Many of us play through games and enjoy them just as they are, giving little thought to the design or the psychology behind what we’re playing. Kotaku reader and QUT game design student (who also has a background in psychology), Dominic Williamson, has gone that extra step with his Designer Playbook series.
We'll hand it over to Dominic to explain what he does and why he does it. The video above is one of many he has created.
I started making Designer’s Playbook because I really wanted explore the psychology behind game design. I believe that more serious discussion about games will lead to better quality and better variety of gaming experiences as the industry continues mature.
When it comes to making the videos I’ll either start in one of two ways. I’ll read about a theory and then keep an eye out for a game that does a good job of implementing it. Or, I will pick a game I've played that has done something interesting design-wise, either good or bad. Once I’ve picked a game I will narrow down what I want to talk about to a few key points. With the key points in mind I’ll begin my research.
I’ll read all sorts of things from interviews to game design theories to general articles to research papers. Once I feel I have enough information for each key point I begin production. Because it’s just me making the episodes this part is quite time consuming and I have yet to meet my goal of making a complete episode in less than 10 hours. It takes so long because I have to record the game footage, write a script, record the script, find useful images, record myself for the introduction and conclusion, edit everything together and then render it all.
I will have a new episode of Designer’s Playbook out on the 1st of each month (after fortnightly releases proved to be a little too ambitious along with my studies).
We think it's great that a Kotaku reader is taking the initiative to delve that little bit deeper into the games. You can watch more of Dominic's videos here.