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Game Masters

Featuring over 100 playable games, Game Masters showcased the work of more than 30 leading videogame designers.
Exhibition information


5 December 2014 - 20 April 2015


National Museum of Scotland, Exhibition Gallery 1, Level 3


The exhibition explored the development of videogames through interviews with game designers, rare original game artwork and interactives, as well as looking forward to how independently produced games are leading the way in design, aesthetics and game play.

Game Name Designer Format
39 Steps Simon Meek, The Story Mechanics iPad
3DS - Mario Kart 7 (x2) Nintendo EAD Nintendo 3DS
3DS - Super Mario 3D Land (x2) Nintendo EAD Nintendo 3DS
3DS - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (x2) Nintendo EAD Nintendo 3DS
Alien Hominid The Behemoth PS2
Amplitude Harmonix PS2
Angry Birds Rovio PC
Another World Eric Chahi PC
Asteroids Ed Logg Arcade cabinet
Bad Hotel Lucky Frame iPad
Black & White Peter Molyneux PC
Blueberry Garden Erik Svedang PC
Botanicula Jakub Dvorský PC
Braid Jonathan Blow PS3
Brütal Legend 2009 Tim Schafer PS3
Castle Crashers The Behemoth PS3
Centipede Ed Logg Arcade cabinet
Child of Eden [2D Small] Tetsuya Mizaguchi PS3
Child of Eden [3D Large] Tetsuya Mizaguchi PS3
Chu Chu Rocket Sonic Team Sega Dreamcast
Critter Crunch CAPY PS3
Dance Central 2 Harmonix Xbox360
Darwinia Introversion PC
Defcon Introversion PC
Defender Eugene Jarvis Arcade cabinet
Deus Ex Warren Spector PC
Diablo 3 Blizzard PS3
Disney Epic Mickey Warren Spector Wii
Donkey Kong Nintendo EAD Arcade cabinet
Dungeon Keeper Peter Molyneux PC
Elevator Action TAITO Arcade cabinet
Fable III Peter Molyneux Xbox360
Flight Control HD Firemint iPad 2
flOw thatgamecompany PS3
flower thatgamecompany PS3
Frequency Harmonix PS2
From Dust Eric Chahi PS3
Fruit Ninja Halfbrick Xbox360
Glitchspace Space Budgie PC
Grim Fandango Tim Schafer PC
Hang-On Yu Suzuki Arcade cabinet
Heart of Darkness Eric Chahi PS1
ICO Fumito Ueda PS2
Jetpack Joyride Halfbrick iPad 2
Journey thatgamecompany PS3
Kometen Erik Svedang iPad 2
LEGO Batman: The Video Game TT Games PS3
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1 - 4 TT Games PS3
LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy TT Games PS3
LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars TT Games PS3
Lemmings DMA Design PC
Lumines Tetsuya Mizaguchi PSP
Machinarium Jakub Dvorský PC
Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle Tim Schafer PC
Minecraft Markus 'Notch' Persson PC
Missile Command Dave Theurer Arcade cabinet
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge Tim Schafer PC
New Super Mario Brothers Nintendo EAD Wii
Nights into Dreams Sonic Team Sega Saturn
OutRun Yu Suzuki Arcade cabinet
Pac-Man Toru Iwatani Arcade cabinet
Parappa the Rapper Masaya Matsuura PS1
Populous Peter Molyneux PC
Psychonauts Tim Schafer PS2
Reactor Tim Skelly Arcade cabinet
Real Racing 2 HD x 4 iPad Firemint iPad 2
Rez Tetsuya Mizaguchi PS2
Rip-off Tim Skelly Arcade cabinet
Robotron: 2084 Eugene Jarvis Arcade cabinet
Rock Band 3 Harmonix PS3
Samorost 2 Jakub Dvorský PC
Scramble KONAMI Arcade cabinet
Sega Rally Championship Tetsuya Mizaguchi Sega Saturn
Shadow of the Colossus Fumito Ueda PS2
Shenmue Yu Suzuki Sega Dreamcast
SimCity (1989) Will Wright PC
SimCity 2000 Will Wright PC
SingStar Paulina Bozek PS3
Sonic Generations Sonic Team PS3
Sonic the Hedgehog Sonic Team Sega MegaDrive
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Sonic Team Sega MegaDrive
Space Channel 5 Tetsuya Mizaguchi PS2
Space Invaders Tomohiro Nishikado Arcade cabinet
Spore Creature creator Will Wright PC
Spy Mouse HD Firemint iPad 2
Starcraft 2 Blizzard PC x2
Super Mario 64 Nintendo EAD Wii
Super Mario Bros Nintendo EAD Wii
Sword & Sworcery EP CAPY iPad 2
System Shock Warren Spector PC
Tempest Dave Theurer Arcade cabinet
The Legend of Zelda Nintendo EAD Wii
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Nintendo EAD Wii
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Nintendo EAD Wii
The Sims Will Wright PC
Tower of Druaga Masanobu Endo Arcade cabinet
Tri-Tri-Triobelisk Erik Svedang iPad 2
Ultima Underworld Warren Spector PC
Vib-Ribbon Masaya Matsuura PS1
Virtua Fighter Yu Suzuki Virtua Fighter
Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Blizzard PC
Xevious Masanobu Endo Arcade cabinet

