Art of Game Design MFA

A conversation on VR/UX »

mauricio

I. Work Questions

1. For whom do you work? Unity Technologies

2. What is your position there? Strategic Partner Marketing Manager

3. What are your responsibilities at Unity? Lead marketing initiatives with our
platform partners such as Google, Facebook and NVIDIA.

4. What are some of the daily challenges with which you must contend?
Coordinating meetings.

5.On which projects are you currently working? I just finished a go-to- market
strategy for the launch of one of our partner’s new developer tools. After we agreed
on the marketing strategies and the tactics, I began coordinating cross-functional
efforts to make sure all channel plans and touchpoints will be ready to go live at
launch. To give you an idea, tactics may include a blog post, sample developer
frameworks, binaries, landing pages, etc.
II. Focused Questions

1. How often does your profession require you to work with virtual
reality/augmented reality (VR/AR)? Daily. All of my partners are in the immersive
computing space. My job is to act as a sort of product marketing lead for their
developer products, and as such, I’m exposed to XR every day.

2. Concerning VR and AR, in which direction do you expect the game industry to head?
More than AR or VR, I think game creators should start thinking about the future of storytelling.
Together with AR and VR—or, to abbreviate the terms for extended reality (XR), meaning all
variations of reality in the virtual continuum: mixed reality (MR) AR and VR—comes the power
of realtime storytelling. This will be a critical part of all things XR. "Game developers are about
to unleash a new category of storytelling." ; one in which users will have the capacity to craft
their own stories as they go. One in which context also will play a role. When thinking about
realtime storytelling, I often think of experiential marketing. Experiential marketers are not
crafting stories, they are crafting experiences.

3. What is the game industry’s role in making XR an essential part of the
entertainment industry?  I think there are 4 success factors we need to accomplish:
1) Reduce friction to create cross-platform experiences: To ensure XR
doesn’t become another silo, it’s essential that it be democratized from the
outset regardless of hardware or operating system specific
implementations. Developers need to be able to create compelling cross-
platform XR applications.
2) Social: XR makes for a great individual experience, but shared social
experiences in XR are the most compelling of all.
3) Content: XR content (or content for any other media for that matter)
always will be the biggest driver for adoption.

4) Wearable Hardware (for AR in particular): I’m unsure if there will be
huge leaps with wearable AR solutions; however, the industry must make
progress in this arena in order to provide consumers a glimpse of the
future of contextual computing.

4. Into which other societal sectors do you think XR will integrate? Everywhere. I
think contextual computing will be our new computing interface. Sometime in the
future we will see 3D graphics everywhere we go. It will be as essential as the mobile
phone is today with one main difference: It will not be in our pocket; it will be in our
face.

5. Which other industries are likely to utilize XR? At some point, XR will not be
considered as an industry-specific application, it will be considered a new medium
just like the smartphone. Today, we don’t see the smartphone as something for any
particular industry. It will take some time for XR to get there; so, in the meantime, I
think we will continue to see more and more XR adoption for training purposes. For
example, VR is particularly useful in training employees within industries reporting
high attrition due to demanding repetitive tasks. Think fast food franchises where
employees need to be trained over and over on the same processes. Also, in industries
where the cost of training is extremely high. Think armed forces, oil and gas,
machinery operations, etc.

6. How do you expect more traditional games to adopt these new inputs? In the
case of AR, I think we will see more and more mobile games that use AR as a
component of the game more than the game itself. In other words, I think we will see
more mobile game developers building AR modules or levels in their games more
than simply creating a complete AR game. For VR, we already are seeing some
incredible games out there.

8. Which games do you feel typify successes that other developers should
emulate? There are some good examples there but I don’t think the market is mature
enough to emulate anything in particular. That being said, for VR, Eagle Flight to me
is a good example of an experience that made the most of the game mechanics
allowed by the medium. For AR, I think most successful examples are provided in
AR toys. Merge VR, for instance, created the Merge Cube, an AR platform that uses
a physical cube as its canvas.

9. What is your impression of LCAD’s Art of Game Design MFA and its success
in preparing students to be successful Game Designers?  LCAD is one of the few
programs with the capacity to adapt its curriculum to meet future trends and
technologies. Its agility to morph and to make the most of new mediums such as AR
and VR sets it apart from other MFA programs out there. Its unique structure also
prepares game designers with a holistic view of the industry and their roles within it.

Letter from the Chair 3_SA4