“PRESS START” to Offer an Inside Look at Video Game Industry

Ryan Payton, Edmund McMillen, and Christian Lichtner to speak at ASPB-sponsored event on Jan. 23

the poster for the Press Start event

Ryan Payton, Christian Lichtner and Edmund McMillen will share their perspectives on the behind-the-scenes world of video game creation at UC Riverside on January 23.

RIVERSIDE, Calif.  — UC Riverside students will have the opportunity to get the inside story on what it takes to make video games as well as how they can build a career in the video game industry as the Associated Students Program Board (ASPB) hosts “PRESS START” on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 7 p.m. in HUB 302.

Scheduled speakers include Ryan Payton, designer of Halo 4 and founder of Camouflaj Studios, Christian Lichtner, art director of Blizzard’s Diablo III and a long time comic book artist, and Edmund McMillen, creator of the award-winning indie game Super Meat Boy who was featured in the 2012 documentary Indie Game: The Movie.

“’PRESS START’ is an inside look at the video game industry from three different perspectives,” said Edozie Onumonu, a third-year bioengineering major and director of films and lectures for ASPB. “They are going to talk about their personal experiences, the struggles they went through creating the games, how they found personal significance working on games, even personal things that have shown up in the games themselves.”

Onumonu said that in each case, the speakers took a childhood passion and turned it into a successful career.

“These are a group of people who were drawing and creating stories as kids,” he said. “They have gone on to develop these games that are played by multitudes of people. It is their way of connecting to a large audience and doing something really personal.”

Payton is a perfect example of this. After directing Halo 4, Payton left Microsoft to form his own company. It’s debut title, RÉPUBLIQUE, was the subject of a Kickstarter fundraising campaign and is scheduled for a summer 2013 release.

McMillen has a similar history. An acclaimed artist and award-winning Flash-based game designer, his independent production company released Super Meat Boy in 2010 for the Xbox 360. It has since sold more than one million copies. The development of the game was profiled in the documentary, Indie Game.

Lichtner (pronounced light-ner) was a well-known comic book artist and founder of Liquid Graphics who joined the Blizzard team in 2009 to help design the world of Diablo III.

The event is free and open to the general public. Parking for non-permit holders is $5.

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