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Lorri Hopping
Game designer, narrative designer, interactive writer (@HoppingFun,, fiction and nonfiction. Well pub'd with editorial director and product development experience.
Game designer, narrative designer, interactive writer (@HoppingFun,, fiction and nonfiction. Well pub'd with editorial director and product development experience.


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MEMBERSHIP IS 25% off!!!! (Till March 26

If you make games of any kind, joining IGDA is a no-brainer that pays for itself with discounts on conf, Unity, tuition, books + career resources and mentor cafes + networking socials + community voice.

I joined the NYC chapter to help support programming and events in my (second) home town with a portion of my dues. It's a volunteer led organization.

Please spread the word? Alert game making friends to the time limited discount?

#gamedev #videogames

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March 8: NYC area game friends, IGDA NYC and NYU Game Center are co-hosting a free CAREER CLINIC and Q&A talk with industry vets for anyone trying to break into the game industry or find a full-time job. Local companies who are hiring will have tables and mentors will be on hand to look at your portfolio, code, resume. RSVP required.

#gamejobs #videogames #nyc

I was just asked to explain why THIS is one of my favorite quotes, from Antoine de St. Exupéry:

“If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

I’ve been freelancing for a couple of decades, full-time, on hundreds of creative projects with many dozens of teams. All stripes, scopes, levels. I’ve been a follower, a leader, and an adjunct—an outsider with a specific task but not part of the long-term team.

What I’ve learned is that in the best projects:

Everyone buys into a vision. If the vision seems just out of reach, all the better—more incentive and excitement to see it and make it happen. "Can we really do it???"

Everyone stays on board because people listen, value every voice, provide feedback, and don’t skimp on encouragement and support.

Even those who are “gathering wood” feel vested in something greater, and so go the extra mile. Happily. They also feel free to innovate, to suggest creative solutions, to do MORE than their appointed task.

Progress toward the vision is marked, milestones celebrated.

Setbacks are discussed and examined for learning opportunities: “There are no problems, only challenges.”

It’s a joyous, feel-good experience to collaborate with other human beings, to make something new and truly great. And that’s the incentive to do it again. The feeling is addictive.

It’s also very rare. There are a lot of obstacles. Positive leadership and a larger-than-life vision are crucial first steps.

On being BLACKLISTED: I was, too, for speaking out about an all-rights-grab contract that was unfair to every author who signed it. I refused. I crossed out the problematic clauses, one of which could legally lead to bankruptcy for me through no fault of my own... another, a non-compete clause that would, technically, curtail my freelance career and yet the company put out products that competed with my own.

This same company also issued a four-page, single-spaced list of taboos that I was to adhere to, in the books for kids that I was writing. Most of the items were nonsensical, and a complete cave-in to both the religious right and the politically correct left. No standing wardrobes. No mention of gods (plural). (I was writing a book about ancient Egypt!) No fathers interacting with their children, physically. So many more.)

The editors couldn't explain the items when I asked; they were under super-pressure to produce, produce, produce... and they didn't want any bumps or re-dos. Welcome to the book factory, one said. And I said: No thanks.

It's a sickening feeling, being ostracized, by a single human. By a giant company? Paralyzing. You realize what a PAWN you are and how powerful the big corporations are... and then even more powerful than that in the long run, word of mouth among a small circle of people in their employ, who aren't privy to the context and who don't know you, personally. They just repeat rumors. And obey orders. Because: fear for job.

I've been lucky. I had the resilience and track record to stay in the mix and to say no to really bad deals and to speak my mind. I shifted my career, numerous times, to pursue ever more lucrative or interesting gigs (rarely do those intersect). I survived.

But. Don't buy into that rumor mill. Dig deeper. Find the person, hear their story, make up your own mind.

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FREE monthly newsletter from IGDA NYC is chock full of news, jobs, events, classes, resources, opportunities, etc. centered on the game dev community in the New York area.

This month: It's ELECTION TIME, as six amazing candidates vie for three spots on the chapter board. + A holiday party and the popular monthly ice cream social

#videogames #nyc #newyork #gamedev

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Dec 15: The Bit Awards in NYC (Playcrafting, video games)

Warren Spector keynoting

Use IGDA NYC's discount code IGDABIT for $5 off the ticket prices.
The 2017 Bit Awards
The 2017 Bit Awards

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Navigating the Tech Revolution: Confessions of a Content Creation Beast

Nov 9-10, I've been invited by the University of Illinois' Playful by Design and School of Informatics groups to speak, mingle, learn, donate books + games + toys and share what I know from 35 years of creating stuff.

The talk is free, open to the public.

"Lorri Hopping will share her experiences and perspectives on the dramatic changes in educational technologies that have occurred since the digital revolution, and the roller coaster of boom and bust that transformed the publishing industry as a result. She will also address the challenges of the freelance game market today, and her strategies for surviving and thriving as a content creator."

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Anyone give this bot a try? It talks to telemarketers so that you don't have to (wasting their time and having a bit of fun with them). USA and UK only.

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FREE education resources, created by yours truly. Five interactive digital travel journals with games, audio, video, and a narrative approach to presenting culture and languages.

Learning #japanese or #indonesian #bahasaindonesia ? Take a peek and play the games.

Just like to travel? The journals are in English primarily with language translations.

Again: FREE.


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EDUCATION: Can we, first, establish and root our conversation in reliable data about what works, what doesn't? (As Diane Ravitch has been doing, methodically, since her 180-turnaround after the Bush administration.)

And then: Let's take that data and not categorize by "charter, public, parochial" and instead say.... we'll embrace what works best, and taxpayer funded, we'll make it available for all (because we all want a brighter, more competent future, right? That's the goal?).

YES, public schools can do project-based learning, or individualized instruction, or "magnet" educations, and shine spectacularly. I've seen it!

Then, hey, by the way, let's not tie public school funding to local property tax? I'm okay with setting a per-pupil rate... the property tax experiment has failed and back-fired. It's enriched real estate companies and greedy developers who tout "school district" as their number one selling point and then served to create de facto gated communities for education.

The answer is NOT for-profit education; that's a non-starter with me as a game designer, because the core motivation (let's make money!) is at direct odds with the intrinsic goal ("better educated kids"!). Especially when that goal isn't monitored, tested, verified, or in any way proven (the case in my home state and DeVos's, Michigan). It's been an open license for profiteers to suck up money and fake it. (I don't trust them. Do you?)

Let's fix democratic access to education for all on a federal and then state-by-state level by addressing the underlying issues: poverty, corruption, greed, apathy, incompetence. Let's align the core goal (better educated kids) with the intrinsic motivation (educate kids better). The challenge then becomes to define the "win" condition (what do we mean by "better educated kid") as a positive: What do we want schools to do for our kids and our future? Can we have THAT discussion on a civil level?

PS My home state is MICHIGAN.

#education #charterschools #devos
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