Richard Lemarchand is a game designer, a writer, a public speaker, a consultant and an educator. He is an Associate Professor in the Interactive Media & Games Division of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, where he teaches game design to graduates and undergraduates and has begun work on the development of a series of experimental research games. He is delighted to be among the talented and dynamic faculty, staff and students of USC Games, which has repeatedly been voted as best game design university program in North America by the Princeton Review. He is the author of A Playful Production Process, for Game Designers (and Everyone), published by the MIT Press in October 2021. The book is about bringing together game design and game project management, and is intended for both professionals and students.
Between 2004 and 2012, Richard was a Lead Game Designer at Sony-owned game development studio Naughty Dog in Santa Monica, where he was Lead and Co-Lead Game Designer of the critically acclaimed and award-winning Uncharted series for the Sony PlayStation 3.
He was the Co-Lead Designer of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, released in 2011, and of the runaway hit Uncharted 2: Among Thieves in 2009. Uncharted 2 was an unprecedented success for Naughty Dog, winning ten AIAS Interactive Achievement Awards, five Game Developers Choice Awards, four BAFTAs and over 200 Game of the Year awards.
Richard was the Lead Game Designer of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune in 2007, having been involved in the creation of the series from early in its development. He was also the Lead Game Designer of Jak X: Combat Racing in 2005, and joined Naughty Dog to help finish the development of Jak 3 in 2004.
Before Naughty Dog, Richard worked at Crystal Dynamics in Northern California for nearly a decade, where he helped to create the successful game series Gex, Pandemonium and Soul Reaver. It was at Crystal Dynamics that Richard began a fifteen-year creative collaboration with Naughty Dog Creative Director Amy Hennig.
Since 2008, Richard has been a sought-after speaker on the subjects of game design and production. He is particularly interested in design practice, culture and philosophy, and has spoken at GDC, DICE, Develop, Art History of Games, Games for Change and GLS, among others.
From 2009 to 2019 he organized the popular GDC Microtalks, a conference session where speakers from many different walks of game life give short, inspirational talks about design. You can find an overview of his public speaking on the Talks & Articles tab, above.
A passionate advocate for independent and experimental games, Richard has been involved with the independent games festival IndieCade since 2009. He was the co-chair of the IndieCade Conference in 2010, and is pleased to be co-chairing IndieCade again in 2012. He was also a faculty member of the GDC Experimental Gameplay Sessions, which showcases leading examples of innovation in game design.
Richard now teaches in the USC Games program at the University of Southern California. He brings twenty years of hands-on digital game development experience to bear on his teaching work, focusing both on the tools and techniques of game development, and on game design as a cultural practice related to other forms of design and art.
He is very excited to have begun work on a planned series of experimental research games, as part of his work in the School of Cinematic Arts’ Game Innovation Lab. His virtual reality art game The Meadow, created in collaboration with Martzi Campos and a team of students from USC Games, was nominated as a finalist in the 2015 IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games. His game, Phenomenology, another virtual reality art game, was selected for exhibition at IndieCade 2018.
Richard grew up in the rural town of Newent in the United Kingdom, where he attended Newent Community School. He has a degree in Physics and Philosophy from Balliol College, Oxford University.