Arcade heroes and game-changers

The exhibition commenced with Arcade Heroes, which focused on the seminal arcade games of the late 1970s and early 1980s, featuring pioneering designers such as Shigeru Miyamoto (Donkey Kong), Tomohiro Nishikado (Space Invaders), Ed Logg (Asteroids), and Toru Iwatani (Pac-Man).

The nature of gaming changed as it moved from the arcade to the home computer, console and handheld devices. Key designers whose work embodies these ‘game-changing’ transitions include Yuji Naka and the Sonic Team (Sonic the Hedgehog), Nintendo (Super Mario Bros), Blizzard Entertainment (World of Warcraft), Peter Molyneux (Dungeonkeeper) and Paulina Bozek (SingStar).

  • Sonic the Hedgehog © SEGA. All rights reserved.

    Sonic the Hedgehog. © SEGA. All rights reserved.

  • Mario Kart 8 © Nintendo

    Mario Kart 8, 2014. © Nintendo.

  • Crittercrunch

    Critter Crunch, 2009. Courtesy of Capy Games.

  • Worldofwarcraft

    World of Warcraft, 2004. Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment Inc.

  • From Dust

    From Dust, Eric Chahi, 2011. Courtesy of Eric Chahi and Ubisoft.

  • Psychonauts

    Psychonauts concept artwork, Tim Schafer, 2005. Courtesy of Double Fine Productions.

  • Dancecentral

    Dance Central 2, Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, 2011. ©2011 Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.

  • Minecraft

    Minecraft, Marcus Persson, 2011. Courtesy of Mojang.

  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword © Nintendo

    The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, 2011. © Nintendo.

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Indie pioneers

World of WarcraftThe Sims, created by Will Wright, and the Lego film-franchise tie-ins, such as Star Wars and Harry Potter, were among the famous names featured, while the key role played by smaller independent designers in game design and development was also explored, including Halfbrick (Fruit Ninja), Markus Persson (Minecraft), Rovio (Angry Birds) and many others.

Scottish superstars

From the early 1990s, Scotland has been recognised as the home of some of the UK's leading game developers. For its Scottish stay, Game Masters featured the work of four pioneering Scottish companies.

DMA Design, from Dundee, created some of the most innovative games of the 1990s, including the hugely successful Grand Theft Auto (1997) and Britain's fastest selling game, Lemmings (1991).

Also from Dundee, recent University of Abertay graduates Space Budgie brought their innovative new game Glitchspace (2014) to the exhibition, offering you the chance to experience what it is like to programme code while solving challenges in a cyberspace world.

Flying the flag for Edinburgh was Lucky Frame, an independent studio known for its quirky, creative and musical approach to game design. Their Scottish BAFTA award-winning game Bad Hotel (2012) was also available in the exhibition.

Glasgow-based game designer Simon Meek, who was featured in The List's top 100 Scots to watch and Canongate's Future 40 Scottish storytellers, brings storytelling to his game development work. Featured in the exhibition was his ground-breaking game The 39 Steps.

  • Bad Hotel, courtesy of Lucky Frame (1)

    Bad Hotel, 2012. © Lucky Frame.

  • Bad Hotel, courtesy of Lucky Frame

    Bad Hotel, 2012. © Lucky Frame.

  • The 39 Steps (2013) courtesy of Simon Meek

    The 39 Steps, 2013. © The Story Mechanics.

  • Glitchspace © Space Budgie

    Glitchspace, 2014. © Space Budgie.

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Meet the Masters

Drawing on myth and legend to build immense, fantastic worlds, Blizzard Entertainment have taken videogames world design to a completely new level with Diablo, Starcraft and World of Warcraft. Here designers Rob Pardo and Chris Metzen discuss how in this fantasy world, game play always comes first.

Ground-breaking game designer Tim Schafer, creator of Pyschonauts, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, and Brutal Legend, discusses what makes game design art.

Game changer Warren Spector, creator of System Shock, Deus Ex, Disney Epic Mickey and more, describes how he transformed role playing for the gaming generation.

The National Museum of Scotland was the first European venue for the exhibition.

An exhibition created by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne, supported by the Victorian Government.

Australian Centre for the Moving Image logo Melbourne, Victoria, Australia logo

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