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William Novak

Chair, Game Art & Design



William Novak, known professionally as simply “Novak,” is the Chair of the Department of Game Art & Design at Woodbury University. He has been designing and developing award-winning video games for 29 years, creating branded properties and original IPs for many game publishers, including Sony, Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Sega of America, Nokia, Fox Interactive, Virgin Interactive, Simon and Schuster, the Haley Miranda Group, and Toyota/Scion. He started making games in 1982 as an assembly language programmer and designer at Sega’s Coin-Op division during the Golden Age of the Video Arcade and has been publishing games regularly ever since.

While Project Designer at Mattel Toys, Novak received the Creative Excellence Award and also attained Mattel’s highest honor, receiving two Chairman’s Awards for his game design of Nintendo’s “Super Glove Ball” and for designing the interface used by the world’s first interactive TV show, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future.

Before his immersion in all things digital, Novak was a central figure in San Francisco’s emerging punk rock scene. He founded two independent record labels, Dumb Records and Nth Degree, and produced underground hit records for the most notorious first wave of SF bands such as The Nuns, Crime, The Readymades and The Survivors. 

Novak’s undergraduate studies focused on avant-garde electronic art and music composition. He was the studio assistant of the 20th century’s most influential composer and thinker, John Cage. He regularly gave lecture/demonstrations in local high schools with early synthesizer pioneer, Robert Moog, and produced many new music concerts for visiting experimental composers and artists, including Philip Glass, Alvin Lucier, Frederic Rzewski, Kenneth Gaburo, David Behrman, and Merce Cunningham.

Novak is currently designing a casual iPad game with a focus on inventing state-of-the-art gameplay interfaces that fully exploit Apple’s touchscreen.