Founder & Creative Director at thatgamecompany
Jenova Chen is the visionary designer of the award-winning games Cloud, Flow, Flower, Journey and most recently Sky: Children of the Light. After earning a bachelor's degree for computer science in his hometown of Shanghai, Chen moved to Los Angeles, where he got a master's degree in the founding class of University of Southern California's Interactive Media Division. Following school, he founded thatgamecompany with fellow graduates, where he remains its Founder and Creative Director.
thatgamecompany’s titles have garnered a multitude of honors over the years. Flower was awarded the BAFTA for Artistic Achievement, was named the Best Downloadable Game of the Year at the Game Developers Choice Awards as well as Best Independent Game at the Spike TV Video Game awards among many others. Their most recent title Journey, launched in March 2012, has achieved vast critical acclaim. To date it has the highest historical aggregate rating on Metacritic of any exclusive PlayStation Network title and had Entertainment Weekly call the game “A glorious, thoughtful, moving masterpiece”.
Personally, Jenova was named one of Variety’s 10 Innovators to Watch in 2008, was selected as one of the Most Creative Entrepreneurs in Business in both 2009 and 2010 by Fast Company and was given the prestigious honor of being named to the MIT Technology Review Magazine’s TR35 list, naming the world’s top innovators under the age of 35 in 2008.
Game Industry Advocate, Event Speaker, and Writer
Kate Edwards is the Executive Director of the Global Game Jam, as well as the CEO and principal consultant of Geogrify, a consultancy which pioneered content culturalization. She is also a Board Member of Take This and is the former Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) from 2012 to 2017.
In addition to being an award-winning advocate who serves in several advisory roles, she is a geographer, writer, and corporate strategist. Following 13 years at Microsoft, she has consulted on many game and non-game projects for BioWare, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and many other companies.
Fortune magazine named her as one of the "10 most powerful women" in the game industry in 2013 and in 2014 was named by GamesIndustry.biz as one of their six People of the Year. In 2018, she was honored with Reboot Develop’s annual Hero Award and also presented with IndieCade’s annual Game Changer Award. She is also profiled in the December 2018 publication Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play.
Founder at Hands on Games
How decisions affect the play experience
Games and interactive systems are different from any other medium in that they require their users to constantly make decisions. In this talk, I will reveal a decision-based interaction model that I’ve developed over my years as a game designer. This model can be used to analyze and design every interactive system through the prism of decision making.
Dori Adar is a game designer, keynote speaker and the founder of Hands on Games, a gaming school. Dori has released more than 30 games, accumulating over 100 million downloads to date.
Director of Experience at Insomniac Games
Spider-Man: Embracing Accessibility at Insomniac Games
Brian Allgeier, Director of Experience at Insomniac Games, shares the pivotal decisions that led to adopting Accessibility on Spider-Man and why it was the first to do so in Insomniac’s 25 year history. He’ll discuss how early commitments and building a team of advocates were critical to overcoming the challenges of game development and seeing inclusive features through to the end of production.
Brian Allgeier is the longtime director of the Ratchet & Clank series and now heads up user research at Insomniac Games. He wrote the book Directing Video Games: 101 Tips for Creative Leaders.
Senior UI Designer at Space Ape Games
Building a Creative Culture Through Magical Tools
This talk is the story of how Space Ape Games built a UX-oriented development culture by focusing on prototyping quickly, raising the quality bar for UI, empowering designers with tools, and killing a bunch of games in the process. From the implementation of a bespoke tool during the development of Fastlane, to the creation of a complete suite of custom Unity components, animation tools and pre-built UI elements, this talk should be an enlightening view on mobile game development and what makes our processes magical.
Lissa has been a Game UI Designer since 2009. She's passionate about creating magical experiences for all kinds of players, and also creating magical processes for developers at Space Ape Games.
PhD. Freelance Dataviz & UX Designer/Adviser
Designing for the Audience: Real-time eSports Dashboards
eSports matches offer fast-paced entertainment for millions of viewers worldwide, but little is known about how to support a positive viewer experience. One of the key challenges related to popular real-time eSports games (e.g., MOBAs and FPS) is empowering viewers to effectively follow rapid gameplay. We discovered that dashboards contribute to spectator insight and experience, but that careful consideration is necessary to adequately manage in-game complexity, cognitive load, and trust of viewers. In this talk I elaborate on our research findings and the design goals for creating dashboards that contribute to the eSports viewer's experience.
Sven Charleer is former video game developer and academic. Today he's a freelance designer, adviser and researcher, focused on data visualisation, UX and video games.
Game UX Designer, Independent
The Sublime of Failure
What is the connection between “the sublime of failure”, invisible disabilities and overthrowing everything you know?
Thinking outside the box with human sciences and game studies to improve the UX of your video games.
Designing games that care about disability community's emotions and question the disability science, without making them serious games.
