Uncharted lead designer leaving to teach

One of the primary designers of the Uncharted series is leaving Naughty Dog to pursue a professorship at the University of Southern California. Richard Lemarchand was co-lead designer on Uncharted 3, but soon he'll be teaching at the Interactive Media Division, and working on experimental games for a research project.

Gamasutra reports that Lemarchand has been closely tied to USC for years, having been a guest speaker and lecturer. He'll begin teaching next year, after a three-month backpacking trip around the world. He'll be bringing his laptop on the trip to begin his research and start toying with the experimental game ideas.

"It seems like a natural transition point," said Lemarchand. "I was involved with the development of the Uncharted series not quite from the beginning, but almost... and even though the Uncharted series isn't intended to be viewed as a trilogy, maybe there's something about the number three that felt... there is a certain amount of completeness for me."

He says he's always wanted to try to make a more "avant-garde" game, but felt Naughty Dog deserved his full attention. Now that Uncharted 3 has wrapped up, he says he feels "very lucky" to be given the opportunity to explore smaller games in an educational setting.