In the "Hit List" from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, the video game industry's top talents describe their current gaming addictions, their most anticipated releases and more. This week: Jonathan Morin, creative director of Watch Dogs.
With over fifteen years in the industry and thirteen of them at Ubisoft Montreal, Jonathan has held various roles in Game Design, Level Design and Art on games such as Peter Jackson's King Kong and Far Cry 2. For the past couple years, Morin has worked as Creative Director on Watch Dogs. In university Morin studied Human Science, Computer Science and briefly considered a career in mathematics education but chose to apply these skills in an environment that would be a bit less predictable.
At the upcoming D.I.C.E. Europe conference, Morin will be speaking in a session titled, "Mind the Gap - Igniting People's Sense of Wonder." Morin tends to see games like musical instruments built for players to blow our minds with their creativity. It's an apt analogy but bringing everyone in a development team to think this way is challenging. After all, every brain is different. Working on a game as big as Watch Dogs made Morin realize that no matter how big the game is, or how many people are involved, or in how many countries, often the biggest borders he faced are hidden in an inevitable "gap" between two minds.
"Mind the Gap" is a session that explores the importance of listening to others and challenging your own creativity. In this session, Morin will look at how these perception gaps impacted every aspect of his reality: his interactions with executives, the team, marketing, press, and ultimately how players play. In the end, Morin feels the hardest borders to cross are the ones we create in our own minds.