User experience (UX) and neuroscience are now trendy in the industry, but how can these disciplines concretely help a team to develop a game? UX and neuroscience combined are at the service of design, and can provide some tips and a methodology to anticipate and solve design problems, sometimes even before the playtesting phase. The real challenge today is to figure out how the player will likely perceive the game. By having a general understanding of how the brain works, by following UX guidelines, and by adopting the scientific method, game developers can increase the chance of their audience experiencing the intended design. They will also likely increase the chance of their audience being more engaged and retaining longer. This talk will provide an overview of applied UX and cognitive science, illustrated by many examples from various games.
Celia Hodent is director of user experience at Epic Games and holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology. Initially specializing in the development of intelligence in children and adults, Celia stepped aside from academic research in 2005 to work with an educational toy manufacturer, VTech. Celia joined Ubisoft Paris in 2008 to help the editorial team translate neuroscience knowledge into game design features. She later worked for Ubisoft Montreal and LucasArts. In 2013 she joined Epic Games to help guide the studio toward improved user experience practices and develop the studio's UX strategy and process. Celia's main focus is to use cognitive science knowledge concretely to solve design problems and make sure the player experience is always enjoyable and engaging. Celia is also the founder and curator of the Game UX Summit, which launched in Durham NC in May of 2016, hosted by Epic Games. Celia is the author of The Gamer's Brain: How Neuroscience and UX can Impact Video Game Design.
Founded in 1991, Epic Games is the creator of the Unreal, Gears of War and Infinity Blade series of games. Today Epic is building Paragon, Fortnite, SPYJiNX, Battle Breakers, Robo Recall and the new Unreal Tournament. Epic's Unreal Engine technology is used by teams of all sizes to ship visually stunning, high-quality games and experiences across PC, console, VR and mobile platforms. Developers also choose Unreal Engine for visualization, design, film, television and simulation. Follow @EpicGames and download Unreal Engine for free at unrealengine.com.