The University of California Santa Cruz campus has hired award-winning game designer and producer Robin Hunicke as Associate Professor of Art & Game Design. Hunicke will join the faculty in January and will help lead the new interdisciplinary undergraduate program in Games and Playable Media at UC Santa Cruz.
Hunicke's background in the industry goes back to Electronic Arts in 2005, where she worked on The Sims 2, MySims, and Steven Spielberg's Boom Blox series for the Wii. In 2009, she joined independent game studio thatgamecompany as executive producer for the award-winning PlayStation Network title Journey. Hunicke is also the co-founder and CEO of Funomena, and has a background in fine art, computer science and applied game studies. She was named one of Forbes' "Top 12 Women in Gaming to Watch" in 2013.
"Robin Hunicke is fabulous," said Jennifer Parker, Chair of the UC Santa Cruz Art Department. "She is a huge supporter of independent game development and an advocate of women and minorities within the games industry."
Hunicke co-organizes the Experimental Gameplay Workshop at the Game Developers Conference, the largest annual gathering of professional video game developers. She has chaired the IndieCade Festival of Independent Games, and has published and lectured extensively on the "Mechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics" model of game design.
"I have admired Robin's work for many years, so having her join the faculty is a dream come true," said Jim Whitehead, UC Santa Cruz Professor of Computational Media. "Her blend of deep design and technical background is extremely rare, and I'm excited she will be bringing this knowledge to our students."
GamesIndustry.biz has reached out to Hunicke for further comment, and we'll update once we hear more.