word game letteRing, and many more.

Alongside his exploration into combinatorial forms of play, Shawn has been a consistent and vital pillar of game-making communities at the local and national levels. For the past five years he’s been the Project Director of Philly Game Mechanics (, supporting game development and indie game enthusiasts in the Philadelphia area. Shawn has also lent his skills to support and help run events and infrastructure for Indiecade, one of our longest-running national festivals of independent games, and to teaching game development courses for students in high schools and summer programs.

About the Lecture Series

For the Spring, NYU Game Center Lecture Series is happening in-person for current NYU students and simultaneously streaming live for the general public! 

  • If you are a current NYU student, faculty, adjunct, or staff: Attend the talk in-person! The talk will be happening at 370 Jay Street, 2nd Floor Lecture Hall, and will have a limited in-person audience. You must RSVP to attend, and you can RSVP here:
  • If you are not currently attending or working at NYU: The talk will be streaming live to our twitch! Join us in the chat here:

The NYU Game Center would like to thank our event sponsors: Fresh Planet, Take-Two Interactive, Dots, and Empire State Development. Their generous support makes our events possible.

Watch the talk: