Concordia University

https://www.concordia.ca/content/concordia/en/finearts/design/faculty.html

Jonathan Lessard, PhD

Assistant Professor, Design and Computation Arts
Undergraduate Program Director (Computation Arts)
Primary Investigator (LabLabLab)

Biography    Publications    Games   


Office: S-EV 6781 
Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex,
1515 St. Catherine W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 4717
Email: jonathan.lessard@concordia.ca
Website(s): Portfolio
LabLabLab
Absurdus

Jonathan is designer, historian and theoretician of games. Indie developer as Absurdus since 2000, he completed a PhD on adventure games in 2013. He is currently exploring two main research avenues: the design of playful natural language conversations and identifying patterns in the formal evolution of games.

His credo: "... but is it fun?"

Education

  • PhD Cinema Studies (Université de Montréal)
  • MA History (Université de Montréal)
  • BA Arts and Humanities (Université de Montréal)

Research interests

Game design; game history; interactive storytelling; natural language interaction; adventure games.

Areas of expertise

Game design, history, and theory; 3D modelling and rendering; Interactive storytelling; Natural language interaction


Publications

Recent publications

Lessard, Jonathan; Arsenault, Dominic. “The Character as Subjective Interface.” In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storyteling, Los Angeles: CA, 2016.
https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-48279-8_28

Lessard, Jonathan. « Design Rationale for Natural-Language Based Game Conversations ». In Demo Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games. Pacific Grove: CA, 2015.
http://www.fdg2015.org/papers/fdg2015_extended_abstract_12.pdf

Lessard, Jonathan. « Technologie et design de jeu ». Sciences du jeu, no 4 (2015). http://sdj.revues.org/521

Lessard, Jonathan. “Early Computer Game Genre Preferences (1980-1984).”In Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference, Vol. 12.Lüneburg, Germany, 2015.
http://www.digra.org/digital-library/publications/early-computer-game-genre-preferences-1980-1984/

Lessard, Jonathan. « Game Genres and High-Level Design Pattern Formations ». In Proceedings of Workshops Colocated with the 9th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games. Florida: ACM Digital Library, 2014. http://fdg2014.org/workshops/dpg2014_paper_02.pdf.

Lessard, Jonathan. « Livre, film ou monde interactif ? Les métaphores de la construction formelle du jeu d’aventure ». Mémoires du livre 5, no 2 (2014). http://www.erudit.org/revue/memoires/2014/v5/n2/1024781ar.html.

Lessard, Jonathan. « The Casual Revolution of... 1987: Making Adventure Games Accessible to the Masses ». In History of Games International Conference 2013 Proceedings. Montréal: Kinephanos, 2013. http://www.kinephanos.ca/2014/adventure-games/

Lessard, Jonathan. « Adventure Before Adventure Games A New Look at Crowther and Woods’s Seminal Program ». Games and Culture 8, no 3 (2013): 119‑135. http://gac.sagepub.com/content/8/3/119.

 


Games

SimProphet (2015)

http://www.lablablab.net/en/games/sim-prophet/

SimProphet is LabLabLab’s second prototype focusing on harnessing player creativity.The player is challenged to assume the role of a prophet—someone who has just heard from some divinity and strives to spread the good word.

A Tough Sell (2014)

http://www.lablablab.net/en/games/a-tough-sell/

A Tough Sell is LabLabLab’s first natural language conversational game prototype. You play the role of Snow White’s evil stepmother. Disguised as an old woman, you must attempt to convince her to eat a poisonous apple. This being your third assassination attempt, she might be a bit suspicious by now.

SimHamlet (2016)

http://www.lablablab.net/LabLabLabV1/

SimHamlet explores the potential gameplay of retrieving information from a reluctant or non-cooperative character. The game begins in the aftermath of Shakespeare’s play. The player is cast as a government official with the mission of clarifying the recent events to write an official report. A gravedigger must be interrogated in order to establish the “how”, “when”, “where”, “why” and “by whom” of each murder. He apparently knows everything there is to know however the process is complicated by the NPC’s idiosyncratic perception of the events.


Game Studies (2016)

http://jonathanlessard.net/?p=127

Game Studies is a playable “intro to game studies” manual. Discover the magic circle! Re-live the famous narratology-ludology debate! Impress your friends by using terms such as “ergodic literature” correctly!

Game Studies (2016)

http://jonathanlessard.net/?p=127

Game Studies is a playable “intro to game studies” manual. Discover the magic circle! Re-live the famous narratology-ludology debate! Impress your friends by using terms such as “ergodic literature” correctly!

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