Maurice Suckling

Assistant Professor, Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences

  • Troy NY UNITED STATES
  • Sage 3204

Writer and historian specializing in narrative for video games and board game design.

Contact

Areas of Expertise

Game Design
Narrative and Dialogue in Video Games
Board Games
Game Design & Development
Videogame Design
History of Games
Storytelling

Biography

Maurice Suckling has worked in the games industry for over 20 years, with over 50 published video game titles to his name. He’s worked as a producer, designer, voice director, motion capture director, animation director, and, most often, as a writer. In addition to Suckling’s work in games, he has also worked in TV and movies, and has published a collection of short stories and a novel. His research interests include storytelling in games, board and card games as narrative systems, and historical simulations.

Suckling’s first game was "Driver" in 1999. Since then, he’s worked on “Fortnite,” “Killing Floor 2,” “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel,” “Mafia III,” “Civilization VI,” and the “Wii Fit” series. Between 2013 and 2015, he served as narrative director for 2K Australia. The second edition of his co-authored "Video Game Writing: From Macro To Micro" was published by Mercury Learning in 2017. Suckling’s first board game, “Freeman's Farm: 1777,” was published by Worthington Publishing in 2019. Since then, he has published three more board games, all through Worthington. Suckling is currently working on several history-themed board games for several different publishers.

Media

Education

Newcastle University, England

Ph.D

Creative Writing

Birmingham University, England

Masters

Global History

Media Appearances

Rebellion: Britannia, Leaders

Inside GMT Games  online

2023-01-25

Each faction always has one of two possible leaders that are always available in a set (historical) sequence. But when a faction switches between leaders is determined by the Events deck, and since not all cards from that deck are present in the same game it’s possible these events aren’t triggered and a faction never switches their leader.

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Rebellion: Britannia, The Events Deck, Part #2

Inside GMT Games  online

2023-01-18

Continuing on from the previous blog post, The Events Deck, Part #1, this is Part #2.

Here are some further examples of Event cards.

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Rebellion: Britannia, The Events Deck, Part #1

Inside GMT Games  online

2023-01-11

There are 12 rounds in each game of Rebellion: Britannia – unless an automatic loss condition for Rome is triggered (she has 2+ Forts and 6+ Settlements burnt at the same time, or has all 4 Legions destroyed) in which case the game ends immediately.

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Articles

Simulating Saratoga: How Saratoga-Themed Board Games Function as Experiential Historiography

Board Game Studies Journal

Maurice Suckling

2020-12-17

Games deeply informed by history are not merely games. They may not be detailed simulations, but, nevertheless, they are conscious or otherwise expressions of historiographical viewpoints. This paper examines the historiographical perspectives of nine board games, published between 1974 and 2019, all on one or more aspect of the Saratoga Campaign (1777)

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To What Extent Were Progressive Politics Before World War Two a Fundamentally Imperial Project? The Case of International Humanitarian Relief in Russia, 1921-1923

Journal of Advances in Humanities

Maurice Suckling

2019-02-02

There is perhaps a pervasive view that empires are at odds with progressive politics, which are, in their own turn, without covert agendas. The case study of the devastating Russian famine of 1921-23 is an opportunity to examine these views in more detail, and to consider the ways in which imperial agendas, and notions of the projection of soft power, were intertwined with the humanitarian agendas of NGOs.

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Board with Meaning: Reflections on Game Design and Historiography

CEA Critic

Maurice Suckling

2017-03-01

The proposition here is that wargame design is not merely an expression of an attempt at thematically appealing entertainment that may introduce the subject matter, or further familiarize its audience with it, within a commercial framework. Wargame design is also an expression of how the world works—or how the world worked (or is felt to have worked). Given the seriousness with which games have increasingly been considered in recent years (with, for example, the advent of “serious games” and the increase in the study of game design and theory within academic frameworks), it seems fitting that we might also consider the potential for games to impart meaningful lessons to players. In those systems, players, by virtue of their participation within a game system, are effectively engaging in a methodological enquiry, whether they realize it or not.

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