Thursday, August 8 • 4:05pm - 4:30pm
Singular Vision: The Independent Game Developer as Auteur

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The auteur theory in filmmaking has existed for decades and describes the director of a film as an author who imprints a strong, uniquely identifiable mark on their work through a variety of means, including story structure, cinematography, music, and character archetypes. The auteur's creative vision is singular and stems from their own mind, as opposed to the homogenized, collective decisions of a group of executives, producers, marketeers, or middle managers. The auteur's creative "stamp"  is consistent, and can be seen and felt across their entire body of work, over time.

Does this notion of auteurism exist in the world of game development? If so, how, and why? As a developer of 17 years who has worked on a wide variety of games in many creative and leadership capacities, I will explore the notion of auteurism and the ways in which it applies to the world of independent game development.

Some of the questions I plan to address in my presentation include: Can auteurs exist in what is a typically collaborative production space? If so, who, and what is their role within their studio? What types of games do independent developers make, and why? What qualities make their games feel unique and identifiable? Do auteurist games succeed both critically and commercially? Why have auteurs in games not risen to prominence in similar ways as their filmmaking counterparts (Kubrick, Hitchcock, The Coens, Tarantino, etc)?

I hope to educate and inspire audience members who are engaged in scholarly critical game studies work, as well as attendees who are actively creating their own video games.

avatar for Jeff Spoonhower

Jeff Spoonhower

University of Notre Dame

Thursday August 8, 2019 4:05pm - 4:30pm
Industry 3rd Floor

Attendees (15)