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The Psychology of Effective Game Design Jesse Schell Entertainment Technology Center Carnegie Mellon University.

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Presentation on theme: "The Psychology of Effective Game Design Jesse Schell Entertainment Technology Center Carnegie Mellon University."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Psychology of Effective Game Design Jesse Schell Entertainment Technology Center Carnegie Mellon University

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5 DisneyQuest

6 Head Mounted Display

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8 CAVE - Computer Augmented Virtual Environment

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12 Masters of Entertainment Technology at CMU’s ETC Two year professional Master’s program Two year professional Master’s program About 80 students About 80 students 40% Art Students 40% Art Students 40% Computer Science Students 40% Computer Science Students 20% Miscellaneous 20% Miscellaneous Interdisciplinary teams creating real innovations for real clients Interdisciplinary teams creating real innovations for real clients

13 Fine Arts + Computer Science

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21 Are Digital Games important for Education? “People who distinguish between education and entertainment don’t know much about either” - Marshall McLuhan “People who distinguish between education and entertainment don’t know much about either” - Marshall McLuhan When people are having fun, they are more engaged. Can this translate to better learning? When people are having fun, they are more engaged. Can this translate to better learning? Online games are becoming a core social experience Online games are becoming a core social experience Children think of digital games as a way to play with reality Children think of digital games as a way to play with reality Film was the literature of the 20th century… Film was the literature of the 20th century… Will games become the literature of the 21 st century? Will games become the literature of the 21 st century?

22 What about distribution?

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27 Definitions What is fun? What is fun? Just pleasure? Just pleasure? Pleasure with surprises! Pleasure with surprises! What is play? What is play? Just manipulation? Just manipulation? Manipulation that indulges curiosity! Manipulation that indulges curiosity!

28 What is a game? Q1) Games are entered willfully. Q1) Games are entered willfully. Q2) Games have goals. Q2) Games have goals. Q3) Games have conflict. Q3) Games have conflict. Q4) Games have rules. Q4) Games have rules. Q5) Games can be won and lost. Q5) Games can be won and lost. Q6) Games are interactive. Q7) Games have challenge. Q8) Games can create their own internal value. Q9) Games engage players. Q10) Games are closed, formal systems. A game is a problem solving activity approached with a playful attitude.

29 Technology StoryMechanics Aesthetics What is a game made of?

30 How do I design a game? Two key questions: Two key questions: What is the player’s goal? What is the player’s goal? What is the player’s challenge? What is the player’s challenge?

31 Flow Skills0 (Low) (High) ∞ Flow Channel ∞ (High) (Low) 0 Challenge Boredom Anxiety A1A1 A4A4 A2A2 A3A3

32 Good Skills0 (Low) (High) ∞ Flow Channel ∞ (High) (Low) 0 Challenges Boredom Anxiety

33 Better Skills0 (Low) (High) ∞ Flow Channel ∞ (High) (Low) 0 Challenges Boredom Anxiety

34 One More Tip Creating “balanced asymmetric risks” makes for challenging decision making. Low risk = Low reward High risk = High reward

35 What can games teach best? Systems of relationships, not easily visualized by description alone. Systems of relationships, not easily visualized by description alone.

36 Audience

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45 Hazmat: Hotzone for FDNY Videogame tech for training first responders Videogame tech for training first responders “Lan Party classroom” “Lan Party classroom” Instructor as “Dungeon Master” Instructor as “Dungeon Master”

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50 Finally “Education and entertainment ultimately have the same goal: making memories.” “Education and entertainment ultimately have the same goal: making memories.” - Michael Macedonia

51 Questions? ETC: Open Source Game Engine:


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