Without digging into the semantic details too much, auteur theory -- the idea that a single, charismatic designer can leave his mark on a game -- was a popular talking point a few years ago. While no longer part of the games criticism zeitgeist, auteur theory is usually applied to the monoliths of the games industry (Shigeru Miaymoto, Gunpei Yokoi, Will Wright), or the unapologetically quirky (Goichi Suda, Keita Takahashi).
I might submit to this category James Silva, co-founder of and lead designer at Ska Studios. His most recent game, the 2D beat-'em-up The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile, is such a weird amalgam of pop culture, so bizarrely presented that it couldn't have come from anyone else: if it weren't so fun and polished, I'd call it a vanity project.
Vampire Smile wears its influences on its sleeve: the plot reads like a bloodier, more straightforward Count of Monte Cristo; the setting is equal parts cyberpunk and kung-fu flick; the visuals ripped from, say, a Megadeth show in 1988. These elements are blended together to form an aesthetic that, while culturally disjointed, should seem familiar to most twenty- and thirty-somethings.