ARS Research Colloquia: Monica Evans, Associate Professor - Structuring Design Ecologies for Digital Games and Simulations

Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Venue: ATC 2.807

ARS Research Colloquia Series of the UT Dallas ATEC/EMAC Programs

Art Rendevous Science


Structuring Design Ecologies for Digital Games and Simulations

Monica Evans

Associate Professor

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at Noon

ATEC Conference Room, ATC 2.807


The computer game is fundamentally an interactive medium that nevertheless has shown great potential for meaningful, immersive narratives. For both immersion and agency, designers often want to give players as much control as possible over the game’s narrative direction and outcome, while still presenting a well-constructed, highly crafted story. Game systems design is primarily used to facilitate game mechanics, such as combat, crafting, movement mechanics, or inventory management. This talk proposes a new model for design ecology: a method that can be used to create environments in which well-crafted narrative will occur by necessity with a minimum of scripted or pre-planned events, allowing the player’s desires and demands to fully shape the experience. The method allows narrative systems to fully integrate with all other game systems, as well as present a consistent, internally coherent world that facilitates player agency throughout multiple permutations of possible outcomes.


Monica Evans is Associate Professor of Computer Game Design in the Arts and Technology (ATEC) program at UT Dallas, named to the Princeton Review Top Schools in Gaming three years running. She has designed and developed experimental and educational games with numerous university partners, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the University of Texas System, the United States Department of Defense (TRADOC and JFCOM), and multiple arts institutions in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. Dr. Evans coordinates the game development area of the Arts and Technology program, including courses in game development, design, and studies, as well as the Game Production Lab, which focuses on the creation of innovative student games. Dr. Evans’ latest work includes both large-scale projects in educational games and simulation; and independent projects such as “Fourplay”, an educational game about string quartets; and “Reading the Book is Cheating,” a series of short art games based on classic literature.

Upcoming Colloquium:

October 9:  Maximilian Schich, Associate Professor, Arts and Technology

October 16:  Rym Zalila-Wenkstern, Associate Professor of Computer Science

The ATEC/EMAC Colloquium Committee welcomes suggestions for speakers visiting the metroplex or from the metroplex. Please send your suggestions to one of the Colloquium Committee Members: Professors Roger Malina and Mihai Nadin; co-chairs: Paul Fishwick, Mona Kasra and Bonnie Pitman.

For more information contact:
Charlotte Mason
[email protected]

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