Richard van Tol is a researcher and educator at HKU, where he focuses on the intersection of play design and music design in a wide range of contexts. Through the Games&Interaction StudioLab he researches music design for applied games and develops validation tools for applied game designers. His involvement at the SonicInteraction-Lab focuses on game audio, non-linear music systems and sonic interaction. Richard teaches courses in game audio design and has pursued a doctorate on this topic. His 2008 paper on the IEZA framework for game audio is in use at universities and design studios worldwide. Furthermore, Richard supervises 2nd to 4th year G&I and M&T students and interns.
Richard previously researched accessibility for gamers with disabilities at the Bartiméus Accessibility Foundation (Netherlands). As an active member of the IGDA GA-SIG he has been active in the field of game accessibility since 2001, developing and researching blind-accessible games such as Drive - a racing game for the blind, as well as co-founding AudioGames.net, the world's major online platform for blind gamers.
Richard frequently speaks about game audio, audio games and game accessibility at conferences such as GDC, Develop Brighton, Innovation in Music, and ICCHP. In 2011 he was responsible for the execution of the first Cultures At Play Game Jam, an intercultural multidisciplinary game jam with both Turkish and Dutch students in Istanbul. He also co-organized and executed two consecutive game jams in Ho Chi Ming City and Ha Noi named VietJam! Game Jam in 2012.
Through his Amsterdam-based studio Creative Heroes, Richard develops mobile games such as Gluddle, which was nominated for Best Dutch Game 2012. Other projects include DiceForChange, a set of designer dice on sale in stores worldwide and AnswerGarden, a group-brainstorm tool which has over one million monthly page views (december 2014).
Richard is mostly passionate about creativity and the art of creation - not limited to a single material, discipline or field. His most recent fascination is complementary design: how and when components in a design (or system) reinforce or diminish each other’s contributions and how designers can act upon this.