professionalphotoHello there! My name is Michael Burdick, and I’m an Arts and Technology/Computer Science double major at The University of Texas at Dallas. I’ve been a big fan of gaming ever since I bought a Game Boy Pocket with The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening at a garage sale, and ever since I’ve wanted to develop games. I love designing game systems, building unique and interesting worlds, and telling stories through the game mechanics themselves. This led me to discovering my love of programming, which has led to increased study in algorithm design and artificial intelligence.

To me, games are the most interesting ways to explore a world. It’s one thing to read the vivid history of Middle Earth in The Silmarillion, or to follow the Millennium Falcon around in Star Wars, but these are akin to watching the Travel Channel: they’re a greatest-hits list of sights and sounds, but lack the authenticity of stumbling upon truly exciting things for yourself. Playing a game, as cliché as it is, is like taking a vacation to a faraway land: you’re free to explore and to be surprised, to draw your own conclusions about a culture and a time, and to experience the way this world really works and moves in the common mundane tasks that allow any culture to survive. As a game designer, I want to build these worlds for others to explore.

My top three favorite video games (no order) are Dark Souls, Fallout: New Vegas, and Dishonored (although I only have tattoos of two of those games!). My top three favorite tabletop games (no order) are ArchipelagoSamurai Spirit, and Coup.