Dr. Mata Haggis-Burridge

Professor of Creative and Entertainment Games at NHTV

Dr. Mata Haggis-Burridge photo

Dr. Mata Haggis-Burridge (née Haggis) is an award-winning game designer and writer with experience of both AAA and indie development, including ‘Burnout Paradise’ and ‘Aliens Versus Predator’ (2010). He is the Professor of Creative and Entertainment Games at NHTV: Breda University of Applied Sciences, as well as the owner of the narrative and game design consultancy Copper Stone Sea. He has spoken regarding game design, diversity, and narrative design at numerous international events, including multiple GDC conferences and TEDxDelft. Mata has been developing games for over 15 years and recently released ‘Fragments of Him’, People's Choice winner at Develop: Brighton in 2016. He is working on a new unannounced commercial title and several international research projects.

Dr. Mata Haggis-Burridge is speaking at the following session/s

Unicorns and Dead Ducks: A Practical Workshop in Accelerating Game Design Concepting

Wednesday 10th July: 16.00 - 17.45 : Room 6

This workshop gives you hands-on experience of developing gameplay concepts with a practical tool that will challenge you to see your ideas in a new light. We will reveal unconscious biases, and help you to be both creative and pragmatic with your early designs.

Mata and Thomas, who ran 2018’s paper prototyping workshop, are back to help you explore ‘ideation systems’: what they are, why they feel good to use, and why they often don’t fulfil the needs of individuals or companies. At the end of the session you will have learnt and used a new method for stimulating your own creativity, and a way to sanity-check your ideas before you commit to an expensive path of exploration. The workshop will help anyone involved with game concepting and early prototype development – from large companies to indie teams.

At the end of the session you will have learnt and used a new method for stimulating your own creativity, and a way to sanity-check your ideas before you commit to an expensive path of development. You’ll be able to take this method back to your studio and use it with the rest of your team to create new concepts for your projects and enhance both morale and collaboration.

Additional speakers

LGBTQ + Roundtable

Tuesday 9th July: 17.00 - 17.45 : Room 6

A gentle discussion led by Ian Masters (Plant Pot) and Mata Haggis-Burridge (Breda University of Applied Sciences/Copper Stone Sea) about sexuality and gender issues in the content, creation, and culture of video games. This will be a chance to discuss in a welcoming group topics such as coming out and staying out (or not) in studios and at industry events, issues with online communication, our feelings about LGBTQ content in games, being LGBTQ in games education (for students and teachers), actions we could take to improve conditions for minority sexuality and identity groups, and more. Join us to share your stories of woes and triumphs in our amazing industry!

Additional speakers

Showing the Fun: Simple Checks for World Readability

Tuesday 9th July: 15.00 - 15.45 : Room 6


When a player asks "What am I supposed to do next?" they've often lost their sense of engagement. Flawed use of signposting means that players can struggle in the wrong direction or miss great opportunities to play. When we see this happening during testing, we need to fix the problem... But where do we start? 

This talk explains the factors that influence how players 'read' a game's world, and provides a simple checklist of elements of that can improve the readability of our games. It also features a lot of cartoons of hammers, for reasons that will become clear if you come along!

You'll leave with a greater understanding of the elements of building a readable world, and a checklist for improving your own games.

Additional speakers

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