Game-based UX & Cognitive Science Masterclass

By November 28, 2019 No Comments

What lessons from fun and engaging video games such as Fortnite can be applied to craft great user experiences for any product?

We’re hosting an in-depth Masterclass, led by Celia Hodent the former Director of UX at Epic Games, that intends to explore the ingredients and science behind the development of successful games. It offers takeaways applicable to game development as well as the development of any product, service, or system. It also offers a complete overview of what efficient “gamification” entails (which is more complex than merely adding “badges” to an experience).

Making fun and engaging video games is hard, and with thousands of games being released every year, the competition is fierce. Although there is no known recipe for crafting successful games, some clear ingredients do exist, which game developers can use to make their own successful recipe. User experience (UX) and cognitive science disciplines combined provide developers with those ingredients –across all types of games, platforms used, or audiences targeted– to guide them along the development process. Experiencing a game happens in the player’s mind. This is why understanding the human brain (especially its limitations) while it is perceiving and interacting with a game is paramount to accomplish faster and more efficiently your developers’ goals.

This Masterclass will delve into how the human brain works in terms of perception, attention, and memory and offers a concrete UX framework and guidelines that developers can apply during the different development stages. The ultimate goal of this Masterclass is to provide tools to significantly improve the experience of the game you are developing, as perceived by your target audience. This Masterclass will offer numerous examples, from video games and beyond, to illustrate each point.

When and where is it?

This Masterclass will be held at 9am-5pm Friday 14th February 2020 on level three of NEC House (40 Taranaki Street in Wellington) in the Wellington ICT Graduate School Master of User Experience Design classroom.

It has about 6-7 hours of content total split into 2 main parts with a lunch break in between. The content can be adjusted to skip some elements while diving into others more, depending on attendees’ requests.

  • Part 1 is an introduction to cognitive science and psychology to understand how the brain works and, more specifically, how it learns. We will look into the capabilities and limitations of human perception, attention, memory, motivation, and emotion, using multiple examples taken from video games and beyond (2.5 to 3 hours)
  • Lunch break with catering provided.
  • Part 2 focuses more specifically on the User Experience (UX) framework you can apply when developing your game, and how it relates to the brain capabilities and limitations. We will breakdown UX into ‘usability’ and ‘engage-ability’ and detail the important principles within these 2 components that can make, in the end, a great difference for your player and how s/he will experience your game (for the better!). It will cover how to successfully on-board players (i.e. first time user experience over, roughly, the first minutes to an hour of play) as well as how to keep players engaged over time (3 to 4 hours)
  • Part 3 (if time permits) briefly talks about user research and analytics, and how to measure what when, depending on what stage of development a project is at. This part also touches on UX strategy and how to develop it both at a project and studio level (15-30 mins)

Who is the audience of the event?

Anyone can benefit from knowing better about the brain and about user experience. This Masterclass is however tailored more specifically for game developers, and product developers interested in learning how to apply game UX principles and strategy to their project or company, or interested in “gamification” (or playful learning).

How much does it cost?

Early-bird ticket: $275 (limited tickets available until December 31st 2019)
Full-price ticket: $325

Register for the event now, get in quick to get a special deal!

Leave a Reply