Maurice Suckling is an Assistant Professor with a dual appointment in the Games Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) program and the Communication and Media department. Maurice joined RPI's faculty in 2016.
Maurice has worked in the video games industry for over twenty years, and on over fifty published video game titles. He has worked with publishers such as Atari, SONY, Ubisoft, SEGA, Microsoft, Epic, Disney, 2K, Nintendo, Deep Silver, and the BBC. He has worked in most countries in Europe, China, Japan, Australia, Canada, and the USA. He has worked as a producer, designer, narrative designer, voice director, motion capture director, animation director, narrative director, creative director, consultant, but most often as a writer.
Maurice's video game game credits include Driver, BioShock 2, Killing Floor 2, Civilization VI, Borderlands: The Presequel, Lost Words: Beyond the Page, and Fortnite.
Maurice is also a professional board game designer, specializing in historical topics.
In addition to games, Maurice has also worked in TV, theatre, film, and fiction.
- Ph.D Creative Writing, Newcastle University, UK.
- M.A. Global History, University of Birmingham, UK.
- B.A. (Hons) Religion with Literature, University of Bristol, UK.
My current primary research focus is in history-themed analogue games - the history of the development of these games, investigating the design elements that purport to give us analytical models of aspects of history, and the rapidly evolving shape of the related commercial board games industry. Of especial interest to me is how games convey arguments about history and the capability of the medium to project historical narratives and afford experiential meaning to players.
I have a chapter in an upcoming collection about postcolonialist design elements in board games, and an up-coming conference paper on postcolonialism in progress.
I am currently working on a monograph for Routledge Press, which is on historical board wargames - the history, design, and development of this game genre from the 1950s to the present.
I am also a practicing designer in this space which helps inform my research perspectives.
My other major research area is storytelling in games, which includes analogue games and video games, with a special interest in the unique affordances of storytelling within these contexts - the ways story is a fundamentally and profoundly different in some regards in an interactive medium. My primary interest here is in innovation.
- Writing for Games I (GSAS 4240)
- Writing for Games II (GSAS 4250)
- Research Topics in Critical Game Design: Historical Simulations (GSAS 4961/6961)
- Games for Change Festival, Winner Most Innovative and Best Gameplay Awards, for Lost Words: Beyond the Page, 2021.
- Charles S. Roberts Award for Excellence in Conflict Simulation, Winner Best American Civil War Wargame, for Chancellorsville: 1863. 2021
- Excellence in Curriculum Development. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, RPI. 2020
- Charles S. Roberts Award for Excellence in Conflict Simulation, Nomination Best Ancients to Pre-Napoleonic Era Board Wargame for Freeman’s Farm: 1777. 2020
- Faculty Achievement Award, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 2019
- ProtoStar Game Pitch Competition, Winner. 2019
- Faculty Achievement Award, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 2018
- REVEAL Game Pitch Competition, Winner. 2018
- Faculty Achievement Award, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 2017
- Kotaku Australian Game of the Year, Readers’ Choice. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. 2014
- BAFTA video game nomination (with Berbank Green).Teach Your Monster to Read. 2013
- Northern Promise Award, New Writing North. 2005
- BAFTA for Moving Images category. Driver. 1999
- 1565 Siege of Malta. Worthington Publishing. (Game designer.) 2022
- Hidden Strike: American Revolution. Worthington Publishing. (Game designer.) 2021
- Chancellorsville: 1863. Worthington Publishing. (Game designer.) 2020
- Freeman’s Farm: 1777. Worthington Publishing. (Game designer.) 2019
Video Games - select listing
- Lost Words: Beyond The Page (Narrative Consultant, Narrative Designer, Additional Writer) 2020
- Fortnite, Epic Games. (Narrative Consultant) 2019
- Metro Exodus. Deep Silver. (Narrative Consultant) 2019
- Killing Floor 2, Back and Kickin’ Brass, DLC. Tripwire Interactive. (Writer) 2019
- Killing Floor 2, Twisted Christmas DLC. Tripwire Interactive. (Writer) 2018
- Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier, The Imaginati Studios. (Lead Narrative Designer) 2017
- Killing Floor 2, Tripwire Interactive. (Writer) 2017
- Civilization VI, 2K Games. (Writer) 2016
- Killing Floor 2, Tripwire Interactive. (Writer) 2016
- Claptastic Voyage, DLC, 2K Games. (Narrative Director, Voice Director) 2015
- Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, 2K Games. (Narrative Director, Voice Director) 2014
- Battleplan: American Civil War, The Mustard Corporation. (Creative Director) 2014
- Boiling Point, Atari. (Writer for opening sequence) 2014
- The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, 2K Games. (Writer) 2013
- The Thirty Nine Steps, The Story Mechanics. (Consultant) 2013
- Wii Fit U, Nintendo. (Producer, EFIGS recordings) 2013
- Teach Your Monster To Read, Usborne Publishing. (Writer) 2013
