Whether your skin gets to tingling over these titles or not, Joe Ching is one speaker you won’t want to miss. Storyteller and conceptual giant, Joe’s parallel talents and adaptive genius have taken him around the globe and have landed him the type of work where he gets to give it all he’s got, every day. He lives at the apex of art and communication—generating visual and interactive experiences designed to rock your world.
For the past 15 years, Joe’s worked with game developers in the Bay Area (including DoubleFine, Crystal Dynamics, Nihilistic Software and most of all—LucasArts) to develop these games and more. We’re talking about Legacy of Kain, The Secret of Monkey Island (Special Edition) and most recently, Star Wars: 1313.
How did this Star Wars fanatic get to a place where he’s rubbing elbows with Chewbacca and developing the latest games? He calls his path “non-traditional.” We call it an adventure.
In 1989, Joe packed up his B.A. and his belongings and headed first to San Francisco to work as an art historian for an Asian Art Gallery and then on to Beijing for several years to teach English. When he returned to the States in 1994, he was introduced to multi-media and was captivated. So what did he do? He jumped right in, of course. After a few quick classes at San Francisco State University, Joe picked up work as a Graphic Designer and quickly became an Art Director for a startup in San Francisco developing interactive audio guides on the Apple Newton. The company’s primary client—the Smithsonian Institute—was just beginning development of the Star Wars: Magic of Myth exhibit for the National Air & Space museum.
And that was where everything came together.
Joe jumped right in again. He soon found himself working for Lucasarts—bringing together a background in architecture, a love of video games, a passion for Star Wars, and a big dose of adaptable creative genius.
Today, Joe spends his time focusing on the player experience—crafting the moment-to-moment gameplay using a combination of 3D greyboxing along with gameplay scripting, audio cues, and visual development. He’s an ideal liaison between art and design, working directly with artists and designers to create immersive and visually stunning experiences.
Join us as we welcome Joe Ching back to Columbus on August 15th.
About Joe Ching
Joe was born & raised in Columbus, Ohio.
He comes from a family of educators—his father helped start the East Asian languages department at Ohio State. And his mother taught at OSU for many years before assisting Governor Rhodes with the establishment of the very first trade relations between the State of Ohio and Mainland China.
Maybe you’ve bumped into Joe on the street. As a child, he attended Saturday morning art classes at the Columbus College of Art & Design. He went to school at Windermere Elementary and Hastings Junior High in Upper Arlington before heading to Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio. He received his B.A. in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis.
Joe has served as an adjunct professor of Game Design at the Art Institute of San Francisco, and he’s a speaker at events like the Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum in Hong Kong.
He lives in Mill Valley, California with his wife, two kids, several chickens, a few fish, and an old pug named Boo.