GDC 2017 | February 27 — March 3, 2017 | Moscone Convention Center | San Francisco, California


|    UX
Monday, February 27, 2017

The one-day UX Summit will cover all the facets of the user experience discipline in the video game industry. UX is about helping make sure the design and business intent of your game is the one ultimately experienced by your target audience and has become a key component of many game development teams. It does so by using knowledge from cognitive science, psychology, and by applying user research methodology. Attendees of the summit will learn UX strategy, design, and research best practices in how to remove unnecessary barriers to the enjoyment of their game, how to increase its overall quality, and increase the likelihood that it will create and sustain engagement.

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Playing the Middle: Balancing Trust, Creativity, and Business in the Science of Experience
Ian Livingston (Electronic Arts)
Corey May (2K Games)
Jonathan Dankoff (WB Games Montreal)
Alex Hutchinson (Ubisoft)
Chris Lang (Bungie)
Join this panel assembled of a multidisciplinary group of loud AAA industry veterans (each of whom enjoy arguing and is always right!) to discuss the the effects of data, creativity, and development constraints on the user experience in games. The panelists include prominent researchers, creatives, and producers who will discuss several topics including: the role of data in the creative process, the focus of UX at different organizational levels, the importance of trust in the UX research process, and how developers still end up crafting bad player experiences! Attend, join the discussion, and learn all the ways that UX permeates the industry.
Throwing out the Dopamine Shots: Reward Psychology Without the Neurotrash
Ben Lewis-Evans (Epic Games)
Have you ever heard someone say a game gave them a "shot of dopamine"? What does this mean? This talk will dispel the neuromyths around dopamine and focus on the psychology behind reward systems in game design. The topics covered will include basic reward principles, cognitive biases that impact reward perception, and the importance of progression, control, social interaction, and expectation, and the vital role of feedback and UX when designing effective rewards. When it comes to designing an effective reward, if players like it, have learned how to get it, or are motivated to get it can be different outcomes.
From Rational to Emotional: Designs that Increase Player Retention
Jim Brown (Epic Games)
Humans aren't always as rational as they might think. They are subjective thinkers who are driven by powerful, and often misunderstood, emotions. This talk will dissect the basic emotions that drive everyone, and provide specific examples of design techniques that encourage the formation of enduring emotional ties that could enhance both retention and enjoyment for players. This is NOT a talk about narrative design or "how to make people cry", but an evaluation of the underlying factors that can create emotional attachment, and how to encourage those connections in games with focused design and UX techniques.
UX Methodologies for Holistic Product Design
Paul Rybicki (Electronic Arts)
This talk will focus on best practice methods for creating design deliverables which are readily digestible to other disciplines, thereby increasing product development velocity. Learn how to make your UX designs more holistic and repeatedly referenced, so you can spend more time iterating and revising in each sprint, while still keeping stakeholders from engineering, product or game design well informed of the current design direction and the game's design as a whole.


Anouk Ben-Tchavtchavadze
GSN Games
Anouk is a UX studio manager at GSN Games who has 10 years of experience designing usable and innovative products and games on multiple platforms, devices and consoles. She has managed teams of varied skill sets and sizes, on a range of projects implementing proper UX processes, streamlined user-centered design, and better cross team collaboration. She studied computation arts, specializing in interactive arts, and followed her passion for gaming to work at Ubisoft ('Avatar', 'Shaun White Skate', 'Far Cry 3'), Zynga ('FarmVille 2'), Amazon (Fire TV) and now GSN Games ('Bingo Bash', 'Wheel of Fortune Slots Casino', 'GSN Casino').
Celia Hodent
Epic Games
Celia Hodent is the director of user experience at Epic Games and holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology. Celia joined Ubisoft Paris in 2008 to help the editorial team apply neuroscience knowledge to game design. She later worked for Ubisoft Montreal and LucasArts. She joined Epic Games in July 2013 to help guide the studio toward improved user experience practices and develop the studio's UX strategy and process. Celia is the founder and curator of the Game UX Summit, which launched in Durham NC in May of 2016, hosted by Epic Games.