Game UX & Cognitive Science Masterclass in San Diego on Nov 2nd

Join User Experience expert Celia Hodent, former Director of UX at Epic Games, who worked on the hit game Fortnite as well as many others.  Celia will be in San Diego on Friday, November 2  from 9am – 6pm to give an in-depth Masterclass on Game UX & Cognitive Science.

Masterclass: on Game UX and Cognitive Science runs from 9am – 6pm on Friday November 2 in San Diego.

Celia Hodent, PhD – User Experience UX Expert

Led by Celia Hodent, the former Director of UX at Epic Games, this Masterclass delves into how the human brain works in terms of perception, attention, memory, human motivation and emotion. It offers a concrete UX framework and guidelines that developers can apply during the different development stages.

Celia has a PhD in Psychology specializing in cognitive development. Aside from Fortnite she has also worked on some of the top video games in the industry including Rainbow 6, Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Watch Dogs, Star Wars: 1313, Battle Breakers (mobile), and RoboRecall (VR).  Celia has contributed to many projects across multiple platforms, from PC to consoles, mobile, and VR. Celia is also the founder of the Game UX Summit, advisor for the GDC UX Summit. 

Celia has been traveling all over the world presenting this engaging Masterclass: Game UX and Cognitive Science. Now it’s coming to Southern California and there is still time to catch it in San Diego.

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.

This Masterclass is open to anyone interested in learning how user experience and the brain works. It will be of particular value to game designers, artists, gameplay programmers, and UX practitioners.

Why should developers care about UX and cognitive science? Because experiencing a game happens in the player’s mind and the human brain has many limitations developers should know about. There is only so much workload that the brain will tolerate, and good UX can reduce unwanted confusion and frustrations, while ensuring players will be challenged the way designers intended. What then is the key brain knowledge that you really need and that you can apply to your games?

This 6 – 7 hour Masterclass will provide a detailed overview of neuroscience and UX applied to game development, using multiple examples from shipped games, including Fortnite.

Game UX and Cognitive Science Schedule

9am – 12:00: Part 1 – (2.5 to 3 hours) 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.

*Content will be tailored to skip some elements while diving into others more, depending on attendees’ requests.

12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch Break (lunch is included)

2pm – 5pm: Part 2 – (3 to 4 hours) 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 onboard 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.

Part 3 (if time permits – 15-30 min) 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.

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.

There is a $50 discount for friends of M2 Insights for the San Diego Masterclass Please use code: “M2Discount”. 

Celia is also the author of The Gamer’s Brain: How Neuroscience and UX can Impact Video Game Design. She currently works as an independent consultant, helping studios increase the likelihood of their games to be engaging and successful.