Empathy, People and Player-First Game Design

Earlier in February, I traveled out to Vegas to speak at the DICE conference. In the talk, I spoke about empathy, and the importance of putting people first in your process as a game designer/developer/company/publisher. Spending time envisioning the people who will play your game as individuals, rather than thinking of them as wallets, eyeballs, installs or stats. robindice

The thesis of this talk is that if you really design for your players - you focus on the feelings they will have when they play, first. This allows you to discover new ideas outside the realm of familiar game designs & genres, and also allows you to connect with people who might not normally consider purchasing and playing your game. In this way, thinking about the people you reach, and their feelings is a way to broaden our market - and I hope, inspire others to make new games, themselves.

Watch the video here, read a more in-depth interview on the subject of designing for your players (and not just for profit) here on GamesIndustry.Biz. You can also read a bit about how this philosophy informs our work at Funomena here in this conversation about experience, design and feelings that I had with Kris Graft over at Gamasutra.

"I want [games] to be a part of your life, in a way that helps you reach new places in your life."