Game Design
Basic Introduction to Game Design

What’s the role of game designers?

Cite this article as: Lennart Nacke. (September 6, 2014). What’s the role of game designers?. The Acagamic. Retrieved September 19, 2020, from

Welcome to the first week of class in the course: Basic Introduction to Game Design. Make sure to read the syllabus and course information before you continue. Today, we are going to discuss the role of a game designer when completing a game and find out a little more about what game design actually is. This text follows closely from our textbooks (Game Design Workshop, Chapter 1 and Challenges for Game Designers, Chapter 1). Before we get started right away, let me point you to a series of helpful videos called Extra Credits as well. They tackle many interesting game development issues in their videos that are educational and often fun to watch as well. The one below discusses what you need to become a game designer. I highly recommend the videos on their channel if you want to find out more about game development. They have lots of information there and complement this course nicely.

Continue reading

Advent Calendar 2009

21 – Game User Research: Making Games Better

Today, we have more of a slide collection. But the main featured presentation is the one from Graham McAllister, who is a researcher in video game usability at the University of Sussex in the UK and also runs the company Vertical Slice that specializes in User Experience (UX; human perspective, not quality assurance) testing for games. Most of what I have been researching in the past 4 years is already starting to be employed in practice by them (quite fascinating, really).

First, he explains the different meanings of UX jargon, such as usability (can I do it?), user experience (do I like it?), user interface (how does it look?), interaction design (how is the interface used?). Then he mentions that UX is a key factor driving review scores of games (not the technical functionality alone), which then drive the sales. He backs up his claims with sales data. However, some games with good reviews may still fail financially. On the other hand, games with bad reviews are not very likely to sell well. He then discusses two case studies (Assassin’s creed and Bioshock) in terms of successful design intent or gameplay flaws. The rise of episodic gaming demands a higher level of quality even for vertical slices of games. He goes on to analyze UX flaws of games defaced by gaming magazine reviews. Continue reading