MasterClass: Game Design: How to compare, create and measure fun | Pocket


Thousands of games come out every year, and most of them won’t become a hit. The key element that separates a successful game from a game that fails is its ability to be fun and engaging for the audience. In other words, game design.

In the past, developers would create something they thought was fun and then pray for the audience to enjoy it.

Today there is a range of techniques to help us validate design decisions, understand who our audience is, what they will appreciate, and speed up the development process by avoiding creative dead ends and detecting earlier. what works.

This MasterClass will provide you with a series of best practices and tools to set up a solid game design, and teach you how to use a data-driven methodology to validate and improve it.

It is intended to be useful both for those who are working on new games and for those who run live games who want to improve their gaming experience.

The main points to remember include:

Participants will learn

  • How to compare the competition, create and use realistic player characters, and best practices to engage the real audience early in the creative process to guide development.
  • How to break down the progression structure of a game on its different sections (FTUE, onboarding, endgame, etc.) and identify the critical elements on each stage.
  • How to establish and validate a gameplay proposal. Find innovative and engaging gameplay, using a Lean methodology and a user-oriented mindset.
  • How to organize / analyze game testing to validate and improve the player experience, including the use of game testing services such as Playtestcloud.
  • How to adapt the game design to make the game more marketable and get the most out of the use of third party IPs, satisfying both the licensor and the players. (Key topic on a post-IDFA scenario).

TARGET AUDIENCE: This MasterClass is aimed at both game designers who want to learn new techniques and professionals in the disciplines of development, product management, live operations, business intelligence or production of any level of business. seniority, who wish to increase their T-shaped design skills.

The methodologies and learnings presented are applicable to any genre and platform, including PC / Console, but the examples and approach will be primarily mobile-focused.

Meet the mentor

Javier Barnes is a game designer and free-to-play specialist with over 10 years of experience. He was a senior product manager at Tilting Point, where he both evaluated and helped develop several free games. Previously, he was Lead Game Designer for Monster Legends, as well as Game Economy and Systems Designer for the biggest mobile hits such as Despicable Me: Minion Rush and Asphalt 8: Airborne, among many others.

Content distribution

Part 1. Theoretical framework and comparative analysis

The first rule of war is to know your enemy. We will therefore learn several key techniques and concepts for comparing a genre of market or competitor, including the use of services like App Annie and Steam Database, and how to establish realistic player characters, to obtain information that will guide us in the process. design process.

We will also learn how to validate our design decisions and proposals by presenting the audience early on, how to organize and analyze playtests and ABtests, and the use of services such as Playtestcloud.

Part 2. Design foundations and validation

The second rule of war is to know yourself. So, in this section, we’ll explore a range of fundamental game design concepts and different tools that we can use to create solid designs and make sure we don’t lose sight of during development (design pillars, core loops , generation of good user stories …).

This section will also discuss specifics to consider in order to get the most out of IPs in licensed games, as well as best practices for making the game more marketable in order to make it more effective in a post-IDFA scenario.

We will also learn the distribution and the specificities of the different stages of a game progression (FTUE, onboarding, late game, etc.), and how we can adapt our design to the specificities of each of these stages.

Part 3. Best practices and quality assurance

Sun Tzu also said that to win you have to be fast. So we’ll see a range of best practices in terms of gameplay and systems that will help you speed up the development and validation process during the soft launch, ensuring that iterations are focused on areas that generate value.

It will also include an overview of the best metrics we need to look at in determining how engaged a game is and what metrics are critical to knowing the odds of the game moving into a bigger product.

After the course, participants will receive the presentation and some additional freebies, so that they can review all of its content later.

Teaching format

It will be a highly interactive session lasting a total of 3 hours.

We’ll be using Zoom as the main platform and Google Sheets for some of the labs.

Each section will be divided into a presentation and a set of group work activities where we will apply the techniques learned and get feedback.

While questions are allowed at any time during the course, at the end of the course we will hold a question-and-answer session to discuss any topics that participants deem appropriate.

Looking for more MasterClasses in game design?

This MasterClass is part of a larger series of in-depth workshop sessions, covering practical game design topics, presented by in collaboration with some of the foremost minds in the games industry.

If you would like to attend another MasterClass, you can find more information at

Monday September 13 (10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Lessons with a Growth Hacker: Successfully Evolving a Living Game, with Oliver Kern

Monday September 13 (2 p.m. – 5 p.m.)

Save your game from disaster: test the secrets of a former Ubisoft expert, with Pascal Luban

Tuesday September 14 (10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Making a Change: How to Apply Game Design to Real World Problems, with Ellis Bartholomeus

Wednesday September 15 (10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

The Right Balance: Connect Gameplay and Monetization Effectively, with Glyn Fairweather

Wednesday September 15 (2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

Get Your Shit Together with Player Behavior, with Kelly Vero

Friday September 17 (10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

Building an audience: marketing, UA and creative production, with Mobile Game Doctor

Remember, we have some great multi-booking discount offers …

  • 3 for 2: book three MasterClasses for the price of two!
  • Corporate discount: tailored offers available for large groups and / or multiple MasterClass sessions (please email to discuss discounts)

To arrange any of the bespoke packages above, please email [email protected] for more information.

Please note that the final ticket price is in pounds sterling and conference tickets may be subject to UK VAT at the rate of 20%. You will receive a VAT receipt by email with the confirmation of your reservation.

For all other questions, please contact [email protected]

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