The Game UX & Cognitive Science Masterclass

Presented By: Celia Hodent, PhD

Former director of UX at Epic Games (Fortnite)

Lead by the former director of UX at Epic Games (Fortnite), Celia Hodent, the Game UX Masterclass provides insights into how the human brain works in terms of perception, attention, and memory. Participants will learn 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.

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.

Game UX Masterclass City Locations:

Celia’s Game UX Masterclass is based on her successful book, The Gamer’s Brain: How Neuroscience and UX Can Impact Video Game Design, which can be found on Amazon.

Culver City, CA –> May 23rd, 2019       

San Diego, CA –> Friday June 7th, 2019

Culver City, CA –> Friday June 14th, 2019

New York City, NY –> June 17th, 2019         

Madrid, Spain –> June 21st, 2019    

London, UK –> September 30st, 2019    

The Audience

This Masterclass is 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).

The Schedule

The Game UX Masterclass has approximately 6-7 hours of content total and has 2 main parts. The content can be adjusted to skip some elements while diving into others more, depending on attendees’ requests.

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.

Lunch Break 

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.