- Brain or Body, Ubisoft. (Writer, consultant) 2011
- Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, SEGA. (Writer, voice director) 2011
- James Noir's Hollywood Crimes, Ubisoft. (Writer) 2011
- BioShock 2, 2K Games. (Producer, UK voice sessions) 2010
- Alphablocks, webispodes, BBC. (Writer) 2010
- Birthday Party Bash, 2K Games. (Producer, UK voice sessions) 2009
- Planet 51, SEGA. (Writer) 2009
- Wii Fit Plus, Nintendo. (Producer, EFIGS recordings) 2009
- Nintendo Presents Crossword Collection, Nintendo. (Producer, writer) 2009
- Unsolved Crimes, Empire Interactive. (Writer, consultant) 2008
- Pipemania, Empire Interactive. (Writer) 2008
- Don King Presents Prizefighter, 2K Sports. (Lead writer) 2008
- Wii-Fit, Nintendo. (Producer, EFIGS recordings) 2008
- Virtua Tennis 3, Sega. (Writer) 2007
- Driver '76, Atari. (Lead writer) 2007
- Pokemon Battle Revolution, Nintendo. (Producer, FIGS recordings) 2007
- Buzz: The BIG Quiz, SONY. (Writer) 2006
- Driver: Parallel Lines, Atari. (Lead writer, voice director) 2006
- Driver 3, Atari. (Lead writer, voice director, animation co-director) 2004
- Endgame, Empire Interactive. (Writer) 2002
- Stuntman, Atari. (Lead writer, voice director, animation co-director) 2002
- Driver 2, Infogrames. (Lead writer, voice director) 2000
- Driver, GT Interactive. (Lead writer, voice director) 1999
Books - select listing
- • Video Game Writing: from macro to micro, (textbook and reader for students) Mercury Learning (2nd edition) co-written with Marek Walton. 2017
- • Video Game Writing: from macro to micro, (textbook and reader for students) Mercury Learning (1st edition) co-written with Marek Walton. 2012
- • Photocopies of Heaven, Elastic Press. 2006
Book Chapters and Forewords
- • Book: Storytelling for New Technologies and Platforms: a writer’s guide to theme parks, virtual reality, board games, virtual assistants, and more. Ed. Ross Berger. Studies in the Long Nineteenth-century. New York: CRC Press Press. Chapter: ‘Storytelling and Board Games. 2022
- • Book: Playing Games in Nineteenth-century Britain and America. Eds. Ann R Hawkins, Erin Bistline, and Maura Ives. Studies in the Long Nineteenth-century. Ed. Pamela K. Gilbert. New York: State University of New York Press. Chapter: ‘What Did They Play and What Does It Say? Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Nineteenth Century Board Games in Britain. 2021
- • Book: Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing, (2nd edition) A.K.Peters, Chapter: ‘If it Works, Break It: Game Narrative Tropes and Innovation’. 2020
- •Book: Surviving Game School: and the game industry after that, Michael Lynch and Adrian Earle, CRC Press. Foreword. 2018
- • Book: Elasticity: The Best of Elastic Press, Ed. Andrew Hook, NewCon Press. Chapter: ‘Televisionism’. 2017
- • Book: Writing for Video Game Genres: From FPS to RPG, A.K.Peters. Chapters: ‘Writing for Shooting Games’, ‘Writing for Driving Games’. 2009
- • Book: Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing, A.K.Peters. Chapter: ‘Writing in a Team’, co-written with Sande Chen and Anne Toole. 2008
- Board Game Studies Journal: Issue 14, December 2020: ‘Simulating Saratoga: How Saratoga-Themed Board Games Function as Experiential Historiography. 2020
- Ludology.co.uk, November 2020: ‘The Re-popularization of Commercial Wargames.’ https://www.ludogogy.co.uk/issue/november-2020/ 2020
- Journal of Advances in Humanities, March 2019: ‘To what extent were progressive politics before World War Two a fundamentally imperial project? The case of international humanitarian relief in Russia, 1921-1923.’ https://cirworld.com/index.php/jah/article/view/8105 2019
- The CEA Critic (Vol 79, Number 1 March 2017): ‘Board with Meaning: reflections on the intersection between game design and historiography in the board games Twilight Struggle, The Lost Cause, and Quartermaster General: 1914.’ https://muse.jhu.edu/article/652549/pdf 2017
- Alphablocks. (Co-writer on series 1.) BBC. 2010
- Comic Relief, BBC. 2005
The following is a selection of recent publications in Scopus. Maurice Suckling has 2 indexed publications in the subjects of Computer Science, Social Sciences, and Mathematics.
In the Media
- May 19, 2022, Shelf Stories: https://youtu.be/FamaH-Q0z8g
- Oct 7, 2021, WMHT AHA! A House for Arts segment begins at 8:03: https://www.wmht.org/aha/ https://fb.watch/8zVO62DzDA/
- May 8, 2021, HomoLudens: 1565: Siege of Malta - Interview with Designer Maurice Suckling - YouTube
- Apr 29, 2021, The Player’s Aid: https://theplayersaid.com/2021/04/29/interview-with-maurice-suckling-designer-of-1565-siege-of-malta-from-worthington-publishing-currently-on-kickstarter/
- Apr 19, 2021, Albany Business Review: https://www.bizjournals.com/albany/news/2021/04/19/troy-video-game-startup-titles-in-progress.html
- Nov 29, 2020, Inside Higher Ed: https://www.insidehighered.com/audio/2020/11/29/board-games
- Nov 26, 2020, Academic Minute: https://academicminute.org/2020/11/maurice-suckling-rensselaer-polytechnic-institute-board-games/
- Nov 11, 2020, RPI podcast: https://www.stitcher.com/show/why-not-change-the-world-the-rpi-podcast/episode/s3-e6-conflicts-reconsidered-79316844
- Sep 21, 2020: https://theplayersaid.com/2020/09/21/interview-with-maurice-suckling-and-dorian-richard-designers-of-hidden-strike-american-revolution-from-worthington-publishing-coming-to-kickstarter-august-29th/