Bernd pursued his degree in Interactive Art and Media Theory to become an artist, but instead has been making AAA computer games for the last twenty years. He has creatively led and directed the creation of original IPs like Crytek’s Crysis, Guerrilla Games’ Horizon: Zero Dawn, and the development of franchise sequels like DICE’s Battlefield and Star Wars: Battlefront.
Education and Professional Experience
Bernd’s games altogether received over 200 game of the year awards, a BAFTA and many other awards. He’s a frequent speaker about creative processes and the theory of making games at major game industry events like the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, or the D.I.C.E summit held by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Science. He teaches Game Design as a tenured Professor in the Bachelor and Master programme at the Game Lab of the Technical University Cologne.
In his spare time he draws and publishes the adventures of Duchesse Ariadne, intrepid penguin adventuress of the 19th Century. He joined multinational technology company Improbable because it’s the place to be for challenging the future of games and how they are made successfully.
I believe one of the best ways to measure creative deployment and its quality is to look at results, and compare them to the initial ambition, and to repeat this constantly. We develop games fast and plenty from inception to ship, analyze them together, and judge the quality of the result and the original idea. For this, I will use my own expertise and judgement, but in addition I will teach them to use tools that give additional data to: Qualitative and quantitative analysis, player feedback, playtests, open beta, early access, reviews, ratings, and social media. Collectively, these serve as a measurement of how well learnings have been internalized and adapted to use, and as an ultimate arbitrator for quality.
Games are on the cusp of being about topics that go beyond pure entertainment, action, and suspense. There are working examples for games about love, loss, race and gender. On one end of the spectrum, realizations tend to be experimental and niche, to the point where the execution quality hinders conveying message because of missing means to present them properly. At the other end, mainstream games have started using topics that have been “approved” by other media to be semi-acceptable, or mimic the way these topics are portrayed to minimize controversy, and thereby commercial risk. I want to explore this, and find out which topics can be told, how they are best told, and what new forms of games can be developed to open up even more topics.
2007 Crysis, Crytek GmbH / Electronic Arts
2008 Crysis Warhead, Crytek GmbH / Electronic Arts
2011 Crysis 2, Crytek GmbH / Electronic Arts
2013 Crysis 3, Crytek GmbH / Electronic Arts
2017 Horizon: Zero Dawn, Guerrilla Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment
2017 Star Wars Battlefront 2, EA DICE / Electronic Arts
2018 Battlefield V, EA DICE, Electronic Arts