With a glimpse of the proof of concept called fragmenTED Gwendolyn made during her academic game studies, she will explain how deepenning into the main emotion that drive a disability community can lead to a better understanding of the game design you can provide to them, without making it a serious game or overcoming a disability, or worst, creating a new supe/transhumanist playable character.
Thank you for not applauding before/after the conference
Independent Game UX Designer & 2D Artist, Gwendolyn makes academic game studies and offers consulting services for independent video game studios to overcome their UX problems.
Senior UI Designer at Creative Assembly
How to design an interface for global market? Lessons from localisation process
How to design a game interface for the global market? Lessons from the localisation of mobile titles. A cross-disciplinary perspective on the localisation process. This talk is packed with tips from Type Designers, Interface Designers, Localisation Managers and Translators to help you deliver best user experience for players, where no one is a second thought.
Joanna Jakubowska is a Senior UI Designer at Creative Assembly. Her portfolio includes titles such as Gears POP!, Hotel Transylvania Adventures, Prison Architect and Angry Birds Action!
UX Specialist at Asmodée
DATA4GUR: How to leverage Game User Research with text mining?
Users generate about more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day on Internet. How this dizzying amount of datas can be used to improve our knowledge about users? In this talk, Emmanuelle Merevery will focus on Text mining which is a set of linguistic and machine learning techniques that structure and model the information content of textual sources such as reviews on video games, user generated content (UGC) on social media and on line chat. Using video games case studies, she will illustrate how textual datas can help a better understanding of gamers and be used to create better user experiences.
Emmanuelle works as UX specialist for Asmodee and has 10 years of experience in G.U.R & UX strategy with a strong specialty in leisure activities: video games, board games &sports (Ubisoft, Decathlon,...)
João Paulo do Nascimento Lopes Nogueira
Game Producer at Black River Studios
Affordances and Mental Models: The UX Design Process for the VR Game Magichestra
How would your players explore an exotic mystical environment, infused with music in every pulse of life? How would affordance affect their mental models when discovering how to interact with magic elements? And how would you tailor your VR interactions in a way that just seeing someone else playing would appeal a passerby audience? This talk explores four project premises and the UX design process for Magichestra, a Virtual Reality musical showcase game for Windows Mixed Reality, nominated for Best VR Game in BIG Festival 2019, and available at Microsoft Store.
JP Nogueira works with games since 2003, from Advergames to XR games, whether in startups or corporations. Currently working at Black River Studios, Sidia’s game development studio in Manaus, Brazil.
CEO of La Compagnie des Martingales
About Political Video Games
As with literature or cinema, many video games contain an ideology. But, in general, they remain by nature games: the designer's objective is to « entertain".
However, there are video games that do not have the sole purpose of playing.... Among the possible targets of these games some are political. These games, in addition to their playful characteristics, carry an explicit message.
In this talk, we recall shortly the principles of political video games. We present the design of a game in progress MIGRANTS which tries to convey the following messages:
- The present European policy about MIGRANTS is, from an ethical point of view, indefensible
- Most of the decisions taken by politicians are only communication for voters and have an insignificant impact on immigration
- In the present context, a policy is a complex equilibrium between public communication and the human rights respect.
- Intelligent and humanist policies rely on cooperative long-term strategies.
From a Game Design point of view, MIGRANTS is an on line cooperative game. Each player is the manager of an European Country and must take short, mid and long terms decisions.
Stéphane Natkin is emeritus professor at CNAM and the founder of a Game Production Company “La Compagnie des Martingales”. He was the founder and the Director of the Graduate School on Games and Interactive Media (ENJMIN). He is a member of the MIM group in the Research Laboratory CEDRIC.
UX Supervisor at Ubisoft Blue Byte
Interactive Cognitive Art - Envisioning Information of Complex interfaces
A picture says more than thousand words, but data as information does not always speak for itself.
Video games often struggle with an increasing amount of information that has to be available to the player at the right time. While huge, flow-breaking HUDs were tolerated in the past, today, clean, immersive and minimalized approaches are often a must-have across many genres.
The challenge for developers is to make sure, information is always accessible, conclusive and understandable, so players can make fast and correct decisions. A truthful design shortens the time in decoding information and thus fosters player control and empowerment.
This talk will take you on a journey to explore different methodologies on how to make complex data comprehensible for players, by applying take-aways from "Cognitive Art" and information visualizations and how to establish context for better and faster understanding of information.
Simplicity does not create clarity itself, context does.
Ivana is the UX Supervisor for Ubisoft Blue Byte and will share her experience and challenges about making players' lives a little bit easier by turning complex data into meaningful information.
Senior UX Designer at Scopely
Reinventing the Wheel: A Wheel of Fortune Case Study
Wheel of Fortune: Free Play is a live-operated, word puzzle mobile game from Scopely.
