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Psychology of Game Design


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This book looks at the way that game designers and academics look at the game design based on a combination of design instinct and current scientific evidence, written as a dialog between commerical design interests and player behaviour study. The authors explore key design issues from a practical and evidence-based model, allowing designers to get the best results from their work. Historical references and personal experience, punctuated with the evidence which supports or disputes the premise are included. Further, this book will investigate the moral and ethical issues raised by using an evidence-based approach to game development, providing a step-by-step guide to help designers succeed.
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Table of Contents

The Psychology of Why People Play What Psychologists Know About Play On Development Self Determination Theory Social Benefits of Play Playing For Flow Ethics EXERCISE1 Unlocking Our Creativity The Inspired Creative Individual Creating Together The Role of Trust Creativity For Players Ethics EXERCISE2 The Power of Immersion A Suspension of Disbelief The Value Of Escapism Flow, Frustration and Pace Immersion and Sensory Feedback Ethics EXERCISE3 Confidence Through Mastery Constant Learning Machines Proving To Ourselves and Other Reinforcing Confidence Failure Is A Mirror To Success Ethics EXERCISE4 Choosing Our Own Adventures Whose Game Is This Anyway? Designer Led Experiences Puzzles or Games The Importance of Autonomy Ethics EXERCISE5 The Magic of Habit Games Design As Manipulation Skinner Boxes and Operant Conditioning Ethics and Efficacy Of Brainwashing How Transparency & Disengagement Improves Games Ethics EXERCISE6 Unfinished Business A Heroes Journey Completion And Cliffhangers Persistent Worlds And The Promise Of Future Glory The Role of Constraints In Play Ethics EXERCISE7 A Sense Of Fair Play The Role Of Rules In Games Emotions and Perception Of Fairness Paying To Win Future Value Ethics EXERCISE8 Predictable Uncertainty Why We Crave Certainty Randomness And Complex Systems Emergent Properties And Ambiguous Strategies Our Own Success or Failure Ethics EXERCISE9 Playing Together Limitations of Leaderboards Social Identity And Games A Social Journey The Massively Single Player Game Ethics EXERCISE11 Rethinking Player Motivation Behavioral Segmentation Player Lifecycle and Engagement Mode of Use: Do We Choose Devices Or Do They Define Us? Psycho structural elements of play Ethics EXERCISE12 Why Players Stop Playing Downloads Are Not Engagement `Spite', `Disgust' And Business Models Failure To Re-engage Churn Happens Ethics EXERCISE13 The Psychology Of Pay Ethics of consumer psychology Hot Or Cold Decision Making Reciprocation & Resent Unintended Consequences Of Incentives What Makes A Whale Sing? Ethics EXERCISE14 Mindful Design Putting Players First Transparency and Disengagement Evidence Based Design Ethical Game Design Ethics EXERCISE15

About the Author

Oscar Clark is an Author, Consultant and Evangelist for Everplay from Unity Technologies. He has been a pioneer in online, mobile and console social games since 1998. He is a regular columnist on PocketGamer.Biz and is an outspoken speaker at countless games conferences. Oscar Clark is author of the Focal Press book: Games As a Service: How Free To Play Design Can Make Better Games. Berni Good is a psychologist and member of the British Psychological Society and specialises in cyberpsychology in video games. Berni is founder of Cyberpsychologist Limited, a consultancy company that works with academics and game developers. Berni is the "go-to" expert for the media around the psychology of the gamer and has been featured on BBC News, BBC global news and outher UK and international news outlets. Berni lectures at various universirties around the psychology of video games.

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