This first workshop focuses on using playtesting to explore a design space. It emphasizes problem finding, exploratory methods, and interpreting qualitative data.
Bring stakeholders into the ideation process in order to help define the design space and clarify the core problem and/or characteristics to be expressed in your game.
Identify what you want to know about your players - Looking for specific behaviors that relate to your player experience goals.
Gather player responses to the ingredients of your game - trying out multiple versions of an asset to see which achieves your player experience goals.
Explore the applications of a game mechanic - discovering what experiences a mechanic engenders and applying your findings to your player experience goals.
Partnering with stakeholders throughout the design process - applying outside expertise to inform your player experience goals.
Give overview of playtesting, why it matters through real world examples and how its used in exploration phase. Includes "Introduction to Playtesting" slideset, an overview of the importance of playtesting, why designers do it, and some of the methods the game industry uses.
A worksheet that is intended to guide you through the creation of your own "Composition Box" poster. Given to students two days before workshop.
Supplemental follow-along for the Explore slides. Given to students during workshop.
Provides three different playtesting methods that use PLEX cards to generate ideas with players. Given to students during workshop.
Playful Experiences Cards are for designers, researchers and other stakeholders who wish to design for playfulness. Credits: Andrés Lucero & Juha Arrasvuori (funkydesignspaces.com/plex)
A short paper about the Critical Response Process which helps users get clear answers to open-ended questions. Credits: Liz Lerman
By: Robin Hunicke, Marc LeBlanc, Robert Zubek
MDA is a formal approach to understanding games - one which attempts to bridge the gap between game design and development, game criticism, and technical game research.
By: Nick Yee
Yee built an empirical model of the underlying motivations of MMORPG players. This model provides a meaningful way to differentiate players from one another and a tool to explore in-game preferences and behaviors.
By: Nicole Lazzaro
XEODesign conducted an independent cross-genre research study on why people play games and identified over thirty emotions coming from gameplay rather than story.
By: Mary Overlie
The Viewpoints process reduces performance to a code. The structure we see through The Viewpoints is made in six basic windows of perception that are used to create and view theater.
By: Chris Pacione
"I do believe basic competency in design lies at the root of what it means to innovate; it's a very important and strategic activity individuals and organizations attempt every day."