This case study describes how the team collaborated with UX to design, test, and implement our latest features known as Lucky Letters, Letter Streak, Hot Streak, and more.
Attendees will take away a better understanding of how our team advocates for more UX involvement, longer pre-production schedules, early user testing, and a collaborative process that heavily leverages agile methodology and constant iteration on a live-operated game.
Currently a Senior UX Designer at Scopely, Coraly is a constant UX advocate that also mentors other Latinx, WOC, POC, and underrepresented youth interested in joining the game industry.
Sr. UI Engineer & UX Designer at DICE
Pacing the Flow of Information in AAA Games: From the Open World of Horizon Zero Dawn, to the Sandbox That is Battlefield V
Gameplay pacing is critical in deciding which information to present to the player at any given time during their gameplay session. In this talk you will take home tools, that can help you and your team, pace the flow of information that is presented to your players. This talk will also cover how these tools were used to improve the HUD and in-game UI for the critically acclaimed Horizon Zero Dawn and to craft Battlefield V’s onboarding experience.
Ahmed is an Egyptian Sr. UI Generalist with 7+ years of experience in AAA games and 14+ years making UI. His work can be found in titles like Killzone Shadow Fall, Horizon Zero Daw and Battlefield V.
UX Lead at Frozenbyte
Prototyping in Trine 4
In the past year or so Frozenbyte has had to - and been able to - put more effort into UI creation. One of the new efforts has been digital prototyping. There are multiple possibilities in what is prototyped as well as how it is prototyped. This talk will show some examples of prototypes made and explain their effect on the project they were done in.
Emma Varjo is the UX Lead at Frozenbyte. She works hard to improve the UX of games as well as the way work is done within the company.
Masterclass A : Unconscious Biases, Inclusion, & Ethics in the Game Industry
Humans do not think rationally. We believe that we have an accurate perception, an accurate memory, or that we can multitask efficiently. We believe that we are in full control of our decisions according to our values, that we have free will, that we can understand others, that we are logical beings. Sadly, this is all a lie.
This workshop proposes to explore some of the most common cognitive and social unconscious biases that trick us into making bad decisions in everyday life and prevent us from building a more inclusive environment, even if we understand the importance of diversity.
Finally, this workshop will explain the main ethical concerns raised by video games through the lens of cognitive science -- when brain limitations and unconscious biases are exploited (i.e. dark patterns, attention economy, etc.) -- and how we can address these concerns.
PART 1 – Brain limitations and biases
1a- Introduction to cognitive science and psychology (main limitations of the brain)
1b- Description of some of the main unconscious biases, such as the availability heuristic or the halo effect
PART 2 – Designing for inclusion
2a- Since we cannot not fall prey to our biases, we will explore how to design environments differently to avoid biases completely: nudges and choice architecture
2b- Examples of applications in the hiring and promotion processes
PART 3 – Ethics
3a- Dark patterns: Knowing the brain limitations and unconscious biases, we will talk about how some companies try to exploit them for their own benefits
3b- Ethics in the game industry: we will address the questions of addiction (attention economy), loot boxes, and violence through the lens of cognitive science
Game UX Consultant - PhD in Psychology
Celia Hodent is an expert in the application of cognitive science and psychology to product development. She currently leads an independent UX consultancy, working with a wide range of international media and enterprise companies.
She works in-depth with companies to help ensure their products are both engaging and successful by considering the entire user experience they will provide to their audience. Celia conducts workshops and provides guidance on the topics of design ethics, unconscious bias, and tech inclusion.
Celia holds a PhD in psychology and has over ten years of experience in the development of user experience (UX) strategy in the entertainment industry, and more specifically with videogame studios through her work at Ubisoft, LucasArts, and as Director of UX at Epic Games (Fortnite). Celia is the author of The Gamer’s Brain: How Neuroscience and UX can Impact Video Game Design.
Masterclass B : How User Data can help improve User Experience
Data analysis, when it comes to video games, is often associated with monetization tricks and Free-to-play Mechanics. Whereas not false, these associations tend to overshadow the fact that data analysis is first and foremost a tool which is used primarily to improve the quality of the game experience itself.
This 6-hours masterclass will present all the fundamental concepts that you need to understand in order to successfully associate analytics with product design along with concrete examples of data analysis case studies. Instead of just covering the surface, this master class will be the occasion to dive deeper into each topics related to analytics.
In order, we will depict the current state of the video game industry and why data has became as important as it is now. Secondly, we will look closely at all the possible technical systems available on the market in order to collect and store user data and what are their strengths and weaknesses. Once this is done we will study concrete examples of video game dashboards along with the most important Key Performance Indicators to monitor. Last but not least, a large part of the last session will be dedicated to data case study analysis covering a wide range of topics such as early game retention, game balancing and monetisation.
