Episode 3 — Brenda Romero, Game Director, CEO
Game development has obviously evolved over the past 30 years with the advancement of tech and an abundance of innovative tools and platforms. Despite these clear changes – the core fundamentals of play as a human need/pastime have remained largely constant. As a highly successful and respected leader in game development, Brenda Romero offers a unique perspective on how game development has evolved, but also how many core pillars have stayed the same. How do you see game design evolving going forward? Will the way people interact with their games drastically change, and do you always see games existing in the same way we play now?
Episode 2 — Lazlow, Writer/Director
There’s a lot that goes into developing narrative in AAA games, from creating characters, personifying them, and cohesively tying them all together. Few understand this process better than Lazlow Jones, the former Rockstar Games director, producer and writer known for his extensive work on the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Lazlow joins the podcast to discuss his creative process, the impact of new gaming trends, and the future of storytelling in the medium. What’s the most important component of dialogue in games? How has the writer been affected by evolution in game design, and where is narrative headed?
Lazlow worked for nearly 20 years at Rockstar Games as a Director, Producer and Writer, most notably on the Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption franchises. He served as co-chair of the Rockstar Games Production department and was responsible for creative writing, in-game audio and video content. Prior to his long tenure at Rockstar he developed, produced and hosted several nationally syndicated radio shows including The Lazlow Show (K-Rock New York; Sirius Satellite Radio) and Lazlow’s Technofile, heard on 150 stations worldwide. Today he is working on several projects, including development of animated and live action TV shows, consulting on narrative content for video game companies, and lots of surfing.
Episode 1 — Neill Blomkamp, Director/Writer
Mastering an artistic vision across diverse audiences is a tough balance, and Neill Blomkamp has successfully navigated this minefield throughout cinema. His storytelling expertise is apparent in movies like District 9, Elysium and Chappie, but Blomkamp has also made many short films, including a trilogy based in the Halo universe in 2007. So our question to Neill is, given his storytelling expertise, has he ever felt the pull to make a video game? And having used game engines a lot for some of his short films, where does he think ‘convergence’ is going? Will we see Hollywood tentpoles made with Unreal/Unity any time soon?
About Neill Blomkamp:
Neill Blomkamp is a film director, producer, screenwriter and animator. He’s best known as the co-writer and director of District 9, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. He’s directed two feature films since (Elysium and Chappie), along with a plethora of short films and commercials. He is from South Africa but is currently based in Vancouver, and directed a trilogy of live-action short films set in the Halo universe in 2007.