Areas of Expertise (7)
Narrative and Dialogue in Video Games
Game Design & Development
History of Games
Maurice Suckling has worked in the games industry for over twenty years, with over forty published video game titles to his name. He’s worked as a producer, a designer, a voice director, a motion capture director, an animation director, but most often as a writer.
In addition to his work in games he has also worked in TV, and published a collection of short stories and a novel.
His research interests include storytelling in games, board and card games as narrative systems, history in games, and the history of games.
Maurice’s first game was "Driver", in 1999. Since then he’s worked on over 50 published video games, including "Fortnite", "Killing Floor 2", "Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel", "Mafia III", "Civilization VI", and the "Wii Fit" series.
Between 2013 and 2015 he was Narrative Director at 2K Australia. Outside of games he works in TV and fiction, co-writing "Alphablocks" for BBC TV, and publishing a collection of short stories, "Photocopies of Heaven".
The second edition of his co-authored "Video Game Writing: From Macro To Micro" was published by Mercury Learning in 2017.
His first board game, "Freeman's Farm: 1777", was published by Worthington Publishing in 2019.
Newcastle University, England: Ph.D, Creative Writing
Birmingham University, England: Masters, Global History
"... Here’s the thing," said Suckling. "Wargames, and games about history are my favorite kind of games to play. But then Co-op games are also my favorite kinds of board games in general. But how is it there are so few Co-op wargames? Or, more importantly, isn’t it time there were more? I want people to feel that sense of comradery, that sense of companionship a Co-op can give, as they attempt to take on a Goliath together and try to find some way to defeat him."
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.
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.