PART 1 – Context
1a – How analytics have risen in the video game industry, especially since the free-to-play era
1b – What are the components of the freemium business model? Case studies of Skype, Spotify and Candy Crush Saga
PART 2 – The science methodology behind game analytics
2a – Hypothetical approach vs Algorithmic approach
2b – Plus and minus of different data storage solutions
2c – Data-informed design & gouvernance: how to design an analytical platform for freemium products
PART 3 – Data analysis thematics
3a – Regular Reporting – KPIs
3b – Retention analysis
3c – Balancing analysis
3d – Monetisation
Senior Data Analyst @ DR Studios - Senior Data Consultant
Thibault Coupart has been working in the videogame industry as an analyst for nearly six years in diverse studios including Adictiz (Lille, France) or DR Studios (505 Games, England). Throughout his career, he has likely analyzed the behaviours of more than a million anonymous users playing on ten different games of various genres and styles.
He is today working at Play In Lab, a company which provides to videogame studios a wide range of services related to Game Experience - Playtests, QA, and Data Analysis, with the ability to combine these services in order to perform cross-expertise.
Masterclass C : Managing the player’s cognitive load through game design decisions
A common mistake made by designers is to be too exhaustive. They want players to know everything on how the game works, hoping they will appreciate how well they crafted their systems. While it will appeal to a certain audience, it can become a burden for a lot of players.
In this workshop, we will focus on how to properly define which info is worth giving to the player. We will study the balance between the “too much” and the “not enough”, and how it can affect the perceived entropy, and thus the player flow and perceived fun.
PART 1 – Managing information to maintain flow and perceived fun
A bit of theory on how information density affects the mindset of players.
PART 2 – Extracting crucial information
2a – Analyzing a game system and its dynamics thanks to Machinations.io
2b – Identifying relevant variables and creating compound data in order to communicate efficiently to the players
PART 3 – Adapting the design to user interface constraints
3a – Designing a card layout from a given rule set
3b – Adapting the rules in order to end up with legible cards while staying faithful to the initial experience
PART 4 – Conclusion & Q.A
- game design notions
- ideally having launched at least once Machinations (https://machinations.io)
- you can use your own laptop for this workshop
Lead Game Designer @ Amplitude Studios
Maxence Voleau is Lead Game Designer at Amplitude Studios (France), known for their award-winning games Endless Legend and Endless Space. Specialized in the strategy genre, he accumulated knowledge on how to deal with complex and data-heavy systems for more than 7 years. He is also used to actually get the players involved in the game production, thanks to the in-house conception method “Game2Gether”
Concurrently with his job, he also co-created the Jam Shaker association in 2012 in order to regularly organize game jams in Paris.
The next edition of the Game UX Summit will happen in Lille Métropole (France) on October 2 & 3!
The Game UX Summit is the first professional UX event dedicated to the video game industry. Its purpose is to allow game user experience professionals and advocates to discuss the current state of UX in our industry, share best practices, and spread our love for science and compelling experiences. This summit brings together renowned speakers from various UX-related disciplines: Human Factors, Human-Computer Interaction, UX Design, User Research, Analytics, Business Intelligence, and more.
It has been created by Celia Hodent, Game UX consultant, speaker, and writer, author of The Gamer’s Brain: How Neuroscience and UX can Impact Video Game Design.
Plaine Images is an ecosystem where 1 800 people works in 125 companies of all sizes: from start-ups to international leaders. As a real cluster, Plaine Images gathers companies, research laboratories and education.
The Game UX Summit has been previously hosted by Epic Games in 2016, Ubisoft Toronto in 2017, Plaine Images in April 2018 and EA in Vancouver in September 2018. More info about the Summit and videos of previous events available here: gameuxsummit.com.
We hope you will join us!
Celia Hodent & Plaine Images Organizers
Flashback on previous edition: video recap of the first Game UX Summit Europe in Plaine Images (april 2018)
From the Airport Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle (located in Roissy), you can get to Lille very easily directly from the airport by train (about 50 min).
HIGH SPEED TRAIN
The Lille Metropole area has a substantial network of TGV, Eurostar and Thalys trains for an access from and to European capitals
Where to stay?
We suggest you to book you accomodation in the city of Lille.
Thanks to Lille Tourism, find the perfect hotel for your stay!
GOOD TO KNOW
How to reach Plaine Images?
Plaine Images is easily accessible from Lille train station and city center.
line 2 / Alsace station / 20 min
Average weather in October at Lille
- Average temperature: 9°C /16°C
- Average rainfall: 61 mm
Lille a city to visit
- The Old City (Vieux Lille)
- Republique Beaux-Arts (Art Center / Museum)
- Restaurant / Bars / Shops / Art Gallery ...
99 A Boulevard Constantin Descat
Metro Station : Alsace (line 2)